Dabbawalas of Mumbai have been facing a tough time due to the second wave of COVOD-19 restrictions in Maharashtra. Out of 5,000 dabbawalas, only 400-500 were working since the pandemic. And with the new restrictions due to the second wave, only 200-250 are now left. The pandemic has given a huge blow to the decades-old vocation of dabbawalas dropping cooked lunches to Mumbai’s office-goers. But as the city recovers from the pandemic have more to offer to the residents of Mumbai. They will not only deliver lunches but cook them too!
Mumbai Dabbawalas Will Offer A 7-Day Menu Of Home-Style Lunches
Mumbai’s 130-year-old dabba distribution fleet has been a legendary workforce of 5000 tiffin carriers who pick up food from home and deliver it to over 2 lakh office goers in cycles and local trains. Right now, the Mumbai dabbawalas are working on a 7-day rotating menu of home-style lunches in a 1000sq ft cloud kitchen at Saki Naka. An F&B expert is training the dabbawalas and their wives and they are all set to launch their menu in mid-June.
The Mumbai Dabbawalas epitomise the spirit & tenacity that makes Mumbai what it is. This city is theirs, they are this city. And We, @STCI_Mumbai, Guardian Minister @AslamShaikh_MLA, @duttsanjay, stand behind them, firmly. https://t.co/o2AB7lw4Ah
— Suniel Shetty (@SunielVShetty) May 28, 2021
Mumbai Dabbawalas Will Take Orders Online
While struggling to resume the tiffin services, they saw a rising demand for home-cooked food in quarantine facilities, isolation centre, hospitals, and more. The dabawalas are also creating a website for customers to order lunch directly or choose between monthly subscriptions. They are also introducing online money transfers to make payments easier.
Dabbawala’s 2.0! @RiyaazAmlani's brand Impressario has collaborated with Mumbai’s iconic network of dabbawalas to get them to deliver orders received on the restaurant giants' tech platforms.
For more information: https://t.co/OHlpbe6tCb
✍🏽: Tarini Sood pic.twitter.com/PE656Zl9ou
— India Food Network (@ifn) May 20, 2021
Demand For Dabbas Had Reduced By 90% During The Pandemic
Mumbai dabbawalas braved through rains floods and terror attacks to deliver lunch boxes on time. But as the pandemic changed the food scene, hot lunches that would fetch dabawalas ₹12,000 to ₹14,000 in a month, were suddenly down to zero. They would do not more than four deliveries in an area. As they struggle to survive and stay afloat, the dabbawalas have come up with a new offering to lure the Mumbai office goers.
The new initiative will help generate employment and bring stability to one of India’s oldest delivery chains.