Author Topic: Is using food delivery apps unethical?  (Read 6192 times)

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« on: November 24, 2020, 05:35:28 PM »
https://www.theage.com.au/national/now-is-the-time-for-all-of-us-to-consider-our-use-of-food-delivery-apps-20201124-p56hhr.html

I read this interesting article today which says that food delivery apps and the gig economy generally are placing pressure on workers. The article talks about a recent spate of delivery driver / rider deaths.

Do you see anything wrong with the gig economy and using it? Do you think it puts unfair pressure on workers? If legislation was passed turning such 'contractors' into employees, would you support that (and the presumed increase in prices)?

Ricksun

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 05:53:24 PM »
I typically don't use them often.  Honestly I am turned off by the fees and the bloated prices rather than the ethical aspects, but I accept that those represent the true cost of the services (including the platform) - I myself am just not willing to pay for that cost often.  That being said, I use them infrequently enough that it truly represents a great convenience/appreciation when I inevitably do and therefore I heavily compensate/tip the deliver/picker for that convenience.  If I knew the employees were being fairly compensated, I would tip less.  I would be in favor of legislation that better compensates the "employees".

Ricksun 

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 05:55:42 PM »
In general, I only use food delivery apps when Iím on the road for work.  Iím in a city I donít know weíll with often limited transportation.  I donít think Iíd change my behavior much if it cost more.

partgypsy

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2020, 05:56:13 PM »
Here in the US people would not be delivering food on bikes. They are driving cars.

I have heard that UPS (and other drivers like Amazon) may be under such a pressure to deliver so many packages per shift, that they are running, don't have time to even use the bathroom, etc. Here Uber has gotten a lot of flack that Uber takes advantage of its drivers (again because it is kind of like contract work) where they do not make much, some less than minimum wage when you calculate everything in.
Also pizza delivery drivers especially getting held up because they are carrying cash.

My brother who is an employee at a company, it is crazy the amount of scruntity they are under! They have a GPS thingie attached to the company van. They measure how long it takes him to get from place to place, any stops, and whether he goes above the speed limit. He is then timed how long each installation takes. Basically he is often booked for more jobs than can be done within a normal work day, which means he starts early and ends late (and invariably late appt customers are having to wait). It seems very high pressure to me. He is on salary and expected to work I can't remember how many hours a week (overtime is expected). What is scary is if there is less work they can dock his pay. And only after you work your expected baked in overtime, can you get time and a half. So there are some weeks he works 7 days a week just to make extra money. Does'nt seem sustainable.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 05:57:50 PM by partgypsy »

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2020, 05:57:21 PM »
I find the apps' fees to be the opposite of bloated. I can get a UberPool (not in pandemic times) that travels about 10km for about $8. Or a private Uber for about $15. The equivalent taxi fare would be at least $20. The equivalent public transport fare would be $4 and I'd have to walk to the stop and wait and wait and get on a crowded, slow bus/train/tram.

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2020, 05:59:19 PM »
Basically he is often booked for more jobs than can be done within a normal work day, which means he starts early and ends late (and invariably late appt customers are having to wait). It seems very high pressure to me. He is on salary and expected to work I can't remember how many hours a week (overtime is expected). What is scary is if there is less work they can dock his pay. And only after you work your expected baked in overtime, can you get time and a half. So there are some weeks he works 7 days a week just to make extra money. Does'nt seem sustainable.

Sounds dodgy. If you're a salaried worker and you are paid a fixed rate to encompass normal working hours and reasonable overtime, how can your pay be docked during a non-busy period?

moof

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2020, 06:11:06 PM »
Basically he is often booked for more jobs than can be done within a normal work day, which means he starts early and ends late (and invariably late appt customers are having to wait). It seems very high pressure to me. He is on salary and expected to work I can't remember how many hours a week (overtime is expected). What is scary is if there is less work they can dock his pay. And only after you work your expected baked in overtime, can you get time and a half. So there are some weeks he works 7 days a week just to make extra money. Does'nt seem sustainable.

Sounds dodgy. If you're a salaried worker and you are paid a fixed rate to encompass normal working hours and reasonable overtime, how can your pay be docked during a non-busy period?

Sounds like FLSA fraud by the employer.  If an employee has no discretion over their work they should not be classified as Exempt.  He should ask his HR for a FLSA review and to track his overtime, he is likely due some back pay.  There are plenty of lawyers that deal in this stuff since it is often abused.

Sounds dodgy. If you're a salaried worker and you are paid a fixed rate to encompass normal working hours and reasonable overtime, how can your pay be docked during a non-busy period?




OtherJen

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2020, 06:14:29 PM »
Here in the US, Iíve heard that restaurants lose money when they use delivery apps like Grubhub. Admittedly I havenít researched this, but itís not a big hassle for us to pick up our orders directly.

Cranky

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2020, 06:46:16 PM »
I find the apps' fees to be the opposite of bloated. I can get a UberPool (not in pandemic times) that travels about 10km for about $8. Or a private Uber for about $15. The equivalent taxi fare would be at least $20. The equivalent public transport fare would be $4 and I'd have to walk to the stop and wait and wait and get on a crowded, slow bus/train/tram.


And a round trip of a few miles thus costs 30, and involves waiting 15-20 minutes to be picked up, in my area. I consider that quite a luxury and use it only for doctorís appointments.

Since I find restaurants to be ridiculously overpriced compared to cooking my own food, I not willing to pay more to have someone bring my food to me.

