Food Delivery Services Instacart and Postmates Now Offer “No Contact” Option

updated Mar 10, 2020
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Credit: Danielle Centoni

As concerns mount over the rapid spread of COVID-19 around the United States, people are changing their daily routines to minimize contact and interaction as much as possible in the hopes of slowing the spread of the virus. One easy switch that many folks made was trading going out to a restaurant for ordering in delivery, which is a good one: you can continue to patronize your favorite restaurant while adhering to the best practices of social distancing, which is what the CDC recommends.

However, in the past, delivery has meant accepting your food directly from the delivery person, which often means getting closer than the suggested six-foot recommended distance. Thankfully, reports Grub Street, delivery services like Instacart and Postmates have developed an answer: no-contact deliveries.

As the number of official cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. speeds toward four digits, companies and people everywhere are puzzling out how to reduce their contact with others. For Postmates, that meant adding a “drop-off” option in their app so that there is no face-to-face interaction between the delivery person and the customer, protecting them both. Instacart, which has a similar option, has been testing the feature for a bit and has seen it become increasingly more popular. For those just being careful and adhering to cautionary guidelines, it’s a nice-to-have, but as more and more people go into self-quarantine and isolation, it will be an essential.

As the virus continues to spread, the restaurant industry will be one of the hardest hit. Ordering delivery — especially without contact — provides a safe, easy way to support your favorite spots while minimizing risk (buying a gift card for later also helps them out with a little cash flow). Of course, even if you don’t have to leave your house to get it, don’t forget that the delivery person did, and tip them accordingly.