COVID-19 & Rainbow

Continuing to maintain a safe shopping experience

Below is a consolidation of our COVID-19 updates and store-wide changes.
Please read them as protocols may have changed since your last visit.
Last update: December 11th, 2020
—Updates to Other Policies, and Products

Schedules & Lines

  • Rainbow has returned to being open from 9am to 9pm. We are also reserving 9-10am—Tuesdays and Thursdays—for seniors and anyone who considers themselves high-risk. We are seeking community support around this as a means of helping those most vulnerable to COVID-19. We are also asking everyone who is low-risk to please wait until after 10am to begin their shopping trip.
  • We often have little or no line to enter the store, especially in the evenings. Still, be prepared to wait a few minutes or more outside. We will be getting customers in and out of the store as efficiently as possible while maintaining our new safety standards. Please note that this also impacts anyone driving to our store. Even after you wait in line to park, we still require customers to wait in the entrance line. We understand this is an added inconvenience but our goal is to make the store safe.
  • First Responders and hospital employees receive priority access. Approach the worker at the front of the line and display proper identification. One person per ID will receive priority access as we meter customers into the store. Priority access is intended for personal shopping only.


The City has suspended self-service access to Rainbow’s Bulk Food, Herb, Tea, & Spice Departments. As workers return to pre-package product, numerous bulk products will available for our customers, though not everything. If you’re concerned about a product’s availability, please ask a worker or call the store to find out.
The City requires customers to purchase any product they have handled, especially if the customer is shopping for someone else. If you touch it, please buy it.

The City also requires customers to only visually inspect product before handling, prohibiting touching or smelling of items unless the customer is purchasing them.

Other Policies

  • Rainbow is allowing returns, refunds, and exchanges: Product that is returned within 60 days, accompanied with a receipt, will be fully refunded.
  • Rainbow can allow customers to use personal bags for taking groceries home. Personal bags should not be placed on conveyor belts when unloading groceries nor will cashiers be able to handle them. Personal bags can be placed on our pull-out bagging platform. We still ask customers to not shop directly into their bags while in the store.
  • Rainbow is unable to allow customers to use their own containers when shopping. Until further notice, we will not be charging customers for the use of paper bags or compostable containers when purchasing pre-packed bulk products.
  • Rainbow requires all individuals on our property (inside the building, upon any contiguous outside portion, and at points of entry) to wear a face covering—as defined by the City of San Francisco—for the duration of the SFDPH shelter at home order. To be clear, this includes all workers, customers, contractors, delivery personnel, volunteers, guests, and any other individual not herein specified.

We are working our hardest to provide for the community while ensuring the members of our cooperative are rested, healthy, and safe. We are all in this together. With your help and consideration, we will continue to make shopping at Rainbow as safe as possible. Thank you for your time.

-The Worker-Owners of Rainbow Grocery Cooperative