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High delivery costs turn people away from takeout food

By Tat Dat   September 10, 2021 | 06:18 pm PT
High delivery costs turn people away from takeout food
A delivery person receives products ordered by a customer at a store in HCMC, September 9, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
HCMC has allowed eateries to reopen and sell takeout food, but they have few customers since people are wary of the high delivery fees.

On September 10, Phan Nhi of Binh Thanh District said she had to pay VND27,000 ($1.19) to a food delivery app for a 0.4-kilometer trip. The food itself cost only VND45,000.

"I know delivery is difficult due to the [Covid-19] pandemic, but this restaurant is so close to my house but yet the delivery fee was so high, which was a bit difficult to accept. So, though I really want to eat, the price of a bowl of vermicelli is too high, and I don't dare to buy again."

The Luong of Thu Duc City had to pay VND27,000 for delivery of an avocado smoothie from a cafe 1.8-kilometer away. The drink only cost VND25,000.

A survey by VnExpress found that food delivery apps have increased delivery fees. But most clearly inform users rates are higher than usual due to high demand.

Delivery startup Loship said delivery fees even within the same district are higher also because of the demand and a shortage of shippers.

On September 9, it received more than 20,000 orders, of which food accounted for 30 percent, but had only 600 delivery persons. Therefore, it could handle only 30 percent of them.

Many delivery people are not ready to return to work due to fear of contracting the Covid virus and possible fines by authorities.

Loship has doubled their minimum income on each order to encourage them to work, which also led to an increase in prices.

Delivery company AhaMove said the city only permits delivery people to operate within a single district, thus limiting their ability of accept orders.

Before the social distancing began, 70 percent of orders were for inter-district delivery. AhaMove proposed increasing the validity period of shippers’ Covid tests from three to five days.

Loship is working with the Department of Industry and Trade to get more delivery persons on the streets.

HCMC has allowed eateries to resume delivery services from September 8 after suspending them for nearly two months.

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