KT Photo: Shihab
The unpredictable and rainy weather has left many residents unable to rely on online food delivery services, forcing them to put on their aprons and cook at home. Many have said their deliveries were canceled or that restaurants were not accepting food orders.
Abdul Hai, a Sudanese resident in Sharjah, only had lunch around 5pm on Sunday. “My wife is traveling and I’m bad at cooking. “I have relied on nearby restaurants and food delivery apps for lunch and dinner,” he said. “As it was a rainy and calm day, I ordered food through an app around 2 pm and waited until 3:30 pm. The order was delayed and then canceled by the restaurant.”
Mohammed Athar, a resident of Deira, had also ordered lunch at a restaurant based in Hor Al Ainz. He also had to cancel his order due to long delays in delivery. “I kept calling the restaurant, but they were kind enough to make me understand the situation,” Athar said. “Finally, I had to go to a nearby cafe for lunch around 2 pm.”
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Restaurateurs told Khaleej Times that they reported a significant increase in the number of delivery requests as people opted to stay home during the rainy weather.
“We have been receiving excessive delivery orders during the rain. Normally, during the weekends, we have many guests for dinner. However, [on Sunday] people preferred to dine at home,” said Mohsin, owner of Shahran restaurant located at Al Nahda 2 Dubai.
Understanding the risks, restaurateurs advised their delivery drivers to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions. This included adjusting your speed, being more alert on wet roads, and avoiding risky maneuvers.
“Some of our orders were delayed due to waterlogged roads and we informed our customers to expect delays. We advise all our riders to be safe and cautious due to the bad weather…your safety is our priority,” Mohsin added.
Jugal Parekh, owner of Yummy Dosa, said, “Due to rains, there is a delay in the arrival of the delivery boy. [at the restaurant]. We prepare the order only when the passenger arrives so that the customer receives hot and fresh food even after the delay.”
“We make sure not to put pressure on the delivery boy to deliver the order quickly and guide him to drive slowly and safely in the rain,” Parekh said.
Eti Bhasin, owner of Dhaba Lane, said they have temporarily shortened their delivery radius, keeping in mind the unstable weather conditions. “Delivery apps have reduced their delivery radius from over 10 kilometers to 3 kilometers due to constant rain,” Bhasin said. “In addition, we are taking our own precautions for self-delivery by checking for roadblocks and informing our guests of delays. Yesterday we had delays that reached 1 hour and a half.”
Delivery app issue notifications
Noon Food Delivery has issued an advisory on its app, warning users of potential delays and longer wait times caused by rain.
Despite the obstacles, delivery drivers have continued to work diligently, ensuring that food orders reach customers in the best possible condition. “Yesterday there was a bit of chaos. I had to wait at a bus stop and under an overpass for the rain to let up. Some orders were delivered late, but were still fresh. I am very grateful to the residents for their understanding and extra tips,” said Mohammed Ansar, a Noon delivery driver.
A Careem spokesperson said the safety of its passengers is the top priority. They have the flexibility to set their schedules, allowing passengers to work when it best suits them during the day. “We never pressure any captain to travel if he feels uncomfortable and we do not impose scheduled shifts. “They are not required to make a delivery at a certain time if they prefer not to,” the spokesperson said.
“We also improved Captain safety during inclement weather by limiting delivery radii for restaurants and grocery stores. “We are also implementing a location-specific approach to pause and resume deliveries based on weather conditions and Captain availability in each area.”
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