Southeast Asia’s street food sellers fight lockdown hinh anh 1Street food vendors wear face masks, as a preventive measure against the coronavirus, when serving takeaway customers in Chinatown in Bangkok. (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA)
– From Facebook groups to hyper-local delivery services, street food chefs in Southeast Asia are cooking up creative ways to sell their wares as they struggle to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangkok Post reported.

The region is known for exotic treats often enjoyed at chairs and tables by the roadside, from mango sticky rice to rich coconut curries.

But restrictions imposed to fight the coronavirus have forced vendors off the streets and confined customers to their homes, leaving businesses scrambling to find new ways to make ends meet.

And even with lockdowns being eased in some places, business will likely be slow to recover as many people continue to observe the social-distancing order.

One chef in Singapore, where open-air food courts housing many stalls are largely deserted as eating out has been banned, has created a Facebook group and is helping less tech-savvy vendors advertise takeaways.

Melvin Chew, 42, whose stall offers rice noodles and braised duck, said the group now has over 250,000 members, including both food sellers and customers.

There are a lot of supporters who have been helping out sharing the Facebook page, Chew said, adding this actually brings out the passion and the love for street food.

In Thailand’s Bangkok, one small hostel has transformed itself into a centre to help street food sellers in their neighbourhood.

Once Again Hostel has launched a delivery service linking vendors up with customers in the area via messaging app LINE, and takes a 15 percent commission, far lower than other such online services.

After a customer places an order, the food is dropped off at the hostel, and staff then arrange for motorbike couriers to deliver it. Thai street food classics like pad thai and roast pork noodles are among the most popular dishes.

In some places, the community is rallying around and a crowd-funding campaign has been launched in Myanmar's biggest city Yangon to raise money for street food sellers./.