My experience is that drivers in my area tend to drive for Uber AND Lyft AND Door Dash AND Instacart. It tends to be a second job, or people who work seasonally. Iíve had several Lyft drivers who do landscaping in the summer.

It doesnít seem to be a great way to make a living. Iíve heard that the fees really hurt small restaurants.

partgypsy

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2020, 07:51:16 AM »
Basically he is often booked for more jobs than can be done within a normal work day, which means he starts early and ends late (and invariably late appt customers are having to wait). It seems very high pressure to me. He is on salary and expected to work I can't remember how many hours a week (overtime is expected). What is scary is if there is less work they can dock his pay. And only after you work your expected baked in overtime, can you get time and a half. So there are some weeks he works 7 days a week just to make extra money. Does'nt seem sustainable.

Sounds dodgy. If you're a salaried worker and you are paid a fixed rate to encompass normal working hours and reasonable overtime, how can your pay be docked during a non-busy period?

Sounds like FLSA fraud by the employer.  If an employee has no discretion over their work they should not be classified as Exempt.  He should ask his HR for a FLSA review and to track his overtime, he is likely due some back pay.  There are plenty of lawyers that deal in this stuff since it is often abused.

Sounds dodgy. If you're a salaried worker and you are paid a fixed rate to encompass normal working hours and reasonable overtime, how can your pay be docked during a non-busy period?
I myself have never heard of such a situation. But his way of dealing with it is fine, I'll make sure that doesn't happen.. It does seem fishy.

LoanShark

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2020, 08:07:40 AM »
No one is forcing someone to engage as a food delivery driver...same for Uber / Lyft, etc. Not unethical at all. If it wasn't a profitable enterprise for the driver, then they wouldn't do it and the market would collapse.

bbqbonelesswing

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2020, 08:53:36 AM »
If it wasn't a profitable enterprise for the driver, then they wouldn't do it and the market would collapse.

Not really true... in many cases drivers eventually quit when they find they are losing money on gas, maintenance, and loans. For example:

https://www.fastcompany.com/40538647/nearly-a-third-of-uber-drivers-are-actually-losing-money-study-says

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2020, 09:22:24 AM »
If it wasn't a profitable enterprise for the driver, then they wouldn't do it and the market would collapse.

Not really true... in many cases drivers eventually quit when they find they are losing money on gas, maintenance, and loans. For example:

https://www.fastcompany.com/40538647/nearly-a-third-of-uber-drivers-are-actually-losing-money-study-says

And don't forget the reality of insurance costs, too. Most of these people are the sorts that have to deal with cut-rate insurance companies with barebones state minimums and no comp/collision because that's all they can afford to begin with. Then they think they're making money until they get into an accident and find out that their personal auto insurance doesn't actually cover them and the "gig provider" leaves them flapping in the wind. If these people actually had the commercial car insurance with the deductibles they could actually afford to pay out of pocket that they actually needed to keep from being financially destroyed or from losing their drivers license, they would have done the math right out of the gate and realized within a month at the latest that their pay isn't even covering their basic out of pocket costs.

And then there's the vehicle requirements, though you kinda touched on the loans end already. No cosmetic damage, newer than ~12-15 years, etc. The people most dependent upon the gig economy to where they're working it full time just to make ends meet can't afford the vehicles that typically qualify without going into debt through financing (and given their precarious financial situation already, that means predatory buy-here-pay-here dealerships with outrageous interest rates and remote kill switches that disable your car from starting if you're more than an hour late with your car payment), and the vehicles that they could realistically afford to run and beat into the ground won't actually qualify for use, or will quickly age out/get damaged and cease to qualify.

There's a lot of hidden costs that most people don't understand are getting foisted off on them as contractors until it's too late, and given the pay barely averages to minimum wage as a contractor with the expectation that the pay covers not just your time but your business expenses as well.... these gig service companies are exploiting that ignorance and those so desperate for work that they're willing to risk life and limb to take it anyway.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 09:27:47 AM by Daley »

bacchi

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2020, 09:51:13 AM »
No one is forcing someone to engage as a food delivery driver...same for Uber / Lyft, etc. Not unethical at all. If it wasn't a profitable enterprise for the driver, then they wouldn't do it and the market would collapse.

Name checks out.

simonsez

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2020, 09:52:35 AM »
Basically he is often booked for more jobs than can be done within a normal work day, which means he starts early and ends late (and invariably late appt customers are having to wait). It seems very high pressure to me. He is on salary and expected to work I can't remember how many hours a week (overtime is expected). What is scary is if there is less work they can dock his pay. And only after you work your expected baked in overtime, can you get time and a half. So there are some weeks he works 7 days a week just to make extra money. Does'nt seem sustainable.

Sounds dodgy. If you're a salaried worker and you are paid a fixed rate to encompass normal working hours and reasonable overtime, how can your pay be docked during a non-busy period?

Sounds like FLSA fraud by the employer.  If an employee has no discretion over their work they should not be classified as Exempt.  He should ask his HR for a FLSA review and to track his overtime, he is likely due some back pay.  There are plenty of lawyers that deal in this stuff since it is often abused.

Sounds dodgy. If you're a salaried worker and you are paid a fixed rate to encompass normal working hours and reasonable overtime, how can your pay be docked during a non-busy period?
I myself have never heard of such a situation. But his way of dealing with it is fine, I'll make sure that doesn't happen.. It does seem fishy.

