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Some food delivery apps seeing a ‘definite uptick’ due to coronavirus pandemic

Woodlawn’s Daley’s Restaurant is taking the road less traveled by extending their hours and offering discounts via social media, despite business being down 85%.

FILE - This April 4, 2014 file photo shows signage for food delivery services GrubHub and Seamless displayed on the door of a restaurant in New York. The growing options for outsourcing meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking can be called time-saving blessings or culture-destroying curses. In the end, they’re probably a complicated mix of both. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) ORG XMIT: NYET107
While some eateries are seeing an increase in orders made via delivery apps like Grubhub, others have seen their sales take a dive in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic. | AP
AP Photos

Pizza Capri, a Hyde Park-based pizzeria, has been a longtime vendor of delivery app Grubhub, and have recently started using DoorDash as well. The online ordering apps are becoming more popular than ever since restaurants were ordered by the state to close their dining rooms due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Delivery-based apps and their drivers are finding new and inventive ways to get their food orders to their customers while keeping in mind the health and safety of all parties involved during the coronavirus pandemic.

Pizza Capri, with three area locations, is using plastic wrap to help ensure an added layer of safety on its products’ packaging.

“We’ve seen a definite uptick in orders in the past couple of weeks,” said Uriah Hose, a manager at Pizza Capri in Hyde Park. “ [Customers] able to see that their [pizza boxes] all clearly wrapped up in plastic, so they have more confidence in their deliveries. Because we also have a delivery service on our end we can control that. ”

The restaurant Pizza Capri as seen on Wednesday, July 11, 2007, in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., currently resides in Hyde Park, a prominent neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side that has a history of influential residents. (AP Photo/Jerry Lai)
Pizza Capri, a Hyde Park-based pizzeria, has been a longtime vendor of delivery app Grubhub, and have recently started using DoorDash as well. | AP

Last week, DoorDash distributed 1 million sets of hand sanitizer and gloves to its drivers and couriers, according to a company blog.

DoorDash, which has no delivery fees in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to help support neighborhood restaurants, has implemented a “no-contact option” for customers to minimize contact between them and drivers. They are also charging zero commissions for 30 days to independent restaurants once they sign up for the service.

“‘Leave it at my door’ will be the default drop-off option, and customers will have the choice to select ‘Hand it to me’ if they prefer,” said DoorDash CEO/co-founder Tony Xu said in a company blog. “We have also advised Dashers that they may initiate a no-contact delivery at any time by reaching out to the customer with a call or text message to confirm.”

DoorDash is also assisting service industry members who are out of work due to the pandemic by creating a priority access program — an initiative to hire those folks as employees until they get their regular jobs back.

Grubhub is also helping restaurants by creating the “Grubhub Community Relief Fund,” through which contributions will go to charitable organizations that service industry members.

“We are also working closely with government officials to ensure that kitchens stay open for pickup and delivery... when dine-in capacity must be shut down,” said Grubhub spokesperson Jenna DeMarco. “We’re doing everything possible to organize community support through orders and donations to keep these independent businesses solvent through the current crisis.”

While some eateries are seeing an increase in orders made via delivery apps, others have seen their sales take a dive in recent weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused many of them to close altogether.

Woodlawn’s Daley’s Restaurant is taking the road less traveled by extending their hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and offering discounts via social media, despite business being down 85%.

Also, they plan to become a vendor with Grubhub this week.

“Hopefully, we could just grind it out and we can catch whomever we can catch at this point,” said Mike Zar, Daley’s general manager. “ ... I mean, a lot of places are just shutting down but if this stays like this for a while you just can’t shut down; you’re just gonna have to change, you’re just gonna have to improvise. ... We’re not closing; we’re sticking it out.”