Contactless Delivery Guide (2024): What is it, How it Works

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contactless delivery

In these uncertain times, many businesses are looking for ways to minimize contact and protect both their customers and employees. One option that has become increasingly popular is contactless delivery.

According to the CDC, we cannot contract coronavirus from food or packages. However, there is a concern about person-to-person contact via delivery.

As we all know, social distancing is one of the main preventative measures in mitigating the spread of the covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to digital innovations, a number of innovative delivery solutions to limit the spread of COVID when delivering have been tested and implemented, and it has been observed that some work remarkably well.

These solutions changed our relationship with the e-commerce company and third party delivery services by removing the only physical aspect of the delivery.

Today these solutions have perhaps been generalized and expanded to multiple different sectors, thus changing existing delivery practices.

You have probably heard about contactless delivery but you don't exactly know what it means.

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about no contact delivery and the digital delivery method.

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What Is Contactless Delivery?

The term contactless delivery refers to a secure method for delivery that protects drivers and consumers from catching COVID, allowing them to practice social distancing.

With the advent of appealing, user-friendly apps and tech-enabled driver networks, customers can get food, groceries and other items safely delivered to their doorstep, therefore avoiding unnecessary contact with the delivery person.

On the other hand, couriers are one of the categories of workers most exposed to the risk of Coronavirus contagion due to the high number of interactions they are forced to have throughout the day.

With this type of delivery, kitchen staff preparing the food do not come into face-to-face contact with the delivery driver or customers. Instead, the food is placed in a designated spot for the driver to pick up.

The driver then delivers the food to the customer without coming into direct contact.

Usually, delivery workers leave a delivery at a doorstep, move back to a distance greater than 6 feets away while verifying receipt of the delivery with the recipient (if required).

They can now often handle all the delivery process electronically using an app on their phone, thus eliminating any form of contact between the delivery driver and the recipient.

Contactless delivery can be a great way to reduce the risk of transmission of illness, but it's important to train your staff thoroughly on proper food handling and hygiene procedures. In addition, customers should be made aware of the risks involved in accepting food that has not been prepared in a clean and safe environment. With proper training and protocols in place, contactless delivery can be a safe and convenient option for businesses and customers alike.

Summarizing: A delivery is said to be contactless when it takes place without physical contact between the deliverer and the recipient. We have seen this method of delivery, particularly for packages and deliveries that do not fit in mailboxes, to be beneficial and necessary with the recent surge of COVID-19.

The Specifics Of Contactless Delivery

Now that you figure out what contactless means, you have to know all the rules and specificity of a free-contact delivery.

You can find no contact rules on reddit or other social media. The CDC published recommendations, guidelines, precautions and tips that apply to the community of people involved in the delivery process. The conditions for a no contact and safe delivery include:

  • It is imperative to maintain a safe distance of 6 feet or greater between the delivery person and the customer;
  • The package is not delivered from hand to hand;
  • Avoid sharing scanners, pens, or other tools with customers;
  • Avoid touching surfaces during deliveries, such as doorbells or door handles. Use a foot, shoulder, elbow, hip, or forearm when opening doors, instead of hands, if possible;
  • No handwritten signature. This represents the real change in the administrative and legal formalism of delivery.

Examples And Practice Of Contactless Delivery

Find below some successful solutions that enable contact less delivery. All these solutions change the interaction between the delivery companies and the customer.

Qr Codes And Qr Readers

How to track recorded delivery without receipt? The most effective of all the digital solutions that people have practiced in the recent months comes from Switzerland. There is a free mobile application specialized in reading barcodes that give you proof of recorded delivery and help you practice contactless delivery in a safe manner.

Here is an example of how it works.

  • Customer uses his smartphone to scan a QR code on the package
  • Customer signs with his finger (still on his phone) to confirm the delivery

Drone Delivery

Another mode of delivery previously studied before the health crisis relies on contactless delivery operated by mechanical means. These are deliveries operated by drones.

While Amazon failed its drone delivery programs, in Ireland, Manna is improving the world by making lightning-fast suburban deliveries affordable, environment friendly and safe.

In November 2016, the first drone delivery pizza successfully became a reality, opening the door to new changes in delivery. This occurred when Domino's, with its drone delivery partner Flirtey, dropped off an order at a customer's door at 11:19 a.m. in New Zealand.

Drones have also been used in China for medical equipment transportation in the midst of a health crisis.

Other Contact-Free Delivery Options

Another issue which needed new considerations was the signature that needed to be provided by the customer. This new possibility includes the customer’s physical signature on the package label, and not on the company's terminal. The delivery person then takes the photo of the initials to finalize the delivery.

Another similar alternative, but less effective is the presentation of the ID also taken in photo. However, this was not as effective since no one, except the client, is allowed to show their ID, but only in the case of fraud.

Finally, the customer can also print and complete a parcel drop-off authorization form and accept the delivery in a place known to the delivery person where they can collect it away from their home, thus limiting close-contact in a close range from their home.

How Does Contactless Delivery Work In Practice

One of the advantages of food delivery apps is that all the process can be streamed with free-contact.

Here is an example of how contactless food delivery works with the main food delivery apps.

