STA, 2 November 2020 - The closure of restaurants as part of the Covid-19 epidemic lockdown measures has resulted in a steep rise in turnover for food delivery platforms such as E-hrana and Wolt, whose couriers on bicycles can be seen buzzing around major Slovenian cities all the time.
Slovenia's E-hrana, which was established in 2011, currently covers more than 400 restaurants around the country, 150 of which have joined during the coronavirus epidemic. New restaurants are being added to the list virtually on a daily basis.
"In the first wave, several restaurants decided to temporarily close their doors, while now the majority of restaurants have persisted and are trying to stay afloat with the home delivery system," the company has told the STA.
Since the latest lockdown, the number of restaurants which use E-hrana couriers has increased by around 30%, and the company has also expanded to Celje, which has joined the country's largest cities Ljubljana and Maribor.
The platform also allows restaurants which have their own delivery staff to receive online orders through E-hrana, meaning that its users from all around the country can get restaurant food delivered to their doorstep.
E-hrana processes a few thousand orders on a daily basis, and has more than 240,000 registered users. "The number of daily registered users has increased four-fold during the lockdown," the company said.
The significant increase in the number of orders is also attributed to the cold and wet weather, "which is when our season peaks anyway".
The Finland-based Wolt has also seen increased interest in its platform, including from various shops. During the second wave, the company has added 70 new restaurants from Ljubljana and Maribor to its list, which compares to 60 during the spring wave.
Wolt has also decided to help restaurants whose turnover has dropped with the lockdown. "In the coming weeks, we will select every week ten restaurants to deliver from free of charge," said the company which currently serves 330 restaurants.
Over the summer, the company was also looking for partners in shops which sell food and drink and other products, and now Wolt is also able to deliver to customer's homes products such as flour, light bulbs, products for childcare, electronics or washable masks.
While it currently covers only Ljubljana and Maribor, Wolt plans to expand to other cities as demand is growing. It is constantly opening new jobs and increasing the number of couriers, while also employing people in customers support, sales and marketing.