By Raj Moorthy
Youngsters keen on food delivery as it’s good money
While food delivery has become a growing trend since the beginning of the pandemic last year, regularisation of the food delivery standards and an equal level playing field has not yet been created in Sri Lanka. A system needs to be regularised among all players in the food delivery industry to follow the same principle.
Nirthaj Seelanatha, Director and CEO of VirTrans Capital (Pvt) Ltd made these remarks to the Business Times during a virtual interview. YouFoodie, a product of VirTrans Capital (Pvt) Ltd, was launched earlier this year, while the same company launched YouCab in 2019. The company says that YouFoodie is the cheapest food delivery app in the country which charges 15-18 per cent commission from the merchant.
Food Delivery Apps
Mr. Seelanatha stressed, “A system needs to be regularised among the food delivery apps. Everyone should have an equal and level playing field where all major food delivery services should get together and have a common principle and a system in place, so that people will run on one platform.”
A system is required where a standard pricing regulation is implemented without the public being duped. People shouldn’t be heavily burdened during these pandemic circumstances, he added.
He mentioned that food delivery apps that used to charge 30-40 percent of commission on any given product from the merchant is now adding the commission to the consumer, which is the displayed price in the app.
He also pointed out that the food delivery bags carried by the drivers must be changed every year and a half. Washing and cleaning the bag regularly must be a key priority that all food delivery apps must encourage and monitor its drivers. People do not look into any of these. There are food spillovers inside the bag.
The younger generation which once saw driving three wheelers as profitable are now getting into food delivery services with major players in the country. If a proper system is regularised and a proper management is brought in, the country will progress in this industry.
The commission is only charged from the merchant within the price at which they are willing to sell, noted Mr. Seelanatha.
He also highlighted that the app allows restaurants that have their own delivery services to use them through the app. “It does not always have to be a YouFoodie labelled driver to deliver the food, it could be a driver from the restaurant who has been already hired,” said Mr. Seelanatha.
YouFoodie will soon introduce a cloud kitchen, the first food delivery app to do in Sri Lanka, stated Mr. Seelanatha. “We have around seven cuisines in the kitchen; Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Arabic and Mediterranean. The kitchen will be our own. We strongly believe there should be more players coming on board.”