Restaurants scaling back on food delivery apps over safety concerns during pandemic

A growing number of businesses are no longer using delivery apps like Grubhub, Doordash, and Ubereats over food safety concerns.

Briana Valdez, owner of Home State Restaurant says she stopped using the apps last week and has since started offering delivery services.

"To hand it to a driver without gloves, without masks, in an environment in a car that we have not inspected, I was unable to assure the guests that it was a safe delivery," Valdez said.

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Valdez who closed all three of her restaurants dining rooms before the Mayor and Governor's ordinance, says delivery apps amounted to 40% of her business. So the decision to stop using the apps was difficult.

"We want to reassure our customers that we are doing everything we can to keep them safe," said Valdez.

Soon Valdez found out she is not alone, popular restaurants across Los Angeles County have also stopped using delivery apps, including Hail Mary Pizza and The Apple Pan who's owners posted messages on Instagram that have been viewed more than 3000 times each.

"At this point I feel like the apps need to take responsibility for their drivers ...some sort of safety education when it comes to food handling,"

"We need to put a pause on delivery platform... until we can figure out a better way to keep everyone safe."

On March 31, The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed an emergency ordinance requiring all employers of essential workers to provide tools needed to do their jobs safely, including protective and sanitary equipment like gloves and masks., FOX launches national hub for COVID-19

On April 14, the county board of supervisors extended the ordinance to incorporated parts of L.A. County.

Valdez says the majority of drivers who were picking up deliveries from her restaurant were not wearing gloves or masks the week of April 6th.

FOX 11 News reached out to the food delivery apps that restaurants were most concerned about and received this statement from Grubhub:

"Our priority is the health and safety of our community – drivers, restaurants and diners. We’re making every effort to ensure drivers are as safe as possible on the road, and we provided drivers with guidance from the CDC to practice good hygiene and take precautions when interacting with diners and restaurants. For increased safety, we are giving drivers access to free protective gear, such as hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves. Additionally, we launched contact-free delivery and created the Grubhub Community Relief Fund to provide financial relief for our drivers and restaurants. With this fund, all contributions through our Donate the Change program (amounting to more than $1 million per month on average) will go to charitable organizations that support drivers and restaurants. We’re also providing two weeks of support pay to cover medical expenses and loss of income for delivery partners whose health is impacted by COVID-19."

 Katie Norris Senior Manager, Corporate Communications