There has never been a time in history when it’s so easy and convenient to use a food delivery service so we can experience our favourite food from in-demand restaurants. Because it’s now so convenient and accessible, we’re insatiably spoilt for choice.
Gone are the days of ordering just pizza or Chinese food from the local corner-shop that ‘does’ takeaway, just like I had done so many years ago. Now you can use a food delivery service to order just about anything, even food from fine-dining establishments, and have it delivered to your door within the hour or less. According to a recent report in Australian media, Australians spend ‘$2.6 billion each year on food and drink delivery through companies like Menulog, UberEats, Deliveroo and Foodora’.
Our world seems to be transfixed on having everything we want instantly without taking the time to appreciate those who are meeting our demands. What does this mean in the world of travel, and specifically food travel?
As the online world gets bigger, our real world gets smaller
As the online world expands, the real world shrinks. Booking via a food delivery service means there are less people interacting with this real world. A sense of community seems to diminish as too the relationships we have with our local food business owners. Meeting new people in your local food community, spending time with others with mutual interest decreases; we lose touch with what is happening in our immediate circles and current issues. Ironically, a sense of community falls away.
There’s a clear disconnect between food, customer and the restaurateur
Dining in means you get the full experience. When you order through a food delivery service you miss out on the full experience. All you’re ordering is food; an instant way to satisfy your hunger. Meeting the people behind the business, learning about their ethics, their vision, why they started their business, the way they prepare their food and the journey involved…You can’t eat the food from a restaurant without fully understanding these elements. You could say you’re missing the point entirely. Furthermore, the owner of the business is paying good money for rent or a mortgage so you can experience dining in. Eating the food that’s been delivered by a food delivery service is thus just a small part of the equation.
Our environment is taking a hit, too…
With every food delivery comes the waste that it creates. There is no control over the packaging you receive with your order. Each dish is neatly packaged in a separate container, not to mention condiments. The more dishes you order the more containers you receive. All of these containers of food are packaged in bags, ready for delivery. There’s no control over the quantity of packaging and whether this packaging is compostable, recyclable or single-use. In order for your order to get to you, someone needs to drive it to you. The carbon footprint involved in each food delivery adds up when the orders add up.
So, what are your thoughts about ordering food via a food delivery service? Do you use them? Do you think you’re missing out on the full dining experience? What are the impacts on local businesses in your area? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and how food delivery services are affecting your food travels in the comments below.