Food Delivery Apps: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Food Delivery Apps: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Impact on Restaurants

  • Food delivery apps charge high commissions to restaurants, taking up to 58% of an order's total cost.
  • Some restaurants have increased their prices on the apps to offset these fees, leading to higher costs for customers.
  • Delivery apps have been accused of listing restaurants without their permission or knowledge, leading to unexpected orders and customer disappointment.
  • GrubHub was caught sending undercover employees to pick up orders and deliver them without the restaurants' knowledge, compromising food safety.

Concerns about Food Quality and Handling

  • The industry practice of using third-party delivery services without proper packaging or safety measures raises concerns about food quality and handling.
  • GrubHub has been accused of engaging in questionable tactics, such as listing non-partnered restaurants as closed or unavailable, which harms businesses.
  • Restaurant owners have expressed dissatisfaction with delivery apps, comparing them to hostage situations and criticizing their exploitative practices.

Challenges Faced by Delivery Workers

  • Delivery workers face significant challenges, including high expenses for equipment and maintenance, opaque algorithms that control their wages and working conditions, and a lack of labor protections and health insurance.
  • The gig economy model often presents delivery driving as a flexible side job, but for many workers, it is their primary source of income, making them vulnerable to exploitation.
  • Delivery workers often rely on tips, which can make up a significant portion of their earnings, but these tips are not guaranteed and can vary greatly.

Financial Losses and Market Domination

  • Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub are losing money despite being valued at billions of dollars.
  • The old model of delivery involved one restaurant directly hiring a delivery worker, but the new apps introduce additional costs such as marketing, lobbying, and website maintenance.
  • The companies are using Wall Street money to grow at all costs, corner the market, undercut competitors, and then monopolize the sector to raise prices.

Supporting Delivery Workers

  • Customers can support delivery workers by ordering directly from restaurants when possible, giving five-star ratings, and tipping generously.

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