Googling keywords like "flsa overtime lawsuit" will turn up a ton of results of court cases involving the Department of Labor.  It's a big deal and happens at companies both large and small (including the federal government awhile back).

If someone is salaried, then I'm guessing they're a W-2 employee which have more protections than as a contractor.  Here's a case (emphasis mine) where this was important:
https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20190305-1

"While most of Off Duty Police Services Inc.'s employees were uniformed police officers who also worked for other law enforcement entities, others were non-sworn with generally no law enforcement background. The Sixth Circuit found that both groups of workers were employees, overturning a previous district court's finding that the sworn police officers were independent contractors who fell outside the scope of the FLSA's protections. The Sixth Circuit Court went on to affirm the Department's back wage calculations as the best method available to determine wages owed to employees since the employer failed to keep accurate records, and remanded the case to the district court to award damages for the sworn officers.

"The resolution of this case should remind other employers to review their pay practices to ensure they comply with the law," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Karen Garnett, in Louisville. "Violations such as those in this case can add up quickly and become very costly. The Department offers extensive guidance, and encourages employers to reach out to us for assistance to ensure that they understand their responsibilities."

"The U.S. Department of Labor will not hesitate to protect employees, and to level the playing field for employers who obey the law," said Associate Regional Solicitor Theresa Ball, in Nashville."

nirodha

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2020, 10:05:05 AM »
I use the gig economy, but tip well. Generally 20%. I don't think the economics work for the drivers otherwise.

remizidae

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2020, 10:13:56 AM »
I don't use food delivery (just doesn't appeal to me, all the cost of a restaurant with none of the luxury). But I don't see an ethical problem. If workers or restaurants do not benefit from delivering food, they can choose not to. If they haven't made that choice, by definition they want to keep doing food delivery.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2020, 10:59:36 AM »
I don't use food delivery (just doesn't appeal to me, all the cost of a restaurant with none of the luxury). But I don't see an ethical problem. If workers or restaurants do not benefit from delivering food, they can choose not to. If they haven't made that choice, by definition they want to keep doing food delivery.

Wow, some real choice there... you understand that most restaurants didn't even want to do business with these third party delivery services before the pandemic, right? And that the only reason why some have caved was either take on delivery through these exploitative third party delivery services or lose their business entirely, because the only reason why they probably didn't deliver in the first place was due to the responsible and expected cost and overhead of insurance and employee costs for doing so, and understanding that they couldn't afford it. Outfits like DoorDash and GrubHub even opted in locations at points for restaurants who didn't even want to participate.

This is from barely a year ago: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/milwaukee/2019/12/18/grubhub-doordash-add-milwaukee-restaurants-without-permission/2667379001/
...and it's hardly the only story out there.

these gig service companies are exploiting that ignorance and those so desperate for work business that they're willing to risk life and limb to take it anyway.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 11:05:45 AM by Daley »

tipster350

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2020, 12:02:48 PM »
I don't use the services and I don't use Lyft/Uber for the same reason. They exploit workers who are desperate/have few options (as stated above) and also may not understand the true cost of "working" for those services.


dcheesi

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2020, 12:16:36 PM »
I think the industry is in need of reform, but now may not be the time to mess with it. Too many people are depending on it right now, and some businesses as well. Once the dust settles on the current pandemic situation, then we can take stock and try to implement reasonable reforms, but not right now.

IMHO that's why Uber/Lyft managed to get that referendum passed in California --the CA legislature passed a sweeping reform measure that would have deeply disrupted the ride-sharing industry, at a time when even more people than usual are depending on it (due to fear of infection on mass transit, etc.). So voters went with the proposal that would preserve the status quo from a customer standpoint, even though by all accounts it's a terrible "deal" for drivers.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2020, 12:45:36 PM »
IMHO that's why Uber/Lyft managed to get that referendum passed in California --the CA legislature passed a sweeping reform measure that would have deeply disrupted the ride-sharing industry, at a time when even more people than usual are depending on it (due to fear of infection on mass transit, etc.). So voters went with the proposal that would preserve the status quo from a customer standpoint, even though by all accounts it's a terrible "deal" for drivers.

I'd be more willing to buy that argument if Uber, Lyft and its ilk didn't already have years of lobbying history trying to dodge the employment status issue already. Bottom line is, most taxis and courier services are so much more expensive because the rates reflect the reality of a decent wage, benefits, and proper insurance and licensing and these people know for a fact that the instant they can't shove the hidden cost off on the pool of ignorant and financially desperate drivers to eat anymore, their profit model is going to disappear. Their pricing models and profits are only disruptive because they're exploiting loopholes in labor laws that haven't kept up with changing technology.

The reality is that these gig economy jobs aren't actually legally and financially sustainable for the company running it if the letter and spirit of the law is followed and the people working are actually compensated fairly for their labor... and I certainly don't exclude Airbnb and other services from that list, either. These corporations need to be treated like the industrial businesses they actually are: taxi and courier services and hotels, and they should be forced to be just as compliant to the laws of the land as other outfits like Yellow Cabs, FedEx, and Marriott, and take on the liability themselves instead of expecting desperate workers with their backs against the wall financially to do it for them.

