Postmates is launching two new programs this week meant to assist the delivery service’s drivers and restaurant partners impacted by COVID-19, according to an announcement from the company.
The company has set up the Postmates Relief Fund, which will cover the cost of medical check ups for its driers and couriers regardless of whether they have been diagnosed or quarantined. As of right now, drivers who have made at least one delivery in the last two weeks in any of the following states will be eligible for a credit from the fund: Wash., Ore., Calif., Nev., Utah, Colo., Ariz., Texas, Neb., Wis., Ill., Ind., Fla., Ga., Tenn., N.C., D.C., Penn., N.Y., Maine, Mass., and N.J.
In the same announcement, Postmates also noted it is launching a pilot program that will temporarily waive commission fees for new merchant partners operating small restaurants. The idea behind the move is to give these smaller businesses a boost at a time when foot traffic to restaurants is down due to COVID-19. According to the announcement, “This Small Business Relief Pilot will waive all commission fees for businesses that are not currently delivering on the platform and operate in the City of San Francisco, but want to expand into on-demand delivery to help drive revenue as on-premise dining is impacted.”
Postmates has said it will “potentially” take this program to other cities in the U.S. as well.
Both of these efforts come just days after we learned Postmates as well as Uber, DoorDash, and other gig economy companies are in talks to see how they can band together to set up a potential fund to assist drivers/couriers infected by or quarantined with the COVID-19 virus.
Some of these services, including Postmates, have also taken measures like implementing contactless delivery features to limit face-to-face human interactions. DoorDash joined that list this week, saying on Monday it is testing features for contactless delivery that will be launched soon. Uber, meanwhile, said it will compensate drivers — for both rideshare and Eats services — who can’t work for 14 days because of coronavirus diagnosis or quarantine.
With cases of COVID-19 on the rise in the U.S. and more employees now being mandated to work from home, we’re likely to see further demand for food delivery in the coming weeks. Stay tuned . . .