The wholesaler is aiming to have more than 200 stores live on Uber Eats by the end of May
It is also set to launch a new scheme to enable its retail customers to provide food boxes to vulnerable people
Bestway is fast-tracking retailers into its Uber Eats delivery programme as it aims to help its customers better support vulnerable people in their communities during the coronavirus crisis.
The wholesaler signed an initial deal in December with Uber Eats, with 81 Wine Rack, Bargain Booze, Select Convenience and Central Convenience Stores throughout the UK listed on the app. It now has more than 150 stores signed up and is aiming to have more than 200 stores live by the end of May.
Bestway Wholesale MD Dawood Pervez said a huge number of its retail members had already gone out of their way to support local communities. Accelerating the enrolment of stores on to Uber Eats meant more people at home could order vital groceries direct to their door, he added.
Bestway is also set to launch a new scheme to enable its retail customers to provide food boxes to vulnerable people in their communities.
The wholesaler said registration for new retail customers remained closed to prioritise availability for its loyal customers. However, it said it was registering local authorities and NHS trusts in order to help them support those who are vulnerable or shielding.
“We know how tough it has been for many operators to secure desperately needed stocks and supplies of products,” said Pervez. “We’ve been working with our suppliers and campaigning on behalf of independent retail stores and community shops to stress the importance of supply through our sector, so that vital products can directly reach people’s homes whilst staying local in the face of social isolation.
“The role of the independent local community store has never been more important.”
Staff absenteeism rates had now fallen below 6% said Pervez, who revealed that customer-facing colleagues were set to receive a 10% bonus for their hours worked, backdated to the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March.
It is also reopening registrations for catering and pet product customers, as availability has remained strong in these areas.
However, he also continued to press suppliers to fully support the wholesale and convenience channel.
“Although we are managing our supply chain efficiently to avoid issues for customers, we do continue to face issues with supply and whilst I thank the suppliers who have wholeheartedly supported us, I ask that those who continue to base volumes on pre-coronavirus numbers to consider the new normal of shopping habits and our reach and the number of people we support and therefore make us a priority.”