Food apps luring partners

Food apps luring partners

Food delivery apps are accelerating acquisitions of new food merchants, adding riders on their platforms and offering free or affordable charges for services to draw more users after a hike in demand during the coronavirus outbreak.

These platforms have indicated willingness to comply with the government's request to declare delivery charges to the Internal Trade Department as their service becomes vital for people staying at home.

"We added 35 million baht as an extra budget to assist our partners, particularly restaurants, riders and users, to overcome challenges during this time," said Alexander Felde, chief executive of Foodpanda Thailand, the local operating unit of the Germany-based food delivery app.

Users who pick up food at restaurants are entitled to a 15% discount, while other discount coupons will be distributed to draw more traffic to small-scale food merchant partners, numbering about 10,000.

Foodpanda will cut its commission fee by 10% for restaurants who have partnered with the app for a long time, and faster payment will be ensured for its 50,000 vendor partners.

"Our policy is to make the prices of online food orders the same as those for eat-in," Mr Felde said.

Riders can apply online for Foodpanda, while new merchants will be selected quickly, which resulted in a jump of new merchant partners from 2,000 to 7,000, he said.

Driver partners receive Covid-19 insurance and health kits, Mr Felde said.

Waranan Chaungcham, marketing and business development head for Line Man, said the app's delivery order transactions have jumped by 200% during the outbreak.

She said new merchant sign-ups have risen by five times since March 22. Restaurants can get orders by themselves and use Line Man's service features.

Interested restaurants can also register through the Wongnai app. The processing time can be wrapped up within one day.

Ms Waranan said Line Man stands ready to fully cooperate with the Internal Trade Department and other agencies during the crisis.

Line Man's delivery price stands at 10 baht for the first five kilometres.

"We believe the price is affordable for users and the commission competitive for merchants," Ms Waranan said.

Pinya Nittayakasetwat, chief executive of Get, said the platform has a new online onboarding system that offers a faster and simpler enrolment process for food businesses.

"Any restaurant can register to become a Get merchant partner, submit the required documentation online and begin offering food delivery on the Get platform within 7-10 days," he said.

Get is also recruiting over 4,000 new driver partners in the next few weeks, a 10% rise in the platform's driver base.

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