Credits: Zomato

Trying to do its bit in helping people maintain social distancing amid the rising COVID cases due to the second wave of the pandemic, food ordering and delivery giant Zomato has announced that it will be rolling out a brand new feature for prioritizing deliveries for COVID-19 emergencies. The news was revealed by the company’s CEO Deepinder Goyal on Twitter.

In his tweet, Goyal shared:

If this description has you scratching your heads, then the gist of it is that consumers will now have the choice of marking a new option, labelled “This order is related to a Covid-19 emergency” while they proceed to checkout. Orders where the option has been marked will be moved up in the queue for a faster delivery based on location and time. Even restaurants will be alerted in case the order received by them has the option checked, allowing them to process the order on a priority basis.

Additionally, in order to maintain the safety standards for both the consumers and the delivery personnel, the deliveries will be made completely contactless by default. The best part? This priority treatment and fast delivery will come at zero additional costs, and buyers will only be paying the conventional amount, that of the food they buy, along with the taxes and delivery charges applicable.

Goyal also thanked the “thousands of restaurants” who have agreed to be a part of the endeavor, by Tweeting, “A big thank you to the entire restaurant industry for joining hands to serve our customers who need us the most right now.”

With restrictions once again mounting on the food and delivery service owing to the record cases of COVID in the country, companies have been forced to look for new alternatives to keep businesses afloat. It may be worth noting however, that food delivery apps like Zomato and its contemporaries, have been granted exemptions from the lockdown guidelines imposed in Maharashtra from Wednesday. This might mean that delivery services will be in much higher demand, now that take-away and dine-in services have been partially or completely closed in many parts of the country.

Nevertheless, launching this new feature seems to be Zomato’s way of ensuring that people continue to order food through it, and the app has made a request to all customers to check the new option only if it is associated with an actual emergency. If people actually stick to this request, it could take away the burden on the company for having to carry out priority delivery of orders even if they are not really associated with any emergency.

Even the description about the check box reads, “Treat this as an ambulance and please don’t misuse it.” With COVID cases increasing at an alarming rate, restaurants and apps, home cooks and community led services, all have joined hands to get food delivered to people who might be stuck at home owing to COVID emergencies.