Pandemic Highlights Momentum for Food Delivery Business

8 months ago . 3 min read
Elisa Valenta
Senior Writer at Forbes Indonesia
Pandemic Highlights Momentum for Food Delivery Business
(Courtesy of Gojek)

Food delivery has played an essential role in helping people to stay at home safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, as the government prohibiting F&B outlets from opening their outlets for dine-in guests, the food delivery business is gaining momentum.

Consequently, same-day delivery service demand has been soaring for the last two months. Meanwhile, several coffeeshops have undertaken several initiatives to tackle the changing business environment due to large-scale social distancing policy (PSBB).

Grab-to-go coffee startup, Fore Coffee, has been offering online delivery and pick-up services during PSBB. The firm claims that its online sales have witnessed a weekly increase of 12.8%. It has started offering new products, including a 1-liter bottled ice coffee, which is available in stores and online on e-commerce platforms such as Tokopedia, Shopee, and Bukalapak.

The pandemic has also encouraged Gojek to shift its focus from ride-hailing to more on meals delivery. GoFood, has seen a jump in transactions in recent months as people dine at home during the pandemic.

GoFood saw double-digit growth in transactions (10%) at the beginning of May compared to the end of April. Some merchants that offer snacks even recorded a 30% jump, according to the company’s data. Roughly, there is a 10% daily increase in merchants offering ready-to-cook meals on the platform during the pandemic.

GoFood recorded trending items being ordered by customers include group meals, ready to cook meals, immune booster meals and drinks.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has created significant opportunities for retailers, food service providers, wholesalers and brands that dare to adapt and invest in the new normal, according to Catherine Hindra Sutjahyo, Chief Food Officer of Gojek.

“With resilience in online commerce amid the pandemic, there has been an opportunity for us to solve new daily challenges,” she says in an interview with Forbes Indonesia.

As many are aware, the hotel and restaurant industry has been severely hurt by the pandemic, which has had a knock-on effect on food delivery services. But at least, some traditional food businesses are adapting to the new realities posed by COVID-19. The trend of people ordering food from home has prompted many of SME merchant partners to shift from offline sales to entirely online

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have focused on easing the operational burden on merchants through voucher initiatives and maintaining merchant transaction volumes through targeted promotion programs,” she said.

As part of a new safety protocol, drivers now alert each client of their delivery with a phone call. Upon arriving at the client’s home, they knock on the door and leave the meal outside the door in food-safe packaging in a place visible to the client.

“Our drivers continue to practice strict sanitation and hygiene protocols when delivering, including using hand sanitizer before and after every delivery,” Catherine says.

GoFood also provides 50,000 outlet partners with masks, food sanitation kits and safety packages which includes hand sanitizer, antiseptic soap and safety seals.

To combat the spread of the coronavirus, GoFood encourages non-cash payment options at merchants and customers by using GoPay, Gojek’s financial services ecosystem.

Written By
Elisa Valenta
Senior Writer at Forbes Indonesia