TOUCHED by a photo of a crying GrabFood rider who ate the food of a customer who cancelled order, the owners of a food establishment in Barangay Labangon, Cebu City went the extra mile for the unsung frontliners in the food delivery industry.
Kevin Alzen Bacalla and Kimberly Ann Tabares, owners of Alzen's Food Station, offered free meals for Foodpanda and GrabFood riders who were hard at work delivering food to those in home quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We saw a post of a Grabfood rider crying while eating the cancelled orders and it really touched our hearts. From there we decided that we will provide food to those riders who we always thought as our unsung heroes in today's generation," Bacalla told SunStar Cebu.
Bacalla said it was already the tradition of their humble food station to always give food to their riders and customers whenever there are special occasions like birthdays and their store anniversary.
Because dine-in services are no longer allowed by the local government to maintain social distancing, Bacalla said there has been a huge difference in their sales.
On the brighter side, Bacalla said their orders from Foodpanda and Grabfood have risen almost double the normal orders.
"That's why we can't thank those riders enough on their services though they are the ones who deliver foods to the customers but they are the ones who are really hungry and stressed," he said.
On Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Alzen's Food Station offered free meals to riders who quickly flocked to the store.
"Honestly, when we gave those riders a free meal it came from on our personal pockets. When the post went viral, that's the time we received PMs from other people who shows interest on donating goods and amount of money. They also ask my bank account number where they can online transfer," Bacalla said.
Sensing a community who wanted to help but don't know how, he urged other businesses to do the same not only to the riders but to all frontliners.
"When we saw their reactions I felt like crying, I'm touched. We never thought that we can pull the trigger and make that happen even if we are just a simple individials that doesn't have that much money. We were very happy and grateful for what we've done to our fellow countrymen," he said.
The next targets of their free meal initiative are those frontliners like garbage collectors, city street sweepers, janitors, security guards those who work at the supermarkets, nurses, barangay workers and those workers that only have a very low income.
"My advice to other food establishments is to share your blessings to others no matter how small your income nowadays. It's better to give than to receive," he added.
Alzen's Food Station started its operation in 2018.
The food station started as a humble "silogan" and only served the Filipino staple, silog. As time passed by, it added "lutong bahay" on their menu.
Alzen's Food Station is located at 813 Tres De Abril St., Labangon, Cebu City near the backgate of Cebu Institute of Technology-University beside Julie's Bakeshop. (JOB)