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Food Delivery Apps During Coronavirus

Food Delivery Apps During Coronavirus

March 27, 2020 / Judy Seto

Food delivery platforms have responded with initiatives to help support the hospitality industry and reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 while still conducting business.

As fines have been introduced to those who break social distancing guidelines, and food hoarding has resulted in the lack of staple ingredients at supermarkets, many people may find themselves looking to order food delivery during the pandemic.



This food delivery giant has announced they are making $5 million in funding available for independent restaurants across Australia and New Zealand. This will allow restaurants to deploy promotions to attract customers. They also announced a variety of other initiatives including:

  • Receive daily payments instead of the usual once a week payment during the pandemic.

  • Service fees on pick up orders will not be charged, up until 30 June.

  • Activation fees for new restaurants that are wanting to join the platform.

  • The platform will be extended to include caterers.

  • A campaign has been initiated to raise awareness of “contactless” delivery, reminding customers that they can request deliveries be left on their doorsteps.

  • UberEats has published a page on Coronavirus Resources & Updates.


  • Menulog has published a page on The Latest Guidance on Coronavirus for their customers, couriers and restaurant partners.

  • All orders will now be contact-free by default, this means customers can request the delivery to be placed in safe location and the courier will step back 1.5m while the customer collects the order.


  • From March 18 til the end of April, DoorDash will not charge commission fees for 30 days for new sign ups in United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia. This is not a deferral of fees, nor will merchants be asked to pay anything back.

  • Restaurants will pay no commission fees on pickup orders.

  • DoorDash are adding 100,000+ independent restaurant partners to DashPass for free. This is their subscription program which offers $0 delivery for consumers. The $0 delivery fee will highly incentivise customers to make an order, thus driving sales.
  • No-contact delivery is now the default delivery method


  • Deliveroo has stated they have launched a fund to support their riders. Those who are diagnosed with Coronavirus and find that they are unable to work during this period are eligible for financial support.

  • The contact-free delivery method is available for customers to select


Are Food Delivery Apps Doing Enough?

The delivery giants have been criticised for not doing enough to help the hospitality industry. Not-for-profit Chapel Street Precinct Association has released a media statement describing UberEats' response as a "red herring" due to the exorbitant 35% commissions. They have called for UberEats to slash their commission by at least 50% in order for both the hospitality and food delivery business to survive.

This sentiment has been shared via a petition on change.org titled "Food delivery giants should HALVE their restaurant commissions during coronavirus pandemic". Started by journalist Ben Fordham, he states "The business model of the food delivery giants relies solely on the hard work of our restaurants and cafes. Without them, they don't exist." The petition currently sits at 43,000+ signatures and calls for 50,000 total.

Screenshot showing the petition calling food delivery to halve commisions

Ordering Directly From Venues

Another option to help support restaurants & cafes is to order directly from the venue. This means no commission fee would be payed to a third party. In these instances, venues are offering delivery by their own staff members. Delivery varies between different restaurants, with the majority offering delivery to nearby suburbs. Some venues are offering free delivery for ordering over a certain amount, and some are offering free delivery for any orders to really incentivise customers.

Flatlay of a variety of ready made meals on a table

The Grounds of Alexandria are delivering both ready made meals as well as fresh grocery boxes to select Sydney suburbs.


According to the NSW Government Food Authority, there is no evidence to date to suggest that food is a source or route of transmission of the virus. However, be cautious when receiving your food delivery and always wash your hands thoroughly with soap before eating.

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