Subway, Chick-fil-A Adapt To Social Distancing As Coronavirus Pandemic Grinds On

(CBS Local) — Some of the most popular restaurants in the United States are having to get creative to get by in the era of social distancing.

Confined primarily to drive-thru, takeout and delivery services, many food establishments are rolling out new services, products and approaches.

For example, Subway has launched a contactless pickup and delivery grocery service. Subway Grocery is already available at 1,200 locations in 35 states. The website indicates that new states and locations are being added every day.

Just about anything that can be crafted by a Subway sandwich artist is now available for you to build at home. That includes your favorite Subway bread, a wide variety of protein, cheeses, fresh vegetables, plus two-pound bags of signature soups, bulk pouches of sauce — plus cookies, chips and beverages.

And as more people eat at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, more restaurants are offering meal kits.

Chick-fil-A will start selling a chicken parmesan kit for two (for $14.99) as soon as May 4 — and can be delivered or ordered at the drive-thru.

The kit includes two breaded filets, marinara sauce, cheese and a side of creamy garlic and lemon pasta. Customers can swap out the breaded filets for grilled or spicy chicken. The chicken is pre-cooked, so customers just have to reheat the filets at home.

And the owners of Fat Rice, one of the Chicago’s most beloved restaurants, believe that dining out, as we knew it before COVID-19, is over.

They’ve closed the restaurants but will open Fat Rice Mart in its place, selling Asian and Portuguese pantry items, wine and beer, and meal kits with ingredients and recipes so that customers can make their own Fat Rice dishes at home.

Instead of 70 employees (who were laid off and sent home with food packages when Illinois instituted its stay at home order in mid-March), it will have just eight.