Deliveroo is launching a table service part of its app in a bid to help people to social-distance from staff and other people while they’re dining out in restaurants.
The new in app function will launch on 15 July, 11 days after restaurants are officially allowed to open after the coronavirus lockdown in England.
In-restaurant diners will be able to order their food from the comfort of their table, helping them to avoid as many other people as possible.
The online food delivery company is charging 0% commission to restaurants for this service, in the hope that it helps get the hospitality industry back on its feet after the last three months of lockdown.
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Deliveroo is also offering free PPE and signage to 5,000 small restaurants to encourage people back into the establishments.
The news comes after the government said that people frequenting restaurants should use contactless apps to order their food to try to keep interactions to a minimum.
According to Deliveroo, it’s the first company in the UK to put this idea into practice with its new launch.
It’s not just available to restaurants, but can also be used in cafes, bars and pubs - anywhere where people need to go up and order or order from a member of staff at the table.
“Thousands of our restaurant partners stayed open during the lockdown to deliver for the NHS and the vulnerable,” Will Shu, Deliveroo’s CEO said.
“It is now time for the government, consumers, and for Deliveroo to deliver for our restaurants, helping them to survive on the high-street as they reopen for dine-in customers.
“Deliveroo wants to play a significant role in helping restaurants adopt tech-led solutions to reopen safely, especially smaller partners who otherwise would be unable to develop the technology and face huge financial burdens due to COVID-19. We are committed to developing a wide package of support measures to help the sector’s economic recovery.”
Despite some people being excited about the re-opening of restaurants on 4 July, others remain cautious about the development.
Professor Christina Pagel from University College London (UCL) warned that the “lifting of lockdown restrictions was sending out the message that the pandemic was over”.
Images of people flocking to Bournemouth beach during last week’s heatwave has added an element of concern to the plans.
Restaurants, bars and pubs have been putting strict measures in place, though, to ensure the re-opening is as safe as possible for people wishing to use them in the coming weeks.