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Culture News Opinion What's New

Food Delivery Services Offer Customers Incentives During Covid-19 Concerns, But What About Their Drivers?

Yesterday, Postmates announced that it would be slashing delivery fees in half for orders worth more than $10 between the hours of 10am-2pm, capitalizing on the recent wave of social isolation due to COVID-19. 

This comes only two days after the company made a dual announcement, stating that it planned to waive commission fees for restaurants, therefore allowing them to join and use the app for free, as well as pay for any COVID-19 medical expenses their drivers accrued. 

The two announcements serve as a microcosm of the juxtaposition delivery services currently lie in: with business surging due to the increased number of people staying home,  what’s the proper response to their workers, who lie at the frontline of exposure, and their struggling restaurant partners?

There appears to be no clear cut answer. 

Postmates took some of the first action in early March by introducing non-contact deliveries, allowing customers to choose a drop off location for their food. But, with most companies working from home, American cities beginning to shut down entirely, and most delivery services remaining tight-lipped about the issues, drivers felt left in the dust.

As lawmakers pressed companies like DoorDash and Uber to improve situations for their workers, food delivery services scrambled to distance themselves from the issue. DoorDash and InstaCart quickly announced paid sick leave for workers diagnosed with COVID-19, and Postmates took the aforementioned measures.

This still doesn’t leave drivers with much room to breath, though. If one is infected, money will be lost regardless, either in the form of time spent going to the doctors or time spent quarantined.

Grubhub took effort to help only restaurants, with a similar strategy to Postmates, by slashing their marketing fees. No word, however, was said about the affected Grubhub delivery drivers.

Though, certainly, these companies seem to be trying to help their associated restaurants and individuals, business is still going on as usual.

And we’ve seen, in multiple countries, what will happen if business goes on as usual, and what happens when it doesn’t.

Delivery services can’t come to terms with the scale of the virus, and the measures it’s going to take to prevent widespread infection. There’s too much money to be lost. And, with no one wanting to leave the house, and drivers relying on the wage they earn for sustenance, the money will continue to roll in.

As long as delivery companies are delivering, and drivers are still dependent on work, ordering delivery with timely promotions doesn’t offer much of an ethical issue. Though, the privilege of being able to put another human at-risk to allow oneself to self-isolate should be noted, and also warrant a hell of a tip.

But, if these companies are as serious as they say they are about preventing infection, that would mean halting business for a week or two, since their entire business plans revolve around sending drivers through different cities to interact with others. This, in turn, would probably harm already struggling restaurants, as well. 

It’s hard to see a right answer with how our gastronomic economy is set up. It’s an ecosystem that runs out of necessity, one that won’t stop turning until it’s forced to.

Categories
Food Waste News Sustainability What's New

You Can Now Help Fight Hunger By Ordering DoorDash

Yesterday, DoorDash, the nation’s leading on-demand food destination, announced that, from September 17-30, they will donate $1 to Feeding America for every order placed that uses the promo code FEEDAMERICA in honor of Feeding America’s annual Hunger Action Month.

According to the press release, each dollar allows Feeding America, a nationwide nonprofit that fights hunger and food insecurity, to secure another 10 meals from their local food banks. In addition, each DoorDash user who donates to the cause will receive a promo code for $5 off their next order as a thank you note.

By getting their millions of users so directly involved in the company’s donation, DoorDash seems to hope that the issue strikes a chord in each individual customer, producing a greater effect than simply donating the money en masse to Feeding America would.

This comes on the back of a hectic couple of months for DoorDash, as the company came under fire after it was revealed that any tips were essentially being sent to DoorDash and not the driver. This policy was immediately changed after the backlash.

Despite this, it seems DoorDash is on the right track. With their workers properly compensated, the company moved on to announce that its social impact program, Project DASH, has rescued over a million pounds of food from being wasted.

As DoorDash looks to increase its presence in the fight against hunger, this partnership with Feeding America make sense. The nonprofit’s goal with Hunger Action Month, which is an event that has taken place every September for the last 11 years, is to increase hunger awareness and action regarding the issue. It encourages any and all ways of raising awareness, from individually posting on social media to larger campaigns, such as DoorDash’s.

If you would care to get involved with Feeding America’s cause, go ahead and eat in tonight by ordering with DoorDash. You can also donate to Feeding America directly, right here.

