NOTE: This story was produced before the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila (hence the absence of face masks). Some GrabFood walkers are currently operating during quarantine. As with other GrabFood delivery partners, they can choose when to go online and are required to follow Grab’s safety requirements—such as contactless delivery, logging of body temperature on their phone app, and regular disinfection of delivery bags.
GrabFood’s delivery jockeys are a common sight on roads these days. Hearty meals are conveniently dropped off on the doorsteps of expectant customers by riders who brave the elements, day in and day out. And it’s all done with the help of motorcycles or bicycles that can easily filter in and out of traffic, allowing the food to arrive hot and fresh.
But what about deliveries whose distances are so short that vehicle use is actually a liability? Fortunately, Grab now has a walker service. This means food is delivered on foot, essentially eliminating the hassle of finding suitable parking space. Furthermore, since the walker can literally go anywhere, one-way streets and closed roads are not obstacles to a timely delivery.
A walker’s day starts just like any GrabFood delivery guy. With a single swipe, the mobile app goes online and is ready to receive orders from hungry customers. Once an order is accepted, the walker simply heads for the merchant.
Of course, one thing somebody on foot cannot do is cover as much ground as a bicycle or a motorcycle can in the same amount of time. Thankfully, the customer’s app interface indicates that the delivery person is a walker, and so the estimated time of delivery is adjusted for the slower speed. The reduced pace is somewhat offset by the very fact that the walker no longer needs to find parking for a motorbike.
Customers also tend to be a lot nicer to walkers. Given the distances of these deliveries, transactions often end up more pleasant because of the mutual understanding that there is no vehicle being used to expedite the process. It also helps that the more relaxed pace in between deliveries gives restaurants enough time to prepare the food.
The good thing about being a walker is that transportation costs are significantly lowered—even eliminated altogether. Grab also specifies distance thresholds for deliveries on foot: a 0.8km radius from the walker’s location to the food merchant, and up to 1km from the merchant to the customer. It goes without saying that pollution from engine emissions is completely nonexistent.