Baedal Minjok (Baemin), announced on Wednesday that it would offer financial support for its riders if they have to self-quarantine themselves for COVID-19. Woowa Brothers owns and operates Baedal Minjok, South Korea’s No.1 Food delivery service,
Chances of delivery riders’ exposure to the virus is higher than those who have the privilege to work at home.
Assistance and Measures
The company said that it would pay the minimum wage of 820,000 won (US$673) for two weeks for delivery riders who missed work because of suspected infection of COVID-19. The amount was based on Korea’s minimum wage of 8,590 won (US$7) per eight-hour work shift six days a week.
Woowa Brothers said that the weekly rental fee of 83,300 won (US$68) for quarantined Baemin riders would be waived. The company said it would also pay 3,230 won (US$2.65) per week to riders. It claimed that the amount would cover the riders’ safety and occupational health insurance.
A company official said that the assistance is a cautionary measure. Baemin also assured that, as of now, no rider had been suspected or confirmed to contract the coronavirus.
The company would provide its riders with hand sanitizers and masks, and to low-income families in the affected communities. The service provider would also give the items to small business owners suffering from setbacks due to the virus spread.
The South Korean startup encourages Baemin users to use digital payment methods. The method would allow delivery workers to leave the food in front of their doors, avoiding contact.
The foodservice company said that it would fully refund monthly in-app advertising fees for partner eateries that stopped operation due to the COVID-19. The company also created a 5 billion won (US$4.12 million) worth fund to aid small businesses in repaying their bank loans.
Baedal Minjok saw its deliveries climb nine percent from January 31 to February 17 compared to January 3 to 20.
Meanwhile, Yogiyo, the country’s No.2 food delivery app owned by Delivery Hero, said that its number of deliveries increased by 11 percent from February 1 to 16 compared to January 6 to 21. Delivery Hero acquired Woowa Brothers early December last year.
A food service industry official said that consumers opting for online and mobile food delivery and shopping would likely increase in the coming days as fears of the new disease rises.
As of Wednesday, South Korea reported 169 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 1,146, with about 80 percent of cases coming from Daegu and a hospital in the county of Cheongdo. So far, South Korea has witnessed 11 deaths from the virus that originated from China.