We’d all be forgiven for feeling a little nervous going into the weekend, given the ongoing concerns around rising coronavirus cases. As you’ll read below, restaurants, too, are now responding with new measures meant to keep customers safe(er). And while there’s always a little news from the delivery sector each week, I suspect we’ll see a lot more bytes in the coming weeks about restaurant chains adding more services as more customers opt to stay in.
McDonald’s Adds Postmates for Delivery
Mickey D’s further widened its pool of delivery partners this week when it announced a partnership with Postmates for more than 300 restaurants in Dallas and Los Angeles. The move isn’t surprising. McDonald’s has been steadily adding partners ever since it ended its longstanding exclusive contract with Uber Eats in 2019. Since then, it’s added Grubhub, DoorDash, Just Eat (in the UK), and others. The Postmates deal means the chain now has partnerships with all of the major food delivery services in the U.S., which is a strategy some experts recommend for restaurant chains in this off-premises-obsessed era.
Dunkin’ Expands Delivery
Dunkin’ announced this week it is expanding its delivery reach with Grubhub to include more of the Metro New York area. The original Grubhub-Dunkin’ deal launched in June of 2019, and this expansion will make more than 800 Dunkin’ locations delivery friendly across NYC, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island. The delivery option also applies to customer of Grubhub-owned delivery service Seamless.
Starbucks Suspends Reusable Cup Policy
Amid coronavirus concerns in the U.S., Starbucks has put a hold on its practice of filling reusable cups customers bring in. “We are pausing the use of personal cups and ‘for here’ ware in our stores,” Starbucks executive vice president Rossann Williams said in a letter to stakeholders this week. However, Starbucks will still honor your efforts should you choose to bring your own cup by continuing the 10-cent discount Starbucks customers using refillable cups normally receive.
Panda Express May Be Testing Pickup Cubbies
Meanwhile, in the world of pickup orders, another restaurant chain has adopted the cubby system. In its own roundup from earlier this week, Nation’s Restaurant News pointed out that Panda Express has “a locker system for kiosk and online orders” at one of its Irvine, California locations. Apparently the company didn’t return NRN’s request for a comment, so it’s not clear if this is a one-off, test, or some other initiative. But pickup lockers and cubbies are becoming all the rage for takeout these days, so it wouldn’t be surprising if, as they can keep food hotter (or colder) for longer and ensure customers actually take the right order when they come to collect their food.