7 Ways Restaurants Can Deliver Food Amid The Coronavirus Fears

Nabeel Alamgir

Coronavirus is an international public health emergency, and it has made people wary of ordering out food in New York City; that’s bad news for local restaurants! 

While Chinese restaurants have experienced the worst of its consequences, NYC eateries aren’t much better off with a significant decline in foot traffic and profitability. But did you know that mainland Chinese restaurants are still operating?  Wait, didn’t they all just shut down?  Nope. They’re taking the necessary precautions against the epidemic. They’re innovating with the latest technology to improvise and beat the circumstances? and NYC restaurants can learn a few things from them. Here are some simple tips off the top of our head to help. Read on to head some more details on how NYC restaurants can better prepare!

  1. Revisit the importance of handwashing with staff.
  2. When packaging food for delivery, fold and staple your bags, so the packaging is securely closed.
  3. Staple information cards to all bags on the outside. reminding customers to give those fingers a scrub!?
  4. Offer to change their order confirmation graphic to something that reminds guests to wash their hands before they eat.

How Are Restaurants In China Countering The Coronavirus?

How are Chinese restaurants making sure that business goes on as usual in the middle of coronavirus? Here is an insight into the tactics they are deploying in their fight against coronavirus:

The Real Fight Is With Misinformation

At a WHO briefing, Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the health emergency program, said the vaccine they REALLY needed was against misinformation.  In a world where fake news spreads like wildfire, misinformation has proved itself more dangerous than any virus. As a restaurant owner, you know how badly the virus has affected foodservice businesses.  You could try to fight it off all you want, but you can’t simply stop it.  You can, however, separate myth from fact! Tell diners they can still come out and enjoy your food without contracting the virus. 

Wash, Wash, and Wash Again

You heard it right! The best way to combat the virus is by doing something as simple as washing your hands. Maintain a safe environment by making hygiene a priority in the workplace! Encourage cooking staff to sanitize every half an hour; serving staff might be obliged to wear gloves when waiting on diners. Your staff might be safer for it too! Install hand sanitizers at convenient places for your diners; in fact, force them to use it. On second thought, maybe not but a little encouragement does go a long way. 

It is a profoundly respected custom in China to prepare several dishes for a meal and have everyone use their chopsticks to pull food from the main dishes. But now they’ve stopped doing it! Ever since the epidemic, Chinese restaurants started placing serving spoons in each dish and encourage their diners to make personal portions in their bowls. 

Follow suit, New Yorkers!

If you’re a family service restaurant, encourage customers to remove food from a serving bowl or plate and stick to their own utensils. Like we said before as well, it’s a great opportunity to talk to your staff about proper handwashing!

7 Ways Restaurants Can Deliver Food Amid The Coronavirus Fears

As the coronavirus epidemic grips the world, restaurateurs around the world are looking for ways to continue operating, without compromising the health of their employees or consumers. Here are 7 ways how your restaurant can also make sure business goes as usual, without being disrupted by the growing fears regarding coronavirus:

1. Non-Contact Delivery Service

Fast food giants like KFC and Pizza Hut in China offer customers the option of contactless service when they place orders. Couriers will wait until the customer shows up before they take the food out at the delivery location.  Then, couriers will step back and watch from a distance of at least 10 feet as the customer picks up the food and leaves. 

Chinese food delivery services like Meituan have also adopted this method to great success. Each Meituan contactless delivery comes with a green card stating the body temperature readings of the cook and the rider and offers info on when the courier last disinfected their equipment. Meituan told Business Insider that there was a whopping fourfold increase in orders compared to the previous year!

New York restaurant owners can implement this method into their delivery systems to make the customers feel safer. 

2. Food From Heaven? Nah ? Drones Are Better

Flying food? 

Yes, please!

Uber has already been offering standard food delivery for some time now, so it’s only natural that they decided to upgrade. The Federal Aviation Administration has granted Uber permission to start testing commercial food delivery via drones. When you place an order, the restaurant prepares the meal and loads it into a drone; then, the Uber software guides the drone to the delivery location.

