Kamikaze food delivery


While many, if not most, industries have taken it on the chin during the pandemic, there are a few that actually flourished. Chief among them is the food delivery business. Certainly, the concept of home delivery was around long before COVID19, but with restaurants closed to in-house dining, the only hope of survival was take-out and delivery.

Then, in 1979, along came to folks at Domino’s Pizza who went out on a limb and guaranteed delivery within 30 minutes or your order was free

In the era of one-off stores, whether pizza, barbeque chicken, or Chinese food, most establishments had their own drivers. With the growth of chains of restaurants, fleets of delivery cars became the norm. Then, in 1979, along came to folks at Domino’s Pizza who went out on a limb and guaranteed delivery within 30 minutes or your order was free.

Great idea right? Well, perhaps not so great. Not surprisingly Dominio’s, and others who followed suit in an attempt to compete, downloaded the responsibility to the individual drivers. If your pizza took 42 minutes to arrive, you paid nothing. The driver got stuck with that charge.

Naturally, this led to drivers going hell-bent for leather trying not to get stuck with a late fee. Drivers, often referred to as kamikaze (defined by Merriam-Webster as having or showing a lack of concern for the consequences of one’s actions) deliverers drove recklessly to fulfill the corporate guarantee. People complained that this was dangerous. An unconfirmed statistic claims that some twenty people were killed by Domino’s delivery vehicles from 1979 – 1989.

The current proliferation of food delivery has reintroduced a similar problem. Several of the most popular delivery services use electric scooters, in addition to bicycles and cars. It seems these vehicles do not require license plates, which is evident since often they are on the sidewalk in front of me. Not only is it dangerous to ride a scooter or bike on the sidewalk, but add to the mix the fact that these electric vehicles make virtually no noise. They can, and do, sneak up on unsuspecting pedestrians as they ply their trade as quickly as possible. A recipe for disaster if ever I saw one.

… for God’s sake don’t ride on the sidewalk

By all means, go about your work, but with so many different companies offering this service, with so many scooters and bicycles delivering everything from burgers to Udon noodles, butter chicken to shwarma, for God’s sake don’t ride on the sidewalk.

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