GrabFood pilot initiative to lower commission rates for hawkers to be expanded

SINGAPORE – A pilot programme by GrabFood to lower commission fees for hawkers using its food delivery platform will be extended to a further 16 hawker centres and markets until December.

The expansion comes after an encouraging trial at Blk 724 Ang Mo Kio Food Centre, where participating hawkers doubled sales, Grab said on Thursday (Aug 27).

Around 180 hawkers are expected to participate in the expanded initiative, which began in May to support businesses badly hit as customers stayed home during the circuit breaker.

Similar initiatives to lower costs for hawkers were also introduced by rival food delivery services in May, including a FoodPanda scheme that offered zero commission fees for a month to new joiners who signed up by June 30.

A newer player, WhyQ, teamed up with FairPrice Group to launch the digital platform [email protected], which did not charge merchants any commission fees or onboarding charges.

Food delivery services came under fire in an appeal letter signed in April by over 500 restaurateurs appealing to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to save the food and beverage sector.

The letter noted that “the commissions of 30 per cent charged by delivery firms such as Grab and Deliveroo were too prohibitive for restaurants already operating on thin margins”.

A Grab spokesman told The Straits Times on Thursday that GrabFood charges merchants an average commission of 25 to 30 per cent. Grab declined to disclose the reduced commission rate for GrabFood’s pilot programme.

Grab noted that the pilot has improved the visibility of participating hawkers and provided drinks, fruits and dessert stalls more selling opportunities.

“As the hawker community is large and diverse with different cost and operation models, we will continue to iterate the model so that our hawker-partners can benefit from GrabFood in the long run,” said Grab Singapore managing director Yee Wee Tang.

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