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Plan to Allow Mall Restaurants to Open for Delivery Helps Only Delivery Apps

No direct orders or delivery allowed, forcing restaurants to pay Foodpanda, Grab up to 45% commissions

Restaurant Empty Seats Closed Dining Room Dine-In

The Public Health Ministry will propose to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration that food and beverage outlets in department stores and shopping malls be allowed to sell food via online delivery platforms.

Government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul said officials are aware of the plight of eateries affected by the latest round of Covid-19 restrictions that have been in place since July 20. The ministry already has discussed the matter with the CCSA and will submit the proposal shortly.

She said, under the plan, restaurant employees must follow all relevant hygiene procedures and commute on special “sealed routes”. Orders will not be available for customer pickup and must be made and delivered via online delivery platforms.

That caveat prohibits restaurants from taking and delivering orders, thus forcing them to pay tech platforms such as Foodpanda and Grab up to 45 percent of the meal prices in commission, leaving little or no profit for the restaurant.

In addition, department stores should provide a waiting area for delivery drivers who arrive to collect orders. The area must be open, well-ventilated, uncrowded and follow social-distancing rules.

Employees who hand the orders to delivery drivers in the waiting area must always wear a face mask, practice social distancing, carry hand-sanitizing gel, check temperatures and log in to ThaiChana/MorChana apps.