Saudi office lunch delivery startup Dailymealz that has been offering subscription-based lunch delivery service to employees at different companies in Riyadh, Jeddah, and the Eastern Province in Saudi, has partnered with the local retail giant Panda to launch a grocery delivery service, it told MENAbytes today.

The Riyadh-based startup has also been delivering food to homes (for about two weeks) of its subscribers and new customers as most of the employees at both private companies and government organizations have been working from their homes.

But as the demand for online groceries has grown exponentially during the last few weeks (due to curfew as people are restricted to their homes most of the day), Dailymealz has now partnered with Panda to sell grocery baskets and deliver them. They’ve started this in Riyadh but are looking to potentially expand it into other cities.

We had reported last week that grocery startups all around the region are witnessing a big surge in online orders as people everywhere are staying indoors due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

The groceries available on Dailymealz are available in the form of two pre-made baskets with different products. The basket of groceries, Dailymealz says, has products that fulfill the grocery needs of an average household for two weeks. The basket which has more than 20 products in it including rice and flour, is priced at SAR 299 ($80) which also includes the delivery charges. And the basket of fruits and vegetables is priced at SAR 119 ($32).

The startup is also planning to expand into the ready-to-cook meals.

Dailymealz is currently offering next-day-delivery for the grocery orders. The startup has its own fleet of freelancers who deliver lunch meals to its customers. It is now using the same fleet for grocery deliveries.

Mohamed Al Zalabany, the co-founder and CEO of Dailymealz, speaking to MENAbytes, said, “We’re trying to help people stay home by partnering with Panda to use our tech and logistics to deliver groceries to a broader customer base.”

He explained that the expansion into groceries is temporary for now but they will assess the option of potentially permanently expanding into subscription-based grocery delivery, adding that the focus will always be to provide lunch to offices.

Mohamed also pointed out that adding groceries to their business (even if it is temporary) also means more deliveries and additional income for their partner (driver) network.

Panda and other big grocery retailers in Saudi have partnered with different other last-mile delivery companies too, to deliver groceries on their behalf.