Foodpanda waives commissions for one month for Singapore hawkers joining delivery app

Foodpanda's latest move comes as the food and beverage sector prepares for continued strain. ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Hawkers who get on board Foodpanda will not have to pay commission for one month as part of a new initiative to ease hawkers' entry onto the food delivery app, Foodpanda announced in a press statement on Friday (May 22).

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.

Food delivery apps have faced heat for charging steep commissions 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 launched a pilot project for hawkers that involve lower commissions and a new format of ordering. The food-delivery player declined to say by how much 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 hawkers 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 in April. This includes self-employed hawkers that 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. This is prominently displayed at the top of the Foodpanda app to amplify customer outreach.

Separately, Foodpanda will donate 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 Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2).

"(As) Singapore prepares itself for the easing of circuit-breaker measures, Foodpanda remains mindful of various segments of our community that are more vulnerable to the impacts 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," said Mr Luc Andreani, managing director of Foodpanda Singapore.

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