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Foodpanda will start displaying a ‘Hygiene rating’ for all restaurants on its platform. The company mentions that it has roped in consultants to develop a best practice guide, audits and its own certification. It expects the certifications to be visible on its app in the next 3-6 months.

Other than this, Foodpanda will conduct audits of restaurants to check on their cleanliness, hygiene etc., assigning restaurants in 3 tiers based on these metrics. Restaurants will either receive a certification, be asked to make a few changes to receive a certification or have to completely overhaul to receive the certification. These ratings and certifications will be visible on the app and website for customers to view.

The company will also launch a platform for merchants that will enable them to access materials on best practices to run kitchens, restaurants, management practices etc. The portal will focus on information about quality standards, procurement of raw materials and dispatching food. Merchants will be free to use this information to improve their restaurants.

Sneha adds: This is an interesting feature by Foodpanda, where it is almost taking on the hygiene responsibility of the restaurants listed on its platform. Normally, and even with Foodpanda’s intervention, it is the restaurant and the food and drugs administration which is incharge of food and hygiene standards. It is unclear what prompted Foodpanda to take on this, because on face value, this appears like an additional and unnecessary expense to the company. Would restaurants really go for an overhaul just because their Foodpanda hygiene rating was low, or would they just drop out of the platform instead?

Other Foodpanda developments:
In March, Foodpanda launched an “Express Guarantee” service that promised its customers a refund if it fails to deliver an order within 45 minutes. The “Express Guarantee” is limited to those restaurants that have exclusively tied up with Foodpanda for the service.
– In January, the company had laid off 15% of its staff across verticals, to become ‘sustainable and profitable’. The company claims that it has reduced manual intervention and hit 98% automation rate in order processing, thus leading to cutting its workforce.

Foodpanda financials: The company reported revenues of € 10 million ($11.13 million) in Q1 2016 (74% growth), as compared to € 5.7 million ($ 6.35 million ) in the same quarter last year. At the time, Foodpanda said that in all its markets, mobile orders accounted for 65% of total orders. In the first quarter of this year, it got and delivered 6.6 million orders, as compared to 3.8 million orders in the same quarter last year.