- Online food sales have gained momentum after the Covid-19 outbreak
- 30-35 women entrepreneurs in Brahmanbaria now sell homemade food
- They sell food worth over 30 lakh Tk per month
The home-cooked food business became popular among women entrepreneurs in Brahmanbaria when hotels and restaurants in the district town remained closed due to Covid-19.
Some 30-35 female entrepreneurs in sadar district and Ashuganj upazila town now run online home cooking businesses, selling a range of food products worth Tk 30 lakh.
Using social media or in association with Foodpanda, a popular food delivery app, women entrepreneurs have been selling homemade Bangladeshi and Chinese food online since the Covid outbreak.
Home-cooked food trade is resuming, even in Ashuganj upazila, outside the city of Brahmanbaria district, to take advantage of the huge demand for healthy home-cooked food at lower prices.
On average, each of these 30 or so women business owners sells food online worth 3,000 Tk every day. As such, their overall monthly sales are equal to or greater than 30 lakh Tk.
Besides Bangladeshi and Chinese cuisine, they also sell baked goods online.
The Business Standard (TBS) spoke to several women entrepreneurs who are actively engaged in the online homemade food business. All of them have become financially self-sufficient by doing business online.
They said that closing restaurants in Brahmanbaria under government guidelines due to the pandemic has created an opportunity for women entrepreneurs to start home-made online catering businesses.
People are choosing to buy quality, fresh, hygienic food online, to enjoy delicacies during Covid shutdowns, they added.
Plus, foodies consider home-cooked food to be healthier than restaurant food, and that too at a cheaper price.
Poly Akther, owner of Tiffin Box, an online food delivery service, told TBS that she has made a living with her online food delivery service since her husband died of Covid-19. After all the expenses, she says she earns Tk 30,000-35,000 per month from the business.
Poly Akhter said she initially takes orders from customers on her Facebook page. Now she also takes a few orders over the phone and delivers the home cooked meals to customers within hours. âCurrently, I deliver food to different banks and hospitals. With that, I have sales of around 4,000 to 5,000 Tk per day,â she added.
Ashuganj upazila female entrepreneur Umme Honey said: âI haven’t finished my education yet, but I sell healthy, home-cooked food at prices that are affordable to lower-middle-income people. Different fast food and bakery products have also become very popular.
Another female entrepreneur, Shahida Akhter Asha, owner of Ashaj Baking Beauty, told TBS: âI deliver an average of Tk 3,000 worth of food every day. Basically, employees and singles order my food. We offer Bengali and Chinese cuisine and I make birthday cakes. I have an average profit of 30%. “
Lawyer Taslima Sultana Khanom Nishat, former president of the Brahmanbaria Sadar upazila Nari Unnayan Forum, said that “Many men lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic, then women stepped in to support family expenses and have become full-fledged entrepreneurs, home-made food businesses, these women have become financially self-sufficient.
âIf women entrepreneurs get government incentives or bank loans, they will increasingly play an important role in the country’s economy,â she said.
The restaurant owners association says women entrepreneurs do not follow government rules and regulations, although they do become self-reliant with their online food businesses.
Mohammad Shah Alam, President of the Association of Restaurant Owners of Brahmanbaria District, said, âWe operate in accordance with government rules and regulations and pay taxes to the government. Restaurants use commercial gas lines, but women entrepreneurs do business using residential gas lines. , they pay no tax to the government. ”
The association urges women entrepreneurs to do business by following government rules and regulations for online businesses.