Fi­jiEats Raises The Bar

Fiji Sun - - SUNBIZ - FRED­ER­ICA EL­BOURNE Feed­back: fred­er­ica.el­bourne@fi­jisun.com.fj

Anew app-based food de­liv­ery plat­form was launched in Suva yes­ter­day.

Fi­jiEats was born of the need to ad­dress the cracks in the food de­liv­ery ser­vice in the coun­try, said owner Shanil Chan­dra.

The Nadi-based busi­ness has signed up restau­rants and eater­ies in Nadi and Suva, with plans to ex­pand their ser­vices to other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties around the coun­try.

Mar­ket­ing De­vel­op­ment Fa­cil­ity

The plat­form was launched in part­ner­ship with the Mar­ket De­vel­op­ment Fa­cil­ity (MDF).

Fi­jiEats allows mo­bile phone users to down­load the app to or­der food from restau­rants.

Restau­rants must first sign up with Fi­jiEats, said Mr Chan­dra, who is also the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of ICT com­pany Shaz­com Tech­nol­ogy.

Sur­vive and grow

MDF said its re­cent sur­vey un­veiled the fact that food ven­dors had ex­pe­ri­enced a de­cline in the num­ber of dine-in and walk-in cus­tomers since the coro­n­avirus (COVID-19).

Re­stric­tions such as so­cial dis­tanc­ing mea­sures in March and April, 2020 com­pounded the sit­u­a­tion, MDF said.

MDF Fiji coun­try di­rec­tor Mal­colm Boss­ley said: “There’s a push now for busi­nesses to adapt and in­no­vate in or­der to sur­vive and grow. “The pri­vate sec­tor is the en­gine of growth.

“More than ever now the pri­vate sec­tor needs our sup­port, if we are to kick start this econ­omy.

“A lot of in­no­va­tion is born out of cri­sis.”

De­cline in eat out

Mr Boss­ley said Fi­jiEats was a pos­i­tive step up in Fiji as it brought in the lat­est tech­nol­ogy for a con­ve­nient, cost ef­fec­tive and safe home-de­liv­ery app.

A 40 per cent to 100 per cent drop in sales was noted on the back of COVID-19 re­stric­tions, MDF said. “To re­cover from this, a num­ber of MSME food ven­dors - restau­rants, cafes, gro­cers in Suva piv­oted to fo­cus more on food pick up and (phone or­der) food de­liv­ery,” MDF said.

Mean­while, Mr Chan­dra said Fi­jiEats was eigned to boost the sale of lo­cal food busi­nesses, and pro­vide ex­tra in­come for lo­cal driv­ers and cy­clists.

Ten restau­rants

Ten restau­rants have signed up for Fi­jiEats, with more ex­pected to be an­nounced, he said.

Fi­jiEats se­lects restau­rants around the user, who in turn pay the Land Trans­port Au­thor­ity-reg­u­lated flag fall of $1.50 and $1 for ev­ery kilo­me­ter trav­elled from the restau­rant to the area of de­liv­ery.

“It’s cheaper than a cab.”

Qual­i­fied in food

Suc­cess­ful busi­nesses are based on af­ford­abil­ity, he said.

“Fi­jiEats took a few months to de­velop and will fea­ture on­line pay­ment op­tions and track­able de­liv­ery to cus­tomers.

“Our driv­ers are also trained in food safety, cus­tomer eti­quette and are equipped with proper food stor­age equip­ment,” Chan­dra added. Govin­das, Swa­gat and the Mad­hat­ter are among restau­rants on Fi­jiEats.

Photo: Fred­er­ica El­bourne

From left, Fi­jiEats de­liv­ery driv­ers Hamid Ali and Shau­nal Lal, Fi­jiEats owner and di­rec­tor of Shaz­com Tech­nol­ogy Shanil Chan­dra, Ro­tis­serie di­rec­tor Fel­isha Hazel­man Tuiloma, di­rec­tor Govinda Veg­e­tar­ian restau­rant Raju Ranija, Mar­ket De­vel­op­ment Fa­cil­ity Fiji coun­try man­ager Mal­com Boss­ley, Fi­jiEats de­liv­ery driv­ers Ravi­neel Prasad, Shalen Prasad and Ritesh Prasad.

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