Alexandria, VA – Restaurant Depot, a nationwide chain of supply stores for the restaurant industry, has temporarily opened its doors to the public to help people get essential goods they need amid the corona virus pandemic. It marks the first time in the company’s 40-year history that its products are available to the general public.
Allowing Access to the General Public
Restaurant Depot has opened its stores to the general public during the coronavirus pandemic. The company is issuing day passes as the COVID-19 battle continues, and shoppers can return to the stores as many times as needed. With many restaurants closed or operating take-out service only, regular business for the wholesale supplier is down. Adding non-members to its aisles will “make up a tiny percentage of what we’re missing,” said the company’s Chief Operating Officer Ruben Vogel.
Limitations you Can Expect
As Restaurant Depot opens stores to the general public during the pandemic, there are no hours set aside for either restaurants buyers or the general public. When asked about restaurants still being able to get products they need, Robert L. Samuels, Branch Manager in Alexandria, said: “Members are still able to get in to get what they need. There are some shortages on specific products like beef and pork, but that is an issue with some of the Plants closing down across the country etc. The opening to the public is a temporary benefit to the community. Once everything calms down, we will go back to our normal requirements.” Samuels added: “there are limits on products, especially meats.”
“Anything a restaurant has under its roof we can supply,” Vogel said. Vogel said an influx of new customers won’t be a problem. “We don’t think we’re going to get a rush or get overwhelmed,” he said. Vogel also noted that many items at Restaurant Depot are sold in bulk. “If you think about size, it’s like 50-pound bags of flour or 30-pound bags of French fries,” he said. “That wouldn’t be conducive to a lot of households.”
The New York-based company operates 135 warehouse stores, which range from 60,000 to 125,000 square feet. They offer a broad range of products, including restaurant appliances and clothing, silverware, cleaning supplies, paper products, fast food, seafood, canned goods, fresh meat, produce and beverages.