Categories
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
Alcohol Beer Feel Good News Nightlife Toasty

Heineken Teams With Uber and Evite For “Drink OR Drive” Campaign And Incentives

With Thanksgiving this week, the holiday season is now in full swing and that means parties, drinking, and cheer. However, with good times comes the question, “How are we getting home?”

Heineken recently announced its “Drink OR Drive” campaign where they teamed with Uber and digital invitation platform Evite to provide discounted rides. Now through January 3, 2018, consumers aged 21+ in 11 cities can decide early on via Evite whether they will be drinking or driving at holiday events.

According to a global study by Heineken, 77% of respondents think there are circumstances where it is acceptable to drink and drive, while 49% get ‘caught up having fun’ and find it hard to plan ahead. Through this new partnership, the beer brand is encouraging everyone to plan ahead so that they can enjoy the holiday season more safely and responsibly.

“The ‘Drink OR Drive’ campaign aims to influence more responsible decision-making. This isn’t about discouraging drinking – it’s about rewarding people who are making responsible decisions early on about whether they will be drinking or driving during festivities,” said Stephanie Johnston, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Heineken USA, via a statement. “That’s why Heineken is offering Uber discount codes as a reward to consumers who make either choice. As long as you pick either drinking or driving – never both – you deserve to be rewarded.”

So, whether you’re planning your next fete or heading to one, be sure to be safe and drink responsibly.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

The Weirdest People I Met As A Postmates Courier

 

slack_for_ios_upload_720

When Uber came on the scene in 2009, it revolutionized the idea of “convenience at cost.”

Customers saved tons of money using Uber instead of a regular taxi, while Uber drivers made an extra buck on the side driving whenever they could. Two years later, a company that specialized in delivering a variety of goods (with an emphasis on food) was born. I worked as a Postmates courier for a few months, and much like taxi drivers (and now Uber drivers), I was lucky enough to witness some crazy shit.

Drunken Nightfall Construction Man

My first delivery ever proved to be a strange one, to say the least. I had turned on my courier app and after only a few short minutes, a request came in. I clicked accept and raced to my car. The order called for a small lamp, a hammer and a 30 pack of Bud Light. I was confused and curious, but my job is to deliver the goods, not interrogate people on their seemingly weird intentions. I picked up all three items from Wal-Mart then headed to the customer’s house. I rang the doorbell, and a man wearing only paint-covered overalls and a face shield opened the door. I handed him his belongings, he signed for them, then smiled at me and closed the door. A strange way to start my career as a courier, to be certain. To this day I still wonder what the hell he was building back there, but I’ve seen Dexter enough times to know you don’t mess with a man holding a hammer and wearing a face shield.

The Recluse

Once when delivering in Irvine, I dropped a burger and fries off at an apartment housing a very trepid man. I rang the doorbell and waited for about 20 seconds. As I turned to walk away, I heard the door creaking open. I turn back around to see the creepiest eyeball I’ve ever seen staring back at me. His eye kept darting wildly back and forth between my face and his bag of food.

“Oh, um, hello sir. I’m Sean, I work for Postmates, I have a delivery for you.”

“Leave it.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Leave it on the doorstep!”

I walked back towards the door to leave his food where people normally have welcome mats. I dropped the bag on the floor in front of the door.

“Ok, sir, but I still need you to sign here so that it’s documented that you received your del–”

“Sign it yourself, give whatever tip you want.”

After he slammed the door shut, I began briskly walking to my car while signing away the $50 tip this man just gave me, because I’ve seen Dexter enough times to know you don’t mess with people that are that secretive. Damn, I need to start watching a new show.

The Sorority Girls

I got a request for six bottles of champagne once. I walked up to the front door of the house and rang the doorbell. You’d think I’d died and went to heaven, because seven or eight scantily-clad women opened the door and all started praising my name, like I had just saved them from Armageddon. They loved me so much that they even invited me inside to party with them. Keep in mind, I have yet to say anything at this point, considering how hard it is to speak over the chorus of “woot woot!” Eventually when they quieted down, I explained to them that I was low on cash and really needed to make some money, so I politely declined. I still consider it one of the most boneheaded blunders ever committed in the history of the world.

morgue-file-delivery-guy

The Gamers

On one of my last trips ever was a request for several bags of candy and a 24-pack of Coca-Cola. When I arrived at the house, I was greeted by a friendly young man in a large Dragon Ball Z t-shirt. Society would call this type of person a “nerd.” As I handed him his candy and soda, I managed to peek inside his apartment. There was a long table with 7 or 8 other guys on it, all playing the same game on their laptop, a game called League of Legends. Around the boys was a sea of candy wrappers and a variety of crushed cans, ranging from Mountain Dew to Red Bull.

“Hey driver guy, you ever play League of Legends? You wanna play? We need one more player, we have an extra laptop and everything. It’ll be super sick man.”

“Ummm…alright, maybe one game.”