The fact that this business model is successful at all is more a scathing commentary against how poorly we value human life under crony capitalism than it is the success of the free market. When you live in a country where it's literally illegal to be homeless and the economic system is rigged towards financially punishing the impoverished, how are gig economy jobs any different from indentured servitude? You're not working because you like the job and its pay, you're working to try and keep your life from almost irreversibly imploding.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 01:15:16 PM by Daley »

marty998

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2020, 01:47:45 PM »
Nailed it Daley. Started typing up a response in support but youíve captured everything I wanted to.

yachi

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2020, 02:50:59 PM »
So... can we fix it?
Say I'm a restaurant owner, that wants to add delivery service, but I don't do enough delivery sales to support the minimum of 1 delivery driver.  Doesn't it make sense to partner up with other restaurants that are in the same boat?  What better way to figure out where the driver is, and put him in touch with restaurant owners that need food delivered than an app?

If the problem is they're charging the restaurant too much, and paying the driver too little, you would think their profits would be high.  Some Googling shows Uber Eats is losing money.

nirodha

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2020, 03:04:02 PM »
IMO restaurants need to pivot their business model to take advantage of the new channel. Smaller locations, fewer choices, no front end staff, etc. It's not going away. I do think consumers are getting more comfortable with the added costs. I've had a burrito and chips delivered for $20 many times now. Compared to breaking my flow of thought while working, it is a no brainer.

Offering delivery w/o an app isn't going to fix it. I want to tap a couple buttons and magically have food.

I assume on the corporate side, they plan to string out labor issues until automated delivery (cars, drones) makes the problem irrelevant.


I've observed 3 classes of drivers on the uber side of things:

1. They don't care what it pays and are just looking for a reason to get out
2. They've carefully optimized for costs, are maybe even running a couple cars and know exactly what is going on
3. They think it's a good deal, but just downloaded the app and are working for next to nothing

Often the cab drivers themselves were doing just as bad or worse before uber. The company owning the medallion isn't paying them a penny more than required. It's rare the driver is also the medallion owner.

dcheesi

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2020, 03:12:02 PM »
IMHO that's why Uber/Lyft managed to get that referendum passed in California --the CA legislature passed a sweeping reform measure that would have deeply disrupted the ride-sharing industry, at a time when even more people than usual are depending on it (due to fear of infection on mass transit, etc.). So voters went with the proposal that would preserve the status quo from a customer standpoint, even though by all accounts it's a terrible "deal" for drivers.

I'd be more willing to buy that argument if Uber, Lyft and its ilk didn't already have years of lobbying history trying to dodge the employment status issue already. Bottom line is, most taxis and courier services are so much more expensive because the rates reflect the reality of a decent wage, benefits, and proper insurance and licensing and these people know for a fact that the instant they can't shove the hidden cost off on the pool of ignorant and financially desperate drivers to eat anymore, their profit model is going to disappear. Their pricing models and profits are only disruptive because they're exploiting loopholes in labor laws that haven't kept up with changing technology.

The reality is that these gig economy jobs aren't actually legally and financially sustainable for the company running it if the letter and spirit of the law is followed and the people working are actually compensated fairly for their labor... and I certainly don't exclude Airbnb and other services from that list, either. These corporations need to be treated like the industrial businesses they actually are: taxi and courier services and hotels, and they should be forced to be just as compliant to the laws of the land as other outfits like Yellow Cabs, FedEx, and Marriott, and take on the liability themselves instead of expecting desperate workers with their backs against the wall financially to do it for them.

The fact that this business model is successful at all is more a scathing commentary against how poorly we value human life under crony capitalism than it is the success of the free market. When you live in a country where it's literally illegal to be homeless and the economic system is rigged towards financially punishing the impoverished, how are gig economy jobs any different from indentured servitude? You're not working because you like the job and its pay, you're working to try and keep your life from almost irreversibly imploding.
Oh, I wasn't arguing the merits of it, just why I think the referendum passed.

FWIW, I greatly prefer Uber/Lyft over taxis because they work, not because of price. I've had so many problems with unreliable taxi services over the years; I'd much rather use an app that actually shows me where the driver is and how long I should wait, etc. I'd be willing to pay more for that reliability, vs. what I've experienced with taxis in the past.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2020, 03:43:29 PM »
So... can we fix it?

I'll let you in on a dirty little secret. Pizza, Sandwich and Chinese restaurant delivery drivers technically should have commercial insurance on their cars, too, and most of them don't, because they get paid the tipping service minimum wage which is as low as $2/hour in some states... and most restaurants and franchise owners won't spring for the necessary umbrella coverage for their employees. So, realistically, a lot of them are getting screwed as well. There's not many food delivery service people who aren't still getting hosed royally (even though it's been made evident that at least with chain franchise stores, profit margins are high enough to pay delivery drivers reasonable living wages in the states that have pushed tipped minimum wage up to over $10 an hour), we've just been spoiled by the concept of cheap delivery for decades, and I'm pretty sure the instant people have to start paying the realistic price for this sort of one-off, custom, time-sensitive delivery service from thin margin mom-and-pop restaurants, the demand will likely plummet because people are cheap... which is partly why these gig economy businesses appear on paper to flourish in the first place.

But yes, pooling resources would be wise! Volume can help offset costs. I'm not sure a "phone app" service with a business model like Uber is even remotely necessary to make that happen, though. Back-end infrastructure for coordinating resources that's managed exclusively by the restaurants and consumer front-ends for online ordering that's again managed by the restaurant? Sure! A SAAS business model to coordinate this stuff isn't a bad idea, but the delivery people involved need to be employees with a local chain of command and representation and insurance coverage provided by the employer as everything is cheaper in bulk, and the restaurant itself should be the one to take the order directly from the customer without the delivery service as the middlemen. This shouldn't be something that's sold like a mafia protection racket to restaurants as it is currently.

