Ika Dewi Sulistiani, a GrabBike driver in Surabaya, with her son. (Photo Courtesy of Grab)

Not Just Restaurants: Delivery Drivers Also Benefit From GrabFood

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

FEBRUARY 15, 2021

Jakarta. It is not just the restaurants. Grab's motorcycle taxis, or GrabBike, drivers also benefit from food delivery service GrabFood.

When the clock strikes 12 p.m., people now scroll through their smartphone to see what's good for lunch. This lifestyle change has prompted more restaurants to join food delivery apps. With online orders pouring in, this means more food to deliver.

On a day-to-day basis, GrabBike drivers do not only take passengers to their destinations. They also receive requests to deliver food to the customer's doorsteps. Although not as frequent, the GrabCar drivers are in charge of delivering the large quantity of food orders.

A 2020 study by think-tanks Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Institute and Tenggara Statistics revealed 37 percent of GrabBike drivers' trips in 2019 were GrabFood deliveries. The same survey also stated the average GrabBike drivers' monthly income rose by 124 percent from Rp 2.1 million (around $150) to Rp 4.6 million after joining Grab.

According to Momentum Works, GrabFood is taking over 53 percent of the food delivery service market in 2021.

Since first launched, Grab has always been looking to add more driver-partners in hopes to expand their services, including GrabFood. Among the many drivers in Grab's digital ecosystem is Ika Dewi Sulistiani, a GrabBike driver in Surabaya.

After leaving home as early as 6.00 a.m., Dewi would circle the city until 9.00 p.m. to pick up orders -- both ride-hailing bookings and food deliveries. The single mother even sets a personal goal of earning at least Rp 200,000 in a day. 

"Why shouldn't we work harder if we can earn more? As long as I am not badly sick, I will keep on working. To me, working is important as raising a child needs money," Dewi said in a written statement.

Dewi used to work at an office as an admin staff prior to joining Grab. When her one-year contract ended, Dewi had to find another job to feed the family. She later stumbled upon a job opening as a GrabBike driver on social media. 

When Dewi first applied, she did not feel as confident because the other applicants were all men. Her phone was also of an older model. With only 1 gigabyte of RAM, her phone was prone to lagging. 

After taking the Grab helmet and jacket, Dewi joined a community of Surabaya-based online taxi drivers. The members suggested she should switch to a newer smartphone model, which she later did. Consulting with fellow drivers also gave Dewi a boost of confidence to take on more trips.

According to Dewi, her GrabBike earnings help her run a business.

“Since the beginning, I have always planned to allocate some of my Grab earnings to fund the business. [...] I cannot be a driver forever because my energy will drop [as I grow older]. But I am happy to have met Grab at 31 years old," Dewi said.

"I can make a living for my child and family. This is the right choice for me as a single parent."

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