At OnFocus, we’ve been highlighting how local businesses are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Grocery stores have been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We spoke with local grocer Festival Foods to get an update on how things were going:
Q: What are a few examples of new measures that Festival Foods has taken in response to the pandemic, specifically at Marshfield?
A: We do continue to stress the importance of social distancing of at least 6 feet. When possible, we have reduced our check lanes to every other to keep appropriate distance between guests and associates or associates and associates. We wipe down all areas of the store consistently, with focus on our high touch areas (pin pads, registers, breakrooms, common areas, surfaces, etc.) and encourage all associates who are not feeling well to stay home. We have closed down the self-service areas such as the Hot Bar and the donut cases to reduce exposure. We also offer a grocery pick-up service Click N Go and grocery delivery service through Instacart. We have also installed “social distancing” stickers at checkout lanes, as well as installed Plexiglas partitions at our registers to keep both our guests and associates safe.
Q: How do these measures aim to protect both guests and staff?
A: The safety and well-being of our associates and guests remain a focus at Festival Foods. We continue to monitor the situation while actively collaborating with our local health agencies on the issue and, as always, strive to provide our guests with the clean stores, exceptional sanitation standards and quality products they expect.
Q: How are staff responding to this time? (Such as washing hands more frequently, maintaining distance).
A: We have always taken our role as a neighbor and grocer very seriously. Our associates understand how crucial these processes are. Their dedication further shows our commitment in making sure people know we’re here to help and that families are getting the products they need during these days of uncertainty.
Q: How substantial are claims/fears that there could be a food shortage? Are some areas affected more than others?
A: The demand for basic commodity items remains high at this point, however Festival Foods is continually receiving shipments of products on a regular basis to try to keep up with the demand with the goal of providing our guests with the items they need.
Q: What steps has Festival taken to keep food on shelves and available for everyone?
A: Festival Foods is continually receiving shipments of products on a regular basis to try to keep up with the demand of in-store products with the goal of providing our guests with the items they need. Our suppliers, vendor partners, warehouse workers and truck drivers continue to work hard through this difficult situation to supply us with products for our guests. In an effort to ensure we have product available for many of our guests, we are implementing limits on how much of a certain item or items can be purchased at one time.
If you have questions about product availability, we recommend checking with the store before you make a trip so that you are not disappointed. You can find contact information online here.
Q: Have you seen a notable increase in sales of any particular products?
A: We have experienced significant growth with Click N Go (click and collect service) and Instacart (for delivery). We have seen our orders more than double.
Q: Festival Foods is very community-driven. What steps have been taken to assist local organizations during this time?
A: Festival Foods donated $200,000 to United Ways throughout the state of Wisconsin to be split amongst all of the communities we serve. Due to generous donations from our guests and associates in the Marshfield Community, our Food for Neighbors and Paw Away Hunger programs raised $2,500 between the two, to be used in the community.
Q: As an “essential” business, what are your thoughts on the responsibility of being open and serving to the best of your ability during this time of fear, especially as it relates to your values as a company?
A: We have always taken our role as a neighbor and grocer very seriously. Our
associates’ dedication further shows this commitment in making sure people know we’re here to help and that families are getting the products they need during these days of uncertainty.
All of the associates at Festival Foods have been selfless in working long hours and going above and beyond during this time of need. The commitment to serving our guests has really shined through and our company as a whole is grateful for the teammates we have.
Associates remain flexible through the many changes we are all seeing each day from all aspects of this situation, and are working hard to keep our clean stores even cleaner so we can best serve our guests.
We also couldn’t do this without the dedication of our incredible suppliers, vendor partners, warehouse workers and truck drivers; they continue to work hard through this difficult situation to supply us with products for our guests.
There are so many businesses and people in the community doing everything they can to help – we are all in this together and are so appreciative to everyone doing their part during all of the unknowns we face.