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Solidarity in precarity: food delivery riders in Thailand’s gig economy

A summary of our recent research, originally published on
On-demand food delivery apps are booming in Thailand, where consumption patterns offer a readily fertile market. In pre-COVID Thailand, approximately a third of all household expenses went towards food and beverage. Of these expenses, households spent almost half on ready-made food (cooked meals consumed at home). Expenditure on ready-made food is particular high in urban regions and major cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chonburi and Pattaya. Given that Thai households already spend substantially on takeaway food, the appeal of on-demand food delivery apps is obvious. Apps such as LINE, Grab, Food Panda and Get offer users a unified platform to order food from a variety of restaurants ranging from large global franchises to street-side stalls. Taxi-turned-delivery service Grab reported that its app facilitated 3 million meal deliveries across 16 provinces in January 2019 alone. Each of these deliveries was made by a contractless rider (most deliver orders by motorbike) who accepts the job or “gig” via the same app and is paid per trip. Movement restrictions during the pandemic have likely only boosted demand for food delivery.

Data Resources (1)

Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Archived web content
Language of document
  • English
Topics Informal labor
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Thailand
Copyright Unclear copyright
Access and use constraints

The original post is Archiving this article for the future reference.

Version / Edition 2020
License Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike

1) 2) Just Economy and Labor Institute (JELI) E:

Author (corporate) New Mandala
Publication place Indonesia
Publisher JELI
Publication date 2020
Keywords Food delivery riders,Gig economy,Informal workers,Solidarity
Date uploaded September 17, 2020, 05:42 (UTC)
Date modified September 17, 2020, 05:43 (UTC)