Foodpanda offers 1-month fee holiday for hawkers

Mr Luc Andreani, managing director of foodpanda Singapore, says the company remains mindful of segments in the community that are more vulnerable to the impact of Covid-19, such as hawkers and migrant workers.
Mr Luc Andreani, managing director of foodpanda Singapore, says the company remains mindful of segments in the community that are more vulnerable to the impact of Covid-19, such as hawkers and migrant workers.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Zero-commission move aims to ease their entry onto delivery app

Hawkers who get on board foodpanda will enjoy zero commission fees for one month, as part of a new initiative to ease hawkers' entry onto the food delivery app.

Dubbed the "pandasupport hawker initiative", the incentive is being rolled out with "the understanding that commission fees are factored as a substantial barrier that is currently preventing hawkers from coming on board foodpanda", the company said in a press statement yesterday.

Food delivery apps have faced heat for charging steep commission fees of 30 to 40 per cent, eating into hawkers' already thin margins.

Foodpanda's latest move comes as the food and beverage sector prepares for continued strain.

Curbs on dining-in are set to continue past June 1, even as Singapore goes into the first phase of reopening the economy.

GrabFood on Monday said it had launched a pilot project for hawkers that involve lower commission fees and a new format of ordering.

The food delivery player declined to say the extent to which commissions are being reduced. GrabFood typically takes a 25 to 30 per cent cut of the order value.

Under the move, currently being trialled at AMK 724 Food Centre, consumers will be able to order from a range of stalls in the hawker centre within a single transaction.

Currently, orders from different restaurants or stalls have to be made in separate transactions.

Foodpanda's package applies to National Environment Agency (NEA) licensed hawkers as well as those operating out of hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators.

The pandasupport package also looks to support hawkers who are not eligible for the Food Delivery Booster package jointly launched with Enterprise Singapore last month.

This includes self-employed hawkers who are not registered with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.

Under the pandasupport initiative, eligible hawkers will also be provided complimentary marketing support via a prime placement on the "Hawker Favourites" carousel tile in the app.

Food delivery apps have faced heat for charging steep commission fees of 30 to 40 per cent, eating into hawkers' already thin margins.

This is prominently displayed at the top of the foodpanda app to amplify customer outreach.

Foodpanda will also be donating perishable food items, such as fruits and bread, from its pandamart warehouses in Outram and Jurong West to migrant workers staying in private residential premises, in collaboration with non-profit organisation TWC2.

Mr Luc Andreani, managing director of foodpanda Singapore, noted that the company remains mindful of various segments of the community that are more vulnerable to the impact of Covid-19, such as hawkers and migrant workers.

"With the resources that we have, we hope to be able to make a sustained difference," he said.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2020, with the headline 'Foodpanda offers 1-month fee holiday for hawkers'. Print Edition | Subscribe