Tuesday 31 March 2020

A plea from the food delivery industry

Got another request, and this time it's from my father.

He got this from his friend and asked me to help publish it.

For the record, I don't agree with all the points made in the write-up, particularly on how food delivery services are helping hawkers (at least not all of them), but I'm still publishing it because my father asked me to do so. Hopefully my mother won't kill me for it, as she's very pro-hawkers (as explained in my last posting).

So, here it is;

By A voice in the food delivery services 

The business of food deliveries in the age of the coronavirus has been devastating for the industry.

The adverse economic impact stemming from the Movement Control Order has diminished the income of restauranteurs, petty traders and gig workers in various industries and outfits. 

Let’s face it: food is crucial during the MCO. Disruptions to the food supply chain has been catastrophic. 

The supply chain – restaurants, supermarkets, food delivery and grocery services – can keep the economy going, but in a limited capacity. 

We strongly feel that there is no clear case or evidence of contamination through food delivery: in fact, contracting the virus from grocery shopping is riskier. 

Delivery risks, if any, would be from contact with the delivery rider. 

However, food establishments now offer contactless deliveries and best practices in food handling. Food packaging can be discarded, disinfected and disposed like grocery bags or other products we buy. 

Contrary to public opinion, food deliverers lose revenue during Covid-19, attributable to restricted F&B opening hours, limited riders, and outlet and road closures. 

Many F&B establishments struggle to adapt to the takeaway/delivery only method while deliverers operate at reduced capacity. 

Food deliverers support local businesses and hence, the economy. They provide revenue for F&B outlets, hawkers, petty traders and riders in the gig economy, many from the B40 segment. 

Food deliverers are the few employers during the MCO that still stimulates the economy by providing employment, helping small traders, hawkers and businesses in F&B to stay alive. 

The government needs to ensure the security of companies within the essential services so that these businesses can continue to support the economy. 

These businesses provide employment for many B40s in the following chain: 
• Food delivery delivers food (Income for gig worker riders) 
• Restaurants and hawkers sell food from buying ingredients and fresh produce from farmers and fishermen 
• Restaurants employ mostly from the B40 group The government should also allow food deliverers to continue services beyond 8pm. While we support the government’s efforts to contain the virus, we must consider the consequences of limited operating hours: 
• The 8am-8pm time slot triggers panic buying in supermarkets and eateries, forcing more people in crowded spaces and higher risks of infections 
• Food deliverers have restricted workers: frontliners working beyond 8pm will also have problems ordering food, leading to reduced income for gig workers, riders and restaurant staff in food delivery services. 
• If the MCO’s intent is to limit movement, then adhere to the no dine-ins and adopt no takeaways for eateries, therefore only food delivery is allowed after 8pm. This is China’s approach where F&B outlets were allowed to operate until 12a. 
• Petty traders are impacted by the limited hours, so a need to support these businesses to survive. While we appreciate the government’s efforts to provide the stimulus aid, the cash injection is unsustainable. 

We need to support the local hawker/neighbourhood stalls. Here, we humbly propose the following solutions: 
• Set time slots for takeaways and pickup services between 8am and 8pm in MCO Phase 2; 
• Allow F&B outlets to operate until 11pm to cater for the late-night crowd and workers. Allow food delivery services but NO takeaways and pickup; 
• The much better food delivery option promotes social distancing where customers can opt for contactless delivery while restaurants and café adopt the WHO safety and hygiene guidelines; and, 
• Food/grocery delivery could decrease people movement, ensuring that the food industry, at least, remains drivers for employment and the economy. 

In conclusion, the big question is, are food deliveries safe? 
We referenced two experts: 
• Prof Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
“…by having home delivery, all risks are eliminated. By comparison, coronavirus does not ‘breed’ outside the body so by the time it is delivered, any chance of infectivity is already lower because the virus starts to lose its infectivity as soon as it leaves the infected person…” “This means that the risk of home delivery is “very small” compared with visiting supermarkets.” 
• Dr James Gill, honorary clinical lecturer of Warwick Medical School 
“…People could look to use food delivery services as a way to reduce their need to visit supermarkets. (Delivery) highlights the importance of the imposed lock down, as social isolation and the restriction of movement is the strongest defence that the general public has against possible COVID-19 infections. “Should people be concerned about coronavirus exposure from groceries delivered directly to their homes? The fight against this pandemic is driven by data that is rapidly evolving and updated. In all likelihood, the risk of exposure from food delivery is less than risks of exposure to supermarket and queues at checkouts. “Food deliveries, whether from friends/relatives or supermarket courier will carry a lower risk of exposure. Most people have bleach and cloth to wipe over home deliveries, effectively eliminating risk.” 


