Meijer launches meal program for employees


Meijer launches meal program for employees

By Krishna Thakker, Grocery Dive | April 23, 2020

Dive Brief:

  • Meijer launched a program last week that supplies meals for workers at its 248 supercenters, grocery stores and distribution centers by partnering with local, independent restaurants, according to a press release. The initiative will continue for a few weeks.
  • The retailer said the "Buy Local" program, which allows stores to choose which establishment they will buy from, is meant to aid local restaurants and to show appreciation for employees who are keeping shelves stocked and stores clean.
  • The new program has received praise on social media from restaurant owners, according to the press release. At one Meijer location in West Chester, Ohio, the store chose Roc-a- Fellas as its first meal because the restaurant fed 16 families in need. Its Lansing distribution center bought more than 1,900 turkey and sub sandwiches from a family-owned restaurant called Tony M’s.


Dive Insight:

Meijer is one of the few, if not only, major grocers that is offering meals to its workers. Most retailers are providing compensation benefits, including bonuses, increased hourly pay and increased employee discounts. Meijer is also allowing its store employees to shop during its special hours designated for essential service workers, which other grocers like Winco are offering as well. 

Prior to its “Buy Local” program launch, Meijer provided free meals from local restaurants to truck drivers at its Lansing distribution center. The retailer told WILX News that the initiative came about because it's difficult for truck drivers to get food, relax and have a meal. The grocer linked up with several different local restaurants to provide the meals. 

Meijer isn’t the only retailer supporting local restaurants. San Antonio, Texas-based H-E-B has added meals from local restaurants to its shelves for shoppers to purchase. In New York City, FreshDirect has linked up with local caterer Restaurant Associates to help source prepared foods for customers.

Companies like Kroger and Albertsons have also linked up with restaurant distributors, catering companies and other foodservice establishments to beef up their supply chains and to funnel additional labor. 

Meijer actively promotes local businesses and community support efforts. The retailer was a primary corporate sponsor for the 2019 Making It In Michigan trade show. It also sources many local products, including at its smaller-format grocery stores Bridge Street Market and Woodward Corner Market.


Source: Grocery Dive