KUALA LUMPUR: The high demand among consumers for food deliveries, along with the availability of food delivery services, has enabled restaurateurs to continue running their businesses in spite of the closure of restaurant dining services during the implementation of the Movement Control Order from March 18 to 31 to contain Covid-19. The owners of several popular Penang Nasi Kandar restaurants say food delivery services such as Foodpanda, GrabFood and DeliveryEat have been a great help during the current situation. Although a far cry from the long queues of customers seen on normal days, food deliveries have enabled the Nasi Kandar Deens Maju Restaurant to receive hundreds of customers daily since the imposition of the Movement Control Order, said its manager Mohamed Ismail Mohamed. He told Bernama that the restaurant had brought forward its business hours by one hour from 1pm previously to noon as bookings through GrabFood opened as early as 10.30am for the convenience of customers. “The number of customers may have dwindled, but we are thankful to still be allowed to operate so that people can still come and get their takeaways,“ Mohamed Ismail said. Roziah Mohd Jusoh, 45, the owner of a Malay nasi campur (mixed rice) restaurant in Butterworth, said that in addition to providing packed meals, the restaurant also offers cash-on-delivery services to homes and offices. She uses Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media applications to advertise her restaurant, and is also offering discounts to customers who buy in large quantities. Meanwhile, Foodpanda Malaysia managing director Sayantan Das said the company would continue to operate as usual during the implementation of the Movement Control Order. He said the company valued the safety of everyone and had introduced new measures to ensure that customers feel secure while using the Foodpanda service. “Our hubs provide hand sanitisers and masks free-of-charge to all our riders, who are instructed to wash their hands every two hours and after each delivery,” he said, adding that when online orders are made, customers and riders are able to opt for ‘contactless delivery’ which involves online payments, as opposed to making and receiving payments in person. GrabFood rider Mohd Faiz Johan, 33, told Bernama he earned around RM170 on the first day of the Movement Control Order. He said the implementation of the order has resulted in a much smoother traffic flow, making deliveries quicker. It is understood that due to the increasing demand for food delivery services, GrabCar drivers can also undertake GrabFood delivery services to earn additional income. Full-time DeliveryEat rider Muhammad Fauzi Ali, 26, said delivery requests had increased especially during peak hours since the Movement Control Order took effect, with a full-time rider making about 17 to 20 trips a day. “Before this, these types of numbers were only possible during weekends. On normal days, full-time riders usually made between 13 and 18 trips, whereas part-timers usually managed less than 10 trips,“ he added. — Bernama
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