  • When placing an order via the app, the contactless option can be checked (in some cases the mode is contactless by default);
  • The delivery driver collects the package or food without touching or coming into contact with the restaurant staff who will leave the goods on a surface keeping at least 6 feets away;
  • The use of cash payment is not allowed: you can only use digital payments including credit or debit card, Paypal or Apple Pay, according to what is accepted by the food delivery app.
  • The courier leaves the package or food in front of the door or at the door and you can collect it when they are at a safe distance from you.

Food Delivery Apps Offering Contactless Delivery


Grubhub and all its subsidiaries (Seamless and Eat24) are online and mobile prepared food ordering apps and delivery platforms owned by Just Eat Takeaway.

The app connects hungry customers with local restaurants and restaurant chains, such as Olive Garden.

The Grubhub contactless delivery option allows users the opportunity to order and pay online and get their food delivered to their doorstep. Grubhub delivers to apartments and houses, so anyone is free to order.

If you are a Grubhub driver, you should always follow the contactless delivery guidelines that include:

  • Call or text the diner to make sure they’re available to pick up their order;
  • Leave the order where they requested and return to your vehicle;
  • Contact the diner to let them know their food is where they requested and ready for pick-up.


Doordash is one of the growing fast door to door delivery services allowing customers contactless ordering and contact free delivery.

Using the DoorDash app you can also use the gift delivery option that allows users door to door shipping.

The San Francisco headquartered company takes the health and safety of all members of the community very seriously.

To ensure safety DoorDash has implemented new guidelines. As of August 31, all Dashers, merchants, and consumers who use the DoorDash platform must wear a face covering or mask while interacting with other platform users.

This includes while deliveries are handed off from merchants to Dashers or to customers, and while deliveries are handed off from Dashers to customers.

Customers on the platform can browse the online menu and order from more than 400,000 merchant partners including Panera, Chick-Fil-A, Subway, Popeyes and more.

Recently DoorDash introduced a curbside pickup option that allows savvy customers to place online orders and pick them up at the merchant. This allows you to save time, and save money in delivery fees.

So, does Doordash leave food at the door?

Using the Doordash app you have to do a prior agreement for a contactless delivery at check-out.

Through the app, you can leave food delivery instructions and indicate to the delivery person a convenient place to drop off the order (for example in front of the door or in the courtyard).

If you are a Dasher and you want to figure out how to do no contact properly, the first step would be to follow the Doordash guidelines.

The delivery driver will know in advance as they will be able to see when a customer has selected this option in the order's delivery notes. To ensure there is no contact when the food is delivered, you must follow the following instructions:

  • Using the Dasher app let the customer know that you have arrived at the delivery spot.
  • Read the delivery instructions carefully and place the delivery bag on the ground outside the customer’s door or in the delivery place indicated by the customer;
  • Take a picture and tap “complete delivery”. The picture is automatically sent to the customer to confirm their delivery.

When it comes to no contact delivery, false customer complaints, such as missed delivery, are one of the biggest concerns of delivery drivers.

Keep in mind that Doordash uses geolocation services. This constitutes proof of delivery of the order, therefore less complications in the case of false complaints.

💡 PRO TIP: Doordash delivers alcohol. However, you cannot get contact free delivery on orders with alcoholic beverages as Dashers are required by law to scan your ID.

Uber Eats

Uber Eats is a doorstep service that enables food delivery and grocery delivery services.

Uber has already implemented contactless delivery policies to protect the health of delivery drivers and customers.

The San Francisco headquartered company suspended shared rides, in the midst of the pandemic. Additionally, for the health and safety of all, the wearing of a surgical mask is mandatory from the moment you start your ride until the moment of your drop-off. This goes for drivers who are required to wear a mask during the duration of the journey.

Drivers or riders not respecting the policy can be permanently deactivated from the platform.

When it comes to food delivery, using their mobile device customers can browse the digital menu and order from a wide choice of local restaurants.

To choose a no-contact Uber Eats delivery option, follow our step by step tutorial:

  • Add the items you wish to purchase to your cart
  • Tap ‘View Cart.’
  • On the ‘Your Cart’ tab, tap on the ‘Delivery options’ section
  • Press ‘Leave at Door.’ (You can add more detailed instructions to your delivery driver if you wish them to drop off your order at a more detailed location)

Uber for merchants is a great way to boost sales. However, every restaurant on the platform has to follow guidelines when preparing and submitting orders.


Postmates is the smallest food delivery service operating in the United States. Recently acquired by Uber, the company is now one of Uber’s subsidiaries.

The app recently introduced a new feature called ‘leave order at my door.’

So, does Postmates drop off at door?

Using this delivery option your courier will leave your order at your door, therefore ensuring no contact comes in between the driver and the customer.

To request a no-contact Postmates delivery, follow our step by step tutorial:

  • Place your order on the app
  • Go to check out
  • The app will ask you to try the “Leave at door delivery”
  • To ensure a smooth order and delivery process, you can add some instructions for the delivery driver

Frequently Asked Questions?

Do DoorDash Drivers Come To Your Door?

Generally DoorDash drivers come to your door when delivering your order. However, to ensure safety, especially in the midst of the pandemic, Dashers can request no contact delivery.

Find No Contact Delivery Near You

Now you know what no contact delivery means. The preservation of customers' health and the safety of the delivery workers is essential. So-called “contactless” delivery has therefore become widespread and a popular measure that many companies and sectors have integrated.

Almost all the food delivery apps offer a contactless environment that mitigates virus spread.

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