KOCHI: Wednesday was a tough day for people relying on online food delivery apps as most apps offered limited services owing to the closure of hotels and restaurants in view of the lockdown in the state.
The eateries that were open functioned with skeleton staff, adding to the hardships of the food aggregators.
“Till evening, most food delivery apps showed the message that they were ‘currently unserviceable.’ During noon, only a few restaurants were available for service under the ‘All Restaurants’ category,” said Ranjith Vasudevan, who lives in a studio apartment near Kadavanthra in Kochi.
Ernakulam district committee secretary of Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association (KHRA) T J Manoharan said of the 3,500-odd hotels registered with it in Ernakulam, only 10 per cent opened takeaway counters on Wednesday. “Some hotels are short on staff as most migrant workers employed there have gone to their native places. We aim to encourage more hotels to open takeaway counters even with minimum staff. However, in rural areas where online delivery is not popular, things will be difficult,” Manoharan said.
In Thiruvananthapuram too, most hotels remained closed. However, parcel services were active and a few takeaway places and open restaurants offered online delivery. “In Pattom, Kazhakkoottam and Medical College areas, takeaway centres that largely cater to online orders were open. A few restaurants that opened at major junctions also supplied food online. However, there were very few delivery boys,” said B Vijayakumar, KHRA Thiruvananthapuram district secretary.
In Kozhikode, food delivery platforms like Zomato and Swiggy restricted their services as several hotels stopped functioning. A Swiggy delivery executive said since the Covid-19 outbreak, several delivery boys had stopped working, restricting services within Kozhikode city limits.
However, Potato, the food app launched by the KHRA on the directive of the district collector, increased activity from Wednesday to serve people depending on eateries for food.
Want our kitchens? Take them: KHRA to dist admn
Kochi: The Kerala Hotels and Restaurants Association (KHRA) on Wednesday said it was willing to hand over kitchens in hotels that are shut due to the lockdown to the district administration, if the latter requires. In a statement, KHRA general secretary G Jayapal said the chief minister has asked local bodies to think about launching community kitchens. “We have instructed our members to cooperate with the district administration,” he said.