An Uber courier retrieves the order from the drone at the destination and then completes the delivery. With coronavirus creeping in, Chinese tech company Antwork took this initiative further and started using drones to transport medical supplies as well.

Likewise, companies like JD.com now use drone delivery to send food packages to Liuzhaung village, and they hope to implement this service in other parts of mainland China. 

3. Temperature Of Kitchen Staff

An unusually high fever is a key symptom of the virus, and as the nation struggles to contain the spread of it, Chinese restaurants are now releasing information on the body temperatures of their kitchen staff.  Home delivery meals are being sent out with a small green card containing the temperature readings of the cooks and the courier. What are these cards really saying, though?

We aren’t sick. Our food isn’t contaminated either. Jeez Karen, relax.

This increases accountability and reassures consumers that the cooks and couriers are in perfect health.

4. Cashierless Supermarket

Amazon opened its first cashier-less grocery store to take self-service technology a step further. The new Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle stocks everyday groceries: meat, fresh produce, bakery items, seafood, home essentials, and more. What does that mean for you, though? You can finally ditch the long lines at the checkout counter! Actually, there isn’t a checkout counter. 

Literally, just take what you need, and leave! 

Customers use the Amazon Go app to scan in as they enter the store. Cameras and sensors track their movement through the store and detect items they remove from the shelves; then they add up the customer’s virtual cart. The cart is then checked out online using your payment options.  Now when people are scared of going out and interacting with others, this development is pretty great! 

5. Starbucks Could Never! Luckin’s Self Service Coffee

Luckin Coffee‘s unmanned coffee and smart vending is bringing them a lot of success, given the ?change? the foodservice industry is experiencing right now. They?ve been doing it all along! 

Luckin Coffee EXPRESS offers freshly brewed coffees; the unmanned terminals cover locations like office buildings, campuses, airports, bus terminals, and gas stations, sustaining the brand as well as fulfilling recent self-service trends. These terminals are powered by facial recognition, big data, and other advanced technologies to create new customer experiences. We don’t need to tell you New Yorkers LOVE their coffee, and global coffee giant Starbucks did TRY something similar in the past. They just couldn’t make it work.

Not only is Luckin’s self-service efficient, but it also minimizes the risk of spreading the virus.    

6. Delivery Robots For The Perfect Bite

To curtail the risk of potential infections, Chinese e-commerce companies are using robots to deliver piping hot food and groceries to customers in Beijing’s Shunyi district. This initiative is perfect for people who want to avoid all human contact, especially with couriers who travel in crowd spaces and heavy traffic to ensure food gets to you. 

Aside from Meituan, other platforms also announced the deployment of robots for more deliveries, specifically to quarantine zones. Keenon’s Little Peanut is one such robot delivering food to people in quarantined in a hotel in Hangzhou, China. Keenon plans on taking Peanut, and its other robots worldwide. 

7. Throwing The Food Away, Literally!

Necessity is the mother of invention. We have heard the quote countless times, but how many times have you actually seen a practical demonstration of it? Well, Chinese restaurants are making yesteryear quotes come true in this coronavirus epidemic. As this New York Post video highlights, restaurants in the Chinese mainland have resorted to throwing delivery food.

It is not as bad as it sounds like! What happens is once the delivery rider reaches the destination, they call on the consumer to catch the food as they throw it from a safe distance. While this is a highly plausible delivery solution for uncooked food, not many people would prefer their favorite burger thrown away! Nonetheless, a somewhat-squashed burger is a better alternative than risk being infected. Tough times do require tough decisions!

NY Restaurants: Is The Future That Dark? 

Well yeah, it’s endgame! 

We’re kidding. 

The virus isn’t the end of the universe as we speak. A majority of the cases are from mainland China, but the virus has become a global pandemic. It has infected almost 90,000 people globally, and the United States has already witnessed its first few cases.   It’s crucial that US businesses, especially New York restaurants, proactively develop a game plan after watching what happened in China and how the Chinese have promptly dealt with it.

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