Tuesday, June 18, 2019

One or More Reasons I Loathe Delivery Apps

I confess - I loathe delivery apps.  I confess - I've never used a single delivery app for a single delivery of a meal. Years ago, when they (grub hub, seamless, door dash, uber eats, et al.) first were rearing their ugly heads, I had a friend who was an early adopter; I complained to said friend that all the apps would do would be to increase the cost to consumers, as well as to chip away at the meager profits of small restaurants. He didn't cook at home and he didn't care; case closed.

Oh sure - let's face it - I used deliveryBut didn't we all back in simpler times, simply by calling up our local Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese/Pizza/sandwich/bodega place (A friend literally used to order Tab and cigarette delivery from her bodega - those were the days!)?  

I knew that when I ordered a bowl of wonton noodle soup, some stir fried pork with mixed vegetables (don't tell my rabbi) and some shrimp with black bean sauce from Tang Tang (now New Tang's Garden) on 76th and 3rd, it would arrive at our apartment practically before I'd hung up the phone,  And the guy would climb 4 flights of stairs to deliver it. We had a relationship.

I knew, for years after we'd moved downtown and started to order Saturday lunch sandwiches from Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop, that it would always be the same guy who would deliver said sandwiches to us - without getting lost trying to find our building or apartment. We had a relationship.

And when my delivery guy from Noodle Village arrived with a sack full of noodle soup, some sandy pot chicken mushroom rice and a small order of stir fried greens with garlic, looking all sorts of disheveled, and I asked him if he was ok, his response was (I'll keep this clean): "Too much f*^%ing last night!" We had a relationship.

And those relationships now? Well, let's just say they've gone the way of rotary phones, touch-tone phones, talking on phones and black & white TV's.  I mean after all, if 95% of one's life is spent looking down at an iPhone while walking the crowded streets of NYC, or worse yet, riding on a damn electric scooter that gets dropped off and picked up via an app, what should I expect?  Delivery apps are here to stay, I guess. Doesn't mean I should like or accept them, does it?

Take a look at what the grey lady had to say yesterday (my guess is it's not just limited to France):

QuoteThese jobs have become more precarious,” said Jean-Daniel Zamor, president of the Independent Deliverymen’s Collective in Paris, a group that works on labor issues for couriers. “The fact that there is less money from the platforms has pushed poor people to outsource to people even poorer than them.
And The Wall St. Journal just weighed in last week, about the issues restaurants face with using the apps:

QuoteMany independent restaurants say they work with multiple online-delivery apps because they have become so pervasive; without them, they fear missing out on business. But that doesn’t mean they come cheap. Last year, Modern Restaurant Management reported that Uber Eats was charging restaurants a service fee of 30% of the bill. Similarly, a 2018 analysis by Business.com found select New York restaurants that opted for sponsored listings, in addition to delivery services, ended up paying a minimum of 30% to Grubhub.

Just who do you think is paying that 30% folks?

So, let's just say I was ahead of the curve in my dislike of this particular segment of the gig economy.  And let's just say that instead of Uber Eats, why not cook a meal or two at home?