  1. Wa manyak ingat itu Malaysia eaa mau itu pangil itu Cina punya pakar lea aa ,apa macam itu Wuhan bolih kasi belesih dalam sikit jam .

    Kita tatak lengar manyak complain maa aa .

  2. DAP will rather pay their RBA than to feed the hawkers cause numerically, its more profitable to invest the monies in such way than to be a hero like what they are pretending to be.

  3. I would agree that many hawkers do not or cannot benefit from food delivery services, sometimes because they are not tech-savvy enough to sign up.

    However, on the other hand, I saw a pink coloured hand held device on the counter of a neighbourhood mamak restaurant and asked what it is and one of the waiters said that it is a Foodpanda order device, where orders for collection are received.

    However, still, I am not sure how some not so tech-savvy food vendors can take advantage of such services.

    That said, way back in the 1960s, when the term "Internet" would have been taken to mean an inter-school or international netball tournament, we used to buy groceries from a sundry shop two roads away from us and sometimes we would telephone the shop and tell them what we wanted and the one of the owners would come over with the order on his black bicycle and he would record the purchase in a small 555 brand notebook and bill us at the end of the month.

    So if the hawker cannot sign up for Foodpanda or Grab food, perhaps a relative with a motorcycle could help out as his runner within his neighbourhood, whilst he takes orders by mobile phone or WhatsApp.

  4. When I gave them the food, I could see that they were so famished "so famished!!!!!!!"

    that they didn’t stop to say ‘thank you’ to me

    Kind-hearted Foodpanda rider gives cancelled KFC order to hungry poor in Muar

  5. any idea why the housing and local minister "mak" lampin so

    blindly shooting here and there. she said "better to sanitise more

    than less"

    aiyo! the more mak lampins cronies sembor the biger the bills.

    these types of people relly know to earn even in crises and

    rakyat sufferings.

  6. berbanding antara cerita ah pek penjaja "chicken rice" ala kaum chronic complainers dan foodpandas rider, ini lebih sedih.
    sakit hati dan sakit jiwa.


  7. Malaysia is pleading.
    The world is pleading.


    Guan Eng lai lai lai bole tolooong tak? Toloooong nyanyikan your ABCD song!!

    STAY AT HOME.📣🔊🎶

    M N O P Q R S 🎶🎶🎶🎶
    Stay at home and
    Save the world 🎶🎶🎶🎶


    Professor Nasi Lemak

    1. montori standard "poon-dek" cam pooper nasee lemek

      itu hari dia pi cari "virus" kat tong tahi!!!!! hari in!!!!

      boleh ke makan "udara"!!!!!!

      PKP fasa pertama beri kesan positif pada alam sekitar

      Menurut Menteri Alam Sekitar itu, beberapa lokasi dianalisis dan didapati kadar kualiti udara di tempat terbabit semakin baik ketika PKP tahap pertama dilaksanakan.

      Menurut timbalan presiden PAS itu, bagi nitrogen dioksida ia menurun antara 55 hingga 68 peratus, sulfur dioksida (17 hingga 34 peratus); karbon monoksida (6 hingga 15 peratus) dan habuk halus 2.5 mikron (6 hingga 14 peratus).

  8. Kudos to your parents to have well-instilled you to courteously fulfill their requests out of filial piety. That, for sure, would make some turn green with envy.

    In times of pandemic, whatever comes from outside is regarded as unsafe and uncertain. More precautions need to be taken in account. That includes takeaway or delivery food. There are some degree of doubts on how the food is prepared. And, more concerns should be zoomed in the health condition of those delivery men. Instead, why not opt for a living within your means during 'wartime' when everything is restricted. You may have all your indulgences and cravings for any foods from any favourite stalls or even restaurants, but only wait until the dark clouds of pandemic roll by. Most importantly, everyone play a role in breaking the chain and flattening the curve, the sooner the better.