By Dennis Xie / Staff writer, with CNA
Food delivery orders last month rose 50 percent from January and four times from a year earlier, as people avoided eating out amid the COVID-19 pandemic, food delivery operator Deliveroo said in a press release on Tuesday.
While the outbreak has hurt the restaurant industry, changes in spending habits as people stayed at home more has benefited food delivery platforms — an important service that has helped sustain the business of restaurants.
Deliveroo said it has enhanced disease-prevention measures, including dispensing sanitizers and imported masks to its more than 1,000 food deliverers, to safeguard the health of its couriers, staff at contracted restaurants and consumers.
Foodpanda, another food delivery company, also reported significant growth in sales, aided by its promotional activities this month, such as subsidized delivery fees and discounts at select shops and restaurants.
Foodpanda said it aims to become the platform that assists the most restaurants and shops to go online and boost their revenue, to lend support to the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ efforts to help the restaurant industry during the outbreak.
The ministry’s Department of Commerce is drafting plans to help restaurants and shops partner with food delivery platforms, such as providing them with a maximum subsidy of NT$15,000 each. About 11,000, mainly small businesses are expected to benefit, the department said.
Starting yesterday, Uber Eats waived application fees for up to 5,000 small and medium-sized restaurants and shops to join its platform to help them activate their delivery services.
Uber Eats added that it has cooperated with medical institutions in which it would deliver 25,000 free orders to thank medical staff for protecting public health.
To lower the risks of contagion, the three companies have launched a service called “no exposure delivery,” which allows customers to choose if they would prefer deliverers to drop their orders at their door or leave them with building supervisors instead of handing them directly to customers.
Additional reporting by Cheng Wei-chi
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