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Coronavirus FAQ

Our Smart Foodservice Warehouse Stores in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Montana, and Northern California have been offering customers excellent service, convenience, and a sense of community from a trusted brand for over 65 years.

In the event of the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have developed the following guidelines to ensure the best possible safety of our customers and associates.

 The COVID-19 situation has put pressure onto the supply chain creating manufacturer shortages.  As a result, we are seeing multiple manufactures increasing their prices to us.  In the ongoing effort to supply our customers, we are also sourcing from non-traditional suppliers who offer us scarce products but at higher costs.  There are also the influences of seasonal price changes that occur as a result of supply conditions and/or availability. 

 As we move through the multiple variation of product cost inputs for our goods, we are maintaining our established pricing structures and competitive positioning.  Those within our organization who manage these facets of our business are under strict guidelines to maintain our pre-outbreak pricing practices and will not take advantage of the current crisis to deviate.

We have been following guidelines from the CDC and the World Health Organization for a list of best practices.  We continue to monitor the situation for updates on any changes to the suggested guidelines.  If there are any questions, please contact press@smartfoodservice.com.

***UPDATED as of March 30, 2020***

Q: Will Smart Foodservice be offering business only hours?

A: Beginning Monday May 18 all store locations will be opening at least an hour early to support business customers. These times are being set aside to give business customers additional exclusive access to better be able to source items needed to operate their businesses. 

Q: Can I return unused products?

A: Beginning Monday, May 18 we will be accepting returns with the following provisions.

1. The product was purchased on or after Monday, May 18

2. The return is accompanied by a receipt.

3. We are currently not returning perishable products of any kind.  

***UPDATED as of April 27, 2020***

To further protect our Associates and Customers, effective Monday 4/27, we will be following recommended CDC guidelines and strongly suggesting all Associates, Vendors and Customers to wear masks during business hours in our stores.

***UPDATED as of April 7, 2020***

New In-Store Policies relating to Social Distancing

  1. Social Distancing signage has been added at many areas throughout the stores including areas of frequent congregation.
  2. We have enhanced our floor signage to encourage shopper participation in queue and at the registers.
  3. Internally we have eliminated all procedures that encourage associates to perform tasks in a group.
  4. Put limits on number of associates allowed in employee gathering places such as offices and break rooms.
  5. Reduced the number of checkout associates available in stores that have shared "register islands".
  6. We have plexiglass shields on order that will begin to install in stores in the coming weeks. 

***UPDATED as of March 24, 2020***

Q: Will store hours be changing?

A:  As of Tuesday March 18, 2020 we have adjusted all stores operating hours in order to better be able to accommodate the large influx of customer traffic all of our stores are seeing. The new adjusted hours can be found by checking your specific warehouses location here. 

Q: What is Smart Foodservice doing to encourage Social Distancing?

A: As an essential service to our communities we realize the need our local businesses and neighbors have for our resources right now. The safety of our associates, and customers is very important to us, that is why today Tuesday, March 24th we will be placing additional signage in-store throughout all areas, as well as outdoor areas where our customers are lining up to gain access to our retail locations. 

In addition to this we will be adding floor markings in common areas of congregation such as at our registers and areas within our retail locations where customers line-up waiting for the next available associate to be checked out. 

***UPDATED as of March 23, 2020***

Q:  What is being done to make sure our associates are safe at work?

A:  We have contacted the CDC and the World Health Organization for a list of best practices.  We continue to monitor the situation through updates on any changes to the suggested guidelines.  You can find a listing of the specific steps we have taken below. 

  • New signs to encourage frequent and effective hand-washing and practice respiratory etiquette will be created and sent to all stores.
  • Additional steps to reduce exposure:
    • Offering latex gloves for team members
    • Added availability of cleaning supplies at the point of checkout and other high traffic areas
    • Smart Foodservice employees that feel more comfortable doing so are allowed to wear masks during their working shifts. 
  • Increase the cleaning of frequent touch-points, including the registers and pin pads at the point of checkout.  If the product supply is limited, a bleach solution will be used.
  • Sanitizing restrooms more frequently and restocking with supplies, including soap, paper towels and hand sanitizers.
  • Continue to remind our associates to stay home if they or someone in their household is showing signs of illness or has a fever.
    • Focus on making sure workers do not feel pressured to come to work if feeling sick.

Q: What steps are being taken to protect customers?

A:  Consumers should continue to practice personal hygiene and general food safety practices at home and work.  

  • We commit to continue to be understanding of the concerns that customers have been impacted.
  • In order to maintain as reliable of a standard of supply as is possible we have put purchase limits in place for items that are in high demand or short supply. 
    • Although we cannot list every item that is subject to limits some categories that you can expect to be limited in-store are:  Rice and Beans, Paper items, Sanitizers, Frozen Fruit and Vegetables, Bottled Water. 
  • We will discontinue all coffee accessible to the general public until further notice.
  • We have temporarily discontinued all in-store product sampling, including samples left for store associates.
  • We are maintaining our same day delivery partners in Instacart and Shipt in order to allow customers a way of securing product from the comfort of their own home or business.
  • We have temporarily stopped our Click&Carry next day pick up service. We will update you once the service is added back in. 
  • We have established a formal communication policy and pathway to update our customers on actions taken by our company:

Q:  What is the impact on supply of items?

A:  This supply shortage has put stress on most of you as you try to serve our customers. 

  • Lack of supply puts everyone in a difficult situation, so we are doing everything we can to push our suppliers to get us back to levels that can support our current demand. 
  •  The category team is working diligently to increase available supply from current suppliers and finding a replacement source of supply.  
  • Unfortunately our suppliers have been running out of product as well.  To make sure we service as many customers as possible, there may be limits put on cleaning and supply items.

Q:  General company policy updates:

A:   Smart Foodservice has been a part of many communities for over 65 years.  The trust our customers have in us to be their local source of supply is something we take very seriously.  We will always respond in a responsible way to prove we deserve the trust.

  • SWS currently has enacted a "no travel policy". 
  • All Smart Foodservice employees or personnel that can reasonably perform their duties from a remote location have been enabled to do so.  This is in accordance with many of the "Shelter in Place" mandates enacted across much of our trade areas. 

Q:  What if an associate is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 or other strains of the Coronavirus?

A:  We have a communication chain in place to communicate the information in the most effective way.  The next steps may include but not be limited to, the following:

  • Send home the affected associate.
  • Schedule a deep cleaning of the impacted store.
  • If an associate self-reports that they have come into contact with someone who had a possible positive case of COVID-19?
    • We will request the associate self-quarantine and not return to work until confirmation of a negative test result is provided.

Q:  What are the available resources for more information?

A:  There are many sources of information.  Smart Foodservice is continually monitoring the information provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization.

See the general FAQ:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Cleaning recommendations:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

Symptoms:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

Food related information:

General food safety guidelines:  https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/keep-food-safe.html

Transmission of the virus:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

Oregon Restaurant Association:  https://restaurant.org/Covid19

 
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