‘Habal-habal’ drivers as food deliverers

INCOME. GrabFood Philippines head EJ dela Vega says GrabFood augments the income of “habal-habal” drivers.(SunStar Photo / Arni Aclao)

WITH the ongoing limbo of “habal-habal” or motorcycle-for-hire drivers in terms of income opportunities, a ride-hailing app is offering them a new job as food deliverers.

With 1,000 local merchant partners in Cebu and Mandaue, the head of GrabFood Philippines, EJ Dela Vega, said Cebu is their second important market in the country.

“Just like with GrabCar, we were able to provide livelihood opportunities with our ‘habal-habal’ drivers and people with motorcycles,” dela Vega said.

Grab unveiled in the Philippines its newest app service called GrabFood in Manila in November 2018.

This on-demand food delivery service was designed to make satisfying one’s hunger as convenient as possible.

As it expands its service in Cebu, Dela Vega said they will adjust the number of their riders as GrabFood continues to soar in terms of user engagement since their beta testing in Cebu in October last year.

“We adjust as we grow. We are in our hyper-growth stage as our completed orders grew 12 times since our launch in Metro Manila,” he said.

Cebu as a food incubator

Dela Vega said since the service has been incorporated in the app, every GrabCar user in Cebu can avail themselves of the GrabFood feature.

“Cebuanos love their local favorites. Cebu is an incubator of food innovations because trying out new things is the prevalent theme in the market here,” he said.

Krhizzy Pasigan, press relations manager, said they are striking a balance in GrabFood’s business ecosystem.

“To balance the ecosystem, there needs to be a sustainable number of riders, users and merchant partners,” she said.

Between Cebu and Mandaue cities, Daniel Anore, marketing lead, said Cebu City has the most number of food delivery demands with peak hours during dinner time.

Anore said there is a diverse age range that uses their food delivery services.

“Sixty percent are females while the 40 percent are males between 25 and 35 years of age,” he said.

GrabFood though is not yet available for 24 hours and is dependent on the operating hours of its partner merchants.

It has also no minimum order constraints but Dela Vega advised users to order more to save on the delivery fee.

Homegrown partners

GrabFood has partnered with local and homegrown brands like Dimsum Break, Zubuchon, Bubble Tea Station and Sugbo Mercado, and will soon carry international brands like McDonalds and BonChon in Cebu.

Grab officials said this is another income opportunity for “habal-habal” drivers.

Earlier, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board said all motorcycle drivers that take on paying passengers, with or without the aid of a motorcyle hailing application, will be apprehended, fined and their motorcycles impounded. (JOB)


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