The Financial Express

Online food delivery business takes a big hit

App-based orders drop 75pc in seven days'

YASIR WARDAD | Published: March 30, 2020 10:08:54 | Updated: March 31, 2020 13:39:46

Online food delivery business takes a big hit

Online food delivery business in the country has been going through tough times in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

Despite lucrative offers extended to customers, online food orders witnessed a drastic fall in recent weeks, said insiders.

To attract buyers, the app-based food delivery companies such as Foodpanda, HungryNaki, Uber Eats and Shohoz Food have even offering home delivery without any delivery charge.

"As the city dwellers have been maintaining social/physical distance strictly as a precaution against the viral pandemic, food orders slumped during this ten-day holiday," said Adnan Hossain, an official at Shohoz Food.

The app-based grocery and dry food delivery firms are doing good business during the virtual lockdown, but the readymade food item delivery companies have suffered a huge blow, he added.

He also said, "Online food orders dropped 75 to 80 per cent in the last seven days, as our key customers are relying largely on homemade food."

Also, many have left the city during the holiday, another reason behind the drop in orders, he said.

Husnain Roman, who delivers food from both HungryNaki and foodpanda, said many customers believe that coronavirus might spread even through food packets.

Such a notion has led to a decline in food orders, he said.

"I got only three delivery orders from Dhanmondi and Kalabagan areas in the last two days as against 20 to 25 orders in normal times," said Roman, also an honours student at Tejgaon College in the city.

He said 40-50 per cent restaurants have closed down for now amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which is also a reason behind the declining orders.

To get more customers, all the food delivery apps waived delivery charges a week back, he added.

Even fast food outlets like KFC are offering more than 20 per cent discounts on their products, which he has never seen since he started delivering food two years ago, Roman said.

He also said one now can enjoy 'buy one, get one' offer in more than 200 food outlets in Dhanmondi and Mohammadpur.

His two roommates, who work with HungryNaki, left the city a week back fearing the spread of the virus, he said.

Kamal Uddin, an official of foodpanda, said his company has waived delivery charges to lure buyers as well as help their delivery staff.

He said customers can order foods from 2,500 restaurants across the city using the foodpanda app.

Now, most big restaurants have been offering 30 to 60 per cent discounts on their products to get more buyers, he said.

More than 22,000 people are involved in the app-based food delivery business in Dhaka, who are now struggling hard to survive the economic crisis arising out of COVID-19, he added.


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