Regional grocers H-E-B and Hy-Vee are bringing meals and groceries to customers during the coronavirus pandemic with additional online services.
H-E-B said yesterday its Favor e-commerce service has doubled its coverage area across Texas to increase access to delivery from restaurants and stores, as well as to support more seniors via the recently launched Senior Support Program.
Meanwhile, Midwestern chain Hy-Vee on Thursday kicked off a new free pickup service called Mealtime To Go at most of its 265-plus stores.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Favor has launched in 75 new Texas markets and expanded its delivery areas in its existing markets. To support this growth, Favor also is looking to hire more delivery drivers, known as Runners, across all of its new markets. San Antonio-based H-E-B noted the expansion was executed in an accelerated one-week time span and comes on top of a recent expansion into 40 new Texas markets over 12 months.
Beginning this week, residents in Favor’s new and expanded markets will be able to get on-demand delivery daily from restaurants and grocery stores in their cities via the Favor mobile app or FavorDelivery.com. Runners will put all orders at the customer’s doorstep, and customers receive a notification when their delivery has arrived.
“With Texans relying on delivery now more than ever, it is our duty to support more of our communities across the state, as quickly as possible,” Favor CEO and H-E-B Chief Digital Officer Jag Bath said in a statement. “H-E-B and Favor joined forces in 2018 to better serve our Texas customers and communities together, and we remain committed to doing everything we can for our state during this crisis.”
The expansion means H-E-B and Favor’s Senior Support Program will now be available to customers age 60 and older from every H-E-B, Central Market and Joe V’s store in Texas. Rolled out on March 20, the service enables seniors to receive same-day, contactless deliveries of groceries and essentials from a curated shopping list, with the delivery and service fees waived for the first 30 days. Orders also include a $10 tip, which goes entirely to the Runner.
Favor has also introduced Easy Ordering & Delivery, a website that provides seniors with a simple, step-by-step process for ordering groceries online from their local H-E-B, Central Market or Joe V’s store.
“We’re excited that we can now reach more Texas seniors with this service, which is one of the safest, healthiest solutions in the marketplace,” said Martin Otto, H-E-B’s chief operating officer. “Since launching this program, the response from seniors and the community has been overwhelming. In just three weeks, we have delivered over 67,000 essential grocery orders to seniors across Texas.”
As most Americans remain hunkered down at home to ride out the coronavirus health crisis, West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee has launched Mealtime To Go, an on-demand service that enables customers to order hot, prepared foods and take-and-bake meals online and collect them via curbside pickup — without having to go into the store.
Mealtime To Go is now available at more than 200 locations, and meals are ready to be picked up in as soon as 30 minutes. Customers also can schedule a time to pick up their food in advance, Hy-Vee said. Upon arriving at the store, customers call a phone number provided in the order confirmation email, and an associate will bring the food to their vehicle.
Meal options vary according to available offerings at each Hy-Vee store, but selections include Asian (with dinners for one, two, four or six people), Hickory House (fried chicken, meat loaf, pizza and sides), sandwiches, breakfast, sushi and take-and-bake items (pizza and lasagna). Some meals come with one or more side dishes, and customers can add a la carte items to their orders.
Like H-E-B, Hy-Vee has enhanced its support of seniors during the pandemic via e-commerce. Last week, Hy-Vee began reserving one hour of its Aisles Online shopping time slots each day for customers considered high-risk for the virus, including people 60 and over, pregnant women and anyone with underlying health conditions. The designated Hy-Vee Aisles Online time slots are from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily, which coincides with the in-store hours reserved for these customers.
In addition, Hy-Vee has teamed up with DoorDash to waive delivery fees to these vulnerable customers. In communities where Hy-Vee Aisles Online delivery orders are fulfilled by DoorDash, users enter the promo code "SPECIALDELIVERY” at checkout when they place their online order. The code also is available on the Hy-Vee website. The promotion with DoorDash can be used for any available Aisles Online time slot and will cover 20,000 free deliveries across select locations, Hy-Vee said.
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