Hawkers in Penang to continue using digital platform


Customers having their meal at the Bayan Baru Hawkers' Complex. - Filepic (2018)

GEORGE TOWN: After a tough year grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, many hawkers have now unlocked a new revenue path in online order and delivery.

After a long year, Bayan Baru Food Complex Traders Association chairman Roy Ang said many hawkers were now familiar with the use of digital platforms and delivery services to sustain their business.

“The pandemic has impacted our business, especially during the early stages of the movement control order when dine-in was not allowed.

“This forced many of the hawkers here to tap into digital platforms and get familiarised with online systems in order to keep their business going.

“It was hard for the older folk when they first started using technology to operate but now they have a clearer picture of how the platforms work, they can see the benefits, ” he said.

Ang said many hawkers had at first waited at their stalls for customers.

“If everyone were to wait for customers, they would have no income.

“Even though there were no walk-ins, their phones kept ringing with orders rolling in through the delivery service apps.

“That was when many knew it worked and the response was so good that they all went into it, ” he added.

Ang said although hawkers look forward to welcoming dine-in customers after the vaccination phase, many now know that online platforms were also a way to earn income.

Mee goreng stall owner Zarinah Muhammad, 52, who engaged online platforms and delivery partners before the pandemic started, said they would continue to use the platforms even after the pandemic.

“Now that dine-in is allowed, we can see our business picking up. Some 60% of our customers eat in, ” she said.

However, Zarinah said she was prepared to adapt according to consumer trends.

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penang , hawkers , online platforms , pandemic

   

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