Tired of the rigmarole that is looking for a food delivery slot? We're all being advised to rely on online food delivery, where we can, in an effort to minimise the need to go outside. But a sudden surge in demand has seen wait times increase, with many supermarkets unable to offer a delivery slot over the coming weeks, if at all.
This is particularly frustrating if you're elderly or in the at risk category with no choice but to order food, or rely on the kindness of others. So, when we noticed that M&S have plenty of their food delivery boxes in stock, we were eager to share the news.
Currently, options include a meat box, a seasonal fruit box and two forms of vegetable boxes. So whilst they don't offer everything you might enjoy from your usual shop, they're a great option that allows you to stock up on some essentials if you're in a pinch.
Discover more information below. along with a list of all the key food delivery companies and supermarkets who offer home delivery. We'll update this information regularly, so that you stand the best chances of getting a food delivery as soon as possible. For more advice and information on feeding yourself during the Coronavirus outbreak, head over to our food hub for ideas and easy recipes.
Where you can get a food delivery fast
M&S Food Boxes: if you're struggling to get a food delivery slot, you may be pleased to know that you can currently get your hands on the M&S Seasonal Fruit Box, £15, M&S Meat Box, £45, M&S Mixed Select Vegetable Box, £17, and M&S Mixed Vegetable Box, £15, all of which aim to be delivered within a week. A great option if you're in a pinch.
Deliveroo: As well as delivering takeaways, Deliveroo have also partnered up with M&S to bring groceries direct to the homes of thousands of people who fall within the catchment area of participating stores. While the service isn't yet available to all – there's hope that it will continue to be rolled out over the coming weeks – If you live within the catchment area of one of the M&S stores offering delivery, you will be able to get everything from milk and bread to pizza and wine straight to your doorstep. It may not be the most affordable option, but if you're in a pinch it's a service that's certainly worth knowing about.
Discover the full list along with more information on how you can make the most of this new partnership.
Asda: In a bid to help those who are most vulnerable, Asda have worked alongside the UK Government and the NHS to identify existing customers that make up the extremely vulnerable category and have, as a result, been asked to self isolate for the next 12 weeks. From there, Asda have made an effort to actively reach out to the customers identified in order to offer first access to delivery slots, as well as the option to book recurring slots for peace of mind. Nice work, Asda.
Morrison's Food Box: Currently, Morrisons's are offering a variety of Food Boxes suitable for vegetarians and meat eaters, as well as a special provision for those seeking food during Ramadan. While we can't be entirely certain of exactly what is in the boxes, according to Morrison's you can expect 'a selection of foods and household items. Delivery times don't appear to be too long and this is without doubt one of the best options we've seen for home delivery.
Uber Eats : The food delivery company is offering the usual takeaways and home food delivery from a wider number of partners for the time being.
We'd also recommend thinking about where you can shop more locally. In our experience, reaching out to local butchers, green grocers and similar food services has a much shorter waiting time (if any at all).
While many may not traditionally offer food delivery, you'll find that a remarkable number have started offering this service in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Plus, it's a great way of supporting a local business during this tricky time and often doesn't work out too dissimilar, price wise, to a local supermarket.
Supermarket food delivery: the latest
As mentioned above, we'll be updating this section regularly in a bid to bring you the latest information on when your local supermarket is opening.
Asda: We've had some success in booking a food delivery slot with ASDA across the country. It certainly takes a little persistence, but if you're prepared to keep on trying chances are you'll get a delivery slot in the end.
ASDA are offering dedicated hours for NHS workers between 8am and 9am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so this is an option worth considering if you fall inside this group. They have also launched a volunteer card, which makes the process of strangers shopping on your behalf slightly more secure.
Tesco: We had no issue getting onto Tesco, with no virtual queues to speak of. However, the problems arose when we tried to book a delivery slot. Tesco have admitted that they're struggling to keep up with demand, despite increasing delivery slots by a considerable 20 per cent. Instead, they're encouraging shoppers to head in store – if they're able to do so – or ask a friend or family member to do it for them.
