SINGAPORE — Demand for food delivery services that soared during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown periods may have become lukewarm in recent weeks, going by the accounts of some delivery workers.

As infection controls are relaxed and eateries see more customers return to dining on-site, the delivery riders said that their earnings have taken a beating, possibly also due to the fewer meals that people are taking in the day during the ongoing Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Food delivery firms such as Foodpanda and Deliveroo, on the other hand, are taking this adjustment period in their stride, saying that they are optimistic demand will continue even if Covid-19 regulations ease further, because ordering food online has become an “indispensable part of daily life” for consumers.

Ms Suriati Hashim, 60, a full-time delivery food rider who makes her runs for Deliveroo and Foodpanda, told TODAY that her income has taken an almost 40 per cent dive. 

“Usually I get at least 20 orders in a day, but nowadays, I get around 10 to 12 orders… It’s very hard for me to reach my targets and I usually need to take on two jobs at once. This means I would do jobs for both Deliveroo and Foodpanda, especially if the delivery addresses are nearby in the same area.” 

One rider, who wanted to be known only as Mr Zhang said: “The number of orders I get has gone down, but mostly because of Ramadan, since Muslims are fasting. The easing of rules has been less than a month, but I’ve felt the number of orders slowing down even before that.”

The Muslim community here, which makes up about one-fifth of the population, have been fasting since the start of the holy month of Ramadan on April 3.

TODAY spoke to 10 delivery food riders who work for the three main food delivery firms GrabFood, Deliveroo and Foodpanda. Of the 10, two are working part-time and the rest are full-timers.