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Food deliveries here to stay

/ 05:15 AM January 10, 2021

Hello New Year, New Normal!

One of things that I’m grateful for in the “new normal” is the convenience of deliveries.

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For instance, Raffles offered an entire “fine dining” package so that you can enjoy at 4-course 5-star at home, from the appetizers to the petit fours in the end. Dusit Thani Manila had packages with tableware that you can keep. Chef Jessie Rockwell (as well as Chef Jessie’s Place) offers a customized fine dining menu.

Never did I imagine that we would be able to have fine dining “delivered” to your home. Or ramen DIY kits. Or vegetables from Baguio and Baguio Country Club raisin bread through CLOY (Cordillera Landing On You-call 0917-8675188) delivered to your doorstep. Just the sheer amount of choices that can be brought to your doorstep nowadays is unbelievable.

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There has been so much demand for delivery that the Philippines is now the first and only Asia-Pacific country to have Food Panda, a food delivery service, available in 100 local markets (your neighborhood/city). This benefits not only people who order but also small businesses who can avail themselves of the service although limited to their area.

There are now also so many choices for delivery. I recently had to get chicharon from Bulacan and was so happy that aside from Grab and Lalamove there is now also Angkas, Transportify and Mr. Speedy.

Online delis are now also very popular. Last year, I discovered a site called Timplado (timplado.ph) that sells all kinds of local delicacies such as longganisa from all over the Philippines.

The delivery services have also expanded from food to … practically everything! A new app called Pick.A.Roo has categories from groceries to party platters to booze to toys to hardware and kitchen appliances. Food Panda has a new service as well called Shops.

And we also have to thank the riders. While they are probably just happy to have a job, you can’t dismiss the fact that there are some challenges that come with the territory.

I asked Food Panda what they do to help their riders. First of all, they are somehow exposed to possibly coronavirus carriers every time they go to a restaurant or shop to get your food or other orders. You never know who might be asymptomatic out there. At the same time, they need to be careful to ensure that the customers are also safe.

Food Panda addresses this by imposing proper handling guidelines for their riders, as well as requiring their riders to wash their hands every two hours and after each time they handle delivery.

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Then there is the challenge of deliveries when it is raining. I asked Food Panda how they help their riders in this situation and they said they provide their riders with weather gear. Then there are cases of canceled orders, that reportedly would sometimes have to be covered by the rider himself. Food Panda addresses this by covering the expenses for canceled orders.

Indeed, delivery services have kept the economy running while we were at a COVID standstill. A lot of home bakers and entrepreneurs would not have survived without these delivery services.

Plus, delivery services have made staying home not only tolerable but at times even pleasurable. This is one “new normal” service that is proof that it can still be more fun in the Philippines even amid a pandemic.

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