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#CoronaEffect: Restros, food aggregators step up their game to ensure safe delivery and pickup of food



Foodies are currently juggling with a major dilemma – should I get food delivered or not? If yes, how often should I order, and how often I should go out to pick up a take out? And the most important question: Is it even safe to order? In the lockdown 4.0, some markets have opened and several restaurants are allowing take outs or are delivering food. We asked restaurants what are they doing to ensure that the food they are delivering is safe and hygienic.

Mandatory COVID-19 tests for staff, sanitisation tunnel at restaurants

Some restaurants, which are planning to open delivery in the next couple of days, say that will ensure that all the staff members working in the kitchen have cleared the coronavirus test. Varun Duggal, head, Alliances (Massive Restaurants), says, “Our several restaurants (including Farzi Cafe, Made In Punjab) will be operating from one kitchen in Delhi and one kitchen in Gurgaon. Employees who will be working in those kitchens will have to go for mandatory COVID-19 tests, and after their tests are okay, they we will be allowed to work in the kitchen. We are also installing sanitisation tunnels outside our kitchens, and the staff will have to go through the tunnel before entering and exiting the restaurant.”

Chefs are staying on the premises of the restaurant for safe food delivery


During these fourth phase of lockdown, are more customers ordering food now or are they scared? Gauri Devidayal, Director, Food Matters India Pvt Ltd, says, “Those who were scared to order, are still scared and are not doing it. We have received a great response at our restaurant in Mumbai. But the day a restaurant staff in Delhi tested positive, several of our customers cancelled the order. While our regular customers are well aware that we take all the precautions, but we’re still reassuring them. Besides, our kitchen staff is staying on the premises to avoid outside contact.”

Bio-sanitisation solution to clean food items, multi-layered packaging

Some restaurants have procured bio-sanitisation solution and are sanitising every item before cooking. The restaurants also tell us that they’re focusing on multi-layered and sealed packaging so that that the order doesn’t come in contact with anyone during transit.
Varun Tuli, MD, Yum Yum Cha and Managing Partner, Noshi Delivery, says, “Our packaging keeps the food safe from contamination. For instance, our sushi is served on iced packs to keep it fresh while it reaches the customers.We’re delivering in Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon.”

DIY kits for those missing signature dishes and mixer drinks of restaurants

Social and Smoke House Deli are currently delivering DIY kits in Mumbai and Bengaluru, and they will be soon starting it in NCR. For its signature drinks, Social is delivering pre-made mixers, and staff say that these kits are also quite popular for virtual parties, and birthday celebrations.
Similarly, Smoke House Deli is delivering DIY Deli, which has a range of packages, and they have ingredients that customers can use to prepare dishes in their own homes.
Jaydeep Mukherjee, Brand Head, Smoke House Deli, says, “The DIY kits allow people to cook without going through the trouble of procuring ingredients, and from a hygiene perspective, these DIY kits are safe. We are currently delivering these kits in Bombay and Bengaluru. We started in Delhi at Social, Nehru Place, but Delhi had restrictions and the demand in Nehru Place area wasn’t great, but we will start it again soon.”

Food aggregators and delivery partners follow their own safety measures

Sahil Jain, Co-founder, Dineout, says, “We’re enabling home delivery and pick up for our gourmet passport users at top brands like The Roseate House, Andaz Delhi, JW Marriott, Punjab Grill, Asia7, Elan, etc. The restaurants have curated a special delivery/takeaway/pickup menu for our users and have been handpicked keeping in mind the strictest standards of hygiene and anti-COVID precautions. Members can order food from these top restaurants with a 15% discount using our app.”
A Zomato spokesperson says,”We quickly launched a feature where restaurants, which take adequate safety measures, while preparing food can showcase themselves on our platform with the tag – “follows WHO safety practices”. We also launched contactless delivery. All our restaurant partners are encouraged to check the temperature of their staff every day. As part of the safe working environment, our delivery parents have to self certify that they have sanitised their masks and bags and are not suffering from any flu-like symptoms before they log in every day.”
The spokesperson adds, “We have also set up 10,000+ temperature measuring stations with our restaurant partners who now check the body temperature of our delivery partners at their restaurant, and hand over the order only when the temperature is found to be within the normal range.”

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