Since the outbreak of the novel corona virus, we have been advised to stay inside and minimize contact with people. One of the biggest challenges is getting food. Many states and cities have restricted take-away restaurants because eating is no longer considered safe or responsible. However, ordering the delivery is still a viable option.
There is little evidence that COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, can be transmitted via food or food packaging, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration (although, of course, nobody) for sure). However, the risk can be much higher for deliverers who need to travel and interact with people.
There are always risks during a pandemic like this, but there are also ways to mitigate those risks. Here are some current best practices – both in terms of health and in terms of ethics – for taking away:
Practice social distancing
Do not meet the food courier personally. Several apps have added options to limit personal contact. Instacart introduced the option "Leave delivery at my door" and Postmates now also offers contactless deliveries. Grubhub has a contactless delivery option that lets you choose where to store your groceries.
If these options are not available at your preferred takeaway, you can request at any time (in the delivery instructions or by phone) that the food remain on your doorstep, in the lobby, or elsewhere.
Deliverers are particularly vulnerable to the virus and rely on this work for a living
Throw away the packaging
According to the CDC, there is a risk that the virus may come into contact with the virus through contact with a surface. Therefore, it is best if you dispose of the packaging you take away as soon as possible and wash your hands immediately afterwards. It is also probably best to avoid using the containers and utensils into which the food has gotten (some experiments indicate that the virus may remain viable up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic) and use your own instead.
And it is always a good idea to disinfect your counters and tables before and after eating.
Don't forget to wash your hands
You should always wash your hands before you eat, but that's especially important now. Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Deliverers are particularly vulnerable to the virus and rely on this work for a living. It is important that you tip, and if you can, tip generously. A 20 percent tip is usually the norm. Now it's a good idea to tip even more (if you can), especially if you have a large order or you have ordered a drink.
You can also type electronically, whether online, in the app or by phone. If possible, avoid tipping in cash as this involves contact with another person. If you absolutely need to use cash, wash your hands after handling it. When filling out a receipt, use your own pen and then wash your hands.
Supporting local businesses
It is better to support a local business or a family business as they are more likely to be affected by the effects of quarantine measures. Chinese restaurants, in particular, had problems after misinformation and racism led people to avoid eating Chinese food. A smaller company is also likely to mean that workers come into contact with fewer people.
If possible, order directly in the restaurant
It is always better to order directly in the restaurant, as third-party apps can charge commission fees.
Some of these delivery services have also practiced unsavory practices. It was found that Grubhub, Seamless and DoorDash are listed on their websites and apps companies they have not worked with. Grubhub was also caught setting up dummy websites that looked like they came from local companies, supposedly to intercept their orders and then charge those companies a higher commission. For this reason, it is important to verify the contact information by performing multiple searches and matching the information with Yellow Pages, White Pages, or the Better Business Bureau.
If you use a third party app
If you have to order via an app, but would like to order ethically, consider the sick leave and the benefit plan of the respective service for its employees.
Postmates has set up an aid fund to help cover medical costs related to the pandemic. Paid sick leave is also granted for two weeks if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Instacart and DoorDash offer payment for up to two weeks if an employee is quarantined or diagnosed. However, Instacart's policies only apply up to 30 days after March 9th. With Instacart, all customers in the store can also be on sick leave. Uber Eats provides financial support for drivers and deliverers who can be infected or exposed to the virus for up to 14 days.
Eater has published a list of grocery chains that offer paid sick leave.
Some apps are taking steps to support small businesses after the pandemic. Postmates has waived delivery fees for companies in the Bay Area. Grubhub has postponed commission fees for certain independent restaurants. Uber Eats waives delivery fees for independent companies and offers 300,000 free meals for first-aiders and healthcare workers in the United States and Canada.
Leave a good rating
The performance of gig employees is often assessed based on their ratings. This can affect whether they get a job. It is therefore helpful to give a good rating and a positive rating for your restaurant. It's a success these days, and if you want it to stay in business, a good review can make a difference.