The COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown has brought into sharper focus the role that restaurants, take-aways and delivery apps play in South Africa.

While most, if not all, options are unavailable currently due to the lockdown (day 11 of 21), once it lifts, South Africans will once again be looking at delivery options as a means of limiting exposure to COVID-19.

As such it may make a new Google Maps feature more useful moving forward.

That feature is the iOS and Android versions of the app highlighting which restaurants in your area offer deliveries and take-away options for customers.

According to Engadget, enabling requires the simple push of a button on the main UI. Unfortunately ordering from the same screen is not possible, unless the restaurant in question has made it available on the app.

As the website points out, adding this kind of functionality could prove a helpful way of supporting local businesses in your area without having to actually inside their establishments, especially as the food and hospitality industries have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you’re wanting to use the feature in South Africa, you’re out of luck for now, with the US, Canada and France, the only regions supporting it at the moment.

Whether Google plans to add the feature in coming days and weeks remains to be seen, but given how consumers will still be reluctant to venture far from their homes once lockdown ends, adding it would make a lot of sense.

Regardless once the South African lockdown has ended, we urge local consumers to support their neighbourhood businesses and restaurants, many of whom are even more reliant on your patronage than ever.