Food delivery apps are switching to 'no contact' dropoffs as usage during coronavirus lockdowns spikes
GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images
A Deliveroo rider in France.
- Popular food delivery apps will implement 'no contact' dropoffs to reduce the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading.
- Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Takeaway.com, and Glovo have all said they will give users the option to have food left at their door.
- Data shows downloads of food delivery apps have spiked around the world, as people choose to stay at home and order in food and other supplies.
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Some of the world's most popular food delivery apps are implementing 'no contact' measures to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
DoorDash, Postmates, Just Eat, Deliveroo, and Glovo have all said users will be able to specify whether they want food deliveries to be left on the doorstep, rather than handed over physically by the delivery driver. Uber already allows users to leave instructions for delivery drivers.
Just Eat, Europe's biggest takeaway firm, said on Friday its Takeaway subsidiary would begin dropping orders at the door as a precautionary measure in light of the global coronavirus outbreak.
The company "provides delivery without physical contact as of today," it said. "This new measure is applicable to all restaurants on the platform and the delivery couriers are being instructed to ring customers' doorbell and leave the delivery bag at the door."
The company said it had distributed antibacterial hand sanitizers to staff and is working with restaurants to ensure other health and safety measures are in place.
UK delivery startup Deliveroo on Thursday said it would launch no-contact delivery from next week, and would add additional packaging and stickers to delivery bags.
"My absolute number one priority is the safety of customers, riders and restaurants, no matter what happens," CEO Will Shu wrote in a message to customers. The firm also plans to distribute hand sanitizer to delivery riders, and said it had plans in place to compensate riders who contract the coronavirus for up to 14 days.
Spain's Glovo told TechCrunch it was recommending no-contact deliveries.
US firms including DoorDash and Postmates took similar measures last week.
Food delivery apps are temporarily spiking as people choose to remain homebound to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Data from Sensor Tower last month showed that downloads of food delivery apps spiked in China, as citizens remained homebound.
But the trend is not guaranteed to continue, especially if restaurants close. Apptopia published data on Thursday showing that daily active users of Just Eat and Deliveroo rose 10% and 6% respectively through February, but peaked in March and are now in decline. Italy is on lockdown, meaning that restaurants who might fulfil food orders are shut.
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