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Offer a takeaway or delivery service during lockdown v2.0

Lockdown V.20 brings yet further chaos to the hospitality sector in an industry that has already taken a good battering this year. Dependent on your current business model, it could be well worth diversifying into offering a takeaway or delivery service which is allowed during this lockdown.

This doesn’t have to be such a daunting prospect, with a bit of planning, these offerings could be part of a temporary solution and you never know, if successful, then become part of your normal trading model in the future.

So, first things first, ensure that you have informed the local authority that you will be trading under a different model i.e. takeaway, delivery or both.

Now, from a health and a food safety viewpoint, you will need to look at a few things.

Covid-19 Safety

  • Update your Covid-19 risk assessment to include new risks, new persons who could be harmed and new control measures to reduce risks from both airborne transmission of the virus as well as items and surfaces that could pose a risk by being potentially contaminated.
  • The best way to go about this is to consider the ‘customer journey’ and the ‘staff journey’ from the start of the process to the end point which is the handover of food whether that be takeaway or delivery.
  • Think about the food packaging including where you store it, how it is used and how it is handled.
  • Use your website or social media page to communicate your health and safety  rules and guidance in advance if using a takeaway or delivery service so that customers will know what to expect.
  • Only accept telephone or online orders where possible.
  • Keep staff and customers separated by distance or erect a Perspex screen to mitigate airborne transmission, also keep third party delivery personnel separated from your staff and customers.
  • Specify a pick-up time for takeaways, control timings to avoid pinch points.
  • Provide hand sanitiser for customers and delivery personnel picking up orders.
  • Ensure staff wear face coverings when indoors or whenever they come into close proximity to others.
  • Ensure that staff delivering products have hand sanitiser provided for them to use before and after making a delivery.
  • Ensure that delivery staff firstly place food on the doorstep, then knock on the door, step back 2 metres and wait for the customer to accept the order.
  • If using a takeaway service, ensure you provide clear signage/floor decals to ensure social distancing.
  • Make all payments contactless, discourage or refuse cash payment, ensure you have a procedure for sanitising the handheld terminal if required.
  • For food collection, ensure you have a procedure in place for the handover of the food, normally food is placed on a table, then step back by two metres, the customer then steps forward and takes the food.
  • Ensure collection table is cleaned and sanitised frequently.
  • Provide sanitiser and blue roll for delivery drivers to clean and sanitise their insulated bags


Food Safety

Ensure that you can keep chilled food below 8° and hot food is kept above 63°c from leaving the kitchen up to the point of delivery, you will need insulated boxes/bags and ice packs to achieve this.

Update your Food Safety Management System where required.

By law allergen information must be made available at the point of delivery, the easiest way is to add the information into your takeaway menu, this avoids confusion and makes it easier for your customers. Another way to do this is to put all allergen information on your website and signpost your customers to this information in advance of ordering.

You should also put a clause in your menu or on your website if there is a slight risk of accidental cross contamination of major allergens occurring in your kitchen, in order to warn customers who may have a very high sensitivity to these particular allergens.

If your business takes telephone orders, ensure that whoever takes the order has received robust allergen training and is aware of exactly what allergens are contained within your menu.

Label any food packaged for delivery or takeaway with the stated allergy, to ensure there are no mix ups with orders.


If food to be delivered has been pre-packaged in advance and not at the time of the customer order, then different rules apply, the product must have the below information, as per a normal retail product

  • The name of the food (customary, legal or descriptive)
  • The percentage of certain ingredients
  • An ingredients list with any specified allergens contained (in a different format)
  • Any additives contained
  • If it contains a genetically modified ingredient
  • If any of the ingredients have been irradiated
  • The nutritional content
  • The weight, volume or quantity
  • Use by or best before date
  • A batch or lot number
  • Name and address of business
  • Place of origin if omission could mislead
  • Any special storage instructions
  • Any instructions for use such as cooking/reheat instructions 
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