Meal delivery companies are offering contactless options as coronavirus fears spread in the wake of the global outbreak.
Domino's is launching a "zero contact delivery service" option to customers in New Zealand and Australia today to limit unnecessary physical contact during the Covid-19 crisis.
An Auckland food delivery company, Buy@HomeNZ, which is also offering a contactless option, says eight in 10 Chinese customers are choosing the option.
The virus has infected nearly 127,000 people globally, killing more than 4600, with five confirmed cases here in New Zealand.
Domino's CEO Nick Knight said it was important to provide the option for customers to feel safe when ordering in these uncertain times.
"We understand the trust our customers place in us to deliver safe, freshly prepared meals and take this responsibility incredibly seriously," Knight said.
"If offering the option of zero contact delivery gives our team members and customers peace of mind, then it's a step we're willing to take."
Customers who choose the zero contact service will have their orders placed on a safe surface at the customer's designated delivery location, and they will be informed their orders have arrived via phone.
These orders must also be pre-paid online or over the phone.
A manager of Buy@HomeNZ, a food delivery service focused on mainly Chinese businesses and customers, said an increasing number of orders came with requests for them to be contactless.
Contactless delivery is when food orders are dropped off at an agreed-upon pick-up spot instead of handing it to the person. Payment is also made through an app so there was no need for cash to exchange hands.
The manager, who did not want to be named, said business has spiked since the outbreak as more people choose not to eat out and instead turning to having their food delivered.
"But at least 80 per cent of our Chinese customers do not want to come face to face with our delivery people," he said.
"We give customers the option also because we want to keep everyone safe and minimize exposure."
The manager said the company was monitoring the situation, and may make non-contact meal deliveries mandatory if there was a need to do so.
Jacob Chen, a delivery person at the company, said he does about 30 meal deliveries on an average workday and many would ask to have no contact.
"They just ask me to leave the food packs at their front door or at the apartment lobby, and then call them to tell them it's there," he said.
"Even if we do see each other, they will keep a few metres away from me. It's good because it keeps me safe as well."
Chen, who does his deliveries on a scooter, said he has also been told by the company to wear a face mask during work.
Uber Eats NZ has also launched a contactless delivery service.
"We understand that you may be relying more on food delivery right now. If you prefer, you can leave a note in the Uber Eats app to ask your delivery person to leave your food at the door," they wrote in an email to customers yesterday.
Pizza Hut and KFC in China has recently also launched contactless delivery services, but a spokeswoman for the two fast food chains here said it had not had requests for the service here.