Four hours later, I was finally on my way home with a stomach ache, a brand new League of Legends account, and a sudden realization that I, too, am one of these “nerds.” Postmates taught me that I draw the line at potential serial killers and beautiful women, but nerds are my weakness. Dexter would be disappointed.

The Dildo Connoisseur

I once received an order that required five or six double takes from me before I accepted the request. After rubbing my eyes cartoonishly, I looked down again and realized it was real.

Some guy named Charlie wanted me to deliver an 18″ double-sided dildo to him from Condom Revolution.

Penis delivery. This is my life now.

I got to ConRev and lo and behold, there she blew, all 18 veiny inches of her. The wall was adorned with a variety of different shapes, sizes, materials and colors. I was beginning to feel awkward and remarkably ill-equipped, so I grabbed the $50 dildo and took it to the checkout counter.

The first thing I did was inform the employee (who actually looked like she meant to work at Hot Topic and just got lost) that the monstrosity in my hands was not for me and was for a friend. Only later did I realize how poorly I chose my words, considering that it was a double-sided dildo. She didn’t even try to hide the fact that she didn’t believe me.

I purchased the Gut Blender, which thankfully came in a very large, opaque bag and informed the customer that I was on my way. When I got there, he greeted me outside of his home.

“HA HA HA! Oh my god, I can’t believe you picked it up! You actually bought it! That’s so funny.”

“I’m sorry?”

“Oh, I just ordered it as a joke, to see if you would actually buy it or not, and you did! It was totally just an experiment.”

“Oh, ok. Well, do you still want it?”

“Yeah, I mean…I guess so, since I paid for it. Might as well. Maybe I’ll melt it down and make a tire out of it.”

Suddenly the look on the ConRev employee’s face when I was purchasing the dildo made perfect sense.

 

Leader Image Photo Credit: Postmates

Categories
Features

The 6 Craziest Food Stories Of The Week [THE KATCHUP]

Welcome to the Foodbeast Weekly Katchup! If you’ve been busy doing your job and doing your duty as a productive member of society, then this is for you.

Another week has passed on this big, weird, beautiful blue ball we call earth, and with it, a variety of odd, wild and amazing things YOU humans have accomplished in the food world.

Take a look at the video above to see Foodbeast’s take on all these wacky shenanigans.

1. Starbucks Valentine’s Day Frappuccinos

Starbucks-Vday-Custom-Drinks

One bored Starbuck’s barista made these beautiful Frappuccinos, and we can’t thank him enough! These fun-to-look-at beverages come in Love Bean, Valentine and Java Bean flavors. Nothing says “I love you” to a loved one more than a colorful Frappuccino.

2. Cinnamon Bun Oreos

Cinnamon-Bun-Oreos-07

Oreo blew our minds this week with their new Cinnamon Bun Oreo flavor. Admittedly, those colors look funky coming out of an Oreo package, but we know not to judge a cookie by its cover. These bad boys are about to take our taste buds for a joyride.

3. Trader Joe’s Mini Sugar Churros

TJ-Mini-Churros

 

Everybody loves a good churro, but nobody goes crazy for all the preservatives and other junk found in them. So Trader Joe’s went out and worked tirelessly to bring these mouth-watering bite-sized treats to the front of the line, and nobody is mad about it.

 

4. Punchy Taco Bell Exec Sues Uber Driver

uberfeat

Once again, Taco Bell douchebag extraordinaire Ben Golden ends up in the news, only this time, HE’S the one suing THE DRIVER. Crazy, right? Here’s to hoping that the poor Uber driver involved in this story walks away with a W!

 

5. How To Have Anal Sex Explained By Fruits

Fruits-AS

Everybody wonders about anal sex from time to time, but is anyone ever brave enough to ask the necessary questions? Well, the brilliant minds over at Simple Pickup have found a fun, colorful and still slightly off-putting way to teach viewers the in’s and out’s (pun definitely intended) of anal sex.

 

6. Hexagonal Beer Pong Cups

Beer pong will never be the same again! Two former mechanical engineers decided to take their beer pong game to the next level when they came up with this crazy shit, and you can bet your ass we’re on board! Let’s see what these bad boys can do!

Categories
Technology

Your Uber Driver Can Officially Double As A Food Delivery Guy

It’s been a week of wins for Uber Technologies Inc. After successfully challenging regulations for full-service pick up and drop off at Los Angeles International Airport this week, the company has announced another addition to its international business model.

UberEATS-menu-

UberEATS, will serve as a second standalone application under Uber Technologies, Inc., and will aim to satisfy hunger, rather than travel needs. UberEATS was launched in early December in Toronto, Canada and will make its way out ‘the 6,’ into 10 major cities, specifically, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Dallas and Austin, by March, the company announced Wednesday.

Of course, Uber itself has no hand in preparing the meals, but will work with local restaurants to ensure the quick delivery of food, “anywhere you can drop a pin,” on your smartphone. Jason Droege, Head of Uber Everything, said.

