Dhaka, March 1 (UNB) – Food lovers in the capital and port city Chittagong experienced mixed emotions as the Grameenphone-foodpanda online food festival concluded on Monday, leaving some jumping for joy while others suffered agony.
Starting from February 27, food lovers flocked in thousands online to order through http://foodpanda.com.bd, as they dished out various deals (e.g. Buy 1 Get 1 free) and discounts from over 90 restaurants for whom they provide order delivery service.
Icing on the cake was offered for GP customers by simply typing GPFPOFF10 as a voucher code to entitle themselves to an additional 10 percent discount.
With options abundant, foodpanda, a venture of the world’s fastest rising startup and internet incubator, Rocket Internet, generated a whirlwind of orders and sales, but it came at a cost.
Aiming to coordinate with restaurant vendors proved tiresome. Lack of proper coordination persisted throughout.
Nishat Ara, a foodpanda user, complained on social media site Facebook that her order at Burger and Boost was found to be invalid for specific items which she had ordered.
After four attempts, apparently she was able to successfully place an order of chicken burger, but after delivery she found out that she had received beef instead.
Celina Akter, a Mirpur resident, was dumbfounded when her order was not taken as an automated message reminded her that delivery to Mirpur was unavailable ‘due to technical difficulties’.
Although logistics may have taken a hit, traffic and the sheer number of orders had also started to take its toll on its delivery personnel, more popularly known as ‘pandas’.
‘I’m going to collect my sixth order in three hours,’ said a delivery boy, requesting anonymity, ‘I hardly had time for my own meals but I have to ensure that customers do not have to wait excessively for their orders.’
‘We have to wait at the restaurants, who often start cooking from scratch,’ he added, ‘not to mention the boxes and packets which makes the parceled food soggy and damp by the time it is delivered’.
However many complaints and stories there might be from both the sides, good food prevailed and joys overpowered the sorrow as customer feedback was on balance positive.
Mamun, a Gulshan resident, was happy that his volcano pizza from Shahjadpur’s Italian Pizza was not soggy despite a 45-minute delay.
With such deals and discounts attracting customers toward online ordering, foodpanda is currently on a roll against their market competitors such as HungryNaki or rising aspirants such as KhaiDai. One can only hope that customers will be the eventual winners from the ‘healthy competition’.