A Foodpanda Walker carrying his bag of delivery food packets to be delivered to customers. ― Picture courtesy of foodpanda Malaysia
PETALING JAYA, Dec 22 ― Walking with a bag of food packets and delivering them to nearby houses and offices on a daily basis is not an easy feat.
But that is what as many as 1,000 Foodpanda Walkers in Klang Valley, Sabah, Johor and Penang have been doing especially since the movement control order (MCO) earlier this year.
And for some, securing the job as a Foodpanda Walkers tops how tired or difficult it may be to walk with the extra baggage on their back to deliver food.
For one of the Walkers, who wished to be known as Leo, the job was timely after he lost his job as a hotelier to the MCO.
“During the MCO, one of the few jobs that was allowed to operate was the food delivery industry, and I grabbed the opportunity as I could earn extra money to sustain myself.”
Leo said that the Foodpanda Walker job was the only option since March this year since he does not own a motorcycle licence and has the option of walking on foot to deliver food.
Asked as to how he coped with the strenuous walking, Leo admitted that although the walking job was not easy, the joy he saw on the faces of customers when they received their food packets was overwhelming for him especially during MCO.
“Seeing their happy faces was very satisfying to me. And that keeps me motivated to do my job in the best way possible.
“Eventually, I bought myself a decent bicycle to help me speed up the delivery time.”
Leo has also become conscious of what he has been eating especially after losing weight of joining as a Foodpanda Walker.
“When I started the job, my weight was 85 kilogrammes (kg). But after three months, I lost close to 10kg.
“I have also become very choosy with what I eat.”
Like any other Foodpanda Walker, there are bad days where they would need to walk the extra mile to deliver food beyond the specific distance.
“Sometimes, we have to walk further than the designated walking radius when customers key in a different address and that can be challenging on busy days,” he said.
For Thiyagarajan Gunasekaran, 34, who also lost his job as a hotelier, the idea of leading a healthy lifestyle while earning money was why he took up the Foodpanda Walker job.
“The job has definitely encouraged me to walk especially for short distances and to not always rely on a vehicle.”
During bad days where he has to brace the weather such as the rain or the scorching heat, he makes sure he comes prepared with an umbrella, raincoat and a bottle of water.
“Listening to music while walking gives me great pleasure when walking, or when I need motivation to continue my job throughout the day,” he said.
Foodpanda Malaysia’s logistics head Shubham Saran said the idea to have the Walkers came after noticing many Malaysians did not meet the criteria to become delivery riders.
The system was last November to meet the demands of the workforce in areas such as Klang Valley, Sabah, Johor and Penang.
“Not just that, Foodpanda Walkers are also another way for Malaysians to earn an income amidst challenging times.”
Shubham added it was also more efficient to have Walkers delivering food within shorter distances between restaurants and offices while the riders were able to use their vehicles to deliver orders that were further away.