As restaurants are ordered to close, food deliveries and takeaways are still allowed but are trying to find safer ways to serve people.
Just Eat, the UK food delivery company which works with 35,700 local restaurants and brands, has introduced contact-free delivery.
Andrew Kenny, UK Managing Director at Just Eat, said: “We know our Restaurant Partners are worried about their teams – from chefs to delivery drivers – and these measures will go some way to helping them maintain their operations and support their people.”
He continued: “The food delivery industry has a crucial role to play at this time of national crisis.”
Some takeaway shops that used to deliver food by their own staff are taking similar actions.
Roasta, a takeaway store in Preston, chose to leave the orders in the parking lot so customers can pick it up later without meeting the delivery driver.
Ziyi Huang used to do part-time delivery job for Panda Cool, a Chinese restaurant in Preston, but now she has been asked to handing the job to the restaurant owner herself as she believes less people less risks.
Shiraz Miah, the owner of the Indian takeaway Thindian in Leyland, has closed his shop is planning to serve chilled meal to avoid contacts with customers and the challenge of less staff members.
Mr Miah said: “What we’re gonna do is to take orders from 9am to 5pm, and then the following day we are gonna go in the morning, cook the food, chill the food and deliver the food from 2:30 to 5:30.”
“It’s the safest way that I can possibly cook food and still be able to go to work.”
Although the delivery shops decide to keep operating, they are facing tremendous loss of customers and money.
Roasta has temporarily closed for one week earlier this month, but reopened soon.
“It’s all for making a living, although we have lost half of the orders,” said the owner.
“I’m really not sure about the future, neither a clear plan.”
Mr Miah has the same worry.
He said: “There is a lot of loss, and I even phoned the bank to see what’s available.”
Even though, he served 175 free meals to NHS workers at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital before he temporarily closed his shop on March 23, and he wants to continue supporting them once he reopen his business.
He said: “I want to do as many as free orders as I can to NHS and to community groups.”
“They are the ones that ultimately are the front line of what is happening in the UK.”