Fast food chains and delivery services are going the extra mile to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus among staff and customers.
Domino’s is now offering customers in Australia and New Zealand the option of choosing a zero contact delivery – meaning their order will be delivered “piping hot and fresh like usual, but with no direct contact between you and your Delivery Expert.”
Domino’s told News Corp the free service was “in response to some customers wishing to limit unnecessary physical contact during the current COVID-19 health crisis.”
CEO Nick Knight said: “All of our stores follow strict food safety and hygiene procedures, including regular handwashing, stations and wearing gloves when making pizzas.
“If offering the option of a Zero Contact Deliver gives our team members and customers peace of mind, then it’s a step we’re willing to take.”
Domino’s announcement comes just hours after the World Health Organisation officially declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.
It also follows Uber offering Uber Eats customers the option of having their food delivery left at their door.
In a statement to customers overnight, Uber said it was “actively monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and taking steps to help keep our communities safe”.
“We understand that you may be relying more on food delivery right now. If you prefer, you can leave a note in the Uber Eats app to ask your delivery person to leave your food at the door,” the statement read.
“Any driver or delivery person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority will receive financial assistance for up to 14 days while their account is on hold.
“We’ve already helped drivers in some affected areas, and we’re working to quickly implement this worldwide.”
Uber said it was working to provide drivers with disinfectants to help keep their cars clean, even though supplies were limited.
“We’re partnering with manufacturers and distributors to source as much as possible. We’ll be prioritising distribution to drivers in cities with the greatest need,” the company said.
Menulog told News Corp “you can now request contactless deliveries for your card payment orders by using the notes box on our app or website” as well.
“All couriers will be on the lookout for Contactless Delivery Instructions,” the Menulog team said.
“Customers can feel confident to continue to order from local restaurants as they normally would, knowing we are taking food safety and health very seriously and will continue to update guidance as the situation evolves.
“We have also implemented additional measures internally, including additional workspace cleaning and supplies for Menulog employees, who also have the flexibility to utilise our remote working options.”
Coles told News Corp customers had always had the option to receive an “unattended delivery” when ordering online, where the customer service agent leaves their groceries at their front door, removing the need for any face-to-face interaction.
“Every Coles Online delivery van has also been equipped with hand sanitiser for CSAs to use between deliveries,” a spokeswoman said.
Deliveroo Australia co-founder Will Shu said: “Deliveroo customers can add instructions for the delivery driver in the app, which allows them to request that the driver leaves the food at the door.
“As well as food from restaurants and takeaways, you can also order kitchen and household products from local stores and supermarkets on the Deliveroo app, making every day life that much easier.
“We’ve (also) launched a fund to support our riders who are at the heart of our business. We want to ensure they stay safe while working, so riders who are diagnosed with Coronavirus and find that they are unable to work during this period are eligible for financial support.
“We are working with a leading pharmacy brand to set up a voucher scheme to give all riders access to free hand sanitisers and masks. Whilst we are setting all this up, we will be refunding riders for hand sanitisers they purchase.”
Door Dash told News Corp it is actively working to develop and implement strategies to protect the health and safety of its community.
“This program will provide up to two weeks of assistance to Dashers and Caviar couriers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are subject to quarantine at the direction of public health officials,” a spokesman said.
“The program will be available globally in all of the markets we serve in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
“Further details on the program, including how to request financial assistance, will be made available to Dashers and Caviar couriers in the coming days.”
Door Dash is reminding those in affected areas of the delivery instruction feature, which they can use for requests for food to be left at the door along with a photo of where the food should be left through the app.
They are testing enhanced drop-off options for contactless delivery to be rolled out shortly.
“We have also begun distributing much-needed supplies to Dashers in affected areas, such as hand sanitisers and gloves,” she said.
“We are working closely with our merchant community to share best practices on how they can adjust their in-store and off-premise operations, such as removing items in open packaging, taping over straw holes, having food handlers place all items in bags and offering new and innovative packaging options.”