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
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,
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.
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
- 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
- Make Sure Employees are Wearing Masks
- Ask for the Make/ Model of the Car During the
- Leave the Food Delivery Orders on the Porch
- Put the Curbside Pickup Order into the Back Seat
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
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.