Message from our CEO
Over the past several days, the coronavirus has dramatically impacted our families, our communities and our way of life. As we work together through this truly unprecedented situation, I want to provide you an update on how US Foods is working to ensure the safety of our associates, customers and communities as we continue to serve our valued customers.
Pandemic Preparedness and Response
We have a cross-functional team of senior leaders and subject-matter experts managing our response and working to address emerging needs. This team has been closely monitoring the situation and developing action plans for both associate and customer needs, drawing upon many resources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization to make informed, fact-based decisions.
Supporting Our Customers
Helping customers succeed is at the heart of our company, and we know you need our support now more than ever. This is especially true for our healthcare and government customers who are working to serve our most vulnerable community members. We have taken the following actions to support the safety and ongoing operations of our customers.
- Illness Prevention and Social Distancing: We’ve asked sellers to leverage technology whenever possible to serve customers while limiting personal interaction.
- Driver Protocols: We’ve issued specific driver protocols designed to limit social interaction and to help support new customer delivery requirements. We understand you may have additional business or delivery requirements during this time, and we will work with you to make adjustments as needed.
- Product Continuity: At this time, we have not experienced significant supply chain disruptions, and we will continue to monitor the situation and, as needed, address contingency plans with you directly.
- Operator Resources: We will continue to provide updated tools and resources aimed at helping you quickly set up carryout and delivery capabilities while keeping your operations safe.
Associate Health and Safety
We have put several new policies and procedures in place to support the health and safety of our associates. These include:
- Illness Prevention Guidelines: We continue to reiterate CDC prevention guidelines with all associates. We have asked any associate who is sick to stay home, and if an associate has someone in their household diagnosed with COVID-19, they will be asked to stay home. Associates returning to the United States from CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice countries with widespread sustained transmission have also been asked not to come to work and to follow CDC guidance, which requires a self-quarantine period.
- Leave Policies: We have streamlined our leave policies and put in place temporary benefits to support associates who may be directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19.
- Social Distancing: To help decrease the spread of coronavirus and create a safer environment for associates who must be present to support our operations, we are expanding our work-from-home guidelines and suspending nonessential visitors across all locations. In addition, we’ve introduced social-distancing guidelines to our warehouse staff.
- Business Travel and Meeting Guidelines: We’ve stopped business travel and issued guidance to limit in-person meetings and attendance at conferences.
- Enhanced Cleaning Protocols: We’ve implemented enhanced cleaning procedures and provided additional hand-sanitation products to all locations.
As is the case with our customers, the social-distancing guidelines issued by state and local governments are affecting our business. While the situation is fluid, at this point sales to healthcare and government customers remain strong, and sales to restaurants and hospitality are declining.
As the situation evolves, we are exploring new ways that US Foods can leverage our business capabilities during this challenging time, including starting to sell some of our inventory to retail outlets like grocery stores and temporarily contracting some of our distribution workforce to companies experiencing a spike in demand.
We have access to resources and capital that will help us during this period of uncertainty and are taking measured actions to bring costs in line with demand to protect the long-term future of our company.
I know this a difficult time, but the restaurant and hospitality industry that is so vital to our country will ultimately return to being part of our everyday life. I have every confidence we will make it through this together.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer