20 May Online Food Delivery Services
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DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, and Instacart are just a few of the companies which deliver restaurant meals or groceries to your home through an application (app) on a smart phone or tablet. Orders can also be placed from a desktop computer or laptop. There has been a surge of online food delivery orders since the country was advised to shelter-at-home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. More people are taking advantage of these services so they don’t have to risk going into a grocery store or restaurant and coming in contact with the coronavirus. In fact, Instacart, the leader in online grocery delivery services, recently announced it was hiring 300,000 “full-service shoppers” due to increased demand from the pandemic.
Overall, younger generations are the biggest customers of online food delivery companies. According to a 2019 research report by marketing agency Zion & Zion, 63% of people 18 to 29 years old used one of these popular apps in the preceding 90 days. This is compared to 51% in the 30 to 44 age group and 29% for those 45 to 60 years old. No surprise that only 14% of people over the age of 60 utilized an online delivery service in the study.
It may be uncomfortable and certainly unfamiliar for older adults to order food online. However, in addition to the convenience online food delivery provides, the process enables you to remain safely in your home. Be patient in the beginning. There are always a few bumps in the road when learning new technology and your first order may take longer to accomplish than expected. One 94 year old friend told me it took him several hours to order groceries the initial time he used Instacart but after that he reports the process has been a breeze.
Restaurant Meal Delivery
- Go to the App store on your smart phone or tablet (search for food delivery) and install an app. DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, and Grubhub are some popular ones. If easier to order from a laptop or desktop computer, go to the company’s website.
- Open the app and follow the instructions to sign-in (for first-time users). Enter the delivery address and a list of participating restaurants in your area will come up. You will also see delivery times to your home from each establishment. Keep in mind your favorite restaurant may not participate in online delivery.
- Select the restaurant you want to order from and the complete menu will appear. Order your meal and checkout using a credit cart. Deliveries are usually left at your front door. You can also leave special instructions when you place the order (i.e., ring the bell after drop off, call upon arrival).
- Most deliveries are free to the consumer. The restaurant covers the fees of the service although you can leave an online tip.
- All your groceries, including fresh produce, meat, and other essentials can be ordered online from companies like Instacart, Shipt, FreshDirect, and Amazon Fresh. These businesses partner with popular national and regional grocery retailers throughout the country. Orders can be done either through an app or from a computer/laptop. You also have the option to order groceries and pickup curbside at the store.
- Start by creating and signing in to a digital account. Enter your zip code to see which stores participate in your area then simply search or browse the items you need and add them to your cart.
- At checkout you will be given different options for a delivery time within a 2-hour window (same day delivery is standard). You will also have an opportunity here to leave any special delivery instructions.
- A personal shopper will then select your groceries. Shoppers send text messages to customers notifying them they have started shopping. If any questions come up, or if the store is out of an item, the shopper will text you.
- The price you pay for groceries using one of these online platforms may be slightly higher compared to shopping yourself for food in-store. There are also fees each company charges and tips for the shopper are encouraged. Many companies offer yearly memberships which allows customers to shop for free. And some require a subscription. Most people agree the extra costs are worth it in exchange for the convenience and safety these services provide.
Online food delivery is contactless. Therefore, you never have to talk to a server, exchange cash, be next to someone in a grocery store or restaurant, or greet a delivery driver at your door. Just another way to help keep you safe during this unprecedented time.
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