Instacart, Postmates roll out no-contact delivery features amid COVID-19 outbreak

LOS ANGELES -- As the world deals with the new coronavirus outbreak, food-delivery companies like Postmates and Instacart are taking steps to accommodate customers with health concerns or other considerations.

Instacart's newly introduced feature, Leave at My Door Delivery, allows customers to request that delivery drivers leave their order at a designated location like a front porch without initiating in-person contact. When using the new feature, customers can provide a gate code or other access information, and the delivery person will also send the customer a photo of the package upon delivery.

The feature was originally intended for customers who could not be home at the time of their delivery but was rolled out widely Thursday after a spike in adoption among the test group.

Instacart, which assured customers it remains "fully operational across North America," said in a statement: "Our goal is to continue to work with and serve the entire Instacart community safely while also ensuring our customers have access to uninterrupted delivery and pickup services for the groceries and household essentials they need."

Instacart added that it has seen an uptick recently in orders for nonperishable food products as well as hand sanitizer and other personal care products.

Postmates announced a similar feature, non-contact delivery, on Friday. Postmates customers can choose to meet their delivery driver at their door or the curb, or they can now instruct their driver to leave their delivery at the front door.

"We know there are always people who, for health and other reasons, might prefer a non-contact delivery experience and we believe this will provide customers with that option," the company wrote in a blog post.

Though Uber Eats does not currently have a designated non-contact feature, users can manually leave delivery notes asking a driver to leave their food at the door or with a doorman. The company also provided drivers with coronavirus health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this year.

We've reached out to Grubhub to find out if they have a similar feature in the works.

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