Guide to ordering takeout during the pandemic

Ordering takeout is a great way to give yourself a break from cooking and support a local business during the pandemic. But you may have some questions about the best way to order delivery to keep yourself and others as safe as possible.

Medical professionals have commented on ordering takeout, saying that the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is incredibly low. This means that ordering takeout is a relatively safe activity. There are some tips you can follow to help make the experience of ordering takeout as comfortable as possible.

Look at reviews for restaurants in your area

There are multiple platforms that allow customers to leave reviews for restaurants. This includes Google, Skip the Dishes, and Uber Eats. Customer reviews can give you a good idea of the food quality and the safety of the restaurant.

Check restaurant websites for COVID-19 statements

Most restaurants have posted a COVID-19 safety statement, detailing what their response has been to the pandemic.

Take advantage of curbside pick-up

Many restaurants are offering take-out through what is called curbside pickup. This means you drive to the restaurant and pick it up yourself. Many restaurants have safety measures in place

Use online delivery services

There are several ways to support restaurants during the pandemic, including takeout and delivery. While take-out is a good option, delivery may be best if you are trying to limit how often you leave your house. Some restaurants offer in-house delivery options, but many use online delivery services such as Skip the Dishes and Uber Eats. These online services require you to make an account. Once you log in, you are able to place an order at participating restaurants in your delivery area.

Keep in mind that when using an online delivery service, there will be additional fees and tips for the driver that will be added to your bill. You will have to pay by debit or credit card on the website.

When placing your order, you can include instructions for the driver (for example, “ring doorbell” or “leave food on the porch”).

Once the order is placed, you will be able to track the status/progress of your order through the website.

Ask delivery personnel to leave food at the door or on the porch

The safest way to order food is to limit your contact with others. This includes the delivery personnel. Ask them to leave your food on the front porch or your doorstep. If you live in an apartment building, you could meet them in the lobby and ask them to put the food down a safe distance from you. If you absolutely must take the food directly from delivery personnel, wear a mask and wash your hands before and after.

If you can, give your delivery driver a wave. They’re working really hard, and it’s nice to give out small gestures of kindness and acknowledgement.

Don’t use cash

When you place your order online, you will have to use a debit or credit card. You should use the same if you are picking up the order yourself. Using a debit or credit card reduces the amount of contact you have with others.

Place the delivery order on a surface that is easy to clean

Once you have your food order, make sure you place it in your sink or on a clean, uncluttered counter that will be easy to wipe down with cleaning solutions/disinfectant.

Put any disposable containers directly in your garbage or recycling.

Wash your hands after unpacking the food and before you eat

Washing your hands frequently is the best way to ensure a safe, clean eating experience. You should wash your hands before you get the food and immediately after you unpack it/before you start eating.

When washing your hands, you should do so for approximately one minute using warm water and soap. You can find more instructions and an infographic on the Government of Canada’s website.

Additional information