UberEats delivery partners raise concerns on move to GrabFood

Key questions remain unanswered over Grab's new food delivery service that will start in May, leaving UberEats' existing food and delivery partners unsure what to expect.

GrabFood will take over the current UberEats service, as part of the Malaysian company's acquisition of Uber's South-east Asian operations announced yesterday.

Riders were concerned about losing some benefits of delivering for UberEats, which included flexible starting hours.

Partner restaurants contacted by The New Paper said they have not received word on how the transition will happen.

In response to media queries, a Grab spokesman said yesterday that the UberEats app will run until the end of May, after which restaurants can receive orders using the new GrabFood merchant app.

"We will share more details once the GrabFood app is ready," added the spokesman. The company did not address questions on how delivery and food partners will be compensated, or if they have been informed of the upcoming change.

Mr Quek Wee Hong, operations manager at Taiwanese dessert chain BlackBall, said the move is unlikely to have any short-term impact.

"Our delivery operations are spread out over a few platforms, so even if there are any problems with Uber or Grab, we have other options," he said, adding that he has not received any messages from either.

Other food chains on UberEats, such as The Soup Spoon and Long John Silver's, also have not received information about GrabFood.

A McDonald's spokesman said it was informed by UberEats yesterday, and hopes to work with both parties towards "a seamless business and customer transition".

Mr Yaz Yudistira Arjuna, 29, who previously delivered for UberEats for 17 months and was paid an average of $8 per trip, said: "UberEats riders have the option to start work at any given time at any day. I hope this flexibility does not change with GrabFood."

Mr Muhammad Shafee, 28, who delivers for UberEats in his free time, received an e-mail from Uber yesterday telling him about GrabFood, but with no additional details.

"If the payment scheme (for GrabFood) doesn't seem good enough, then I might consider working for Foodpanda or Deliveroo instead," he said.