Contactless delivery and burrito trackers: Eateries quickly adapt to social-distancing

Uber Eats, Chipotle and Postmates, devise promotions and new products in a COVID-19 world.

Food delivery is on the front lines of the war on the coronavirus.

Brands, including Uber Eats and Chipotle, are launching promotional and communications campaigns to assure and encourage consumers who are eating in. 

"Contactless delivery" is the buzz phrase at San Francisco-based Uber Eats. 

"In response to coronavirus concerns and a growing trend towards limiting contact, we've started educating users about these options, and we're simultaneously accelerating new product features to make the process even smoother," an Uber spokesperson told Campaign.

Users can leave a special request in the app to ask drivers to leave their food at the doorstep, avoiding any human contact. Uber is promoting this service a variety of ways, including via in-app advertising, push notifications and email campaigns on a market-by-market basis. 

A new section of its website, encompassing both the ride-share and delivery businesses, details how Uber is providing drives with disinfectant to keep their cars clean. 

Like the rest of us, sourcing disinfectant is a challenge, as Uber details: "Supplies are very limited, but we’re partnering with manufacturers and distributors to source as much as possible. We’ll be prioritizing distribution to drivers in cities with the greatest need."

Chipotle, which made food pick-up and delivery a big push prior to the coronavirus, is partnering with Postmates to offer free delivery for the remainder of this month, sending emails to customers who have its app. 

Chipotle will utilize its delivery-kitchen service lines of burrito and bowl makers, dedicated to the task. The Newport Beach, Calif., chain, like many restaurants, is not serving dine-in meals for the foreseeable future.

In these strange days, Chipotle is also offering contactless delivery and has debuted a tracker, so that people can follow their orders from kitchen to doorstep.

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