If you love to stay in on a Friday night with a Thai takeaway and some Netflix then that tradition may come to an end after reading this – your food may be getting sampled before it even arrives at your door.
According to a survey by US Foods, 1,518 American adults have stated that they use or have used food delivery apps. The ages of the respondents ranged from 18-77, with the median age being 31. The company also surveyed 497 American adults who “identified as having worked as a deliverer for at least one food delivery app.” Those respondents had a median age of 30.
US Foods also found that the average American has 2 food delivery apps on their phone, and they use them roughly about 3 times per month. The most popular apps included Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates – all which employ third-party delivery services to get the food from restaurant and grocery stores right to people’s homes.
Regarding the study, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Doordash didn’t respond to inquiries.
However on Wednesday, a Postmates spokesperson provided TODAY with a statement that said, “At Postmates, nothing is more important to us than the safety and wellbeing of our entire community, which is why we require each person who completes a delivery using Postmates to expressly agree that all food and goods delivered will arrive in a tamper free form and in compliance with all applicable food health and safety laws. While reports of food tampering represent less than 0.06% of cases reported to our Trust & Safety team, we take any report of health safety violations very seriously, which is why we have built trust & security into our product design and network operations from day one; have specific policies and community standards in place to prevent tampering; investigate all reported order irregularities; take prompt action against any accounts suspected of tampering with orders; and work with any impacted customers to ensure a prompt resolution of any issues they report. We’re also engaged in active discussions with lawmakers and other stakeholders to develop a regulatory framework for the safety of food delivery.”
An Acosta study from back in July 2018 showed that since 2015, “convenient meal solutions,” such as food delivery, have increased in every category and age group – particularly amongst families with kids or millennials. In 2016, research conducted by McKinsey & Company found and estimated that the online food delivery market can be expected to grow 4% every year for the next five years.
But this level of convenience does have its downsides.
Not only did 28% of delivery drivers in the survey admit to nibbling a customer’s order, but 17% of customers claimed to have had a delivery experience where the driver simply left the food outside and didn’t actually hand it over to them.
To make it easier to tell when food has been touched prior to delivery, 85% of customers who responded stated that they want restaurants to invest in “tamper-evident labels”.
Don’t think I’ll be ordering anymore Pad Thai after reading this…