Covid-19 has led to the creation of new jobs. Longtime businesses have had to adapt themselves to this situation by creating online platforms to reach their audience. And, in general, advertising campaigns are becoming more and more persuasive, appealing to general feelings and emotions.
The first estimates from the International Labor Organization (ILO) show a substantial increase in unemployment and underemployment as a result of the virus outbreak. This increase ranges between 5.3 and 24.7 million people with a reference value of 188 million unemployed people in 2019. Although this data is still an estimate, since the year has not ended, it leaves us a clear conclusion: this global pandemic will leave a permanent mark in human history.
The reduction in economic activity and restrictions on the movement of people affected both in the industrial and service sectors. Supply chains at global and regional levels have been affected and the tertiary sector, more specifically tourism, has become a very vulnerable sector.
In Summer, the Irish government urged employees to plan their return to work phases when restrictions were lifted for their businesses. “They will need to put in place measures for a gradual and phased return to the workplace, with social distancing measures remaining in place”. These procedures are included in the Return to Work Safely Protocol, a document written by Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE), that will be updated regularly. Government figures show that, at the end of July, there were 386.935 unemployed people in Ireland. Information that reveals a very negative context for the Irish society and economy.
Covid-19 pandemic has affected the emotional well-being of the population aged 15 years and over. The consequent employment effects are loss of employment, temporary layoff, change in work hours, remote working from home or change to business model to online/takeaway, etc.
These adaptations and transformations of work to the current need have led to new jobs. Above all, the sectors that have experienced a growing trend the most are those related to basic care such as Healthcare Jobs. Healthcare professionals have been essential figures to sustain this situation. Also on the frontline are the grocery retail & food supply chain jobs, which have served all households and families during this tough period. Another line of work that we cannot forget is the customer service jobs, with people who have worked daily to address the unending doubts that Covid-19 has generated. Language teachers have also continued creating content and helping many people who have taken advantage of this lockdown to improve or start a language. But, the case that we’ll talk about today is the food delivery service.
New jobs as a result of covid 19: Marmitex
This is one of the groups that has worked the most in recent months, it is already how the catering sector has adapted to stay alive. André Mendoça and Kettily Barbosa are an example of young entrepreneurs who have decided to start a food delivery business in these hard times. The Irish Labour Market observes that 70% of the workforce – 1.6 million workers – are employed in small and medium-sized firms, many in what are called micro-enterprises (those with 10 staff or fewer). The project is called Marmitex, and it was devised at the end of September. He graduated in Gastronomy and she graduated in Physical Education, both in Brazil, the country where they were born.
The project idea arose from a very common need situation due to Covid-19. With the announcement of a possible second lockdown, Kettily’s company closed and she became unemployed, André also suffered a significant reduction of hours. This led them to make a hard decision; either act or return to Brazil. This is how Marmitex was born, a food delivery service that aims to return the flavours of their country to Brazilians in Ireland. Although, their menu is also available in English because they are eager for foreign people to taste Brazilian gastronomy.
This type of business is very common in Brazil, where we can find many variations of take-away service. This is called “Marmita”, and it is planned to be consumed on the same day or can be ordered for the whole week. These dishes, generally, consist of a protein base accompanied by supplements such as vegetables, meat, mushrooms, cheese… All the components of a varied and balanced diet.
Their roles in the company are very determined; André, who has worked as a chef for 7 years, is responsible for creating the menu every week, he also buys the products on Saturday and sanitizes the orders, that are accepted until 10 pm on Friday and prepared on Sunday morning. Kettly leads the marketing and social media side, reaching out to customers to receive orders and payments, packaging food and delivery, started at 2 pm on Sunday. As for the measures established due to the viral crisis in which we find ourselves, they assure that they support the restrictions and regulations of the government, since they believe that their highest priority is to value and save the lives of the Irish population. Thus, for example, when it comes to delivering orders, they strictly follow these regulations, using masks, gloves and hydroalcoholic gel. Deliveries are done with bicycle and always maintaining security measures. They have a great social conscience since what they do can affect the lives of others.
Currently, the businesses that are mostly growing are those companies that work as a home office. André and Kettly think that their strong point in this context is that these people continue with their work routine, so the meals they ate in bars to save time now have to be made from home. With no time to cook, food delivery has become her best choice. As for their promotion, it is mostly done on Instagram (@marmitex.ie), but they also have a large network of Brazilian contacts who are their potential clients.
Even though they know that it will be a difficult road due to social instability, Marmitex is a project born from the illusion of growing up in a foreign country. Emotional instability leads them to consider their future and the future of their family in Brazil, and the financial part is not to less worrying. But in the end, this idea reinforces their dream of continuing living in Ireland. Marmitex is a safe bet for quality food at a very reasonable price, but above all, consuming its food supposes supporting small businesses, a group that has become a risk due to the largest global pandemic of this century.
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