New Delhi: In an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic, food delivery platforms, fast-food chains and online grocery firms have announced several measures to ensure safe deliveries, including ‘contactless drop-offs’.
A customer can now request her or his delivery to be left off at the doorstep rather than directly handed over, so that there is no interaction with the food courier.
Fast-food chains Dominos and McDonald’s have introduced ‘zero contact’ food delivery services.
Domino’s Pizza has promised “zero contact delivery” across its 1,325 restaurants in the country. For availing this service, customers will have to choose the new option on the app before placing an order.
The delivery person will keep the food in front of a customer’s doorstep in a carry bag to prevent the risk of infection. These “safety delivery experts” will also wait outside to ensure the order is collected.
Dominos has reportedly ensured that all its employees practise safety protocols in its restaurants.
McDonald’s, meanwhile, has launched its own version of the same delivery method, calling it “contactless delivery”. According to a statement released by the firm, crew members assembling food will not touch it with bare hands and take all necessary precautions.
Online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy has emailed an advisory to all its customers detailing the precautionary measures that the firm has been taking to ensure safe deliveries.
The email says that their delivery partners are being trained in the “best practices of respiratory hygiene, proper method and frequency of washing hands as well as identification of associated symptoms”.
The firm has also advised some of its delivery partners to “self-quarantine themselves for the recommended period upon noticing any symptom”.
The mail also says that Swiggy was in touch with all its restaurant partners to “ensure they’re aware of the best hygiene practices while handling and packaging food items”.
Zomato, another major food aggregator, has said that it plans to offer insurance and financial support for its delivery staff in case they are infected with the virus.
A company spokesperson has said: “We are currently exploring compensation with our insurance partners, in case anyone from our delivery fleet is infected with COVID-19.”
Zomato founder Deepinder Goyal also took to Twitter to announce its contactless food delivery option.
Here is what we are doing as precautionary measures to address COVID-19.
Contactless food delivery is already available on the @zomato app through our ‘delivery instructions’ feature. An app update over the weekend will make this explicitly clear to everyone. pic.twitter.com/HJ012g5zfH
— Deepinder Goyal (@deepigoyal) March 13, 2020
In an advisory email to customers, Big Basket, an online grocery retailer, has similarly said that its warehouses and hubs were being sanitised regularly with disinfectants to ensure the safety of products. Employees of the warehouses are also being regularly checked for symptoms of coronavirus.
In addition to these precautionary measures, “contactless procedures at the time of delivery” are also being practised, it said. While in case of cash-on-delivery payments, customers have the option of handing over the money in an envelope, the delivery person will carry a “pre-sanitised card-swiping device in a transparent cover” in case of payments made via debit cards.