Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our frontline teams have been critical in keeping our warehouse and delivery operations running smoothly, enabling Wayfair to continuously deliver an exceptional experience to our customers. Our associates have done a remarkable job of keeping each other safe while working to safely serve our customers through this challenging time — and we’ve been tremendously grateful for their dedication.
In the spring of 2020, as we moved quickly to implement stringent guidelines and protocols to keep our employees safe, we also began to see the impact that the outbreak was having on small businesses in our communities – particularly local restaurants – and knew we wanted to help provide some stability amid great uncertainty.
To express our gratitude to our employees on the frontlines and to provide support to local businesses across the communities in which we operate, we launched the Wayfair Dinner To Go program, which offered each of our frontline associates two free, family meals per week. From it’s launch in the spring of 2020 until the Thanksgiving holiday, Wayfair associates took more than 110,000 free orders from their favorite restaurants home to their families — enough food for nearly half a million meals.
The orders were sourced from local, independently-owned restaurants and were designed to feed a family of four. Employees were able to select meals from a variety of menu options and specify the pick-up date and time for each meal.
Wayfair launched Dinner to Go at our Cranbury, New Jersey campus in April and rapidly expanded to more than 50 locations. More than 100 family-owned restaurants participated in the program across the United States, as well as in Canada and the UK.
“We know that the current health crisis and social distancing measures have put additional strain on our employees and their families and our hope has been that providing meals would be a small way we can help alleviate some of that stress,” said Wendy Fleming, Assistant Manager of Global Supply Chain Communications & Engagement. “At the same time, it was our intent to help small businesses that have been hit especially hard by the crisis.”
Wayfair’s team built this program prioritizing accessibility, convenience, scalability and safety to be sure that all eligible employees could easily place and pick-up meals in ways that would fit their needs and schedules while adhering to social distancing and other safety protocols. It was also important to make sure that the process was easy and convenient for resource-strapped local businesses.
Restaurant owners participating in Dinner To Go benefited from the influx of orders from Wayfair, enabling them to keep their doors open while they were unable to provide in-house dining. In several instances, such as at Teddy’s Luncheonette in New Jersey, owners were able to rehire kitchen staff that they weren’t able to support before Dinner To Go was introduced.
“Dinner To Go not only provided a benefit to employees by allowing them to not have to worry about preparing or purchasing dinner twice a week but it also helped support small businesses in the communities in which we operate,” said Derek DeCounter, Warehouse Supervisor.
The owner of A-One Catering in Mississauga, Ontario shared some thoughts on the impact of the Wayfair Dinner To Go program in an email to the team: “I am so glad Wayfair has taken this amazing route to help employees as well as business like mine and many others to survive in this unprecedented time which we never imagined would have this kind of impact on our lives. But this is teaching many, in fact millions, how to be kind to one another and reminds us of the real roles we all have.”