Buy directly or delivery service: Malaysians state preference when it comes to food

PETALING JAYA: When it comes to food during the current movement control order, some Malaysians prefer to buy food directly from sellers while others prefer the convenience of delivery companies.

Facebook user, Kok Wooi, said he would support local food sellers by going out to buy it himself.

“Go out and buy directly from their stalls or shops. Pity them because their businesses are already affected by the no dine-in ruling and the delivery platforms are bullying them,” he said.

Similarly, Ravin Kumar Kumar said on Facebook that he thinks going to food sellers to pick up meals directly is worth it.

In addition to this, Nick Loong also said that he believes delivery service companies are digging too deep into the margins of food vendors.

“The only alternative is to have direct interaction with your regular customers and get a motorcycle to start a delivery service or hire a runner to do it for you,” he said.

This was something that another Facebook user - Jaspal Singh - agreed with, saying that hiring a local delivery person would be a "smart move" for business owners.

All were commenting in response to a call from local restaurant owners who have said that delivery services take a big cut of their earnings and urged customers to order food directly from their outlets.

On this, Zaid Zulkifli took to social media to share his experience of the price discrepancy between ordering from the restaurant and from the food delivery app.

“The nasi lemak store near my house sells their standard nasi lemak at RM1.50 but when using an app, they marked up their prices to RM3.30 and this does not include the delivery fee,” he said.

Rafizan Md Yusof then said on Facebook that people can order food from sellers through WhatsApp and make their payment directly to them.

“Once ready, the restaurant will let you know to pick up the food. There is no need to queue at the restaurant,” he said.

However, Alisia Lilly Rishia said food delivery platforms offer convenience to consumers.

“I can just stay home and be safe at the same time enjoying the food that I like. It's a willing buyer, willing seller situation. It's just an additional option. If consumers are willing to pay for the convenience, I don't see what's the problem," she said.

She added that some might not be able to go out, find parking and then wait at the shop or stall for food to be prepared.

Paul Puspanathan then said that it all boils down to what the customer wants.

“If the delivery platform is reasonable and there is good promotion plus reasonable delivery cost, customers will use the online platform. If the restaurant wants to make it right they need to collaborate in their area and hire a dedicated rider,” he said.

Another Facebook user on the side of convenience is Josh Lrt, who said that there is no problem supporting the restaurants directly if they can provide a delivery service.

Similarly, Mahadimenakbar Mohamed Dawood said that food delivery platforms are good for those who can afford it as delivery people also need to make a living.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Fakhrullah said that food delivery platforms need to offer differentiator services instead of just “playing with price alone”.

“Consumers use them for convenience and merchants or restaurant operators need to step up. Delivery tech is simply filling the gap that restaurants and operators don’t offer,” he said.

Instagram user arepanjang believed it is all about what the customers want.

“The value proposition of these food delivery platforms is convenience. You have everything in view and within a few clicks,” he said.

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