“All our teams and vehicles follow stringent sanitization and safety measures without exception and are regularly reminded of the correct measures to follow to remain protected.”
- Francisco Miguel Sousa, Managing Director of talabat Qatar
Food hygiene has been the buzzword for many years now. However, food service hygiene is seldom talked about. The dynamics of the modern world have made it important to talk about the hygiene measures taken in the world of food delivery. So this month, Clean Middle East spoke to Francisco Miguel Sousa, Managing Director of talabat Qatar, who has worked in 9 different Countries in ICT. He is currently leading talabat in Qatar. Francisco is also a career development Coach and Speaker in +100 events in EMEA and South America. He is a Member of the Management of Portuguese Qatari Business Council and a mentor in different entrepreneurship programmes, including the Qatar Sports Tech.
In this exclusive interview, Francisco speaks about his opinion about cleaning and hygiene, how the pandemic has reinforced hygiene in his company, what best practices are being followed in Talabat Qatar and much more.
How important is cleaning and hygiene for you?
The safety of our ecosystem is our top priority. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we had stringent cleaning and hygiene measures in place to protect our riders, customers and restaurant partners.
Understandably, we further enhanced these measures due to COVID-19, and, additionally, in order to further protect our restaurant partners and customers, we have organized vaccination drives for our entire rider fleet, with around 1,000 riders having received their doses and more continuing to take the vaccination.
How has the pandemic changed the way you look at hygiene?
As a tech organization that connects our customers with vendors, and then delivers on their behalf, we’ve always prioritized enhanced food hygiene and safety procedures!
In saying that, the pandemic definitely changed the way that we look at safety. As we think it has for every single business! Our focus has been to ensure that our teams and the community stayed safe and healthy, as well as focusing on business continuity for talabat as a company, for our riders and for our partners.
Throughout the pandemic we have added additional measures to our existing safety precautions to ensure that our network of restaurants, riders and customers are well protected at all times. This involved:
- Further increasing our hygiene efforts involved providing our entire rider fleet with multiple sets of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which we were the first to introduce in the region - including other implemented measures.
- Sanitizers and training them to make sure they stay alert about their hygiene practices and COVID-19 regulations (such as social distancing).
- Introducing contactless delivery and the use of temperature cards (which shows those preparing/delivering orders have had their temperature checked).
- Additionally, we consistently carry out regular sanitation practices across our fleet to ensure optimum safety.
We also provide each of our riders with multiple sets of gloves, masks and hand sanitizers every day and send them daily communications reminding them of hygiene, PPE, and social distancing measures.
We are proud to take up this pivotal role in helping win consumers’ trust back in the safety of food delivery.
What kind of training is provided to the delivery heroes in terms of cleaning and hygiene?
In our riders’ onboarding, they are trained specifically on COVID-19 hygiene practices. We also hold regular training sessions on the importance of following these practices and how to keep ourselves, our restaurant partners and customers protected while out on deliveries.
Tell us about your cleaning and hygiene best practices.
All our teams and vehicles follow stringent sanitization and safety measures without exception and are regularly reminded of the correct measures to follow to remain protected.
What are the challenges you face in terms of maintaining hygiene?
As an organization we pride ourselves on a very high standard of hygiene. At the start of the pandemic, we had an issue with supply of gloves, and so on, however these were in the very first few weeks - and that was resolved very quickly.
Since then, our riders have been great ambassadors of hygiene for the talabat brand, and in fact the people of Qatar - and we have had very few challenges.
What does a typical cleaning routine at talabat look like?
Our riders are regularly reminded to keep their equipment well sanitized and maintained - they consistently carry out these practices throughout the day.
This means that every day, our riders take the utmost care to sanitize their delivery bags and continuously change their PPE throughout the duration of their shifts, as well as take care not to expose themselves and the surfaces of their equipment to potentially contaminated contact points throughout the day.
Lastly, we implemented cashless tipping - allowing our customers to continue thanking our riders through tips in a safe and sustainable way via the app, in line with our COVID-19 safety measures.