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By: Kylie WongEdited by: Vikki Cai Chuchu


Despite Bright Figures in Food Delivery Industry, Staff are Facing Uncertainties

Every day, Edward Wong, 26, who is a freelance lifeguard and nursing assistant, spends a few hours delivering food in Tsuen Wan.  “I usually deliver food during my lunch time. Though the golden hours for taking orders are 7:30am-10am, 11:30am-1pm and 6:30pm-8:30pm, the frequency of orders highly depends on the location. For example, in Mong Kok and Sheung Wan, as long as you want, there will be orders to take,” said Wong, who works for both Foodpanda and Deliveroo, two of Hong Kong’s most popular food delivery services.  Wong is one of tens of thousands new food delivery drivers as demand for the service surged during the pandemic. Hongkongers are hungry. Hong Kong’s major delivery companies, Foodpanda, Deliveroo and Uber Eats, all reported significant increases in delivery demand.  A Deliveroo survey in January showed a 21% increase in spending and it predicted three-fourths residents are using the service more frequently.  Uber Eats said active users per month nearly tripled last year while total orders doubled, according to a Mingpao article. Foodpanda reported a 60% surge in orders during the first quarter of 2021. Companies are hiring thousands of delivery staff to meet the orders.  Last spring, the food delivery industry created 48,000 jobs, according to Hong Kong Business Times. But Wong said the number of delivery orders he gets has dropped because of a flood of new workers, and he plans to find another job soon.  “More people are becoming food delivery staff as they think the market is growing during the pandemic. However, the increase in staff is faster than the increase in orders in most areas,” said Wong, adding that his income has dropped by one-third from around HK$40,000 per month when he started.  While demand for food delivery surges, job positions open up. However, rising figures does …