Americans are being told to stay home to stop the spread of Coronavirus, limiting restaurants to take out and delivery options only. And one business is making a meal of our discovery, or re-discovery, of the joys of cooking: meal delivery services.
Companies like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Home Fresh and Peach are finding the Coronavirus emergency is serving them up new customers. A lot of new customers.
If you don’t know, meal delivery services let you choose recipes and serving sizes, then they send you all the ingredients. You get to cook the meal yourself, without all the shopping and measuring, and often chopping and dicing.
Blue Apron, which had a less than auspicious start when it went public in 2017, having to drop its stock price by a third, is suddenly a Wall Street superstar. It’s stock soaring while others slide. But there’s a downside: the company wasn’t quite prepared for the sudden barrage of new orders.
“Over the last week we have seen a sharp increase in consumer demand, as a result, we have had to make changes to recipes and box orders for a small portion of volume next week,” said Blue Apron’s CEO Linda Findley Kozlowski in a statement. Meaning, not all meals or ingredients are available for orders already placed.
The statement also said Blue Apron is “increasing our capacity for future orders, and expect to fulfill this increased demand, starting on 3/30.”
The good news for out of work restaurant workers: Blue Apron will be hiring temporary and permanent workers for their fulfillment centers in Linden, NJ and Richmond, CA, hoping “to create opportunities for individuals who may have been displaced by the restaurant or food service industry."