Eating out has become a big part of our lives and with everyone now at home, a lot needs to change to make up for it. Before this lockdown, Americans would eat out on average nearly 6 times per week. Eating at home is still popular - Americans spend around $4,400 annually on food for their fridge; around 7% of their total annual spending. In these past few weeks, however, going to grocery stores has been discouraged and most restaurants have been closed. This has caused many to stock up on a variety of items. Shoppers are stocking up on goods like canned foods, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and bottled water. Sales for some of these items such as oat milk and medical masks are up by hundreds of percent and other products like frozen and fresh fruit, dried beans, bath and shower wipes, and water all have higher sales that are higher by a noticeable amount.
In order to compensate for this huge influx of customers, many retail stores are changing their hours and policies. Amazon recently announced that it would prioritize shipping and delivery of household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products They also stated that they would hire 100,000 new fulfillment center and distribution network workers and raise their pay from $15 to $17. A large number of retail chains announced special hours for seniors only and increased overnight cleaning to protect shoppers.
Online delivering companies, such as Uber Eats, GrubHub, and Postmates are waiving pickup and delivery fees and are developing no-contact procedures for deliverers. Nonprofits are also helping those who cannot afford to go shopping or are too vulnerable to go shopping and helping them prepare for the coming weeks of staying at home by sending food and other necessary goods.