What if you could snap your fingers and have your favorite meal delivered to your home? That’s the magic of restaurant and food delivery services. Now more than ever people are using these delivery options as an alternative to dine-in. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, demand for food delivery services has surged. These third-party services have adequately responded by offering quick, contactless delivery. From GrubHub to Postmates, from UberEats to Drizly, it all starts with the swipe of a finger, and the magical click of a button.
As soon as your order swooshes away, a chef graciously takes up your request. They take a step back from slicing, stacking, or serving to make your order as fresh as possible. I’d imagine there’s yelling back-and-forth to their cooks, the typical chaos you’d see in a restaurant kitchen. Amidst all of this, your order is packed up tight, sitting ready for the next part of the magic.
Just as your food is tied up with a knot and set down ever so gently, a delivery driver affiliated with one of these platforms picks up your order. As if you haven’t been tracking your order since you made the order, you jump at the sound of a knock or the doorbell. The magic hits as soon as the door cracks open. You get a whiff of your favorite meal, giving you the slightest nostalgia of sitting in your favorite restaurant. Reality sets in when you see the bright light on the dashboard of the delivery car, but you’re just as grateful. With the swipe of your finger and the click of a button, your food was served-right to you.
Since the start of the pandemic, almost half of all restaurants added delivery options, prompting the rise in popularity of third-party food delivery services. The convenience of ordering in has led to-go sales to skyrocket, with similar trends across third-party food services. This has benefited the food industry itself, resulting in a higher volume of sales. Over 65% of restaurants say that they were able to increase profits during COVID-19 by offering delivery via DoorDash.
Boston College has also taken advantage of this opportunity, implementing its own delivery service through GETMobile. With the motto “skip the line to save time,” BC Dining services have embraced the low-contact, convenient option to bring students’ meals right to their doors. BC Dining employee, Isabel Kenny, CSOM ‘23, says that the delivery program is an innovative way to serve students, allowing her to explore campus and see friends along the way.
These delivery services rely on their drivers for convenience. A recent study found that it takes 35 to 50 minutes to complete a delivery. Convenience has never been more achievable. Delivery driver Ellie Gray, MCAS ‘23, recognizes her role in this entire process. Working with DoorDash showed her the “power of delivery,” as it brought smiles to isolated people’s faces.
Many of these delivery services have worked with restaurants to motivate more customers to “eat local.” UberEats now adds a banner that tags local restaurants to encourage supporting community businesses. DoorDash started to reduce fees by 50% for orders made to local restaurants. Founded by Boston College allum, Nick Rellas, BC ’13, and Justin Robinson, BC ’11, Drizly has become increasingly popular in the Greater Boston area, especially given its recent partnership with Uber. COVID-19 has called for more delivery options, which is where these platforms have stepped up and served up.
Delivery services, especially throughout COVID-19, have transformed the concept of “from farm to table.” Today, your order moves through the chef to the food runner to the delivery driver to you. While the process seems much more intricate and expansive, that’s the magic of restaurant and food delivery services. It attaches a sense of consideration and attention to your food and to you. Not only do third-party services offer a safe alternative to dining-in, but they also bring a level of convenience that is incomparable.