7 Ways Restaurants Can Deliver Food Amid Coronavirus Fears

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Here are some tactics being used by restaurants in China as they continue operating in the face of COVID-19.

7 Ways Restaurants Can Deliver Food Amid Coronavirus Fears

By Nabeel Alamgir, CEO and Co-founder of Lunchbox.io - 03/18/2020

As COVID-19 spread, restaurateurs are looking for ways to continue operating, without compromising the health of their employees or consumers.

Here are 7 ways how your restaurant can also make sure business goes as usual, without being disrupted by the growing fears regarding coronavirus:

1.  Contactless Delivery

Fast food giants like KFC and Pizza Hut in China offer customers the option of contactless service when they place orders. Couriers will wait until the customer shows up before they take the food out at the delivery location.

Then, couriers will step back and watch from a distance of at least 10 feet as the customer picks up the food and leaves.

Chinese food delivery services like Meituan have also adopted this method to great success. Each Meituan contactless delivery comes with a green card stating the body temperature readings of the cook and the rider and offers info on when the courier last disinfected their equipment.

Meituan told Business Insider that there was a whopping fourfold increase in orders compared to the previous year!

Restaurant owners can implement this method into their delivery systems to make the customers feel safer.

2.  Food From Heaven? Nah – Drones Are Better

Flying food? Yes, please!

Uber has already been offering standard food delivery for some time now, so it’s only natural that they decided to diversify their delivery fleet. The Federal Aviation Administration has granted Uber permission to start testing commercial food delivery via drones.

When you place an order, the restaurant prepares the meal and loads it into a drone; then, the Uber software guides the drone to the delivery location. An Uber courier retrieves the order from the drone at the destination and then completes the delivery.

Chinese tech company Antwork took this initiative further and started using drones to transport medical supplies as well. Likewise, companies like JD.com now use drone delivery to send food packages to Liuzhaung village, and they hope to implement this service in other parts of mainland China.

3. Temperature Of Kitchen Staff

An unusually high fever is a key symptom of the virus, and as the nation struggles to contain the spread of it, restaurants in China are now releasing information on the body temperatures of their kitchen staff.

Home delivery meals are being sent out with a small green card containing the temperature readings of the cooks and the courier. This ensures that the consumers know that

What are these cards really saying, though?

“We aren’t sick. Our food isn’t contaminated either. Jeez Karen, relax.”

This increases accountability and reassures consumers that the cooks and couriers are in perfect health.

4. Cashierless Supermarket

Amazon opened its first cashier-less grocery store to take self-service technology a step further. 

The new Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle stocks everyday groceries: meat, fresh produce, bakery items, seafood, home essentials, and more.

What does that mean for you, though? You can finally ditch the long lines at the checkout counter! Actually, there isn’t a checkout counter.

Literally, just take what you need – and leave!

Customers use the Amazon Go app to scan in as they enter the store. Cameras and sensors track their movement through the store and detect items they remove from the shelves; then they add up the customer’s virtual cart.

The cart is then checked out online using your payment options.

Now when people are scared of going out and interacting with others, this development is pretty great!

5. Self-Service Coffee

Luckin coffee’s unmanned coffee and smart vending are bringing them a lot of success, given the ‘change’ the foodservice industry is experiencing right now. They’ve been doing it all along!

Luckin coffee EXPRESS offers freshly brewed coffees; the unmanned terminals cover locations like office buildings, campuses, airports, bus terminals, and gas stations, sustaining the brand as well as fulfilling recent self-service trends.

These terminals are powered by facial recognition, big data, and other advanced technologies to create new customer experiences.

Global coffee giant Starbucks did TRY something similar in the past. They just couldn’t make it work.

Not only is Luckin’s self-service efficient, but it also minimizes the risk of spreading the virus.   

6. Delivery Robots For The Perfect Bite

To curtail the risk of potential infections, Chinese e-commerce companies are using robots to deliver piping hot food and groceries to customers in Beijing’s Shunyi district.

This initiative is perfect for people who want to avoid all human contact, especially with couriers who travel in crowd spaces and heavy traffic to ensure food gets to you.

Aside from Meituan, other platforms also announced the deployment of robots for more deliveries, specifically to quarantine zones.

Keenon’s Little Peanut is one such robot delivering food to people in quarantined in a hotel in Hangzhou, China. Keenon plans on taking Peanut, and its other robots worldwide.

7. Throw It

As this New York Post video highlights, restaurants in the Chinese mainland have resorted to throwing delivery food.

It is not as bad as it sounds. Once the delivery rider reaches the destination, they call on the consumer to catch the food as they throw it from a safe distance.

While this is a highly plausible delivery solution for uncooked food, not many people would prefer their favorite burger thrown. Nonetheless, a somewhat-squashed burger is a better alternative than risk being infected. Tough times do require tough decisions!

 

About the Author:

 Nabeel Alamgir is CEO and Co-founder of Lunchbox.io