Initially, it was expected that the service would be launched by the end of 2019 but that didn't happen, following which COVID-19 struck, leaving questions over the company's plans.
Now, Amazon has answered with a calibrated launch of the service.
Highest hygiene, safety standard, says Amazon
In a statement announcing the service, an Amazon spokesperson said, "We are launching Amazon Food in select Bangalore pin codes allowing customers to order from handpicked local restaurants and cloud kitchens that pass our high hygiene certification bar."
The representative emphasized that the company is adhering "to the highest standards of safety to ensure our customers remain safe while having a delightful [food] experience."
These regions currently have Amazon Food
As of now, people in Bellandur, Haralur, Marathalli, and Whitefield can order from Amazon Food.
The service can be availed from the main Amazon app (no separate app required like the now-dead Uber Eats), with free and contactless delivery benefits included.
Notably, a person in the know tells the Economic Times that "this network will expand to a few cities...in a few weeks."
Food delivery and restaurant business is reeling from COVID-19
The launch of Amazon's food delivery business comes at a time when the industry is reeling from the COVID-19 crisis.
On March 24, a nationwide lockdown was imposed to fight the pandemic, resulting in temporary restaurant shutdowns all over the country and significantly hitting the business of Amazon's two main competitors in the food delivery segment - Swiggy and Zomato.
Both Swiggy and Zomato have had to downsize
The impact of COVID-19 has been such that both Swiggy and Zomato have had to downsize significantly.
Now, even though reports suggest that the aftermath of this crisis will probably see four of ten restaurants shut down permanently, food-delivery is only going to be the way forward in the current situation, which presents Amazon an opportunity to expand the footprint of its new business.