Founder Mohamed Alabbar promises that noon will support F&B industry through COVID-19 and beyond
E-commerce giant noon.com is launching a food-delivery service via its platform to support local food-and-beverage businesses navigate the setbacks of the pandemic.
The food-and-beverage industry has been "held to ransom" by delivery apps charging up to 35 percent commission, according the company’s founder, Mohamed Alabbar.
Alabbar has pledged to support the industry, which he referred to as "the beating heart of the economy", by creating a food-delivery platform that pays fair commissions to restaurants, many of which have seen their revenues drop precipitously due to the COVID-19 lockdown and movement restrictions.
Noon Food will be rolled out across the region in the coming months, he said: “When the virus hit, our F&B industry had little choice but to turn to aggregators who were charging up to 35 percent commission structures.
“Can we, as businessmen, survive with this? No. We have been held ransom by food aggregator platforms. And that's not acceptable.
“Our F&B industry is a part of the beating heart of this economy, and it has been severely impacted. We must do all we can to support and protect it. This is out of love for our businesses, families, nation and economy. We must think beyond profit.”
In a press release, noon described food delivery app charges of up to 35 percent commission, with an additional 5 dirhams delivery charge to the consumer as, ‘crippling, even fatal, to a small business’.
Noon Food will be built into the existing noon.com app, and will ensure fair commissions and offer attractive incentives to businesses who sign up with them. The new platform’s aim is to support local businesses through the pandemic and beyond using a ‘simple and equitable’ programme, the press release said.
“We want you to grow your restaurants and customer base. We're not an aggregator trying to become a restaurant. We are here to help you succeed,” Noon’s CEO Faraz Khalid said.
Noon’s announcement follows the launch of GoFood, a food delivery app run by restaurant owners, earlier this month, which pledged to pay delivery fees directly to restaurants.
New players Noon Food and GoFood will compete with major providers including Zomato, Talabat and Deliveroo in the region’s food delivery app market.
Alabbar, also the founder and chairman of Dubai-based real estate developer Emaar, hit the headlines earlier this month when it was revealed that Emaar would dispense with job titles, and that going forward, company’s business cards would only feature employees’ names and the department in which they work.