Too much home food delivery smacks of laziness

Too much home food delivery smacks of laziness

Oh my goodness, here I am able to fully avail myself of the benefits of 21st century living, and it’s becoming a little financially dangerous, as well as admitting a little contention into our household.

I’m sure many of you are making full use of home delivery, but we’ve just moved to a place that is included in just about every local business’ delivery zone.

The COVID lockdown begun in 2020 really threw the whole delivery business model hurtling into the future, and thankfully, it has flourished and expanded. You can get just about anything delivered to your door now, and I’m of two minds about it.

Having a pizza delivered is an old school thing, and I’m happy to order up a pie at least once a week. But I’m just enough of a boring old fart to wince at having someone bring me a Wendy’s sandwich late at night.

It just smacks of laziness to have some poor person pick up my burger and fries and fetch them to my house when I can just as easily load myself into the car and go get it. The latter also saves the tip and, if you’re not taking advantage of delivery service member discounts, a delivery fee. A recent $8 burrito with chips and guacamole became a $19 snack, and the so-and-sos forgot my guac.

My wife, from a more recent generation of Americans, has absolutely no qualms about this. If you look up “introvert” in the dictionary, you’re likely to find her picture, so any chance to avoid other humans is manna for her.

The other morning as I stepped out the door, there were bags of groceries crowded on the front stoop. “Someone must have delivered to the wrong house,” I said to her, thinking there was no way she’d gotten in a full grocery order and had it by the door before I’d had a cup of coffee.

I was wrong, and she happily went about putting everything away, no human contact needed. In fact, she always specifies in capital letters, “CONTACTLESS DELIVERY. LEAVE BY FRONT DOOR.” Unwritten is the additional “and go away.”

Because this is all new to us, we are probably using it too much, and I have guilt. A recent takeout order from an area restaurant saw a poor young Allison — you even see your delivery person’s name with the delivery app — slogging through the rain and mud of our yet-unseeded front yard while we were comfortably perched on our couch under a warm, fuzzy throw sipping cocktails and watching Jeopardy. What would Jesus do? Not this, I’m sure.

Doordash is the dominator in the field of home food delivery, largely due to the serendipitous — for them — advent of the global pandemic. The company’s market share rose from a struggling 18% in 2018 to well over 50% now. Others in the field have remained the same over the same period or lost share.

Overall, restaurants especially were somewhat reluctantly pushed into working with delivery companies when their businesses were threatened with closure as stay-in-place orders were issued in state after state in 2020.

The delivery business segment has more than doubled since then, and delivery, or at least contactless pickup, has become a critical part of most restaurant operations.

The pandemic has changed the way we eat and how we get our food. It certainly is a nifty thing to sit comfortably in your home with phone in hand and order your dinner, pay for it with a touch and wait for it to be dropped beside your porch chairs, never having to stir.

It also cannot be a good thing for already bulging American waistlines. It’s ironic that, having ordered your food in this remarkably lethargic way, clicking back into social media apps will likely flood you with advertisements for weight-loss plans.

Here’s a plan: drive to the Chinese restaurant yourself, intentionally park two blocks away, buy the food and go back home. You’ll save the delivery fee and a little dignity and probably add a few weeks to your lifespan.

My wife is at the other end of the playing field. “Why on earth would I do all that when I can have Allison get drenched instead?”

Maybe I can get her to pay me the delivery fee.

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