Pickup and delivery grocery services on the rise

The fridge is empty and it’s time for more food, but make sure you plan ahead if you want to avoid the shop.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – If you want to limit trips to the store as a coronavirus precaution, there are several great options for doing that.

“Definitely more customers are choosing to have in-store and home pickup while we work on it,” said Melissa Eads of Kroger.

They are one of many grocery chains like Food City and Walmart that offer roadside pick up service.

Eads said it was a great option for the elderly and people at high risk for the virus, but also for anyone who doesn’t want to go to the store.

It’s pretty easy. You go online, build your car with the items you need, and place your order.

Keep in mind, however, that demand is high across the board and you may not get an early pick up time.

“I suggest people plan ahead,” Eads said. “Don’t go online today and think you can place your order in two or three hours. Every store is different, every day is different, depending on the volume, plan ahead.”

As soon as the pick-up day is reached, you will see a sign indicating a parking space that you can drive into. Then you call the store and let them know that you have arrived. To limit contact, Kroger first lets customers open their trunk. Then it will be loaded.

Also, high demand for certain items can mean that stores may not be able to meet every request. You may be out of items or need to replace another brand. They will notify you when this is the case.

Shops are still working around the clock to replenish supplies with items like the coveted paper.

“There’s still a load, hit or miss, we get a supply, but as soon as it arrives it’s bought and gone,” said Eads.

The good news is that Kroger’s collection fee has been waived and you can get the service for free.

What if you don’t want to get in the car? There’s also an option if you’d like your food to be delivered to your doorstep.

A company called Instacart lets a personal shopper buy your groceries and deliver them to you. There is a fee associated with this service and you will be asked to tip.

If you still enjoy going to the store you know they are doing their best to make this a safe and clean experience for the customers. The opening times have changed to accommodate special shopping times.

“From Monday to Thursday (7 am to 8 am), senior shoppers and other high risk people can shop in that first hour,” said Eads. Kroger is asking other customers to withhold their purchases until then.

In the store, they have also started putting up sneezers and social distancing decals. Workers can also wear masks and gloves if desired.

“We’ve stepped up our cleaning practices. There are staff at the entrance all day cleaning shopping carts and hand baskets for each customer when they walk in the door and cleaning the registers,” Eads said.

As demand increases in and out of stores, so does the need for labor. Kroger hired thousands of employees in the last week alone.

If you are interested, you can find out more about the application at jobs.Kroger.com

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