But that brings us to the other dirty secret with the gig food delivery business model, even with the price gouging on the meal delivery costs and the exploitative corner cutting, they're still losing money... but VC people are daffy in the head and high off their own supply and Field of Dreams libertarian logic, and just keep pumping money into an even more unsustainable failing proposition than the other gig business models.

Here's a couple great examples of how screwed up the logic of these outfits are:
https://gizmodo.com/doordash-pizza-arbitrage-shows-the-fubar-economics-of-d-1843530770
https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrigie/2019/08/21/this-is-how-grubhub-is-hurting-your-favorite-restaurants-and-why-you-should-care/

The reality is, suburban sprawl and car culture has made food delivery financially unfeasible for most independent restaurants in this country anywhere other than dense urban areas where bicycles and mopeds could be used, because people on average are cheap. The only reason the franchise chains can do it is volume, and they still don't often do it right.

But in theory, it's not that it can't be done right, it's just that almost nobody's willing to pay to do it right... and the way it's being done now is clearly not the way to do it either.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 03:46:58 PM by Daley »

American GenX

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2020, 05:58:28 PM »
Do you see anything wrong with the gig economy and using it?

No, they are providing a service for a fee.  I see nothing wrong with the model.  I've never used them, though.  If it bothers you, don't use them.

Sibley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2020, 07:40:22 PM »
Here in the US people would not be delivering food on bikes. They are driving cars.

I have heard that UPS (and other drivers like Amazon) may be under such a pressure to deliver so many packages per shift, that they are running, don't have time to even use the bathroom, etc. Here Uber has gotten a lot of flack that Uber takes advantage of its drivers (again because it is kind of like contract work) where they do not make much, some less than minimum wage when you calculate everything in.
Also pizza delivery drivers especially getting held up because they are carrying cash.

My brother who is an employee at a company, it is crazy the amount of scruntity they are under! They have a GPS thingie attached to the company van. They measure how long it takes him to get from place to place, any stops, and whether he goes above the speed limit. He is then timed how long each installation takes. Basically he is often booked for more jobs than can be done within a normal work day, which means he starts early and ends late (and invariably late appt customers are having to wait). It seems very high pressure to me. He is on salary and expected to work I can't remember how many hours a week (overtime is expected). What is scary is if there is less work they can dock his pay. And only after you work your expected baked in overtime, can you get time and a half. So there are some weeks he works 7 days a week just to make extra money. Does'nt seem sustainable.

If your brother is truly salary - then the company is not permitted to dock his pay. If they are anyway, he should file a complaint with the department of labor.

diapasoun

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2020, 04:11:27 PM »
Daley, you are nailing pretty much everything I've ever wanted to say on this topic. :chefs kiss:

trygeek

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2020, 04:15:53 PM »
I don't see an ethical issue with using food delivery apps or things like that. It's a simple exchange of goods and services. It's not forced on anyone to do it for a job or not. Just my opinion. Now, if you are asking me if I think it's too expensive for what you get that's another question.

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2020, 05:40:20 PM »
I'm not crazy about them from an ethics perspective, because there does seem to be a fair bit of exploitation on the part of the companies. But I'm also not crazy about restaurants in general re: ethics given the amount of food waste and garbage they produce, particularly places that use those god-awful styrofoam/plastic takeout containers, and also the fact that restaurants also are known to be pretty abusive and exploitative towards employees.

You should probably just cook.

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2020, 07:03:10 PM »
This is an area of deep practical expertise for me.

The biggest reason food delivery companies are losing money is because they are giving it to the diners as incentives, they are giving it to their engineers to make innovative services, and they are spending it on marketing and advertising.  All of this is to increase market share, which means as (if anticipated) the industry expands to cover more of the total addressable market, geometrically more future profit is made if the profit margin can be tweaked then as opposed to now.  Any of them could be profitably cash flowing to investors within a month if they wanted to be.

They're not making money simply because they want to try to make even more money in the future, not because they couldn't make money if they wanted to.  The drivers aren't getting paid more because paying them more isn't showing increases in the metrics that the execs believe will make them all more money in the future, and they aren't getting paid less because it actually hurts profits when too many drivers reject lower paying orders.  Of all the cost saving measures in place from every area of the business, programs to reduce driver pay whenever there's a good excuse is nowhere near the biggest line item.

On the topic of driver incentives and pay - any idiot with a handful of functioning brain cells and a means of transportation can deliver food - the barrier to entry is pretty much nil and metrics needed to determine if certain delivery drivers are responsible for more future profit are really hard to create.  In addition, you don't have a boss who can tell you to go clean the shit of the walls in the bathroom, can pick whatever hours you want, and have to fail extremely hard to be told not to come back.  It's better than working on the kitchen side of things for many people, let alone fast food.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2020, 08:10:45 PM »
The biggest reason food delivery companies are losing money is because they are giving it to the diners as incentives, they are giving it to their engineers to make innovative services, and they are spending it on marketing and advertising.  All of this is to increase market share, which means as (if anticipated) the industry expands to cover more of the total addressable market, geometrically more future profit is made if the profit margin can be tweaked then as opposed to now.  Any of them could be profitably cash flowing to investors within a month if they wanted to be.

