Even in a pandemic—especially in a pandemic?—we all need to eat. While COVID-19 could have lasting and devastating effects on the dine-in restaurant industry, folks are just as hungry in quarantine as we are normally. According to the analytics platform Placer.ai, a few sectors are benefiting from CDC-recommended restrictions: wholesale retailers, big box giants, and major fast food restaurants. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these businesses are going to see major growth in the coming months, but they’ll come out of this altogether less damaged.
Sales at major wholesalers Costco and Sam’s Club ticked up at the end of February and the beginning of March, as did sales at Walmart Supercenter and Target. In the first week of March, Costco and Sam’s club performed 18.3% and 21% better, respectively, than the same week in 2019. This trend is easy to explain: Everyone started stocking up on food and supplies. (Including water, which, reminder, comes from your sink.) These massive stores have everything under one roof, keeping the number of consumers’ trips low.
With major cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles nixing restaurant dining rooms for the foreseeable future, fast food restaurants saw a surge in visits. According to Placer, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Burger King, McDonald’s, and Popeyes all saw more business in the last week of February and first week of March in 2020 than the same weeks in 2019. In fact, Domino’s is actually hiring for both part-time and full-time positions all over the country. In a press release, the pizza chain’s CEO Richard Allison said, “Our corporate and franchise stores want to make sure they’re not only feeding people, but also providing opportunity to those looking to work at this time, especially those in the heavily-impacted restaurant industry.” So if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at delivering pies to iconic international leaders, now might be the time.