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GrabFood: Grab explains why some restaurants are not available

Burgetory, a burger restaurant in Subang Jaya had recently complained on Facebook alleging that its restaurant was unfairly hidden by GrabFood. The restaurant said that a GrabFood merchant support representative had told them that their restaurant availability was turned off “due to differences in commission rate by the different restaurant”.

Store availability not based on commission

Sean Goh, the Managing Director of Grab Malaysia has issued a response to clarify on the matter. Although some restaurants may not be available all the time, Grab says they do not turn off stores or restaurants based on commissions. Instead, there are several factors that affect restaurant availability on the GrabFood platform.

Bad weather and rider availability

According to Sean, Grab will automatically reduce the service distance during rainy days or when there is a lack of delivery drivers to maintain its service levels. Once the availability of delivery riders has recovered, their service distance would resume to normal levels.

Sean added that this may result in stores being unavailable in a nearby location, but customers will be able able to order in a further location. He provided an example whereby a customer that resides in Bangsar may only see restaurants available in PJ because there are insufficient delivery partners within the Bangsar area at the specific time.

Operating hours not updated

Grab practices temporary pause during the festive season based on feedback from its delivery riders that reported that a restaurant is closed despite being available in their app. This temporary pause, according to Grab was necessary to ensure that they do not disappoint customers that may continue to place an order from a restaurant that didn’t update its operating hours. According to Sean, this was the case experienced by Burgetory.

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Before the Raya holiday period, Grab says it has sent out multiple communications via emails and SMS to its restaurant partners to update their operating hours. They have also notified them how they could easily reactivate their restaurants in case of a ‘temporary pause’.

Support staff provided inaccurate information

Grab also apologises for not being attentive enough to ensure that their partners have received and acknowledged their communications. Sean also noted that the information provided by its support staff to Burgertory (that its restaurant was turned off due to commissions) was inaccurate. They apologised for the heartache and the impact on its restaurant partner.

Grab says they empathise with its merchant partners whose income has been affected due to the lockdown and restricted operating hours, and had to rely on delivery services to generate income. The on-demand provider says they are continuously looking at different initiatives to help drive demand for them which includes its Local Heroes and Grab Small-Biz Relief fund.

Grab also welcomes any partners that have queries on the matter to reach out to them directly so that they can address their concerns.

Alexander Wong