Feature: Food delivery service booms in Iraq amid COVID-19 pandemic

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BAGHDAD, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) — During the COVID-19 pandemic, food delivery service has been booming in Iraq.

Wisam, 39, sniffed the package and drools as soon as he received the meal brought by the restaurant delivery man. Like many Iraqis, he said that it is a good idea to order the food online and use food delivery service because it reduces time, saves costs, and most importantly, it reduces the risk of infecting with the coronavirus for avoiding to sit in crowded places.

As online food delivery has seen a steep rise, restaurant owners must follow the latest trend to stay competitive. Some owners believe that such a service will increase the number of customers even faster than it was before the pandemic.

Ali Mahdi, a restaurant owner, told Xinhua that “after the outbreak of the pandemic, many people refrained from going to restaurants for fear of infection. Therefore, most restaurants were obliged to create Facebook pages for online order.”

He added that the delivery is serving home-quarantined people who are infected with coronavirus to help them get their food without leaving their homes.

However, some Iraqi do not trust that the food ordered on the social media pages is sanitized enough, and the delivery workers may not apply the required disinfection measures.

“I cannot trust the cleanliness of the food and the disinfection of the tools that the workers use there behind the walls of the restaurants, so I prefer to stay away from the food delivery service during the pandemic time,” said Mustafa Ibrahim, a teacher in his 40s, told Xinhua.

Mohammed Jaafer is a 25-year-old food delivery driver. He told Xinhua that “since the spread of coronavirus in the world, online ordering through food delivery service witnessed a significant increase.”

To give customers the best service and satisfaction, the ordered food must be delivered in the best condition and as quickly as possible, prompting restaurant owners to hire drivers of motorcycles equipped with food delivery bags or sometimes thermal insulation boxes.

Many restaurants prefer to cooperate with delivery companies, which were established in recent years, such as Toters, AlSaree3, and Talabati. The latter is currently the largest food delivery company in Iraq.

As of February 14, the total number of coronavirus infections in the country reached 643,852 cases with 13,179 deaths, according to Iraqi Ministry of Health. Enditem

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