Categories
Food Festivals Sweets What's New

Afters Ice Cream is Now Serving Tapatio Flavored Sorbet

This week, on September 15th, The Hundreds and DoorDash will be hosting the Family Style Food Fest, an event that pairs the streetwear community and with lauded restaurants to create a brand new food experience centered around community. However, one of the most appealing options isn’t coming from a streetwear designer, it’s coming from one of the most dependable sauce brands on the market, Tapatio, and Orange County’s own Afters Ice Cream.

The two will be rolling out a special collaboration flavor, made by infusing Tapatio into Afters’ mango sorbet. To give it some extra punch, they’ve added a Tapatio swirl. Then, they drizzle a good amount of Tapatio on top and dust it with a layer of Tajin, the popular Mexican seasoning powder.

While this may seem overwhelming on paper, the flavor combination is surprisingly mellow. The Tapatio doesn’t overpower the mango, it only adds some heat that’s immediately cooled off by the sorbet. The result is a sweet and spicy treat akin to a mangonada. All it needs is the Flautirriko.

If you want to try this late summer treat, but can’t make it to Los Angeles next Sunday, the flavor will be available at all Afters locations for a limited amount of time. 

Categories
News The Katchup

Foodbeast CEO Boycotts Food Delivery Apps Amid Controversies

 

Quotes used in this article have been transcribed from the Foodbeast Katchup podcast episode “#87: Snoop Dogg Headlining A Noodle Festival.”

After a heated podcast discussion involving food delivery apps, and their continuous questionable practices over the years, Foodbeast CEO and The Katchup co-host Geoffrey Kutnick vowed to boycott all food delivery apps.

A lot of the conversation was centered around the recent news of food delivery apps such as Door Dash using its driver’s tips to cover a promised base pay, instead of adding on top of it, as most tipping systems usually do.

“I’m not going to use delivery service apps,” Kutnick proclaimed. “I’ll take a stand right here. I do not like what’s happening. And the only way I can contribute to ‘I don’t like that,’ is ‘Cool, I won’t use it.'”

While DoorDash CEO Tony Xu promised to make changes to its pay model, the controversy might still haunt them for a little while, as a class action lawsuit has been filed against DoorDash, with it reading:

“DoorDash financed its growth by taking tips paid by its users and meant for hard-working delivery workers. Mr. Arkin and all other class members that used DoorDash should recover, at a minimum, all tips that were never paid to the delivery workers.”

While DoorDash has been the company under fire of late, the other digital food delivery services don’t exactly get a pass, as the podcast episode also delved into a past lawsuit accusing Postmates’ delivering In-N-Out without the restaurant’s consent, Grubhub’s alleged tactic of creating tens of thousands of restaurant websites without consent, and how all these apps prey on cash-strapped people with promises of high payouts.

Only time will tell where the future of these delivery services goes from here. From the possibility of self-driving cars taking over to threats of workers unionizing, it’s an interesting wrinkle in the industry that is having its bumps at the moment.

Categories
Hacks Restaurants

7 Food Delivery Hacks That Will Come Through In The Clutch

Food delivery has taken the country by storm without question, but it comes with plenty of tradeoffs. On the one hand, there’s a lot that being in the restaurant has to offer, including the freshness of the food, that you lose out on. However, being at home and getting the food to come straight to you also provides its conveniences.

By looking at what’s hot and what’s not when it comes to delivery, it’s possible to mitigate the cons and transform the food delivery experience into the jack-of-all-trades we can lifehack it to be. From using our stovetops to saving on water for dishes, there’s plenty of small changes we can make when ordering in that’ll take the experience up to a whole new level.

Here’s a few quick hacks that you can easily pull off the next time you’re ordering delivery.

Reboil Your Broths

When ordering pho or ramen, you want that broth to be piping hot to get the maximum enjoyment out of it. Since it usually arrives at your door slightly cooled down, reheating is the best option here. Microwaves can be pretty uneven with bringing every part of your container to temperature, so bringing it up to a boil on your stove is the way to go. Your tastebuds and stomach will be thanking you.

The Perfectly Timed Delivery

Photo: Lok Shesa // Wikimedia Commons CC 4.0

It may take a while to master this, but if you can time your delivery order so it arrives at home the same time you do, there’s no need to wait. It requires knowing how long your commute home is and how long the delivery will take, but that extra attention to detail will be worth the result.

