by Erin Freeman
Food delivery services are temporarily changing the way they operate, during the pandemic, to ensure the safety of their drivers and customers.
DoorDash announced on March 17 that the platform is implementing contactless drop-offs to minimize the chance of spreading the virus.
“We are taking action to support restaurants with delivery and to ensure the health and safety of our community,” said DoorDash CEO and Co-founder Tony Xu in the statement.
Uber Eats has also made no-contact the default option for delivery, allowing customers to have food delivered on their doorstep. Sara, a delivery driver with Uber Eats, says that her customers have been responding well to the precaution.
“Having people show that they respect what we’re doing by not coming outside and only communicating with us in the app is great,” said Sara. “It shows that they’re appreciative of what we’re doing while still being cautious of us and themselves.”
To protect Washingtonians, the state has temporarily prohibited in-person dining services. In response, food delivery services have waived delivery fees for customers ordering from Independent restaurants as they adapt to business solely operating on delivery and/or take out.
Uber Eats announced on March 16 that they are waiving delivery fees for customers who order from local restaurants in their community. The company will also be launching daily marketing campaigns in-app to target restaurants in a customer’s immediate community.
“We know the success of every restaurant depends on customer demand. That’s why we’re working urgently to drive orders towards independent restaurants on Eats,” said Head of Uber Eats, US and Canada Janelle Sallenave.
DoorDash has also waived the delivery fees of orders from local restaurants, along with powering free delivery from select partner independent grocers for senior shoppers. DoorDash Groceries has yet to expand to the Lynnwood area as of March 28.
To support people unable to access delivery services, DoorDash driver Kelly Kirkpatrick has been offering to run errands between her deliveries, for anyone without friends and family in the Snohomish County area.
“I thought I could be helpful doing little errands… for free because many [people] cannot afford to use the delivery platforms.” said Kirkpatrick. “I just want to be able to help. It feels good to help.”