What Wolt is doing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19

In short, our teams in all of our 21 countries and at our HQ are monitoring the Covid-19 situation very closely. We’re following all recommendations by the World Health Organization and actively also talking with the local authorities to figure out the best ways in which we can help.

This is the place where we’ll keep adding and updating information about what we are doing to keep our customers, restaurant and courier partners as well as our own employees safe. 

What actions has Wolt taken to prevent corona from spreading? 

For now, we’ve done the following, and we’re prepared to quickly take more actions depending on how the situation develops. 

Customers

Minimized human contact throughout the Wolt delivery process, from no-contact pickup at restaurants to no-contact delivery feature on the customer app:

  • No-contact delivery: the food will be left at your door/entrance. You can easily find this option in the checkout process in delivery options. If you don’t see it, please update your app.
  • No-contact pickup at restaurants: we are advising restaurants to set up separate delivery counters/desks, where the restaurant staff can leave the orders for the couriers to pick them up with minimum human contact. In addition, we are asking restaurants to use gloves and face masks while preparing and packing orders, where available.

– We’re doing our best to make sure that everyone involved in the process of making, delivering and receiving food gets clear instructions and up-to-date communications about what measures to take to prevent Covid-19 from spreading 

– We do our best to keep our service open as we think we can help the situation in many cities; yet we will do so through always keeping safety, people’s well-being and instructions from authorities first. 

– We do our best to reply to you as fast as we possibly can.We kindly ask for some patience, as currently we are getting a lot of messages into customer support that operates completely remotely in all of the 21 countries. 

Courier Partners

– Informed all Wolt courier partners about the recommendations made by the World Health Organization to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus. The recommendations for staying healthy include: 

  • To keep hands clean either by thoroughly washing hands, or if not possible, by using hand sanitizer. 
  • Minimizing human contact both at the restaurants as well as at the customers’ doorsteps. 
  • Regularly cleaning the delivery bag. 
  • To stay home or seek medical help if developing any flu-like or respiratory symptoms, or fever (above 37.8 C). WHO recommends staying home until a person has no more symptoms for 24h without the use of fever-reducing or other medicines. If sneezing or coughing, a person should use a throw-away-tissue or coughing/sneezing into the upper elbow. 
  • Following any guidance from the local authorities.  

 Procured 10,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to be distributed to our partners globally. We’ve also introduced face masks in some of the markets and are looking into how we could do that globally. Both are subject to the needs of the healthcare professionals who simply can’t run out of either one.

– Virtual onboarding of new courier partners to the platform. We are hosting video call sessions to introduce CPs to Wolt, so we don’t gather many people together for longer periods of time.

– Emphasized that each courier should decide for themselves if they wish to deliver or to stay home – Wolt does not want anyone to feel even a tiny bit pressured to deliver if they are not comfortable with the idea for any reason.

We’re sharing more instructions about how to avoid human contact and to stay safe.

– Introduction of the Covid-19 Partner Support Program, which provides financial support to the courier partners who are diagnosed with Covid-19, or who are put into mandatory quarantine by the public health officials and medical practitioners.

– We continue to monitor information provided by the World Health Organization as well as the local authorities in our 21 countries. 

Restaurant partners

We’ve sent out instructions for how to minimize human contact, including:  

  • Recommending to package the food while wearing a face mask and gloves, when possible / available
  • Setting up a delivery-pickup area, where the courier can easily grab the order without human contact 
  • Providing hand sanitizers and soap for customers and couriers. 

Wolt staff

– In addition to the travel ban, we have set up a no-meetings-policy across our offices. 

– All our staff members are working from their homes. This includes our customer support in all of the 21 countries

Questions & Answers 

Can I get sick by ordering food delivery with Wolt? 

Compared to any brief encounter with another individual, there is no additional risk for getting sick by ordering Wolt. We recommend that you wash your hands before and after you receive the delivery, as this is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting a virus; as recommended by the World Health Organization  

Also, based on the statements from EFSA and FDA, food is not a source or transmission route for Covid-19. Of course, we cannot guarantee with 100% certainty that a person could not get the virus through us; as is true for any other delivery or even going to the grocery store. 

How is Wolt helping restaurants through this situation? 

– The most important thing restaurants need now is, simply, more orders. Many have lost between 50 and 80 percent of their weekly sales. They need as much as possible of that back. Thus, we’re boosting our investments to get the restaurants more orders and customers. We’re also putting more and more independent local restaurants – who are the worst off – on the forefront on the Wolt app and Wolt.com.

– We’re increasing the payout frequency to restaurants for up to twice a week. Each restaurant can decide how often they want to get paid (monthly, biweekly, once a week, twice a week). This means we are essentially enabling the restaurants to access up to a few million euros in cash which really helps them in paying their employees and getting things like ingredients faster and with less stress of how long money will last.

– Many new restaurants are reaching out to us to be on the service. We’re onboarding them as fast as we can, often doing that without human contact to stay safe. We are happy to say that around 600 new restaurants have started on our platform in March alone.

– The most important thing Wolt can do to help is to stay open and operational in our cities. Without Wolt and other delivery operators, restaurants are left with little or even no income. 

– To stay operational, our deliveries have to be as safe as possible. This is why all Wolt orders are now “no-contact deliveries” by default. This means that the courier picks up the food from a separate desk at the restaurant and leaves it at the customer’s door, minimising human contact. In all of our markets, we’ve also invested in operating our whole customer, courier and restaurant support in a decentralised way.

– We are in constant talks with local authorities to ensure that restaurants can stay open for business, even if only for delivery. We are also communicating to governments, municipalities and employer/industry associations that the restaurant industry needs financial support from the governments in order to survive. See more on this in the last section of this post.

How does the situation impact Wolt’s business? 

We’re receiving a lot of questions from the media about the impact of the coronavirus on our business; for example are people ordering more deliveries? Here’s a few points on the business implications for now: 

  • The situation is still new and rapidly changing, which makes it hard to draw conclusions on corona’s impact at this point. The demand has increased in some of the countries, while in some it remained at a normal level. 
  • It’s important to remember that the governments and authorities everywhere are taking steps to flatten the infection curve and these actions naturally impact food delivery operations as well.
  • On the restaurant side, we are seeing an uptick in interest, and more restaurants are reaching out, wanting to sign up on Wolt. This is quite natural, as people are not going to restaurants as much. 
  • At the same time, we also see a large number of restaurants closing down due to the loss of dine-in customers and the overall uncertainty of the situation.
  • We also want to point out that couriers and restaurants are 100% free to choose whether or not to go online on Wolt. We understand if anyone wants to stay home, or not open for business, and we respect everyone’s personal decision. 

 Have any Wolt courier partners been diagnosed with Covid-19? 

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues in Europe and some expert estimates say that up to 50–70 % of all people will at some point get infected, it’s realistic to assume that there might be couriers who get affected, as unfortunate as that is. 

We constantly monitor the situation, and ask all courier partners to put safety over everything else. In case they experience even slight symptoms, we ask them to stay home, contact healthcare professionals and let us know about their situation immediately.

We have introduced the Covid-19 Partner Support Program, which provides financial assistance to the courier partners who are diagnosed with Covid-19, or who are put into mandatory quarantine by the public health officials and medical practitioners. Our goal with the program is make sure that anyone who has Covid-19 or is quarantined stays home. 

It’s important to notice, that we implemented various measures to minimize human contact throughout our delivery process, from no-contact pickup to no-contact delivery, which is now the default option in all orders.

If you have more questions about what Wolt is doing, please reach out to corona@wolt.com.