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Getting your food on the move – A global outlook

April 22, 2020

As the coronavirus health crisis continues to effect how we all go about our daily lives, we wanted to take a look at countries around the globe, and how restrictions are impacting the foodservice industry.

For many countries, new social distancing regulations are forcing those in foodservice to reinvent the way they interact with their customer base.

The quick thinking and adaptions from many businesses has seen an ability to operate, despite restrictions.

As a food packaging manufacturer with a global network and presence, we wanted to take a quick trip around the world to compare impacts as the foodservice industry look to get their food on the move.

In the United Kingdom, new regulations state nobody can leave their homes "without reasonable excuse", such as:

  • Shopping for basic necessities such as food or medicine
  • Exercising (the guidelines suggest once a day)
  • Seeking medical assistance, or to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm

For the foodservice industry, this has seen the closure of many pubs, cafes and restaurants. The ones still operating must do so via delivery or takeaway only.

And the rules differ again across many Eurpoean countries. Some, like Italy and Spain, still have strict lockdowns in place until at least May, while others, such as Denmark and Austria have allowed smaller cafes to begin to operate again.  

Image of an empty street in London
Image of road food stalls in Malaysia

For Malaysia, it usually wouldn’t be out of place to see roadside food stalls bustling with business, but new government regulations are restricting both people movement and the selling of food via these stalls until at least April 28, with this deadline pushed out from its original lifting date of April 14.

While established food vendors have been allowed to continue to operate via delivery or takeaway only, operation hours have been restricted to no later than 8pm.

Some operators who did not previously have relationships with delivery platforms have struggled to secure partnerships, and are now temporarily closing their doors for the lockdown period.

And delivery platforms have reported an increase in business, with GrabFood recording a business increase of around 30%.

In the United Arab Emirates restaurants can only operate via food delivery or drive-through options.

The UAE food and beverage industry is experiencing a downturn in business of around 50%.

Singapore too, despite orginally allowing restaurants to operate, is now moving to a delivery and takeaway only model. 

In some countries measures go a step further. India, New Zealand and the Philippines had introduced quite restricted lockdowns, including in foodservice industry - halting all business.

But, in recent days, New Zealand and the Philippines are looking at how to scaleback their lockdowns to allow for food delivery in order to get the foodservice industry operating again.

Image of delivery drivers: Credit:
Image of restaurants still busy in Sweden

In Vietnam, schools or shopping centres, along with restaurants and cafes have been closed to reduce gatherings of people, with only a small number of foodservice outlets still open and providing food delivery or takeaway options.

There are some countries taking a different approach, however.

Sweden has not gone into lockdown or placed restrictions on people movement but is instead placing the responsibility of social distancing in the hands of individuals.

While restaurants and cafes can remain open, people are encouraged to keep a distance away from other diners, and Sweden’s citizens are expected to carry out the recommendations, despite no formal regulations.

Despite variance in approach and differing availability for those in the foodservice industry to operate, what is clear is that businesses and individuals are looking for ways to innovate or adapt to get through this crisis.

Many businesses have successfully pivoted or altered their service model in response to restrictions, if your business has a story of change we are looking to share examples via our Detpak Facebook page.

If you’re looking at how your business can move to takeaway or delivery options, read more about how we can help get your food on the move.

Or, back to Latest News.