Food delivery services help customers practicing social distancing

One type of business is benefitting from recent efforts to suppress coronavirus (COVID-19).

We looked at how some delivery services are trying to use their position to help boost other small businesses. It’s helping those who are doing their best to practice social distancing recommended by public officials.

Theresa Messink does not go into grocery stores, especially now. Instead, she relies on curbside pickup.

“I have chronic bronchitis, so I was told by my doctor don’t get around sick people,” Messink said,

Besides picking up her groceries, Messink told us she’s staying home until further notice.

“Before I wouldn’t have done all that,” Messink said. “But, now, you have to be cautious. You don’t know how serious this is going to be.”

Lots of people are home these days. That’s got food delivery drivers working hard to keep up with the demand.

“That social distancing thing you don’t go to a restaurant; you bring the food to you,” said Jennifer Fitzgerald, a Bite Squad driver. “So, obviously, these kinds of services will be huge.”

Uber Eats, Bite Squad and Door Dash say they have no big plan to hire extra drivers yet, but the online food ordering, delivery platforms have added features to allow drivers to leave food at someone’s door.

“Yeah, very busy this morning,” said Rolando Bullon, an Uber Eats driver.

Uber Eats is offering free delivery in hopes of keeping local restaurants afloat.

And Door Dash is providing assistance to employees forced to self-quarantine.

“A lot of times, they do say just stop at the door,” said Julie Perry, an Uber Eats driver.

For now, people such as Messink seem to be focused on continuing to take precautions and take advantage of online food ordering, delivery platforms as long as they offer their services.

“I can’t get it online or pick it up here, I’m going to do without because I’m not going to go in stores,” Messink said.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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