7 Delivery Apps Keeping Restaurants, Grocers Afloat During COVID-19

Share this:

Dozens of states have banned dine-in service at restaurants, and nearly as many are requiring retailers to close up shop in a bid to slow down the coronavirus outbreak. As local businesses deal with the enormous financial implications that come with closing down to customers, many are trying out delivery services for the very first time.

In an interview, Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney said his company has received “10 to 15 times” its usual restaurant leads during the outbreak, and that number is expected to grow even larger as more states enact bans on dine-in eating and in-person shopping.

For restaurants and other local businesses interested in offering their products via on-demand delivery, here are seven delivery platforms with which local businesses can partner during the Covid-19 crisis.

1. DoorDash
DoorDash is a third-party logistics company that works with more than 300,000 restaurants across 4,000 cities in the United States and Canada. Although DoorDash offers a handful of benefits as far as marketing is concerned, the company is first and foremost a delivery provider. DoorDash’s drivers can deliver take-out orders up to 25 miles away from a restaurant’s location. Among the ways DoorDash has worked to promote local restaurants during the Covid-19 pandemic is to launch an “Open For Business” campaign highlighting businesses that are still accepting orders through delivery apps. DoorDash is temporarily reducing or waiving its commission fees during the current crisis, and the company has pledged up to $20 million in marketing funds to help local restaurants generate more business in the coming months.

2. Grubhub
Grubhub is one of the most well-known on-demand delivery services, having been among the first to enter the market. The company says that restaurants who use its platform see takeout order volume increase by more than 20%, thanks in large part to the additional marketing opportunities via Grubhub’s website and mobile apps. In addition to facilitating on-demand delivery for its restaurant partners, Grubhub provides a handful of marketing opportunities, giving restaurants a new way to reach existing customers via emails, coupons, and targeted offers. During the current pandemic, Grubhub is temporarily suspending collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants.

3. Instacart
Supermarkets and other stores facing restrictions on the number of in-person customers they’re able to serve can partner with Instacart on same-day delivery services. Through the Instacart partner program, supermarkets and other retail stores can get their products listed in Instacart’s online marketplace and promote their storefronts through targeted digital marketing campaigns. Instacart is currently accepting retail partnerships and offering CPG marketing, digital marketing, and affiliate marketing opportunities. During the coronavirus outbreak, Instacart has added a no-contact delivery feature, allowing their shoppers to leave orders at customers’ doors.

4. Uber Eats
When it comes to name recognition, it’s hard for anyone in the food delivery space to beat out Uber. Uber Eats is Uber’s food delivery arm. Uber Eats partners with both national chains and independent local restaurants. The company recently launched a dedicated marketing effort to drive local business sales during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s also waiving the delivery fee for customers ordering from locally owned independent restaurants and allowing restaurants to receive daily payouts rather than waiting for the typical billing cycle.

5. Shipt
Shipt is a grocery deliver app that’s seen record downloads during the coronavirus pandemic. The same-day grocery delivery service is actually owned by Target Corp. It relies on a local network of shoppers who can pick up essentials for people in more than 260 cities. Retailers that partner with Shipt are invited to join a turn-key marketplace that brings their products online and provides last-mile delivery. Given the rising demand for delivery, Shipt says it’s actively adding thousands of new shoppers and supporting existing shoppers with up to two weeks of financial assistance if they are diagnosed with Covid-19 or placed under quarantine.

6. Postmates
Postmates is a third-party logistics platform that gives shoppers a way to order food, groceries, and alcohol from more than 600,000 retailers and grocers. Postmates says it has the largest on-demand network in the industry, with the ability to make most grocery and alcohol deliveries in under one hour. Postmates gives smaller restaurants a way to boost their digital presence, with a mobile platform that supports full menus, along with photos and online ordering. In light of the current pandemic, Postmates says it is maintaining regular rates for couriers and launching a relief fund to cover the costs of medical expenses related to Covid-19 illness. The company has also announced a program to help small businesses more easily use its platform, with waived commission fees for businesses in the Bay Area.

7. Seamless
Seamless is part of the GrubHub portfolio of brands. The company offers neighborhood food delivery, focusing largely on working with local restaurants in selected cities. Diners who place orders through the Seamless app can donate their change to the Seamless Community Relief Fund, with donations going to charitable organizations supporting local restaurants and drivers impacted by Covid-19.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.