DC-area restaurants turn to groceries to offer more options, create more business

When Neighborhood Restaurant Group founder and principal owner Michael Babin's delivery orders first went out, they included toilet paper for free, but then customers said they needed more than just one roll, so now it's on the list of items grocery-store items available for pickup or delivery via Neighborhood Provisions.

Restaurants and cafes across the DMV have begun delivering items more often identified with a grocery store along with their food during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neighborhood Provisions offers a selection of prepared foods, meats and baked goods, but also sells things like toilet paper, butter, eggs, cooking stocks and beans.

Babin says it's an effort to help people find goods that have become hard for grocery stores to stock and keep his employees working during the crisis.

"We're paying attention to what people are running out of and a lot of people are sort of dealing with this by doing a lot of baking therapy you know so all the sudden a few days ago, we realized that people were running out of yeast and so we're selling a lot of yeast all of the sudden," Babin said.

Bloomingdale's Big Bear Cafe is also allowing people to order grocery items online, along with the Farmer's Restaurant Group with locations in the District, Maryland and Virginia.