The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause major shifts in consumers’ buying habits. According to research gathered by grocery e-commerce strategy company Brick Meets Click, over one-third of American households purchased food online in March. Credit-card data from research firm Second Measure revealed that spending on grocery and meal delivery services rose 70 percent from March 2019 to March 2020. These changes in shopping habits allow people to stay home and minimize contact with others. Compared to grocery shopping in-person, having food delivered to your door limits exposure to the coronavirus. Additional opportunities include using meal kit delivery services or ordering takeout as both are safer options for customers than eating at a restaurant.
Because experts think the primary method of spreading the virus remains through person-to-person contact, a level of risk exists when you interact with a delivery person. And since they pick-up orders from many different stores and restaurants and then make deliveries to different customers, they’re potentially carrying those human encounters to your doorstep. Thankfully, most delivery services recognize the seriousness of the virus and have expanded their drop-off options since the pandemic began. With Postmates’ dropoff options, customers can meet their delivery driver at the door, the curb or choose a noncontact option with deliveries left at the doorstep. Instacart, similarly, now has a “Leave at My Door Delivery.” Yelp added a contact-free delivery option while DoorDash has implemented contactless delivery. If you are ordering directly from a restaurant, consider calling them to find out what services are available.
While everyone has their favorite food delivery service, DoorDash had the most transactions during April according to Edison Trends, with its ease of ordering and “score” systems earning praise. Also achieving multiple high marks were GrubHub/Seamless (for their variety of payment options and the GrubHub + plan) and UberEats (for its typically quick delivery and app synergy with Uber).
One challenge with delivery services is figuring out service fees, hidden costs and best deals. However, there are a couple of apps on the market that operate as food delivery aggregators to help consumers sort things out. FoodBoss, which has an app and a browser version, has been around since 2017 and offers comparisons of UberEats, Postmates, Caviar, EatStreet and Delivery.com. Those five services also are included in the recently launched MealMe along with DoorDash, GrubHub and Waitr. Originally launched as an IOS app, MealMe plans to expand with an Android app and a web version.
While no food delivery service app covers every city or all delivery services, they can be helpful to consumers interested in eating a meal from their favorite near-by restaurant or grocery store. And remember, don’t fear the food, but don’t forget to stay clean.