More local restaurants are switching to delivery, takeout, how EatStreet is ensuring safety

Dine-in options are limited in lieu of takeout, delivery
bowls of curry and rice
Curry in the Box

During this time of isolation in light of COVID-19, more and more restaurants are offering alternatives to dining in. Many businesses have completely closed, but others have closed interior seating of the restaurants in lieu of takeout, delivery and curbside options.

EatStreet, which was founded in Madison in 2010, is one of the largest online and mobile food delivery services in the United States. The company, which is still based in Madison, serves more than 250 cities and hosts more than 15,000 restaurants nationwide.

In Madison, where it all began, there are more than 500 restaurants that offer delivery through EatStreet.

Matt Howard, the CEO and co-founder of EatStreet, says during this time of health concerns relating to the coronavirus, the company has seen a lot of new restaurants interested in joining EatStreet’s platform, including “some major players in Madison’s food scene.”

“We’re going to work tirelessly to help them maintain customers during this time, knowing fewer people will be visiting restaurants,” Howard says.

As a way to help limit interactions, EatStreet is allowing customers to choose to have orders left at their doors. Howard says this along, with a couple other steps, are ways EatStreet is ensuring it is a safe option for customers, restaurant partners and drivers.

“They’ll never have contact with a driver. Their food will be left at the door and they’ll be notified when it has arrived,” Howard says.

EatStreet is currently working on a feature in the app and online that lets customers choose to have food left at the door. For now, Howard says that feature is not yet available, so they ask customers to write “leave my food at the door” in the order instructions section at checkout.

I had a major craving for Thai food Monday night, so I gave this a try — and it was incredibly simple. The delivery driver rang my apartment buzzer, I let the driver up and then the food was left immediately outside of my apartment.

Howard also suggests washing your hands after handling food packaging and before touching your food, in accordance to safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Howard says as the University of Wisconsin–Madison students left the city, EatStreet saw a slight decrease in orders, but he expects an increase in orders as people limit social contact.

“We expect it to increase quickly as customers look to get their favorite foods without having to go out,” Howard says. “While it’s not ideal for anyone, we’ll do our part to help customers and our restaurant partners.”

As of now, Howard says EatStreet hasn’t seen an increase in wait times, but there’s a chance they could increase as drivers are practicing new safety protocols and making special deliveries.

“We just ask everyone show patience during this time, and we’ll continue to work as hard as possible to get orders delivered quickly,” Howard says.

If you’re looking for some delivery options through EatStreet and other delivery platforms, check here.