7 Tips to Ensure Everyone’s Safety While Ordering Food Using Delivery apps
Even before the pandemic started, food delivery apps have been an integral part of all our lives. It has become the hospitality industry’s backbone and has provided job opportunities to lakhs of unemployed youth. And when strict lockdowns were announced throughout India, we truly missed our Swiggy, Zomato, and Uber eat Annas and Bhaiyas.
Small, medium and newly started restaurants faced the maximum brunt of this health crisis. Supplies of essential goods like meat, fish, veggies, and fruit became erratic. Many eateries struggled to pay even rent.
Regular customers became wary of the cooking conditions and reduced ordering from outside. The government-imposed lockdown made the situation for this sector and those dependent on it even worse.
The pandemic has robbed many delivery executives of minimum wages, job security, and other essential benefits and has severely affected the livelihoods of more than 40 lakh food delivery executives.
But still, they thrive hard to feed us in the safety and comfort of our homes. And this is why we should practice considerate and practical ways to keep ourselves and them safe in such trying times.
Read on to find seven useful tips to ensure everyone’s safety and keep the virus at bay so that we can keep rendering their services.
1. Order When Someone Is at Home
Always order when someone will be at home to collect it, especially when ordering perishables like meat or vegetables. Or make sure your neighbor can store it in a cool place till you return.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to immediately refrigerate perishables like poultry, milk, veggies, and fruit once it is delivered.
Also, make sure such items are delivered to you at a 40 F temperature or less. Heat it just before cooking or consuming.
This practice makes sure the food item remains fresh for the longest time and reduces the risk of food poisoning and other related illnesses.
2. Inspect the Parcel Thoroughly After
After receiving it, take your time to check it inside-out. Check if it is sealed correctly, dry, and whether the contents haven’t been tampered with or leaked outside.
If you have even the slightest doubt about the packaging or handling, don’t think twice about discarding it. Make sure to take photos of the package as proof. Get in touch with the customer service of the delivery platform or restaurant and raise a complaint.
And also, write a review on Google or other public platforms to warn other customers if the issue isn’t solved. This way, the restaurant will be forced to correct their mistakes and double-check their services.
3. Only Order from Tried & Tested Restaurants
Tired of home food, the foodie in you might want to experiment with new cuisines. But hold your horses.
While health experts have said that it is very little or no chance of virus transmitting through food or packaging, it is safer to order from well-known restaurants you have tried before. This way, you will also know what food agrees with your stomach.
Also, due to the pandemic, there have been several changes to staff and the kitchen in most eateries. Hence, even the food you have had before might be cooked with new ingredients.
Also, the hygiene standards followed by unknown eateries might be ambiguous. So always look for ratings, customer reviews online before choosing a restaurant to order from.
4. Check Restaurant Hygiene and Cleanliness
Do your due research before picking out an eatery to order lunch or dinner. Check their rating on more than one delivery platform. Read up customer reviews on the app as well as Google.
But doctors advise people to opt for cooked food over salads and half/uncooked items. Also, it is better to heat the food you ordered once again, just before eating.
This kills any lingering microbes. According to WHO, coronavirus cannot survive average cooking temperatures (70 C).
Some food delivery apps like Zomato show the cleanliness protocols followed by restaurants. Look out for these.
5. Always Opt for Contactless Delivery
Most delivery apps have an option of complete contactless delivery. Here, the delivery executive will place the order outside your doorstep. This way, any kind of contact is eliminated. Also, keep the transaction cashless by paying online.
You can give clear instructions to your delivery personnel overcall as to where to deposit the package. This way, both the delivery executive and you can avoid contact with each other and reduce the chances of transmission.
If you can’t opt for a contactless delivery, always wear a mask when approaching the delivery executive. Insist that they wear one too. Discard the packaging, wash your hands, and heat the food before eating.
6. Don’t Eat from the Same Package
As per the research done by the FDA, there is no evidence that Corona Virus can spread through packaging. But studies show that the virus can survive for about 24 hours on cardboard and three days on plastic.
So, to be on the safer side, never eat from the same packaging. Discard the cover and outer boxes, transfer the food to a clean utensil, heat it, and then consume it. Also, keep a designated area while wrapping the package and remember to clean it afterward.
7.Clean Yourself Before Eating
This is possibly the most critical step of all. Both hunger and anticipation of diving into the food we ordered make us ignore this step.
Always wash your hands and forearms with soap and clean water for 30-40 secs before eating. Even if you use a spoon or fork, it is highly advised to wash your hands.
The outer packaging and cover in which your food came in must have been placed atop several surfaces and touched by many people. So never skip this step.
5 Reasons to Start Your Own Food Delivery Business
1. There Will Always Be a Demand
Eating and ordering from restaurants have become a core part of any metropolitan city’s culture in today’s times. And now, due to the pandemic, the food delivery has expanded to the delivery of groceries, meat, vegetables, and more. Just as the pandemic is here to stay, so is the demand for food delivery.
This is one of the most promising advantages of starting your own food delivery business. Many restaurants have become full-time cloud kitchens that concentrate only on delivery rather than dine-in.
2. High ROI with Affordable Investment
As training, managing, and employing drivers will be your main expenditure, you will be able to reap more profit. With good online advertising and a fair employment policy in place, one can expect a high ROI in this business.
As you can get as many restaurants as possible listed on your delivery app, people will buy more often due to the variety. As the restaurant business expands, so will yours. You can also seek out partnerships with people from the hospitality industry and those who own restaurants.
While the pandemic brought considerable losses to this industry, as we advance, you will be prepared to tackle similar issues in the future.
3. Ideal for a Post-Pandemic World
Social distancing and staying at home have already become synonymous with our lives. And this is going to be the norm until everyone in the world gets vaccinated, or the virus is completely eradicated.
This means people will opt to get pretty much every essential item home delivered. Going out to stores too many times will reduce. Getting meat and veggies from crowded markets will be avoided.
As the food delivery system has the ideal option of having a contactless delivery, this business will be used by many more people. Contact is reduced to a minimum this way, keeping the spread of the virus under control.
4. Creating an App for It Is Hassle-Free
An online, application-based food delivery system is the most efficient and transparent way to conduct this business.
Every movement of the delivery executive is tracked from the store to the destination. This instills a sense of trust with customers, especially during times as now when cleanliness and hygiene are of top priority.
Both merchants and customers can work with each other in a transparent, hassle-free manner. Customer service can also be improved this way. Comments and complaints of customers, food quality, the behavior of delivery executives, and others can be recorded and improved.
5. Scope for Growth in Future
Studies have forecasted that the food delivery industry will expand into a $200 million market by 2025. It was worth 83 billion Euros in 2016, and today, it has grown into a $36 billion industry with a growth rate of 16%.
It has immense potential to grow to great heights shortly. This makes it a profitable business option for those looking for low investment start-ups. Companies have started to explore new innovative ordering options. This includes ordering through smart tv, smartwatch, Twitter, and so on. This is bound to attract the attention of millennials and the Gen X and Z population.