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Order food and stay isolated

By Alex Perry, for the SNAP

As restaurants across the country close their dining rooms and adjust to strictly drive-through or delivery services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, residents can use food delivery applications on their smartphones and personal computers to place orders at popular restaurant chains, as well as local favorites.

It’s important that residents adhere to the social isolation and community mitigation strategies that have been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To that end, online and mobile delivery applications are helping residents get their meals with less risk of exposure — especially with the option for “no-contact” delivery services.

Services such as Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash are food delivery platforms that partner with restaurants and allow for users to have food orders delivered to their locations.

Customers use the service’s application or website to browse partnering restaurants that will deliver to the customer’s address.

Customers then fill out their orders on their phone or web browsers and pay with a credit card attached to their account.

These orders are then picked up by delivery people who work for the service in question, and customers can track the progress of their orders on their smartphones and personal computers.

DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats are all available as smartphone applications. Simply download the app you want from your smartphone’s app store, and set up an account when the app is installed. This can also be done online at doordash.com, grubhub.com, ubereats.com or whichever other service you wish to use for deliveries.

These services partner with hundreds of thousands of different restaurants across the country, including local restaurants.

Furthermore, these services are promoting “no-contact” delivery options for their customers to support customers’ commitment to social isolation during this pandemic. This will allow customers to have their orders placed at a specified location — such as your front porch — rather than having to interact with the delivery person.

According to Uber Eats, when customers are checking out and finishing their orders, click on “add delivery note” and type in instructions such as “please leave my food at door.” The app also encourages customer to track their orders so that they can get to it immediately.

Customers using DoorDash can make the same request in their delivery instructions. Furthermore, according to DoorDash, Dashers — their delivery people — may also reach out through a call or text message when customers place orders to request a no-contact delivery, as well.

Grubhub customers can also request contact-free delivery for their food orders. The service has an option to request this when customers are checking out. The order will then be left on the doorstep of the customer in question, or in the lobby of the customer’s building.

The driver will call or text when they arrive, and the Grubhub customer may add further details under “delivery instructions.”

For DoorDash customers, update the “delivery instructions” section with your request for a no-contact delivery and with details about the drop-off location. DoorDash encourages customers to remind the Dashers of their request, and to consider sending a photo of the drop-off location for clarity purposes.

The Dasher will text the customer when they’ve arrived to let them know that the order is at the requested drop-off location. Customers will also receive a message in the app that their order has been delivered.

Visit the doordash.com, grubhub.com and ubereats.com for more information on how to get started, and to learn more about company promotions that are being held in response to COVID-19.

Grubhub announced Friday that it is temporarily suspending collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants nationwide, “in collaboration with the mayors of large cities across the United States who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response efforts,” the press release states.

Uber Eats is waiving its delivery fee for its 100,000-plus independent restaurant partners across the U.S. and Canada, the company announced Monday.

“We know the success of every restaurant depends on customer demand,” the Monday press release states. “That’s why we’re working urgently to drive orders towards independent restaurants on Eats, to help make up for the significant slowdown of in-restaurant dining.”

Uber Eats is also committing 300,000 free meals on Uber Eats to first responders and health care workers in both countries, in coordination with local, state and provincial governments.

Alex Perry is a staff writer for the Suffolk News-Herald, a sister publication of The Stanly News & Press.