They're not making money simply because they want to try to make even more money in the future, not because they couldn't make money if they wanted to.

Wow. So, basically, their priority is to build service and marketshare out at the expense of the two most critical operating parts of the service long term - restaurants and drivers, and can't possibly imagine being profitable short or long term doing anything but spending money on advertising, paying their in-house engineers, and artificially deflate delivery costs for the end users in a desperate effort to monopolize a service area and build brand loyalty? Those values are certainly reflected in their day to day operations thus far, and completely believable.

If it's so easy for them to turn that around on a month's notice, why are they in such financial trouble to begin with, and why were there even talks of Uber potentially buying out Grubhub not six months ago due to Grubhub's value and business plunging?

This is some of the most short-sighted, backwards nonsense logic I've seen peddled in a while. But then, that's the kind of out of touch thinking you get from middlemen who believe they're more valuable than they really are.

The drivers aren't getting paid more because paying them more isn't showing increases in the metrics that the execs believe will make them all more money in the future, and they aren't getting paid less because it actually hurts profits when too many drivers reject lower paying orders.

That's a real fancy way of saying they're refusing to pay their drivers a living wage and are doing everything they can to pay them as little as they can literally get away with without causing open revolt. But then, somehow expecting better than that from businesses who average well over 90% annual driver attrition rates is a bit silly. If it was really about deferring profits to build marketshare, they'd spend money and treat the two most critical components of their service far better than they do. They'd actually pay their drivers well and wouldn't gouge participating restaurants 20-30% of the delivery order, whether the restaurant has the food delivered by the service or their own in-house delivery staff. Instead, you have both drivers and restaurants using these outfits out of desperation with a hope of financially surviving, something near impossible to do given the cut the restaurants have to pay and how little the drivers get compensated.

Sorry, I don't buy it. This sounds like the sort of internal staff propaganda that gets spun to quell dissent among the ranks than congruent with the reality of the situation.

On the topic of driver incentives and pay - any idiot with a handful of functioning brain cells and a means of transportation can deliver food - the barrier to entry is pretty much nil and metrics needed to determine if certain delivery drivers are responsible for more future profit are really hard to create.  In addition, you don't have a boss who can tell you to go clean the shit of the walls in the bathroom, can pick whatever hours you want, and have to fail extremely hard to be told not to come back.  It's better than working on the kitchen side of things for many people, let alone fast food.

That's incredibly condescending and elitist, and truly spoken from a place of privileged ignorance with a life that's never had to actually work in the trenches outside of some sort of Pulp Common People tourist delusion.

I've been the pizza delivery driver. I know what living in grinding poverty is like and being desperate for money and work. I know how these gig economy outfits operate. There's more dignity, better treatment, and greater perks slinging dough and cleaning public restrooms than trying to stitch a full-time job together by trying to be one of the expendable sub-minimum wage contract car jockies for a mess of these Silicon Valley screwjobs. At least Dominos kept you fed, met minimum wage if your tips sucked, and kept a look out for you if you had to deliver to a dangerous neighborhood/address.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 08:24:30 PM by Daley »

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2020, 08:38:19 PM »
If it's so easy for them to turn that around on a month's notice, why are they in such financial trouble to begin with, and why were there even talks of Uber potentially buying out Grubhub not six months ago due to Grubhub's value and business plunging?

This is some of the most short-sighted, backwards nonsense logic I've seen peddled in a while. But then, that's the kind of out of touch thinking you get from middlemen who believe they're more valuable than they really are.
Which one is in financial trouble?  I don't think any of them are.  Just because you're losing 100 million a year doesn't mean you're in financial trouble if you have deep enough pockets.  A couple are actually hovering on/slightly over the verge of profitability but this highlights the importance of market share growth to perception.

The drivers aren't getting paid more because paying them more isn't showing increases in the metrics that the execs believe will make them all more money in the future, and they aren't getting paid less because it actually hurts profits when too many drivers reject lower paying orders.

That's a real fancy way of saying they're refusing to pay their employees a living wage and are doing everything they can to pay them as little as they can literally get away with without causing open revolt. But then, somehow expecting better than that from businesses who average well over 90% annual driver attrition rates is a bit silly. If it was really about deferring profits to build marketshare, they'd spend money and treat the two most critical components of their service far better than they do. They'd actually pay their drivers well and wouldn't gouge participating restaurants 20-30% of the delivery order, whether the restaurant has the food delivered by the service or their own in-house delivery staff. Instead, you have both drivers and restaurants using these outfits out of desperation with a hope of financially surviving, something near impossible to do given the cut the restaurants have to pay and how little the drivers get compensated.

Sorry, I don't buy it. This sounds like the sort of internal staff propaganda that gets spun to quell dissent among the ranks than congruent with the reality of the situation.
It sounds like internal staff propaganda that companies want to pay as little as possible for services?  The low driver pay isn't deferring profits - there's no reason or plan to pay them more than absolutely necessary.  Drivers aren't valued because valuing drivers doesn't drive profitability. 

Restaurant compensation rates are actually effected by in-house vs contracted delivery, at least as far as I've seen.  On the topic of gouging the restaurants (whether they like it or not because all major players auto-create restaurants without their consent) - that's just plain old capitalism.  Restaurants (and increasingly other retail) are the revenue source for the growth and/or profits of these companies, that's literally their business model.

