A ChaTraMue staff serving drinks. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzmaan

As eateries across the nation reel from the suspension of dine-in services, fledgling online food delivery service, GoMamam is experiencing a surge instead, with orders increasing by two folds as more and more Bruneians remain at home amid this COVID-19 pandemic.

GoMamam is a food delivery service that allows customers to view the menus, place, live-track their orders and send reviews via the GoMamam mobile application or website.

Established in February, GoMamam opened with a modest showing, with only four vendors featured in the online platform.

Co-founders of GoMamam, Hadi Wahab (L) and Hadi Adanan (R) in an interview with The Bruneian at ChaTraMue Jerudong. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

However, just a little over a month later, everything spiked and it all began with Brunei’s first confirmed case of the coronavirus. 

“Before COVID-19, our highest number of orders were around 60 to 80. Now we are averaging around 170 to 180 orders in a day,” said Co-Founder and Chief Executive Office, Hadi Wahab in an interview.

An unprecedented growth

With the national directive to suspend dine-in services across the country and the increased social distancing measures adopted by the populace such as working from home, the demand for food and beverage delivery has unsurprisingly, skyrocketed.

Despite being the new kid on the block, even GoMamam could not escape being swept away by this windfall, racking up more than 7,000 app downloads from both android and apple users in the month and a half since its opening.

“It’s indicative of the strong interest the public has in our product, and it’s not just because we’re new. The app is very user friendly and from the feedback we’ve gotten so far, the customers appreciate that they can track their food,” said Hadi Wahab.

Another well-received feature, according to Hadi, is the chat functionality within the GoMamam app and website enabling users to interact with the food dispatchers or restaurants to ensure specific requests and directions can be conveyed easily.

“Now, we also have restaurants banging on our doors. From the initial four, our list of vendors have grown to 22, including local fast food restaurant Express,” the 31-year-old continued.

Image: Wardi Wasil

With a current runner pool of 54 drivers – a majority of which are part-timers – the fledgling tech company is trying its best to not be overwhelmed with the current surge of orders. 

Fortunately, he added, customers have been understanding of the situation, should any delays occur.

“Customer care is important for us, we don’t foresee this rising trend to stop soon, so we try to make sure that our dispatchers are courteous, to apologize if there are any delays, and in light of the current situation, to always maintain their hygiene,” said Hadi.

Image: Wardi Wasil

Business in the time of corona

For the past few weeks, Brunei has seen a continuous rise of newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and understandably due to this, people can get antsy.

GoMamam assures its customers that cautionary measures have been put into place by the company to ensure that customers, as well as their dispatchers, are safe during this pandemic.

According to Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer, Hadi Adanan, these measures not only include providing their dispatchers with masks, gloves and hand-sanitizers, it also involves the utilization of contactless deliveries and cashless payments.

A GoMamam staff picking up at order at ChaTraMue. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

GoMamam provides its users the option to make payments, either by cash on delivery, bank transfers, BIBD QuickPay or Progresif Pay, with plans to integrate Baiduri Merchant Suite into the platform next month.

“So far, most of our customers still opt for cash on delivery, but bank transfers are probably the second popular payment method.

“Nevertheless our food dispatchers are equipped with a lanyard containing a QR code for those who prefer to use QuickPay or Progresif Pay. It also contains their identification as a GoMamam dispatcher so that customers will feel secure,” added the 31 year old.

Business beyond corona

With the company’s fast rise being triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the co-founders have shared some concerns on the future development of the business, whether the demand for the food delivery service will continue once the outbreak has ceased.

“Of course, we don’t want restaurants to take advantage of the situation and leave us once the pandemic is over,” said Hadi Adanan, adding that GoMamam-registered restaurants are expected to fulfill an eight-month loyalty period.

A cancellation fee will also be incurred however, for premature withdrawals from the service, continued the CFO.

“This has all been in the plans for us, to start this food delivery service, it just so happens that we opened just a few weeks before the first case came to our shores,” said Hadi Wahab, who also designed the mobile application.

“We’ve been planning for this since last year, because we saw a gap in the local market for a comprehensive delivery app and service that specifically offers food and beverages.”

“Also with how the local culture is about food, we saw it as an untapped market,” the CEO continued.

In light of this, the co-founders expressed confidence that the rise of GoMamam would not be just a passing trend, but a business, and a service that is here to stay, with plans to expand their reach beyond Brunei-Muara.

“We want to ensure that food and beverages can be delivered throughout the country, whether it is for a person working from home, someone in self-isolation or for the frontliners, we are trying to do our part to help the country during this difficult time,” Hadi Wahab went on to say.

“Looking at the situation happening in Brunei, as a startup, we are both excited and overwhelmed, but at this moment, we are not just a business, but a service to the public,” he added.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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