Even after being allowed to operate in the 21-day lockdown period by the central government, food delivery providers Swiggy and Zomato have been directed to temporarily suspend their services in certain states across the country.
According to ET, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Assam, Pondicherry and some parts of Punjab are not allowing delivery-partners to deliver food to the users of Zomato and Swiggy amid the lockdown.
In a tweet, Greater Chennai Corporation, the civic body handling the administration of Tamil Nadu’s capital, said, “Home delivery of cooked food through Zomato and Swiggy will be closed.”
Meanwhile, the directives of the law enforcement agencies in Rajasthan and Odisha are still unclear to the food delivery companies. On the other hand, while most parts of Andhra Pradesh have discouraged food delivery companies, Telangana is partially allowing the service with certain time restrictions. Lucknow, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Dehradun, Kanpur, Ghaziabad, Bhopal, Indore, Chennai, and Coimbatore are some of the cities which have been impacted by this lockdown the most.
It is worth noting that these states have suspended the food delivery services even after the consumer affairs department had asked respective state departments to resolve the issue by holding discussions with these players.
Both Swiggy and Zomato are working closely with the local authorities to get everything sorted within the next two-three days. Zomato’s founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said that the company is working through these issues due to the lockdown. “We are yet to see 100% impact in most states,” he added.
Swiggy COO Vivek Sunder said that cooked food is an essential item for at least 20% of the country’s population like students, paying guests and young professionals who depend on it, especially at a time like this when the country has advised everyone for medical reasons to stay where they are, and not travel back home.
The media report also noted that most of the allied businesses such as B2B food delivery business, cloud kitchens, among others are also facing disruptions in operating their businesses. They are facing problems like manpower crunch, disruption in the supply chain, shut down of warehouses, procuring fresh vegetables and other raw materials, etc. As a result, they are now forced to buy some of these products from the retail which is increasing the overall cost of operations.
Sigh Of Relief In Some Cities
While most of the states are not allowing the delivery of cooked food, Delhi NCR, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, which are the biggest markets of Zomato and Swiggy, have taken quick measures to help their business get back on the track.
For instance, Delhi government, for the easy movement of delivery partners within the capital and in neighbouring Noida, Gurugram, Ghaziabad and Faridabad, is issuing an electronic curfew pass (e-pass) for the 21-day lockdown period for the coronavirus pandemic.
In Karnataka, also, the government is also issuing curfew passes to the delivery-partners of Swiggy and Zomato. Gurugram Police, in a tweet, also noted that Zomato and Swiggy are allowed to function in the city amid the lockdown period.