Given the impact that COVID-19 has had on the food system and supply chain thus far, many are left wondering where their next meal will come from. In these times of uncertainty, various restaurant chains are changing their normal operations and adapting to the needs of consumers with health and safety as a top priority.
One such company is Chipotle, which announced a national delivery partnership with Uber Eats to offer customers free delivery on orders over $10. The promotion, which will run until the end of March, is being offered to make the delivery experience easier for customers who are social distancing and self-isolating.
Uber Eats users can leave a note in the app for “no-contact” deliveries, which involve a driver leaving the food at the doorstep rather than an in-person exchange. Chipotle deliveries also feature a new, tamper-evident packaging seal to help ensure food is untouched during delivery.
“Now more than ever, we know our guests want the convenience of getting our real food delivered directly to their doorstep,” said Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer at Chipotle. “We’re excited to expand our delivery footprint through a partnership with Uber Eats, which will make it even easier for fans to get the food they love without leaving the house.”
The partnership with Uber Eats is another way Chipotle is working to grow its digital and delivery business. Digital orders grew to over $1 billion in 2019, and to accommodate digital and delivery, Chipotle is installing new in-restaurant features to increase convenience for customers and delivery partners.
While Uber Eats and other app-based food delivery services are seeing a spike in usage, grocery delivery apps have also been gaining traction. According to new data from intelligence firm Apptopia, online grocery apps, including Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt recently hit a new record for daily downloads for their respective apps.
Since many people have been advised by their local governments to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the surge in food and grocery delivery orders should not come as a surprise. It is uncertain whether this growth will continue post-pandemic but for now, it is undeniably profitable for those companies providing food delivery services.