LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Restaurants across Los Angeles have been using delivery apps during the coronavirus pandemic as a way to get their food to customers, but some are halting the use of the service due to contamination concerns during the crisis.
Briana Valdez’s restaurant Homestate is one of a growing number of restaurants that are moving away from delivery app services over health concerns.
“It became something that I could not look away from anymore,” Valdez said. “Base level, we were seeing gloves. We weren’t seeing masks, we weren’t seeing proper distancing.”
“It was unsettling for us as operators to feel reassured that when we were handing a bag of food to a driver, that it would be handled with the same level of care and safety that we were handing in the restaurant.”
Homestate has three locations Los Angeles including one in Hollywood. Along with meals, the restaurant was also selling groceries.
According to Valdez, the breaking point was a week and a half ago when a customer told her they received milk that was already open.
“It felt there was no time like the present to go ahead and pause. It was gonna hurt and we knew it we just didn’t know how much,” she said.
Without deliveries, the restaurant initially saw a significant drop in sales but was able to bounce back after Homestate employees started making the deliveries themselves.
“It’s our drivers in a Homestate vehicle and we do it contact-free drop and we have armed our drivers with proper training and cleaning materials.”
Hail Mary pizza owner David Wilcox said he will also have his own employees making deliveries starting Wednesday. He stopped using the delivery app Caviar three weeks ago.
“When it comes down to it there really just wasn’t any when it came to the drivers,” he said. ” Everything from simply just not having a hospitable nature being in a rush or being sometimes rude or even disheveled.”
The owners made it clear they didn’t want to demonize all drivers, they said they just can’t take chances during the current climate.
Caviar did not immediately respond for comment but Door Dash, Postmates, and Ubers said they provide drivers with guidelines and personal protective equipment.