On the topic of driver incentives and pay - any idiot with a handful of functioning brain cells and a means of transportation can deliver food - the barrier to entry is pretty much nil and metrics needed to determine if certain delivery drivers are responsible for more future profit are really hard to create.  In addition, you don't have a boss who can tell you to go clean the shit of the walls in the bathroom, can pick whatever hours you want, and have to fail extremely hard to be told not to come back.  It's better than working on the kitchen side of things for many people, let alone fast food.

That's incredibly condescending and elitist, and truly spoken from a place of privileged ignorance with a life that's never had to actually work in the trenches outside of some sort of Pulp Common People tourist delusion.

I've been the pizza delivery driver. I know what living in grinding poverty is like and being desperate for money. I know how these gig economy outfits operate. There's more dignity, better treatment, and greater perks slinging dough and cleaning public restrooms than trying to stitch a full-time job together by trying to be one of the expendable sub-minimum wage contract car jockies for a mess of these Silicon Valley screwjobs. At least Dominos kept you fed, met minimum wage if your tips sucked, and kept a look out for you if you had to deliver to a dangerous neighborhood/address.

Nope, been there, done that on minimum wage fast food and call centers as a means to survival, meth and stupidity everywhere and some bathroom wall (rarely ceiling) cleaning.  Can't say I've done much gig economy work, but I agree it's not a great primary source of income.  Doesn't mean the job isn't better to do - e.g. you can just decline dangerous neighborhoods.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2020, 09:38:54 PM »
If it's so easy for them to turn that around on a month's notice, why are they in such financial trouble to begin with, and why were there even talks of Uber potentially buying out Grubhub not six months ago due to Grubhub's value and business plunging?

This is some of the most short-sighted, backwards nonsense logic I've seen peddled in a while. But then, that's the kind of out of touch thinking you get from middlemen who believe they're more valuable than they really are.
Which one is in financial trouble?  I don't think any of them are.  Just because you're losing 100 million a year doesn't mean you're in financial trouble if you have deep enough pockets.  A couple are actually hovering on/slightly over the verge of profitability but this highlights the importance of market share growth to perception.

All of them were in trouble this time last year and Grubhub's earnings statements were dire about the reality of what they were doing, and the only reason why any of them are remotely profitable right now is because of a literal pandemic, financial meltdown, and atrocious unemployment rates. And even then, Doordash couldn't survive on its own and sold out to Uber. The industry's first "profitable" year has literally only been possible by being built upon the misery and fear of millions.

The drivers aren't getting paid more because paying them more isn't showing increases in the metrics that the execs believe will make them all more money in the future, and they aren't getting paid less because it actually hurts profits when too many drivers reject lower paying orders.

That's a real fancy way of saying they're refusing to pay their employees a living wage and are doing everything they can to pay them as little as they can literally get away with without causing open revolt. But then, somehow expecting better than that from businesses who average well over 90% annual driver attrition rates is a bit silly. If it was really about deferring profits to build marketshare, they'd spend money and treat the two most critical components of their service far better than they do. They'd actually pay their drivers well and wouldn't gouge participating restaurants 20-30% of the delivery order, whether the restaurant has the food delivered by the service or their own in-house delivery staff. Instead, you have both drivers and restaurants using these outfits out of desperation with a hope of financially surviving, something near impossible to do given the cut the restaurants have to pay and how little the drivers get compensated.

Sorry, I don't buy it. This sounds like the sort of internal staff propaganda that gets spun to quell dissent among the ranks than congruent with the reality of the situation.
It sounds like internal staff propaganda that companies want to pay as little as possible for services?  The low driver pay isn't deferring profits - there's no reason or plan to pay them more than absolutely necessary.  Drivers aren't valued because valuing drivers doesn't drive profitability

Restaurant compensation rates are actually effected by in-house vs contracted delivery, at least as far as I've seen.  On the topic of gouging the restaurants (whether they like it or not because all major players auto-create restaurants without their consent) - that's just plain old capitalism.  Restaurants (and increasingly other retail) are the revenue source for the growth and/or profits of these companies, that's literally their business model.

That's literally the business model of useless middlemen. That's not Capitalism, that's a protection racket. They think so long as they have hungry customers, they can stay in business. Well, what happens when they run out of honest drivers and piss off or bankrupt enough restaurants that nobody wants to cook or deliver for them outside of maybe fast food chains because their business model is literally predicated upon financially exploiting these two most key elements of making the very service they're selling to customers work in the first place?

Grubhub itself has literally stated out loud that there's no money in delivery service.

On the topic of driver incentives and pay - any idiot with a handful of functioning brain cells and a means of transportation can deliver food - the barrier to entry is pretty much nil and metrics needed to determine if certain delivery drivers are responsible for more future profit are really hard to create.  In addition, you don't have a boss who can tell you to go clean the shit of the walls in the bathroom, can pick whatever hours you want, and have to fail extremely hard to be told not to come back.  It's better than working on the kitchen side of things for many people, let alone fast food.

That's incredibly condescending and elitist, and truly spoken from a place of privileged ignorance with a life that's never had to actually work in the trenches outside of some sort of Pulp Common People tourist delusion.

I've been the pizza delivery driver. I know what living in grinding poverty is like and being desperate for money. I know how these gig economy outfits operate. There's more dignity, better treatment, and greater perks slinging dough and cleaning public restrooms than trying to stitch a full-time job together by trying to be one of the expendable sub-minimum wage contract car jockies for a mess of these Silicon Valley screwjobs. At least Dominos kept you fed, met minimum wage if your tips sucked, and kept a look out for you if you had to deliver to a dangerous neighborhood/address.

