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Who’s Handling Your Food — And Your Brand?

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

There are a number of factors to consider when adding delivery to your restaurant. It is more than a dollars and cents decision as untrained, unvetted, and non-permitted gig economy workers can negatively effect your customer experience and your brand.

For instance, customers of DoorDash, UberEats, and other delivery providers by now may have come to expect their food to be a hot — or cold — mess by the time it arrives to their doorstep, but they probably expect to receive all of the food they order.


They shouldn’t.


Earlier this year, The New York Post reported a story about a disgusted teen who caught his DoorDash driver taking a sip of his Cold Stone Creamery milkshake. The driver had the audacity to take a taste while standing on the teen’s front porch; the customer only realized it happened later, when he reviewed his home’s security camera footage.


“I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s crazy.’ I mean, how can someone jeopardize the product like that, especially the food?” the teen told the Post.


But he’s not the only one. 


According to a report by US Foods, 28% of more than 500 delivery drivers surveyed admitted to eating customers’ food. Fifty-four percent of drivers admitted to “being tempted by the smell of the food” they deliver.


Because the survey depended on drivers admitting to eating food, it wouldn’t be a far leap to assume more that 28% of drivers actually taste their customers’ food.


In the same study, US Foods surveyed customers on other bad behavior by delivery drivers:


• 34% of customers had a delivery driver refuse to get out of their car and pass the food through the window

• 29% had a driver refuse to bring the food all the way to their door

• 17% had a driver drop their food outside their door and leave


Besides drivers eating their food or leaving it outside, customers had other complaints about delivery providers, according to US Foods:


• 17% of customers said their food was cold or “not fresh”

• 16% said their food was delivered late

• 12% said they received the incorrect order

• 10% said their food was “shaken or messed up”


Delivery drivers are taking responsibility for your restaurant’s food when it leaves your kitchen, and they’re handling more than your product. Like it or not, they’re handling your hospitality. They may work for the delivery service, but the customer associates them with your brand. And while their bad behavior reflects poorly on the company they work for, it also reflects poorly on your restaurant. Make sure you consider your real needs (more business) and the potential consequences when adding delivery to your restaurant.



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