Grab’s #SupportLocal Campaign: How Technology and Commitment to Community Uplifted Local, Small Food Merchants During the COVID-19 Period

Yangon, Myanmar, 10 August 2020 – When the COVID-19 outbreak escalated in Myanmar in March 2020, Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading super app, evaluated ways to support local food and beverage (F&B) businesses that were among the first to be affected by the pandemic. Dining-in for customers was not allowed and many F&B businesses were forced to decide if they would continue operations.

This led Grab to develop the #SupportLocal campaign which rallied the Yangon community to make food and drink purchases from more than 70 small independent food establishments and hawkers through the on-demand digital food delivery service GrabFood. The #SupportLocal campaign, which was initiated from May to July 2020, provided a critical boost to the GrabFood merchant-partners involved and is a reason why they managed to weather the storm and are able to continue running their businesses today.

Background of the #SupportLocal Campaign

The merchant-partners involved in the #SupportLocal campaign were selected according to the criteria of being a small restaurant or hawker which is not part of a franchise or group, and with monthly average sales of less than MMK 500,000 in orders facilitated through the GrabFood delivery service.

The initiatives launched as part of the #SupportLocal campaign included Grab’s Small Business Promotion Subsidy Programme which saw Grab provide funding of an exclusive 20 percent discount on all menu items offered by the participating merchant-partners from 1 May to 31 July 2020. On top of this, Grab provided marketing support in the Grab App and across various digital channels to increase visibility and promote the small, independent food businesses.

Results of the #SupportLocal Campaign

Through the campaign, the participating merchant-partners enjoyed more income opportunities and were uplifted to continue their businesses as well as support the livelihoods of their staff. Highlights of the success of the #SupportLocal campaign from 1 May to 31 July include:

Increasing the Sales of Merchant-Partners:

  • Merchant-partners enjoyed a 22 percent increase in delivery orders
  • Merchant-partners received 5 times more orders from new and unique customers
  • Merchant-partners received the most GrabFood ordersduring breakfast and lunch time, helping the F&B businesses generate income during the daytime as a curfew was imposed

Increasing the Visibility of Merchant-Partners

  • Grab invested USD 20,000 to promote the merchant-partners during the campaign period
  • Merchant-partners were promotedthrough promoted digital banners and ads in the Grab App, paid-promotional posts and videos on Facebook, Google advertising campaigns, as well as the engagement of online influencers such as food bloggers and celebrities to share content on social media platforms

Tin Tin Aye Htate Tan Motehinkhar Yankin was of the selected GrabFood merchant-partners to be supported by the #SupportLocal campaign. The restaurant, located in Yankin Township in Yangon offers motehinkhar, a variety of salads and noodle dishes, as well as drinks that are perfect for breakfast and lunch times.

“When COVID-19 hit, we were faced with difficult decisions to make. One of the key reasons why we continued our business was because of the hope that we may receive orders through the GrabFood delivery service. What eventually happened was beyond my expectations! Within a day, we had a ‘digital store’ on the GrabFood platform and on average, 30 percent of my business came from digital orders. Our restaurant was part of the #SupportLocal campaign and we were featured in a TV commercial. You can’t imagine how happy I was, and still am, to see delivery-partners show up daily to my restaurant to pick up orders. Looking back at past months, I’m not sure what would have happened if COVID-19 struck at a time when we didn’t have digital tools like GrabFood. I wish to thank Grab and GrabFood customers for helping us to stay open,” said Daw Kyi Aung, owner of Tin Tin Aye Htate Tan Motehinkhar Yankin.

As it strives to provide long-term support to local F&B businesses, Grab regularly engages with the Myanmar Restaurant Association for guidance and collaboration on initiatives such as elevating food safety standards.

Said U Nay Linn, Chairman of  Myanmar Restaurant Association (Central), about Grab’s #SupportLocal campaign, “While the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to test the resolve of people in Myanmar and across the globe, the past months have revealed the best of the human spirit. From the inspiring efforts of medical professionals, volunteers, community groups and governments, to the generosity of individuals and corporations, the common goal has been to help people recover from the crisis and adapt to the ‘new normal’. Through Grab’s #SupportLocal campaign, people in Yangon were able to use a digital platform to order food conveniently as they stayed at home during the COVID-19 period. The campaign also inspired many local registered F&B businesses to adopt digital transformation with Grab and this helped keep their businesses going.”

During the #SupportLocal campaign, hundreds of local F&B businesses in Yangon and Mandalay registered to be a GrabFood merchant-partner. Grab’s digital platform serves as the much-needed innovation to help F&B businesses in Yangon and Mandalay serve customers through delivery orders facilitated by GrabFood.

“People in Yangon and Mandalay will remember the lockdown period and the strange sights of the empty streets, with only food delivery-partners on the road working tirelessly to bring meals to peoples’ doorsteps. Through the #SupportLocal campaign, we were uplifted at how GrabFood customers and the Yangon community came together and patronised small food establishments. Every GrabFood order, big or small, contributed to help our merchant-partners sustain their businesses. Our work is far from over and we will continue to support restaurants and merchant-partners to get back on their feet by growing income opportunities for them,” said Cindy Toh, Country Head, Grab Myanmar.

Small, independent food establishments and hawkers who wish to be a GrabFood merchant-partner can contact +959765421049 or email