Food delivery services in high demand in New Plymouth

Delivereasy director Nick Foster said the service was hiring around 70 drivers in Taranaki.  (File photo)

SIMON O’CONNOR/STUFF/Stuff

Delivereasy director Nick Foster said the service was hiring around 70 drivers in Taranaki. (File photo)

Restaurants and bakeries might be feeling the pinch thanks to more people working from home due to Covid-19, but some people around Taranaki are certainly not hungry as demand for food delivery services increases.

Delivereasy and Uber Eats are available in New Plymouth to deliver meals from a range of restaurant menus.

According to the manager of a business operating in the town, the noticeable slowdown in commerce in central New Plymouth has been accompanied by a huge increase in orders being delivered to people’s doorsteps.

Delivereasy director Nick Foster said his fleet of drivers was busier than ever, with an increase in orders around Taranaki. It was also a trend in Aotearoa, he said.

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“The numbers have only continued to rise.”

He said this was particularly noticeable over the past three weeks, once the Omicron variant of Covid-19 began to spread through the community.

Foster said the orders came from regular customers, but also from people new to the food delivery service.

He said Delivereasy drivers were handling around 35% more orders in Taranaki than their average workload.

Uber Eats has nine restaurants on its books in New Plymouth.  (File photo)

Dominico Zapata / Stuff

Uber Eats has nine restaurants on its books in New Plymouth. (File photo)

For example, just last Friday around 500 orders were executed.

Foster said around 70 drivers had been hired to work for the company and each had to return a negative rapid antigen test before shifts.

He also said the company has made concerted efforts to recruit more drivers to meet demand.

Uber Eats has nine restaurants in New Plymouth on its books, including Arranged Marriage on the town’s main street.

A member of staff at the establishment said there had been a “rapid increase” in the takeaway and delivery option, with 30 orders placed on Friday and Saturday last week.