As COVID-19 continues to disrupt daily lives, restaurants have been forced to pivot to online orders to maintain a revenue flow.
Many restaurants already had an online ordering system and a process for delivering those orders to hungry customers. However, COVID-19 presents unique challenges for fulfilling delivery orders – mainly the chance that servicing customers with delivery could fuel the spread of the virus.
While restaurants are taking extra precautions for ensuring their staff are healthy and that deliveries are sanitary, any doubt in customers minds add to the many problems restaurants already have. That is why many delivery-centric companies, and all third-party food delivery companies such as UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub, and others – have adopted no-contact delivery methods.
Example of a contactless delivery program launched by UberEats.
1. Add a Contactless Delivery Option to Ordering System
First, you’ll need to build a contactless delivery option into your online ordering system. If you outsource your ordering system or use a third-party delivery service, you’re in luck. Most of these software and services have already updated their technology to include a no-contact delivery option. If you rely on a custom in-house ordering system or only take deliveries by phone, you’ll need to create an entire program from scratch.
2. Train Drivers on Contactless Delivery Procedures
**For those who outsource their delivery drivers, you can skip this step.
If you have an in-house delivery process, be sure to properly train your drivers on how contactless delivery works. Make sure they know the correct procedures on where to drop off food and to make sure the customers have already paid online, as they won’t be able to accept cash payments or signatures with no-contact delivery.
3. Promote No-Contact Delivery
No-contact delivery is a huge perk for many customers, especially those who are in higher-risk categories for complications from COVID-19 if they contact the virus.
Be sure to promote that your restaurant has a contactless delivery option on your website, social media, and anywhere that drives orders to your restaurant.
4. Sanitize All Orders Before They Leave the Restaurant
Before leaving the restaurant, be sure to sanitize everything before handing it off to the driver. That includes the containers, the bag, the utensils. Don’t skip out on this step, as no-contact delivery isn’t a marketing campaign – it’s ensuring the health of your customers.
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As mentioned earlier, all of the large third-party delivery apps have implemented contactless delivery options. You’ll have an option to select no-contact delivery before selecting and order, and the app prompts you again at checkout.
UberEats has a great no-contact interface for its ordering system – and created content on its site explaining how exactly contactless delivery works.
Dominoes is one of the few restaurant chains that still relies on its own drivers to handle deliveries. This also allowed the pizza chain to quickly adopted its own, brand new contactless delivery option.
3. Pizza Hut
Another pizza chain that still handles deliveries with its own drivers, Pizza Hut also quickly adopted no-contact delivery and pickup options for its customers. The brand has done a great job at not only quickly building a contactless option into its product, but have done an equally great job of promoting it.
Restaurants are the only companies offering contactless delivery. The grocery-delivery company Instacart quickly rolled out its “Leave at My Door Delivery” feature into its app to ensure its customers could restock up on groceries and essentials without risking their health.
5. Panera Bread
By keeping delivery in-house, Panera Bread was able to quickly adopt contactless delivery for its online orders. It allows customers to select the best place for drivers to drop off orders – and even provides tips on how to ensure your completely safe even after the delivery has been dropped offer including throwing away the packaging immediately and disinfecting your table.
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