The three major food delivery platforms, Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat are to offer contactless delivery to combat the spread of coronavirus and to reassure the public reluctant to order for fear of contamination.
The option works by enabling customers ordering online or from a smartphone app to request that their food delivery be left on their doorstep rather than directly handed over, so there is no interaction with the food courier.
Additionally, to allay courier concerns, Deliveroo will allow its riders the ability to choose to make deliveries contact-free.
Uber Eats has been offering the option for some time, with Deliveroo and Just Eat having recently introducing it in response to recent Covid-19 outbreak.
An Uber Eats spokeswoman said: “Safety is essential to Uber and it’s at the heart of everything we do. In response to the ongoing spread of coronavirus, we’ve reminded Uber Eats users that they can request deliveries be left on their doorsteps.”
The firm is currently working on new app features to streamlined the process.
A Deliveroo spokesperson said that the business would "remain in daily contact with local health officials to make sure we are offering the safest service possible to customers, riders and restaurants.”
A Just Eat spokesperson added: “The health of everyone in the Just Eat community is our highest priority and our approach is guided by government and health authority advice in every market where we operate.”
While the firms are taking these food safety precautions, current scientific advice from the government through the NHS website says that it's very unlikely that the virus can be spread through things like packages or food
At yesterday’s (16 March) Cobra meeting press conference by the prime minister Boris Johnson, he recommended people avoid non-essential contact with others and that they heed the advice to stay away from confined spaces like pubs and restaurants.
If the food delivery platforms can instil confidence in the public with these no-contact safety measures, then this may provide restaurants and food outlets with an avenue to continue trading during the coronavirus health crisis.