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Dine In For Humanity’s Sake

If you think the "shop local" idea is a good one, then when you 'eat local' make sure you dine-in and don't use delivery apps that charge 30% fees to local restaurants.

We live with the world at our fingertips and spend most of our days staring at our screens. The ability to interact with people online negates the need to meet face-to-face, the ability to swipe left or right negates the need for charm, and the ability to summon sustenance with just a few taps means we don’t have to bother getting dressed, making plans, and meeting for a meal.

But are we better or worse for it?

Humanity, one might argue, has suffered. In the age of connectivity, we’re lacking true connection. So, for humanity’s sake, we urge you to dine in.

For civility’s sake, we should ban, or at least discourage, food delivery apps. That’s the argument recently made by an Australian reporter in The Sydney Morning Herald, and we couldn't agree more.

“These services are antisocial in every sense of the term,” he writes. “They encourage us to sit slovenly on the couch and have food pumped in, rather than get up and go out to a restaurant – or at the very least pick up your takeaway in person. In doing so, they facilitate laziness instead of activity, solitude instead of socialisation and habit instead of exploration—all of which we should be resisting and indeed fighting.”

Dining in is a natural extension to the “shop local” movement as well. The message encourages communities to spend their money in their cities, especially with locally owned businesses, rather than online, so that their towns may reap the economic benefits.

In that spirit, "eat local" means to dine-in so more of your money goes to the restaurant, rather than the 30% of the total going to the delivery company (oh, and your delivery fee goes to the delivery company too).

Not only does the restaurant benefit when you dine-in, but the community does as well. As crazy as it sounds, humanity also benefits when customers dine-in rather than order delivery. Dining in improves your relationships, your connections to people and places, your mood, your wellbeing—”your” in both the personal and public sense.

“The way we shop and eat now forms a feedback loop with the general discrediting of the idea of ‘public good’—and, with it, of public spaces and shared civility,” an OpEd in The Atlantic argues. “If brick-and-mortar restaurants become mere storefronts for delivery services, they will cease to be public spaces in any sense of the term.”

So if you want to support your community and "shop local," be sure to "dine-in local" as well. It's good for you and your community.


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