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Coronavirus tests India's appetite for food delivery

In the first two weeks of March, food delivery orders declined 20 per cent, according to RedSeer Consulting, which has forecast a further drop in future.

Published: 13th April 2020 10:26 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2020 11:05 AM   |  A+A-

A Swiggy delivery boy wears a mask on his way  to deliver food

A Swiggy delivery boy wears a mask on his way to deliver food. (Photo | B P Deepu, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Online food delivery aggregators such as Zomato and Swiggy are eager to deliver food, but customers are afraid of placing orders from restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic. The two main concerns are the health condition of the person who is delivering the food and how hygenic the restaurants are.

However, these companies have taken a major step to win back their customers’ trust. Recently, Swiggy has started giving out safety badges for those restaurants which comply with the highest standards of hygiene.

These badges will be given to those restaurants that are following best practices and that have features like temperature control, masks, sanitation after 4 hours and safe packaging.

Rebel Foods, for instance, has introduced a live body temperature tracker on its app that provides customers with a live feed of body temperatures of those handling their orders -from the cook, kitchen executive to the delivery person.

According to Kallol Banerjee, co-founder of Rebel Foods, which runs Faasos and Oven Story, all customers will have a copy of body temperature logs for everyone involved in making the meal.

The company also plans to share a medical certificate of those involved in the coming days. While the overall business across 11 brands at Rebel was down 40 per cent, the company said for its well-known brands like  Behrouz Biryani and Oven Story, the fall was much lower at 10-15 per cent.

The food delivery space, which touched nearly 3.5 million deliveries in October, has been on a free-fall since aggregators such as Zomato and Swiggy registered a drop in orders even before the nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 25.

In the first two weeks of March, food delivery orders declined 20 per cent, according to RedSeer Consulting, which has forecast a further drop in future. While the initial days saw these companies struggle with shortage of delivery staff, the challenges now are winning back customer trust about food hygiene and roping in more restaurants on their platforms.



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