Abhinav Anand

What is ‘contactless’ delivery?

As QSR chains like Domino’s - Pizza Hut and delivery brands like Zomato - Swiggy offer ‘contactless delivery’, we take a quick look at how it works.

The world is grappling with a pandemic and there are little things that can provide respite to people caught in this difficult situation. The ongoing lockdown is a trying time for everyone and is especially difficult for those who lack cooking skills.

Enter food and grocery delivery services. With their ‘Zero Contact Delivery’ option (as the name suggests), users can now collect food orders without coming in contact with delivery personnel. This saves both from the fear of getting infected. This way, the option also adheres to the concept of social distancing.

Customers can now opt for this option during checkout before placing an order. The only catch here, which is also a very understandable point, is, this service can only be availed on prepaid orders. Users who choose to pay on delivery can’t avail the service.

We tried to figure out how food delivery platforms, like Swiggy and Zomato are incorporating this feature in their services. A statement released by Swiggy about its ‘No-contact Delivery’ service says, in case of such a delivery, the delivery partner would leave the order on a clean surface outside the customer’s door. The customer would then be notified with a phone call, ringing the doorbell and even sharing an image of the delivery before marking the order as ‘delivered’.

The hygiene followed inside kitchens is as important as delivering orders. In an official blog, Swiggy states, “We have shared a detailed advisory with all of our restaurant partners to guide them on best practices to maintain hygiene and sanitisation in their kitchens. These include hand washing regimes, mandatory temperature checks, use of 3-ply face masks for all staff and self-quarantine measures in case of any illness. We are also urging (our) partners to pack all orders in separate bags to avoid direct contact with anyone during transit and to provide for a hand-sanitising facility to delivery partners at the order pick-up point.”

In an article in ET, QSR (quick serve restaurant) chain McDonald’s states, “The crew member who assembles the food, the one who packs and the runner do not touch it (the food) with bare hands and take all possible precautions to ensure hygiene. The packets are sealed and delivered by a runner, who drops the order at a pre-appointed spot outside your door and then watches from a safe distance while you retrieve your order and go back inside.”

With social distancing, the ‘Zero Contact Delivery’ option seems like the need of the hour. QSR chains that give users this option include McDonald's, Domino’s, Pizza Hut which use their own delivery services, and several others like Subway, Baskin Robbins, Faasos, etc., who partner with food delivery platforms.