Tesco are offering hours for the elderly and most vulnerable, as well as NHS workers, so you might wish to look into these options if you fall into either of these groups.
Sainsbury's: Due to such a great increase in demand, Sainsbury's have currently paused new sign-ups to their online service. So, if you haven't shopped with Sainsbury's online before, you'll be unable to do so at the moment. Not that it makes too much of a difference, as there are currently no available slots for existing customers, either.
That said, Sainsbury's are working to prioritise online delivery for their most vulnerable existing customers. So, if you think you fall into this group, it may be worth reading a little more about the policy so that you can potentially get a slightly earlier delivery slot. Nice work, Sainsbury's.
It's also worth noting that Sainsbury's are offering special opening times for the elderly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 08.00 to 09.00. NHS workers can also be able to enter supermarkets for half an hour before they open, from Monday to Saturday. This means that anyone with NHS ID will be able to shop from 07.30 to 08.00.
Morrison's: This morning, we found ourselves in a virtual queue with an estimated wait time to get onto the Morrison's website of more than an hour. It's not looking much more positive when you get online, either, with reports of no food delivery slots currently available.
Morrison's are, however, offering a Food Box for vegetarians and meat eaters, as well as a family box and a box specifically for Ramadan. While there's been some confusion over what exactly the contents of the box are, this is one of the best options we've seen around.
Waitrose: Having acknowledged such a massive increase in need, Waitrose have currently paused the option to book a delivery slot while they work through current demand. We're currently unsure when this policy will be reversed.
M&S: Marks and Spencer have currently paused their food delivery service. However, they have teamed up with Deliveroo to deliver essentials to those within their catchment areas. Plus, you can currently get your hands on the M&S Seasonal Fruit Box, £15, M&S Meat Box, £45, M&S Mixed Select Vegetable Box, £17, and M&S Mixed Vegetable Box, £15.
Ocado: When we tried to get onto Ocado this morning, we found ourselves in a virtual queue behind 37,899 people with a wait time of 'over an hour' – you don't say. Ocado have acknowledged their struggle to keep up with demand, having paused use of their app, and having previously suspended use of their service, altogether.
Milk andMore: We experienced a short queue while trying to get onto the Milk and More website, though this was nothing compared with other major retailers. Unfortunately Milk and More have currently closed access to new customers as they seek to manage the orders they already have, though they are said to be keeping up with regular orders.
Sheringham's Fine Food Delivery: If you live in and around Central London, Sheringham's are offering delivery of fresh foods, as well as dried goods, within two working days. We'll warn you, it's not cheap. But if you're in a pinch it's an option that could be worth considering.
Meal kit and ready meal delivery:
Don't fancy cooking or meal planning at this time? There is no shame in that. The following food delivery services are still welcoming new customers if you're looking for some easy recipe kits delivered straight to your door:
- Mindful Chef – receive healthy (and delicious) food deliveries to your front door
- Allplants – perfect for veggies and vegans, these meals are 100% plant-based
- Pasta Evangelists – sing sweet praises to pasta
- Balancebox – these boxes provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to your door
- Kurami – delicious and nutritious meal plans
How to increase your chances of getting a food delivery slot
- Given the demand, we'd recommend aiming to get on-site either really early, or really late at night, in a bid avoid the site at it's busiest. This is particularly relevant for sites with long virtual queues.
- If you can't book a slot just yet, we'd recommend putting a basket together and checking back regularly. Then, when slots do become available, you'll stand a better chance of getting one.
- Don't wait until you're out of food, or almost out of food, aim to book in advance and anticipate when you might need a shop in a few weeks time.
- Don't bulk buy. Having struggled to get a slot in the first place, we can appreciate the temptation to bulk buy foods. However, this merely perpetuates the problem and will only lead to greater problems further down the road. Plus, it's important to think of other this time, there will almost definitely be someone who needs food more than you do.
- Think a bit differently about what you usually eat. Fresh meat and fish is going to be harder to keep topped up as you should only go to the shops once a week (if at all) so embrace eating more meat-free meals. The charity V for Life has created this handy PDF showing places to find vegetarian food that can be delivered to your door.