Brisk business is undoubtedly a good thing, but what happens if you can't handle the high demand?
During the circuit breaker, F&B dealers and delivery personnel were exposed to an influx of online orders – much more than they can handle.
There have been some cases where an increase in online orders has turned into a nightmare. The F&B companies had difficulty fulfilling the orders, while the deliverers had to wait longer than usual for the orders to be completed.
As a result, tensions were high and fighting broke out between the two parties.
Arguments about ordering grocery deliveries
In fact, there were two separate arguments last month.
A dispute broke out at the Taiwanese bubble tea brand Playmade's Waterway Point Outlet after the government announced that all standalone bubble tea stores would need to be closed as part of extended circuit breaker measures.
A viral video showed a Playmade employee who verbally abused a GrabFood driver with an explosive device. Due to his rudeness, the driver became aggressive, which even led to an arrest for public harassment.
Photo credit: Bargain Singapore
In a Facebook post, Playmade cited the "immense pressure" that both employees and delivery staff experienced as they had received over 150 different orders in the last hour after closing, which corresponded to an average of 600 cups.
The following day, a dispute broke out between a GrabFood driver and employees of the Burger King fast food restaurant in Ang Mo Kio, allegedly over canceled food orders.
Both parties were advised on their legal process, and staff have since been fined $ 300 for violating a circuit breaker measure (he took off his mask in the video).
These incidents make it clear that coping with the surge in orders for food delivery can be extremely stressful.
Pinched between dealers and customers
Delivery drivers have found themselves in an uncomfortable situation because they are stuck between customers and F&B dealers.
While F & B's employees deal with the overwhelming number of orders (as more and more online orders are placed), the delivery staff are also exposed to a certain amount of stress and frustration.
A GrabFood driver named Jerry Toh went to Facebook on May 9 (Saturday) to express his frustration at having been collecting customer orders in restaurants at peak times.
In his post, he said that restaurant staff are hostile when drivers or grocery delivery drivers ask them if the orders are ready.
He complained that "there are those restaurants that are not operational but (anyway) accept online orders."
Citing a personal experience, he said he should wait 30 minutes because the restaurant was not open yet.
"Why should these restaurants do that? We drivers not only have to wait, but their customers also have to wait, ”he wrote.
The delivery of food is a waiting game
A Lalamove driver, Daniel, said he picked up an order from Compass One & # 39; s Soup Restaurant the day before Mother's Day and the demand was already very high.
Photo credit: Gyppo Travel reviews
When he finally received his order, it was 6:45 p.m., more than an hour from when the order should be ready.
It turned out that they were servicing an earlier GrabFood order first, but the GrabFood driver was already waiting 40 minutes.
When the GrabFood driver asked an employee: "How is it that the order takes so long?", The restaurant staff said angrily to her colleague: "He is so rude! Let him wait!"
Although his order was ready to be picked up, the staff asked her colleague "to put her aside" while she called the number of another order that was picked up by another delivery driver.
Another grocery delivery driver also mentioned that he had to wait two full hours to pick up an order from Northpoint Citys Collin.
When contacted, Collin declined to comment on the situation.
On reddit, a user who identified himself as a GrabFood driver confirmed that "the orders were crazy" on Mother's Day and there was a waiting time of around 1 to 2 hours.
Screen grave by reddit
Complaints from unhappy customers
Daniel said that while he had only been in use for almost three weeks, he had already gotten a few ears from customers.
It wasn't even his fault, he emphasized. Orders were late when he picked them up in the restaurants.
He added that he was usually on time to pick up the orders, sometimes 5 to 10 minutes earlier.
Such an order came from Ah Yat Seafood on Turf Club Road. After taking over the job via the Lalamove app, the restaurant staff even wanted to bring the order to him directly in the nearby parking lot, as it was already very late.
When he finally arrived at the customer's front door at 9 p.m. on Mother's Day, the customer spoke roughly to him: “Do you know what time it is now? My food should arrive earlier! "
When Vulcan Post clarified this with Ah Yat Seafood, they denied that such an accident had occurred, but commented that workers will always be a problem.
F & B Bizs fight at peak times
While the bubble tea incident is a good example of how difficult it is for both sides when orders rise at peak times, recent Mother's Day was a nightmare as well.
Given the ban on eating, families had to order their festive meals for Mother's Day through deliveries or take away.
Disgruntled Singaporeans used social media to complain about the long waiting times, unfulfilled orders and the radio silence of many restaurants.
