Following the battered restaurant industry during the coronavirus pandemic, the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. this week announced that they would offer contactless delivery and collection of their cookies through Grubhub.
It is the first time that the Girl Scouts, who have been selling cookies for more than a century, have partnered with a national delivery service, the organization said.
For decades, cookie stands stacked with boxes of Samoas, Thin Mints and Trefoils have been ubiquitous outside supermarkets and in other high-traffic areas. So have direct sales pitches from Girl Scouts parents to their colleagues at work.
But then the pandemic struck – direct contact drastically reduced. So the Girl Scouts got creative.
“We are proud of the resourceful ways Girl Scouts run their cookie businesses safely and use their revenues to make the world a little better,” Judith Batty, the interim director of the Girl Scouts, said in a statement. "This season, our girls will continue to illustrate what the cookie program taught them – how to think like entrepreneurs, use innovative sales tactics, and develop new ways of doing business when things don't go according to plan."
Cookie sales were already underway last year when the global pandemic was declared, prompting many girl scouts to change their strategies, according to the organization. Some created virtual cookie booths on social media, while others sent orders or set up drive-through pick-up sites, the organization said.
The Girl Scouts said online ordering would begin on Feb. 1, with Grubhub making deliveries in select markets. Additional markets will be launched during the cookie sales season, which typically runs from January to April.
The Girl Scouts said Grubhub had agreed to waive any fees it and competitors like Uber Eats and DoorDash typically charge restaurants. The fees have become a source of complaints within the industry.
A Grubhub representative said on Wednesday evening that the company was not immediately prepared to comment.
Members of the Girl Scouts will track and fulfill orders and manage inventory using Grubhub's back-end technology, the organization said. To promote the partnership, the Girl Scouts said, Grubhub will offer free delivery on cookie orders of at least $ 15 through February 14. Orders can be placed on the Grubhub website or the delivery app.
Consumers who are new to the Girl Scout can search for local troops selling cookies starting February 1 by entering their zip code on the Girl Scouts national website. They can also purchase cookies to donate to local relief workers and other charities.
Along with the contactless delivery announcement, the Girl Scouts introduced a new variety of biscuits – Toast-Yay !, inspired by French toast and dipped in icing – which will be sold in select areas this year.