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A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

The Human Price of Delivery

I’ve heard many people say today’s young people just aren’t willing to work, and these comments almost never square with the younger people in my life. Like everything else, this topic has become a political hot potato, and I wonder how many of these hot-takers have what it takes to deal with a shred of what delivery drivers go through, come hell or high water. 
 
Whatever your place in the delivery ecosystem, make time to read Curbed’s long-form Revolt of the Delivery Workers by Josh Dzieza on bike-bound New York City delivery drivers who are frequently attacked by thieves and squeezed to the ends of their abilities by stone-hearted algorithms.
 
“Even before the thefts started, the city’s 65,000 delivery workers had tolerated so much,” the story reads. “The fluctuating pay, the lengthening routes, the relentless time pressure enforced by mercurial software, the deadly carelessness of drivers, the pouring rain and brutal heat, and the indignity of pissing behind a dumpster because the restaurant that depends on you refuses to let you use its restroom.”
 
Our collective quest should not just be for the delivery apps and restaurants to find sustainable profits, but also to create humane, dignified work for those physically tackling the ever-challenging last mile. 
 
As Ben Morris at Coaster Cycles points out this week, any vehicular solution would be incomplete without taking into account the drivers and their needs to get through a grueling shift. Manufacturing the perfect delivery vehicle is not enough—and that’s a metaphor for the entire ecosystem. 

— Tom Kaiser, Editor
tkaiser@foodondemandnews.com

 

NEW PODCAST EPISODE IS LIVE

Episode 19: Delivery Drones on the Rise + Dirk Izzo of NCR
In the 19th episode of the Food On Demand Podcast, hosts Tom and Nick talk with Dirk Izzo, pictured right, president and GM of NCR’s hospitality division. They also cover Toast’s IPO, Alphabet’s Wing hitting the 100,000 drone delivery milestone, the rise of local delivery co-ops and the ongoing Proposition 22 debate about delivery drivers.
 
LISTEN HERE

WHAT'S NEW THIS WEEK

DoorDash, Grubhub and UberEats Challenge NYC Over Delivery Fee Caps
New York City’s decision to make permanent a 20-percent fee cap on meal delivery is “nothing more than unconstitutional, harmful, and unnecessary government overreach,” says a complaint filed jointly in federal court by DoorDash, UberEats and Grubhub. 
Read more.
Coaster Cycles Sees E-Trike Delivery Revolution
If cars are too big for most third-party delivery orders and two-wheeled e-bikes are too small for large ones, presumably there’s a need for a specialized delivery vehicle that’s just right—big enough to haul sizable grocery orders, but small enough to zip through big cities with growing networks of bike lanes. This is the vision of Coaster Cycles. Read more.
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Reef and APCOA Building 1,500 Urban Mobility Hubs in UK, Ireland
Reef has signed a deal with one of Europe’s largest parking operators to turn as many as 1,500 existing parking facilities into distribution and logistics hubs for greener, more efficient last-mile delivery. Read more.
Tattle, Thanx Collaborate on Guest Feedback Integration
Two of the biggest names in the customer experience and retention categories—Tattle and Thanx—have teamed up through a new partnership that will make it easier for restaurants to issue rewards, recover guests and communicate with customers based on their individual feedback, with claims of elevating the guest experience and driving sales. 
Read more.
Drive Sales and Maximize Off-Premises Profits at the Conference
The Food On Demand Conference is the only event solely dedicated to the off-premises foodservice market. The content you’ll receive and the contacts you will make at this conference are best in class. We hope you’ll join us for this one-of-a-kind event November 10-12 at The Bellagio in Las Vegas. Read more.
Dream Dinners Expands Home Delivery to 48 States
Dream Dinners, which claims to have created the meal prep concept nearly 20 years ago, has expanded its meal kit home delivery program as it also gets a new franchising program off the ground. Read more.

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