Uber has been testing the waters of the food delivery biz for some time, according to Wired.com. In fact, the first launch of UberEATS was tested in Spain and Los Angeles, then added in Chicago and New York, the program found success by taking advantage of its expansive network of drivers and partnerships with participating restaurants.

How does it work?

UberEATS will utilize Uber’s network of drivers while out waiting for potential customers. The drivers, will pick up pre-orders as they wait for passengers. Essentially, there won’t be a smorgasbord of items to salivate over, but it is more likely that participating restaurants will have a small menu, updated daily.

UberEATS claims to be able to get customers food order delivered in a turnaround time of 10 minutes.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Drunk Taco Bell Exec Who Attacked an Uber Driver is Now Suing Him For $5 Million

golden-e1453141351675

The Taco Bell executive who violently attacked an Uber driver last year is reportedly suing his victim for $5 million for recording the incident. To add insult to injury, the plaintiff stated that the driver himself is to blame for any injuries he suffered during the incident.

The suit was filed just a month after Benjamin Golden issued a statement saying that he “never should have slapped Uber driver Edward Caban” and had “deep regret” for his conduct.

The court filing, which CNBC obtained from the Orange County Superior Court, made little mention of the previous case.

goldenfeat-e1446575141738

The unfortunate encounter in Oct. 30 saw the helpless Caban being continuously slapped on the head by Golden, who was arrested and then fired after the video of the attack went viral.

The video showed Golden’s violent assault on Caban after he is told to get out of the car for being too intoxicated. Golden was arrested after the incident and charged with assault and battery. He was then fired by Taco Bell where he worked as a marketing manager days later. Caban, on the other hand, quit Uber and filed a case against Golden for “assault and infliction of emotional distress.”

In Golden’s new legal filings, he asserts that Caban recorded him without Golden’s consent and cites the California penal code, which states a person cannot intentionally record a conversation with someone else “without the consent of all parties.”

Golden’s claim for $5 million in damages from Caban is in direct contrast to his lawyers Courtney Pilchman and Anita Kay earlier having said that Golden wanted to “sincerely apologize” to the driver for the incident and that he was “extremely remorseful.

Written by Ryan General, NextShark

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

How You Can Get Free Pizza From Uber Tonight

10922705_10152516287916184_1294990645318729653_n

WHO: Uber and Mellow Mushroom Pizza Place

WHAT:
 There will be a “Request Pizza” option on the Uber app that lets you get a free large Mellow Mushroom cheese pizza delivered to your location. No tip necessary.

WHEN: Monday, December 7 from 6-9 p.m.

WHERE: The following 18 US cities:
Blacksburg, Va.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Charlotte, N.C.
Charlottesville, Va.
Chattanooga, Tenn.
Durham, N.C.
Fayetteville, Ark.
Fayetteville, N.C.
Greenville, N.C.
Jacksonville, Fla.
Knoxville, Tenn.
Nashville, Tenn.
Orlando, Fla.
Richmond, Va.
Savannah, Ga.
Tallahassee, Fla.
Tempe, Ariz.
Winston-Salem, N.C.

WHY: Who cares? Free pizza.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Fired Taco Bell Exec Who Attacked An Uber Driver Issues A Tearful Apology

Benjamin Golden, the former Taco Bell senior marketing executive who assaulted an Uber driver while heavily intoxicated, is now making a public apology to the man he attacked.

Golden, 32, now faces legal action from both the Uber driver, Edward Caban, and the district attorney of Orange County. He is assuming responsibility for his actions claiming that his behavior during the Uber ride last Friday in Costa Mesa, California, was inexcusable and out of character.

According to CBS, Golden claims he was blacked out the night of the assault and has no recollection of his attack on Caban, which was caught on footage by a dash cam in the driver’s car. Golden said crying:

“It’s not me in the video, it’s not me. It was hard to watch and I’m ashamed.

“So the next day, I got out of jail and I didn’t know what happened until I saw this video. My heart sank.”

Golden said he doesn’t remember how many drinks he had that night and added:

“I’m not one to get in fights. I think a lot of people that I know are in shock by what they saw.”

Golden was arrested shortly after the Uber ride and was consequently dismissed from his job as a marketing manager at Taco Bell the following week.

Caban has since stopped driving for Uber and is suing his attacker for a minimum $25,000 for assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. He also refuses to meet with Golden for an apology as he said:

“He says it’s not him, but that’s the only him I know. That wasn’t him, but it was him who had the first drink. It was him who made the decision to go out that night, and in the end, it was him who made the decision to beat me.”

Golden faces four misdemeanor charges that include assault and battery and up to a year of jail time. Though Golden claims not to have a drinking problem, he had pleaded guilty to a DUI charge three years ago in Kentucky. Golden, who is now seeking counseling, expressed regretfully:

“I’ve worked so hard and I’ve tried so hard and I had a stupid night and it’s my fault and I’ve thrown everything away, you know. I’m going to make it right, and I think that’s the only thing I can do.”

Watch the original video of the attack below:

Written by Jacob Wagner, Nextshark