Keep Rice On Deck

Photo: Aaron Goodwin // Flickr CC 2.0

One of the biggest gripes with delivery is the extra charge all of that rice can stack on. Why pay a huge markup for the starch when you’ve got bags of it in your apartment? Whether you make a couple of cups in the rice cooker or have a microwaveable pouch on standby, it’ll help save a bit of money in the long run.

Take Advantage Of Your Toaster Oven/Air Fryer

Nothing’s worse than when the fries, fried chicken, or other crispy foods show up having lost their crunch. A quick blast in a toaster oven or air fryer, however, is all they need to be revitalized and to enjoy that eruptive texture.

Buying Your Favorite Mains In Bulk

If you’re skipping the rice deliveries as mentioned above, why just get a single order of orange chicken or spicy wings? Stock up on a few, and you won’t have to get delivery so much, reducing those additional fee costs. A few orders at a time means you can save some in the fridge and appropriately reheat them to get your favorite meals on repeat at a better overall price.

Know Who’s Got The Best Deals

Every food delivery app has its strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to know when to use which for each situation. Chief amongst that is keeping tabs on deals and discounts, which can be ordered via coupon or code. Grubhub and Doordash are your spots for coupons, while Postmates and Ubereats tend to have some helpful codes dropping weekly.

Any Container Can Be A Plate, Too

Dishwashing can always be a chore with delivery, but remember that the serving vessels also make for great plates, too. Even a standard vertical takeout box can be broken down into a functional bowl if you know how to hack it right. Check the above video for clutch a step-by-step guide.

Categories
Fast Food

We DoorDashed Carl’s Jr. And It Was SO Mediocre

Carl’s Jr. recently announced a partnership with DoorDash. Now, the food-delivery app had access to Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s menus for customers to order from.

We decided to check out the service ourselves.

Since we had a packed house, interns and all, we decided to treat the entire staff to some Carl’s Jr. Luckily, there was one a few miles away so we loaded up the DoorDash app and started taking orders.

Here’s what happened:

The Orders

Carls-DoorDash-Lunch

Since we had to feed both our staff and all the interns, there were a lot of orders to take. Some wanted natural cut fries, others wanted Criss-Cut. With everyone working on different projects, it took a while to get all the orders in.

The Damage

Carls-DoorDash-Total

With a total of $61.20 and a $15.30 tip, we hit accept and our lunch was on its way. The total damage for lunch was a little more than $80.

The Deliverance

Carls-DoorDash-Food

While the nearest Carl’s Jr. was only a 10-minute drive from the office, the DoorDash process took nearly an hour. Probably because of the hefty amount of orders.

After nearly an hour of waiting, our food delivered and the driver on his way. When we got back to check, however, and a few things were missing.

Even though DoorDash was quick to fix their mistake (along with an apology call) and get us our Sprite and Chicken Tenders, we had to wait pretty much another hour for the two items to get there.

Our Thoughts

It was OK. Kinda cold. -Anna (Video)

I had to microwave my fries. – Molly (Staff)

Isai Rocha, the Kanye West of burrito eating, was more than excited for his burger.

I think it tasted very Western.

Lukewarm to cold Carl’s Jr. can pretty much be expected when it takes an hour to arrive. Maybe they should’ve taken a page out of In-N-Out’s book and passed. We’ve yet to see great door-delivery for fast food. Perhaps it’s just not meant to be.

Would we do it again? Nah.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss News Technology

DoorDash Wants To Plant A Tree In Your Honor For Earth Day

Earth Day is upon us today, and with it, an overwhelming sense of responsibility to take care of our big, blue/green ball.  Door Dash has made this a little bit easier for us with their one-day promotion.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.28.59 PM

Only for today, anybody that orders a salad or generally leafy meal using the Door Dash app will have a tree planted (still waiting to hear back from Door Dash to find out when and where) as a thank you. Using the Arbor Day Foundation, Door Dash is looking to virtually recycle these trees by planting a new one to replace the one you just ate.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 1.32.42 PM

Although this offer seemingly makes more sense on Arbor Day (which falls on April 29th this year, the last Friday in April), it still provides a fun and interactive way for cubicle-dwelling Earth-lovers like myself to thank Mother Earth for all the dope shit she’s done for us since, well, the dawn of time really.

I can’t think of a time that helping the planet has ever been made more convenient for average Joes like me. Can you?

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Source: Talented Idea, Multiwood