As a result, their celebrations were ruined and families had to look for last-minute alternatives.
Credit: Dian Xiao Er
One of the restaurants mentioned was the Chinese restaurant chain Dian Xiao Er.
Many of its customers complained on the restaurant's Facebook page that they were stuck for Mother's Day dinner when the restaurant canceled their pre-orders 30 minutes before the orders were due to arrive.
Screengrab from Dian Xiao Er's Facebook page
When contacting the restaurant management, the restaurant replied that "it had difficulty managing pre-orders for delivery platforms where the number of pre-orders per time window is not limited and which has a short lead time".
Although they activated all employees on Mother's Day and the outlets stopped accepting orders after knowing that they had reached their maximum capacity, they were unable to fulfill all orders.
Dian Xiao He also said that they reach affected customers whose orders have been canceled or who have not received their order to offer them a full refund.
This episode of overwhelming orders is an important lesson for our team to improve the efficiency and efficiency of our business processes and to better serve our customers in the future.
– Dian Xiao Er
Another F&B company that made internet users angry was the Paradise Group, which runs several popular chains like Canton Paradise and Paradise Dynasty.
Photo credit: Paradise Dynasty
According to commentators on his Facebook page, some have not received their orders while others have received incomplete orders.
When contacted, a spokesman said that on the Mother's Day weekend, they actually employed additional workers in the stores, but the situation was an oversight for them.
Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly our fault that we underestimated the volume and size of the orders, which put a strain on the logistical and operational skills on this special occasion.
– Paradise group
The Paradise Group said, "This is the first time that the Paradise Group has a full take-out and delivery base for Mother's Day celebration."
In addition, for the first time there were many restaurants that were active to take away and deliver and did not meet the demand for orders.
Contrary to Dian Xiao Er's response, the Paradise Group said it actually "limited the number of orders per delivery slot in all stores before the weekend".
However, a brief review by GrabFood and foodpanda showed that both restaurants are included in the apps. We have since contacted Dian Xiao Er to clarify this.
Customers and F&B companies had problems canceling their orders
According to Grab's customer service, restaurants have to call the customer service hotline if they cannot complete the orders.
Afterwards, Grab closes the restaurant in the app and helps to cancel the orders.
If restaurant operations are too crowded and overwhelmed with orders, they can stop operating for a period of time, Grab's customer service representative added.
Alternatively, customers can also cancel their orders via the customer service hotline.
However, some people who identified themselves as F&B dealers on reddit said that they could not cancel orders.
Screen grave by reddit
Another reddit user (qwerty198317), who identified himself as a driver for the delivery of groceries, said that neither the customer nor the driver could reach the hotline on Mother's Day.
He quickly made it clear that it is not advisable for drivers to cancel the order. If the driver cancels the job, he is only forwarded to the next available driver. Only the customer service operator can permanently cancel the order and stop billing, he added.
User belmont_lay also said that Grab's customer service hotline was down on Mother's Day.
Screen grave by reddit
Indeed, there was an "unexpected technical error" at Grab.
The sharp increase in food orders on the platform on Mother's Day combined with the disruption on the platform led to longer waiting times and a significant increase in calls from delivery partners and customers to the company's hotline, a spokesman for the grave said.
Everyone should understand
This is a lesson for all of us.
Everyone involved – delivery apps, F&B dealers, delivery drivers and even customers – help ensure that orders are processed smoothly.
If this is a special occasion, retailers should take the initiative to notify customers in advance if they are unable to process the orders so they can find alternatives.
When it comes to pre-orders, you should accept them at least one day in advance and not 2 to 3 hours in advance. Closing the order slots at an early stage gives them a certain amount of respite in order to be able to process the existing orders.
These incidents also make it clear that both F&B dealers and delivery drivers do their work to the best of their ability. That is, both parties should be lenient to one another before they rashly get into disagreements or struggles.
The delivery staff can also maintain mutual communication with customers and regularly inform them about the status of their orders via the chat or the phone function of the app.
With this in mind, customers should also meet their expectations when ordering at peak times and be prepared to expect longer waiting times.
Grocery companies like Grab should also be better prepared to deal with large order spikes, as it is apparently not the first time (cue bubble tea madness) that they have come across them.
This is evidence of the increasing pressure that those who work in essential services face due to the increasing demand during this period.
Therefore, it is immensely helpful if all people understand each other during this difficult time.
Selected image source: Penang Foodie / TripAdvisor