How the coronavirus has changed door-to-door food delivery

Ohio has joined the growing list of more than 30 states that have ordered restaurants and bars to stop in-house dining to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The Buckeye State’s Department of Health is allowing restaurants to complete takeout, delivery, and curbside pickups. As restaurants across the country are adapting to a new reality, so are delivery people.

“Lisa,” who asked that we don’t use her real name, delivers food in the middle to upper-class suburbs of Cleveland for a food delivery app DoorDash. She spoke to Fox News about how her job as a “Dasher” has changed.

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“I’m more aware of good hygiene. Now my car is loaded up with hand sanitizer, bleach wipes and gloves. At some restaurants, I used to grab forks and napkins for customers, but not anymore unless they are wrapped in plastic.”

Another thing that’s changed for Lisa is the delivery of the food itself.

“I used to have personal contact with customers. I’d knock on their door and hand them the food,” Lisa told Fox.  “Now, customers can request that I leave the food outside their door. If they don’t, I text or call them when I arrive and explain that due to the pandemic, I will be leaving their order on their doorstep.”

The Dasher is also taking extra health precautions when she’s out on a delivery, as she worries about the hygiene practices of others.

“I’ve seen some delivery people open customer’s bags up and steal food out of them — especially things like French fries,” Lisa said. “I applaud restaurants who seal or tie their bags like McDonald’s does. Some other fast-food chains don’t, and it could be a health hazard.”

This McDonalds in the Cleveland suburbs leaves a pickup outside for

This McDonalds in the Cleveland suburbs leaves a pickup outside for “Lisa,” a “Dasher” for food delivery app DoorDash.

Working as a Dasher since last fall, Lisa a mother in her late ’40s, is an independent contractor who provides her car, gas and phone. She likes the flexibility of working for DoorDash because she can choose her hours, location and which deliveries she wants to take.

This week, Tony Xu, co-founder and CEO of DoorDash and another food delivery service called Caviar, issued the following statement:

“To ensure that drivers who are sick can focus on recovering, we are providing financial assistance to eligible Dashers and Caviar couriers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or quarantined. We are in the process of shipping more than 1 million sets of free hand sanitizer and gloves to Dashers. And we are consulting with public health officials and working with restaurants to enhance their food preparation protocols.”

“Lisa” leaves a delivery on the doorstep as a precaution due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Some of the restaurants Lisa delivers from have told her they worry they may have to close their doors if the business does not pick up. Many merchants are working with less inventory and less personal. And Lisa also worries about her job security.

“My deliveries have slowed down quite a bit in the last week or so,” Lisa said. “I would be understanding if restaurants have to close because they have to do what they need to do. But then I’m going to be unemployed and I really like my job.”

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Asked how she thought Gov. Mike DeWine has handled the situation she said, “I think he’s doing a tremendous job. He’s just trying to keep Ohioans safe.”

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