Rave reviews for MoBay ENDSSunday, April 04, 2021
ST JAMES, Jamaica — There were rave reviews among Montego Bay business operators participating in the E-commerce National Delivery System (ENDS) programme which commenced in the city on Good Friday.
The ENDS pilot project, which was launched in Portmore, St Catherine last weekend, became available to residents in Montego Bay and Kingston on Good Friday.
The web-based ENDS is designed to enable the quick-service industry to continue operating during the hours of the COVID-19 curfew by facilitating online delivery orders only.
One Montego Bay participant, Chef Gary, also called Pan Tucky, a jerk chicken vendor operating on Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, hailed the initiative, which is a partnership between the Government of Jamaica and the private sector.
"Me like the programme, a good programme because we can be out here and [take] orders online after curfew hours. Big up the prime minister and all of the people who make it possible because it is a good move," Chef Gary noted.
"It is a good programme, we love it; we can still out here and make a money for the family said way."
Duwayne Senior, also called Sugar, another pan chicken vendor in the area, revealed that ENDS has somewhat revived sales, which plummeted since the pandemic.
"ENDS brings back the business for the jerk chicken vendors in Montego Bay. Since COVID our business went down 75 percent. Our business went all the way down. Hence, we have to give thanks for ENDS, the Government, and the people who put this in place. We have to give thanks 100 percent for the people who bring ENDS together. Thumbs up, 100 percent. Since we start ENDS yesterday (Friday) we send out a portion of things online, today (yesterday) a the same thing."
He, however, cited because of the high demand for the service, there is a need for improvement in the delivery area.
"Right now we think we're going to need to get a delivery for ourselves because sometimes business a back up pon we because of the number of orders we have to go out," the pan chicken vendor noted.
For his part, Jason Russell, general manager of Pier One Restaurant, argued that so far customers have been responding favourably to the delivery service.
"ENDS has allowed us to make a sale and brought some people back to work for the weekend and people have been responding," Russell stated.
He mulled the idea of extending the offering of the delivery service even post COVID-19.
"I have even gotten calls from overseas to send food to people living here. So that's maybe something that will be long lasting in terms of business that we didn't have before," Russell argued.
Spokesperson for the ENDS programme in Montego Bay, Dwight "Deebo" Crawford, Jamaica Labour Party Councillor for the Spring Garden Division, who is assisting with the oversight of the rollout in St James, noted that buy-in to the initiative surpassed expectation.
"It has been a lot greater than what we thought. We thought it would have been a slow rollout but it seems as though the barrel has really run off the hill because people are calling in and want to be a part of this programme," Crawford said yesterday.
He added: "So far the take-up between micro, medium and large businesses... I would say about 10 employees per company, which would be about an employment of an excess of 300 at this time when you wouldn't normally see persons going out to work. So it's really, really helpful."
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