Delivery drivers will stand two meters from your front door and watch as you pick up your pizza.

Big pizza chains are used to thinking outside of the box in Japan, offering customers everything from romantic kabe-don “wall pounds” to delivery reindeer.

Now, as coronavirus cases continue to rise around the country, fears are on the rise as well, with people making subtle changes to their lives to mitigate the risk of being infected. One of those changes includes limiting contact with strangers, which doesn’t bode well for pizza chains like Domino’s and Pizza Hut, who rely on delivery orders for a substantial portion of their revenue.

Eyeing the need to allay customer concerns and keep those delivery orders coming in, these two pizza chains have now introduced a special “contactless” delivery option in Japan that cuts out the need to breathe the same air as the delivery driver when they ring your doorbell.

Pizza Hut has dubbed the contactless option “Oki Pizza” (“Placed Pizza“). According to the company, customers have been requesting a delivery service that lets you avoid having to directly interact with the driver, and the recent spread of coronavirus prompted them to put the service into action.

Starting nationwide from 12 March, Pizza Hut delivery drivers will place the pizza beside the customer’s front door after confirming through the intercom that the customer is home.

The contactless service is only available to those who have selected the “Oki Pizza” option (bottom right) and prepaid with a cashless payment option online via the website or app.

Domino’s is calling their contactless service “Zero Contact Drop-Off“, and they go a step further than Pizza Hut to confirm the order is received. Starting from 6 March, delivery drivers will place an empty box in a pre-designated spot such as by your front door, in order to avoid placing your pizza directly on the ground. Your pizza will be set upon the empty box in a plastic bag, and the driver will then ring the doorbell or buzz the intercom to inform you fo the delivery.

The driver will then step away to a distance of at least two metres (6.6 feet) from your front door or the designated delivery spot, and watch as you pick up your order. After visual confirmation of receipt of delivery has been made, the driver will then retrieve the empty box.

Domino’s has also detailed a list of preventative measures being taken by staff to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which include temperature checks at the start of each shift, washing hands, gargling, disinfecting hands and fingers thoroughly, and disinfecting the customer area and restrooms with alcohol every two hours. Drivers are also being instructed to disinfect their hands before and after each delivery, and wear masks whenever possible.

It’s important to note that customers who want to avoid direct contact with Pizza Hut and Domino’s delivery drivers will need to select the contactless option when making the order online. Customers who don’t check the contactless delivery option will have the delivery driver passing the pizza over to them as usual.

With a lot of pizza delivery drivers being part-time staff with less workplace security than full-time staff, the contactless option isn’t just a service to help protect customers, as it also helps to protect staff as well. So next time you order a pizza, go contactless, and maybe Domino’s will reintroduce their 41-percent-off discount for customers wearing masks as an added incentive to stay safe in future as well.

Sources: PR Times (1, 2)
Featured image: Flickr/south
Insert images: PR Times (1, 2), Domino’s Japan

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!