Is your business planning to start deliveries?

At Cove Risk Services, we’re keenly aware that many of you are reinventing how you do business – with little notice or planning – in order to protect your employees, customers, and your business from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


In particular, the restaurant industry is making rapid and overnight changes to shift to a delivery model for any restaurant that aims to stay in business in the immediate future, even those restaurants that haven’t ever offered a delivery model in the past. Cove Risk recommends using rideshare food delivery programs because those companies would assume some of the associated risks.


While the potential for exposing an employee to the coronavirus during a delivery might be your top concern right now, it’s not the only risk associated with food delivery. You must also think about the “regular” risks to delivery drivers:
  • What is the driver’s level of experience operating a motor vehicle?
  • What is the person’s driving history?
  • Has the person been in any accidents or incurred any violations?
You need to be sure that anyone hired to perform food delivery tasks is vetted to ensure that they don’t have a history of speeding or recklessness.


It’s also important to set forth clear expectations for a delivery driver, which include but aren’t limited to:
  • Wearing a seat belt during the operation of a motor vehicle.
  • Obeying speed limits and traffic signals.
  • No texting or talking on a cell phone (cell phone should only be used for navigation only).
  • No eating or drinking while driving.
  • No tailgating (keep a safe distance, at least 3 car lengths behind).
You must also review the vehicle being used for deliveries:
  • Does your business have the right automotive insurance?
  • Is the vehicle in good operating condition?
  • Are the tires safe to be on the road?
  • Do headlights, reverse lights, running lights and directional lights work?
  • Is the windshield free of cracks?
  • Are any mirrors cracked or missing?
  • Are all services and inspections up to date?
These questions should be required whether the vehicle belongs to the employee or the business. Each of these factors is important for keeping employees safe during delivery.


There are also risks at the delivery location. A delivery driver must be aware of surroundings as they change from location to location: walking surfaces, stairs, hazards within walking paths, good lighting, other warnings like “beware of dog”, etc. are all things that an inexperienced delivery person, in particular, might not think about.


It is important to consider the coronavirus as it pertains to the exchange of food between the driver and the customer. Experts recommend requiring customers to call in orders and pay by phone. The delivery driver should call or text when the delivery arrives and leave the order on the front porch, doorstep or other requested location, avoiding any person-to-person contact. This conforms with the CDC guidelines for social distancing.


To implement a delivery service quickly, consider rideshare food delivery programs (for example, DoorDash or UberEats) to have food delivered. When considering a rideshare delivery program, make sure it has the proper insurance coverage. If you do decide to start your own delivery service, please be sure you can get satisfactory answers to the questions above before you begin making deliveries.