Overwhelmed Greek Food Delivery Service Will Add 1500 More Couriers


(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Vassilis Papadopoulos)

ATHENS – Seeing an unprecedented demand for food delivery during a second COVID-19 lockdown that closed restaurants, the service efood said it would recruit 1,500 more couriers to keep up.

Supermarkets and retail stores are facing the same problem as people aren’t allowed to leave home until at least Jan. 7, 2021 except for permissible missions such as supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, open businesses, exercise or walking pets.

Efood said it’s offering four- and eight-hour shifts with full employment benefits, along with extra private insurance and allowances for motorbike wear-and-tear and equipment to supplement its current workforce of 1,000 couriers, the demand biggest in the greater Athens area.

Greece's second lockdown closing non-essential businesses in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in people turning online for deliveries of goods that the post office and ACS, the main courier service, warning of delays.

It could take at least six days to deliver packages that would usually come the next day or even sooner because so many orders are being made as Christmas approaches and people can't go to stores.

To alleviate the pressure, the New Democracy government said people could order online and make an appointment to pick up their purchases at the stores, unless that results in too many doing so, in which case it would be revoked.

Both ACS and Hellenic Post's (ELTA) door-to-door service referred to a massive volume of orders recorded, the product of the ongoing lockdown, which has seen the greatest part of the retail sector shut down, noting the holiday rush.

ELTA's statement said the volume of orders this period, compared to the corresponding period of 2019, is up by nearly 61 percent, and rising, the business newspaper Naftemporiki had reported.

ACS, the biggest parcel delivery service in the country, told consumers that deliveries are backed up and could take even longer for Athens and the country's second-largest city Thessaloniki, and other areas around them.