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Foodtech majors take new measures on New Year's Eve

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, night curfews have been implemented in a number of states including Karnataka, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Kerala.

December 30, 2021 / 01:35 PM IST
Swiggy has started hotline services and are depending heavily on predictive analysis while Zomato has asked its employees to pitch in and deliver orders.

Swiggy has started hotline services and are depending heavily on predictive analysis while Zomato has asked its employees to pitch in and deliver orders.

New Year's Eve has always been difficult for the foodtech majors as delays become inevitable with the surge in online demand. The difficulty of the task this year has again multiplied with multiple state governments implementing night curfews. To cater to this and resolve any issues, brands are taking an array of measures.

Swiggy has started hotline services and are depending heavily on predictive analysis while Zomato has asked its employees to pitch in and deliver orders.

“We have an understanding of demand patterns during night curfews and the same is incorporated in every aspect of the business including demand-supply planning and delivery partner availability,” said a Swiggy spokesperson.

Additionally, the company has completed hyperlocal demand-supply planning and identified the specific slots which would see an increase in demand due to early ordering patterns.

“Delivery partners’ incentives and schemes are also tailored to satisfy this early ordering pattern,” said the Bengaluru-based company.

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Swiggy’s hotline service for delivery partners will aim to resolve any on-ground issues.

“All partner apps also have the SOS button in case of any emergencies. We had implemented a 360-degree well-being and protection plan called Swiggy Suraksha earlier this year and the same will continue to be available for our partners,” said Swiggy in an e-mailed query.

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"We see new benchmarks being set every year as this category grows and more and more people rely on food delivery on this special day. We expect this year to be no different and are fully geared for it," said a Zomato spokesperson.

Zomato’s employees will be pitching in to deliver orders this New Year’s Eve, said the company. Last year, Zomato received more than 4,600 orders in a minute and the company expects it to be more this year.

“Besides, we have always had emergency SOS services for our delivery partners in case of SOS support and roadside assistance. We are also working with the authorities to ensure our delivery partners are equipped with the right road safety and COVID-19 gear,” said the company in a statement.

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, night curfews have been implemented in a number of states including Karnataka, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Kerala.

“December is generally the best month for the food services market. But, with the cases rising, the dine-in segment is bound to see a setback. Our business after COVID-19 saw a pivot with online gaining more prominence and we were seeing a 50:50 ratio between offline and online. But, during New-Years Eve, we are sure online orders will surge,” said Sagar Daryani, co-founder and CEO of Wow! Momo and vice president, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI).

Wow! Momo outlets across the country will be open till wee hours in the morning to cater to the online order surge during the week. The company is also arranging carpool services for its delivery fleet as well as other employees, as it predicts that online orders will go on till late night which may create a hassle for the workers to return.

According to a recent report by the Retailers Association of India, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) witnessed 29 percent sales growth in November 2021, compared to the 5 percent during the same period in 2019 (pre-pandemic). Fine-dining restaurants, too, were near the pre-pandemic numbers in November 2021 and were looking to strengthen the numbers in December.

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The pandemic accelerated the growth of online food-ordering and seeing this, the overall share of the market is expected to grow 2x by 2025 which means it will likely clock a GMV of ~$13 billion by 2025, according to a report by market research and consulting firm RedSeer.
Sanghamitra Kar
first published: Dec 30, 2021 01:35 pm
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