Owners of food outlets in Seychelles are seeing a surge in demand for meal deliveries due to the COVID-19 restrictions that prohibit restaurants from opening their doors to the public.
Since Seychelles first implemented COVID restrictions in April, many food outlets have had to relook at their mode of operation. According to the Public Heath regulation orders issued from January 24 to February 15, restaurants can only offer delivery services, no in-dining or take-away services.
The owner of a Takeaway, Naddy Franchette, told SNA, that he is not new to home and office delivery during lunchtime.
“With schools and offices closing down as per health measures, this has impacted my business a bit, but I am experiencing a surge in phone calls from customers asking for food to be delivered at their doorsteps,” he said.
Franchette takes orders for delivery from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m and for several deliveries in one location, there is no extra cost.
“If there is only one delivery in a particular location, clients will incur a cost for transportation as some people are staying very far and usually insist on their food to be delivered,” he added.
A bus takeaway owner, Egbert Pool, said that he is just getting accustomed to home delivery service, and he is getting more clients by word of mouth every day.
Pool said that he is delivering at least 50 boxes through home delivery and he is getting most of the orders at night, but due to restrictions, he is trying to meet his client demand cooking from home.
Manzaii — Seychelles’ first online food delivery app company — is offering food outlets an online portal to advertise and sell their food to customers.
Manzaii – Seychelles’ first online food delivery App Company. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
The owner of the platform, Wolfgang Germain, said that since he started to offer this service to his customers last year during the ‘stay at home’ measures, he is continuously receiving an influx of clients using his facilities for home delivery.
Usually around the town area, the delivery costs SCR20 – 25. He is calling upon the different food outlets to try the system and see if it works for them. Manzaii partners with food outlets to ensure that anytime a person feels like eating their food or craves for a particular cuisine, a quick search and placing an order through the company is all it takes.
A restauranteur, Henry Adeline, said he has been using the app for two weeks and he is satisfied with the way delivery is going and how his food is being sold.
“My sales have gone up by 75 percent. I am selling an array of Japanese food and customers like it,” said Adeline.
He hopes that in future a platform is created for those cooking food at a higher standard and not only for those doing home cooking.
Melissa Auguste, who frequently uses food delivery service as an alternative to home cooking, told SNA that it is very handy for her as she barely has time to cook at home.
“Trying to create a balance between work and family affairs is almost quite impossible at times, let alone when you have kids to handle and to cook for. Even if you own a car, it is a nightmare to drive back once home after a long day at work to get a takeaway. This is where home delivery becomes very helpful for me,” she said.
Auguste said the prohibition against in-person dining provides an opportunity for businesses to look at a new approach, adding that this measure is “also stopping large interactions between people, which would help greatly in preventing the spread of COVID-19.”