CHICAGO (WLS) -- You've no doubt heard the term "Contactless Pickup" a lot lately. Restaurants are relying on this approach for their deliveries and carryout orders. But restaurants aren't alone.
Coffeeshops have also had to adapt to a contactless world, and that means some of them are upgrading their websites or creating apps in order to keep the experience for guests and employees safe.
The profit margins are pretty small for coffeeshops, but people still need that caffeine fix, and they're looking for that elusive "third place" that exists beyond home and work.
Brewpoint Coffee in Elmhurst has been making quite a few adjustments since the mandatory stay-at-home orders went into effect.
"So now the big rush is like 3 to 5 p.m. I think that's when everyone is like 'I've been home too long, I need to get out,'" said owner Melissa Villanueva.
Tape on the ground enforces social distancing, and most customers have ordered ahead, online or by using the store's app.
"Ideally, they're using our online portal - phone is also fine - you can get more updates through our online portal at brewpointordering.com. If you put your order in there, you can put your phone number in, and you'll get a text when it's ready. You just let them know your name, or they'll be calling out names if people are waiting by the sidewalks," she said.
Having a pickup window certainly allows for distance between employees and customers, but the setup is a little different at Back of the Yards Coffeehouse, where there is the same attention to locally-roasted beans and freshly-made lattes, but no service window on the side of the building.
"Kind of put a guide using tables and using tape on the ground so people come in and out and they don't have to interact necessarily," said owner Jesse Iniguez.
Iniguez just launched his app, which makes contactless even easier.
"They can pay with the app without touching anything without making any transactions. Tell them the name, show them the phone, put it on the counter and it's already paid for," he said.
He says a lot of customers still want delivery, but if they're willing to order with the app, they avoid that third-party commission and likely receive a drink that's still hot.
"People want to support businesses like ours that are small, that work with the community and this is an opportunity to do so and I think so far everybody has been very supportive," said Iniguez.
These two are not alone of course. Another good local option on the South Side is Sip and Savor, with three locations.
124 W. Park Ave., Elmhurst
to get their app:
Back of the Yards Coffee
2059 W. 47th St.
To get Back of the Yards' app:
Sip & Savor
528 E. 43rd Street
78 E. 47th Street
5301 S. Hyde Park Blvd
Coffee shops adapt to contactless pickups amid coronavirus stay-at-home order in Ill.
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