How Food Delivery Apps Are Changing the Game in the Pandemic

Small food businesses are finding success through these apps.

Living in the “new normal” has redefined the food industry. People are still hesitant to go out to eat, despite the easing of some restrictions. This has led to the rise of food deliveries and cloud kitchens. It's probably going to take more time for businesses to truly go back to usual but new opportunities through mobile apps have given life to these food concepts that can reach more customers with little to no hassle. Even payments have become easier.

For foodies, food delivery apps are a godsend, helping satisfy most food cravings. Aside from revisiting  classics and favorites old from the wide range of restaurants and stalls in the app, there are also new ones to discover and try. The mundane task of getting lunch for yourself every day then and having to scour Google for their delivery number is now made easier by having everything in one place. Some even offer discounts and in-app vouchers that can be used everywhere. It’s no wonder that most of us have food delivery apps on our phones. Like everything else, it’s a new kind of convenience.

Even at home, stress could be on an all-time high because of workplace being thrown into the wild mix that is the internet. Our solution? Comfort food, specifically, carbs. Some not-so-secret finds are Simot that specializes in multicultural flavors packed into rice bowls, and Pasteria that caters to pasta lovers looking for a quick fix. We also recommend something comforting like the Lumpia Chahan Bowl and the Siomai Chahan Bowl, both familiar flavors to Filipino-Chinese food connoisseurs. 

Photo by Simot.

While any pasta is good pasta, the limited Shiitake series with Garlic Butter Shiitake and Shiitake Ala King seems too good to pass up.

Photo by Pasteria.

In our time scrolling through food apps app and sampling dishes from local food businesses, there is a lot to learn about their food concepts as well as their history of surviving the effects of the pandemic. Entrepreneurship in these times may require new strategies, like partnering with food delivery companies looking to nurture a mutually beneficial relationship with Filipinos. Three out of the many food concepts on Foodpanda from different provinces in the Philippines have actually grown.

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In Bulacan and then, Cavite, The Hive is Girly Bay Bulaong-Tingson’s early endeavor into the food business at the age of 24 back in 2019. The cafe has grown significantly in the area, being bumped up by Super Sundays and Mega Mondays promos on the app. In addition, her two employees have kept their livelihood, and the small business have helped employ others as it steadily grew. 

Photo by The Hive.

Meanwhile, Cebuanos have their very own staple dim sum place that started in 1996 called Dimsum Break. Harbour City Dimsum House Co., Inc., the one behind this fast-food dim sum place, also had other Chinese food concepts already operational then, but with Dimsum Break, the owners adapted quite early in the game by partnering with the app in 2015. Kyra Velasco, a marketing manager for Dimsum Break, says that the orders they receive through the app have helped their efficiency significantly because they can prepare ahead of time. 

Photo by Dimsum Break.

Lastly, the Delibites Concepts Corporation in General Santos City is a business started through the Barefruit Group of Companies, a homegrown brand that uses the province’s local products like langka and guyabano for fruit shakes and smoothies. Hannah Mamon eventually expanded her product line to include food concepts like JM Shawarma, Kutsara PH, Pink Pot Milktea, Paluto, Bake Barn, Barefruit Guyabano, Merry Mango, EE Takuyaki. Now, 130 stores out of 300 are available on foodpanda, saving her mall stalls from closing, reopening some closed stores, and expanding the business. At the core of this is her desire to help out local farmers by only gathering fresh ingredients for her store from them.

Photo by JM Shawarma.

From foodies to food entrepreneurs, food delivery apps have made the new normal more bearable by being there when we need them. Hunger pangs are satiated and livelihoods are kept. While we still love dining out in restaurants from time to time, staying safe at home and ordering from different restaurants is the next big thing.

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Marielle Fatima Tuazon
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