Guide to No Contact Restaurant Curbside Pickup & Delivery

Person Holding Takeout Bag and Face Mask

With the COVID-19 global pandemic and the ensuing Stay at Home orders across the US, delivery and takeout are the only options for many restaurants if they want to continue to serve their local communities. Check out our guide to no-contact curbside pickup and delivery to find out how your restaurant can implement these processes and help flatten the curve.

What is Restaurant Curbside Pickup?

Curbside pickup involves customers picking up online or phone orders without stepping out of their cars. Customers simply park in a designated area and restaurant employees take payment and bring out their order.

What is No Contact Curbside Pickup & Delivery?

No-contact curbside pickup and delivery are an attempt to promote social distancing, reduce person-to-person contact, and minimize the exchange of contaminated items (including cash) in order to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus.

What You Need to Know About COVID-19 Transmission

While our information on the virus is constantly evolving, the CDC states that COVID-19 is spread from person to person, through respiratory droplets. Because of this, distancing yourself at least 6 feet away from other people is the best way to prevent the spread of the disease. There is currently no evidence that supports transmission of COVID-19 through food, and while people could potentially get COVID-19 by touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes, that is not the main way the virus spreads. That’s why pickup and takeout orders are still deemed safe, assuming people take the proper precautions, including no-contact pickup and delivery, throwing out packaging, washing your hands, etc.

How to Facilitate No-Contact Curbside Pickup & Delivery

If you’re hoping to offer no-contact restaurant curbside pickup and delivery, here’s what you’ll need to consider.

Accepting Payment for No-Contact Curbside Pickup & Delivery

One area that has a potential for germ transmission is the payment process. If you’re offering no-contact curbside pickup or delivery, it’s important to find a way to bypass the exchange of cash or credit cards. While you can simply take orders and request credit card information over the phone, there are different online ordering platforms and payment apps that make it easy for people to order and pay without physical proximity or the exchanging credit cards or cash.

Payment Apps

There are payment apps available for both individuals and businesses to use, including Venmo, PayPal, and the Cash App.

  • Venmo – Download the Venmo app to your phone or tablet. Customers can order online (if you have that set up on your website), via Facebook messenger or by phone and give the restaurant their Venmo ID. The restaurant sends a request for payment and customers pay via the app.
  • PayPal – Open a PayPal for business account and link your bank account. Download the mobile app to your phone or tablet. Customers can order online (if you have that set up on your website), via Facebook messenger or by phone and give the restaurant their mobile phone number. Their restaurant sends a request for payment and the customer pays via the app.
  • Cash App – Behaves like Venmo.

Online Ordering & Delivery & Payment Apps

There are also online ordering apps that allow customers to pay through the platform, and some even offer no-contact delivery services for your restaurant.

  • Square Order: Allow customers to place pre-orders via mobile. Introduced by Square last year, customers have the option to arrange for their curbside pickup times. Allowing customers to pay for purchases without pulling out their wallets is convenient and promotes the “no contact” rule. The service is available to merchants that us Square’s POS systems. Square if offering Square Order to those merchants for free. New to square? Sign up here
  • SWIPEBY: A simple, safe and automated curbside pickup experience. Offer guests contactless transactions and a smooth takeout experience with SWIPEBY’s turnkey curbside pickup platform. No sign up costs, fees or commission. GPS notification upon arrival. Easy menu customization. No tech platform needed.
  • eHungry: Online ordering with integrated payments. Customers browse the menus that restaurants upload to their eHungry ordering websites and they can pay for those orders via credit card or PayPal. Restaurants control how and when orders are sent in (most choose to have orders sent to the business via fax, email, printer, tablet or through eHungry’s web dashboard). Automated texts or calls can also be set up to notify employees when orders come through. eHungry offers features for generating coupons and promotions, along with re-ordering for regular customers. eHungry charges a 2.9% per-order fee.
  • Postmates – Has recently introduced non-contact delivery option. Dropoff Options which will give our customers the ability to specify how they’d like to receive deliveries. Customers can choose to meet their Postmate at the door, as they have before, meet curbside, or go non-contact and have deliveries left at the door.
  • eMenuExpress – Very similar to Postmates

General Tips for No-Contact Curbside Pickup & Delivery

In addition to making the ordering and payment process as digital as possible, there are additional steps to take to try to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

  • Follow Stringent Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Hand Washing Processes
  • Make Sure Employees are Wearing Masks
  • Ask for the Make/ Model of the Car During the Ordering Process
  • Leave the Food Delivery Orders on the Porch
  • Put the Curbside Pickup Order into the Back Seat or Trunk

Marketing Your No-Contact Curbside Pickup & Delivery Options

In addition to offering no-contact restaurant curbside pickup and delivery options, you also need to get the word out about this new process and how it works. These restaurant marketing ideas can help spread the word about these services to help increase business.

  • Post instructions on how to order/pay on your Facebook page. Ask your followers to share and tag someone for a chance to win free meals, discounts, etc.
  • Contact your local Chamber of Commerce, Travel Oregon and ORLA and let them know what you are doing.
  • If you have a customer contact list for email, create an account in Constant Contact or MailChimp and create and email “post card” to send to your customers promoting safe non-contact curbside service.
  • Create a flier for your door or window with instructions on how to utilize curbside service. Be sure to add a footnote about what you are doing to keep your customers safe (wearing gloves, sanitizing frequently, etc.).
  • Reward takeout customers with an offer – example: Receive 2 complimentary cookies with curbside service, or – receive 15% off their next curbside order.
  • Consider creating a trifold mailer that includes your menu, hours, instructions for curbside service and mail to residences within a 2 mile radius of your business
  • Join our Facebook group Oregon Takeout and Curbside Services. Post your curbside menu and instructions on how to order/pay and don’t forget to add a location hashtag so customers can find you!
  • McDonald Wholesale customers can contact Denise with your menu, hours, and instructions on how you would like customers to order/pay and she will push it out on all of McDonald Wholesale’s social platforms.

As an independently owned and operated wholesale food distributor, we care about each and every one of our customers. Keep an eye on our foodservice blog for more information, including how to keep restaurant costs down and revenue up during coronavirus, overhead cost reduction strategies for your restaurant, restaurant marketing trends, and other tips and strategies for success both during the coronavirus pandemic and after things return to normal.

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