San Francisco grocery store allows holiday shoppers to make reservations

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, so are concerns about whether it's safe to go into crowded grocery stores. 

While trips to the market are still very much a part of life during the pandemic, many people prefer getting groceries dropped off at their homes or curbside pickup. 

Rainbow Grocery, which is located on the edge of San Francisco’s Mission district, surveyed customers to learn what adjustments the market could make to create a safer shopping environment. 

"The main thing we found out was that our customers' main reason why people are not shopping in-person is because they want to limit the amount of possible exposure," said Cody Frost, marketing coordinator for Rainbow Grocery. "It’s like the number one reason."

Employees came up with a unique idea: a reservation system.

On a limited basis, Rainbow Grocery now allows customers to reserve a spot for after-hours shopping with only 35 people allowed inside at a time. 

Shopper Nash Mashrah, of San Francisco, said, "I think it’s a great idea to have it just to keep everybody safe. And not have all of them crammed at once." 

The grocery store is only offering reservations for the month of November, but those spots are already booked. 

There's a chance the after-hours shopping program continues indefinitely.