Hong Kong food-delivery sales surge as consumers seek shelter indoors

Food-delivery sales in Hong Kong soared 20 per cent over Lunar New Year week as consumers chose to stay indoors, sheltering from the coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Deliveroo told Inside Retail Asia that the Chinese New Year holiday period is usually a busy period for the company, the market leader in food-delivery in the territory. 

“We saw an increase of more than 20 per cent in order volume as compared to the week before, potentially indicating that people were choosing to stay home and order in during the Chinese New Year holiday following traditional visits to relatives over the weekend.”

The company witnessed a 6-per-cent drop in Chinese food orders and a 6-per-cent increase in American food orders when compared with the week before. Taiwanese cuisine also experienced order growth of around 3 per cent over the festive period. 

The spokesperson said Deliveroo had been in touch with all of its 4000 self-employed riders in Hong Kong to share official guidance with regards to the coronavirus, including safety practises.

“Health and safety is our top priority. We have a customer service team ready to answer any questions customers may have.”

Asked if the company was scheduling extra drivers to cope with an increase in demand as consumers ordered in rather than venturing out to public spaces, the spokesperson said the company is prepared year round unexpectedly busy order times. 

A rider-supply planning team which is responsible for the operational performance of the delivery network uses data analytics to match supply and demand, “ensuring the company has the right number of riders on the road, in the right place and at the right time”.

In Mainland China, Alibaba-owned delivery service Ele.me has been delivering meals for more than 100 restaurant partners to frontline medical staff at hospitals and treatment centres.

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