Can Food Delivery Work for Everyone?


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For many people and restaurants, food delivery was a lifeline during the pandemic when in-person dining was too risky or closed. This habit is here to stay and everyone involved is now trying to figure out how to run the delivery business for them.

Coworker Kate Conger wrote on friday about the flexibility of food distribution As the coronavirus pandemic eases in the USA. He talked to me about how restaurant and app companies like Uber Eats and DoorDash are reimagining home delivery post-pandemic and handling complaints, including fees and complexities. casual restaurants and some dinners.

Shira: Many restaurants in the US are packing the dining rooms again and that restaurant delivery orders have not fallen much from pandemic levels. How can it be both?

Kate: It is clear that many people find these distribution apps useful during the pandemic and are willing to continue using them. it will cost them more. I’m hesitant to guess whether the pandemic behavior will continue forever, but I think the DoorDash executive I spoke to was probably right: It’s often difficult for people to back off from activities they deem appropriate.

What do restaurants think about the possibility of delivery apps becoming a permanent part of their business?

It’s a mix. There are people like May Seto, a restaurant owner who redesigned the food kitchen to make pizzas that customers can only order through takeout or delivery apps. He believes the delivery is here to stay and changes his job to accommodate it. Other restaurant owners can’t wait to call back on delivery as they pissed off the costs and hassles.

And then there are the people in the middle of the restaurant industry. They believe delivery can be lucrative and important, but some are lobbying for changes to make app services more sustainable for them, such as limits on fees that app companies charge.

Have delivery app companies responded to any of these concerns?

In some cases, yes, and politicians also intervened to force change. DoorDash now gives restaurants more fee options. Instead of taking up to 30 percent of a restaurant’s sale, the restaurant can only pay 15 percent for delivery and then pay more for extras like appearing higher in app search results.

San Francisco laid permanent upper limit on wages that delivery apps can charge restaurants and that other cities impose temporary limits during the pandemic. Some restaurant owners worry that the math won’t work for them if these fees return to previous levels.

There are restaurant owners, delivery couriers, and restaurants that have major concerns about food delivery practices. And app companies are still mostly unprofitable. Do you see these as temporary problems or is there a fundamental problem with food distribution?

Growing pains and also convenience trade-offs. Job seekers may consider the unattractive aspects of the delivery job, but it’s also a position they can pretty easily sign up for and get started right away. Diners may not like that a delivered meal isn’t as fresh as what they would get at the restaurant and is more expensive, but it’s a trade-off many are willing to make to get food to the table. Last year, many restaurants required delivery as their catering business shrank, even if they had aspects they didn’t like.

Can restaurants be an attractive place to dine in person, even when preparing food for delivery? Grocery stores are struggling it’s double duty.

It’s not always easy. The ability to do both delivery and dinner well is somewhat dependent on the physical space of the restaurant. For restaurants with small dining rooms, it can be inconvenient for a delivery courier to come through the door every few minutes in the area where people eat. But I’ve also talked to restaurants that have more space and can reserve a counter for delivery orders, and also have ample parking in front of them for both in-person customers and couriers.

Why are DoorDash and Uber expanding? to deliver all kinds of things Like groceries, alcohol, and grocery items? Is this an admission that it is difficult to make food distribution profitable or sustainable?

This is a good question. The restaurant business does not have high profit margins. it Doesn’t leave much room for movement when money for ordering food is split between a restaurant, delivery courier, and delivery company.

Offering more product variants could put app companies at ease if customers turn away from restaurant delivery. And also a way to try create higher priced orders. If you order dinner from DoorDash and snag some items from 7-Eleven, then you’ll spend more and the potential to make a profit for everyone involved increases.

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Today is Friday. Almost a holiday weekend. enjoy Muffin dog (or puppy) shoveling eagerly.

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