The COVID-19 Pandemic made terms such as “shelter-in-place” and “essential worker” part of everyday conversation. Delivery has been highlighted as a vital service because it might be the only way that homebound or quarantined persons can receive food, medicine, and other necessities.
Delivery companies and drivers face unique challenges and opportunities due to the increase in demand. There is increased consumer support. There are many ways that consumers can show their appreciation for delivery services. This will make it easier for drivers to deliver our necessities safely.
Delivery demand rises
During the pandemic, demand for delivery products spiked. With nearly 41% growth, the average daily app download for grocery delivery services like Instacart or Walmart Grocery made it the fastest growing app category in 2020. Marketing experts predict that the category will see slight declines in growth and usage by 2021. However, grocery app users will still make up 15.5% of all smartphone owners.
Despite the expected drop in overall unemployment, there has been a rise in driver demand due to increased restaurant and grocery delivery demand. Although overall unemployment has increased sharply because of the pandemics, ZipRecruiter discovered that food delivery job postings rose 78% during the first two weeks in April 2020. Uber driver food delivery records were set in March 2018 . Recent trends have seen a rise in demand as more people get COVID-19 vaccines. This makes the job safer.
However, working in an area other than your home is a risky business. This can often mean that you will be away from your normal work hours. Uber, Postmates, Instacart and Uber Eats have all implemented emergency assistance policies for their contractors. These include establishing contact-free delivery procedures (e.g. the driver leaves the items out without seeing the customer), providing safety and health supplies such as hand sanitizer, wipes, and creating relief funds for those who are affected. Also, partial payments to coronavirus-infected workers will be provided.
To make it easier for drivers to get vaccines, some companies have partnered with pharmacies. Drivers may be eligible for financial assistance from their employers if they become sick. Grubhub offers a one time payment equivalent of two weeks’ earnings to drivers with COVID-19 to make up lost wages or pay medical bills.
Many car insurance providers offer assistance to delivery drivers. In Washington, Allstate and Liberty Mutual have all filed endorsements to extend coverage to delivery drivers in the retail and service operation industries. It may be worthwhile to check with your agent or insurance company to ensure that you are properly covered.
How consumers can help delivery drivers
There are many stories about happy families who make sidewalk chalk drawings or yard signs to thank delivery drivers and other grocery workers. People are finding creative ways to support workers who are essential.
Candice Cook-Irvin, Dallas, places a box with canned sodas, bottled water and popcorn next to her door. She also has a sign encouraging essential workers to use the items.
“I do this every Christmas, when people work longer hours. She says that it is the same time as now. “I am grateful they are working and keeping it running.
Brittany Van Rensburg (a Sandy Springs, Georgia mother) also puts out a box with various snacks every day starting in March.
She says that the gesture has been a learning opportunity for her daughters. Van Rensburg said, “I told them that they’re working hard to bring us stuff so that we don’t have to go to the shops, so we’re giving some treats to them.” They work so hard so I want them to feel appreciated and taken care of.
Quentin Fottrell, columnist for MarketWatch, suggested that consumers increase their generosity with gratuities in an April article . He wrote, “My recommendation is to tip service-industry workers at least 5% more than normal if you have the means.”
To minimize the risk of contamination, tipping cash in exchange for cash is a good idea.
How delivery drivers can be protected
It is an individual decision to accept the additional risk of making deliveries during the COVID-19 epidemic.
Experts agree that it is crucial to be aware of all CDC guidelines for delivery drivers and follow them. You should wear a mask and avoid touching your face. You might also want to wear two layers of mask with a disposable mask underneath and a cloth on top. This could create a stronger seal. You can also consult the World Health Organization for reliable advice and information.
Dr. Leann of Invigor Medical says that delivery drivers should carry disposable toothpicks in order to push the doorbell. This will prevent you from touching the doorbell and “minimize personal items” that might be left behind after completing a delivery.
Drivers who work in the community are required to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“This is a great time to support your immune system. Take care of your health. Get enough sleep. James Cobb, a Midland-based registered nurse and former driver of delivery, says that water is essential for your body. You want your immune system to be strong enough to handle any challenge it may face.