Nope, been there, done that on minimum wage fast food and call centers as a means to survival, meth and stupidity everywhere and some bathroom wall (rarely ceiling) cleaning.  Can't say I've done much gig economy work, but I agree it's not a great primary source of income.  Doesn't mean the job isn't better to do - e.g. you can just decline dangerous neighborhoods.

You don't actually understand what you wrote either in the initial quote or your response here that's actually so offensive and out of touch, do you... or how the very jobs you dismiss might actually provide more dignity to a person, even as part-time work.

Let me enlighten you with some bolding of your statements and choice words.

Both comments are incredibly dismissive of the very human life that allows these services to exist. These aren't people to you or them, they're "stupid" "idiot" cogs that can be easily replaced. Only a mathematical hurdle towards greater profit. Your own words about your personal experiences even smack of disdain towards the other.

They're humans, Joleran, like you. Made in the shadow and image of the Divine. And they're suffering, in part, because of poor wages and ugly attitudes perpetuated by these exploitative contract employers and words and ideas like yours. Try treating them with a little more respect.

All the same, thank you for proving my point.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 09:54:15 PM by Daley »

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2020, 10:07:25 PM »
My country's min wage is $19.50/hour and when you add in the cost of payroll tax (4.9%), workers' comp insurance, superannuation (10%), and leave/severance entitlements, the true cost of a min wage employee would be well over $25/hour. Plus you have to provide training, clothing, fuel, minimum shift lengths, etc.

I can see why rideshare apps do so well. Not many employers, and in fact not many consumers, would pay $25/hour for a guy in a car or on a bike to deliver stuff.


LonerMatt

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #36 on: December 01, 2020, 01:40:13 AM »
Except it's not $25 an hour. The workers have to register as independent contractors and pay their own super, insurance, leave means they owe $0, fewer protections than casual work.

I don't use these services, but when friends do sometimes I'm there, when I've talked to drivers they'll say their earnings can be as little as $10 an hour which is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy less than the advertised rate. There are dozens of ways for that attractive figure to be reduced for the time you're on the job.

Some relevant records of first hand experience:
https://www.vice.com/en/article/jgeyex/we-asked-food-delivery-drivers-uber-eats-menulog-deliveroo-which-is-the-worst-company-pay
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/delivery-drivers-australia-pay-rates-coronavirus-work-2020-9

Doesn't sound like anyone really likes it at all.

Read an article about a shelf stocker who'd been at Coles for 54 years. That says a lot about the inherent ok-ness of that work. Hard to imagine anyone delivering food for the same amount of time.

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #37 on: December 01, 2020, 06:34:26 AM »
All of them were in trouble this time last year and Grubhub's earnings statements were dire about the reality of what they were doing, and the only reason why any of them are remotely profitable right now is because of a literal pandemic, financial meltdown, and atrocious unemployment rates. And even then, Doordash couldn't survive on its own and sold out to Uber. The industry's first "profitable" year has literally only been possible by being built upon the misery and fear of millions.

I still don't understand what you mean by "trouble" here.  A growth oriented pseduo tech/middleman company not being profitable doesn't mean they are in trouble.  Doordash is going for a 30 billion dollar IPO, think you confused them with Postmates, a much smaller competitor. 

It sounds like internal staff propaganda that companies want to pay as little as possible for services?  The low driver pay isn't deferring profits - there's no reason or plan to pay them more than absolutely necessary.  Drivers aren't valued because valuing drivers doesn't drive profitability

Restaurant compensation rates are actually effected by in-house vs contracted delivery, at least as far as I've seen.  On the topic of gouging the restaurants (whether they like it or not because all major players auto-create restaurants without their consent) - that's just plain old capitalism.  Restaurants (and increasingly other retail) are the revenue source for the growth and/or profits of these companies, that's literally their business model.

That's literally the business model of useless middlemen. That's not Capitalism, that's a protection racket. They think so long as they have hungry customers, they can stay in business. Well, what happens when they run out of honest drivers and piss off or bankrupt enough restaurants that nobody wants to cook or deliver for them outside of maybe fast food chains because their business model is literally predicated upon financially exploiting these two most key elements of making the very service they're selling to customers work in the first place?

Grubhub itself has literally stated out loud that there's no money in delivery service.

Want to know a not-so-secret?  The diners aren't the customers, the restaurants are.  These companies sell services to the restaurants - very aggressively. 
They argue they drive business to the restaurants and provide customer support and delivery.  The economy is filled with middlemen, but these companies actually do work the restaurants would not otherwise do.

TheContinentalOp

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #38 on: December 01, 2020, 06:48:44 AM »


Quote
That's literally the business model of useless middlemen. That's not Capitalism, that's a protection racket. They think so long as they have hungry customers, they can stay in business. Well, what happens when they run out of honest drivers and piss off or bankrupt enough restaurants that nobody wants to cook or deliver for them outside of maybe fast food chains because their business model is literally predicated upon financially exploiting these two most key elements of making the very service they're selling to customers work in the first place?

That's what immigration is for. In the 21st century, Marx's Reserve Army of Labour is a couple billion third worlders who would love a chance to eek out a living in the USA driving for DoorDash, rather than suffer the grinding poverty of their homeland.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #39 on: December 01, 2020, 07:05:29 AM »
All of them were in trouble this time last year and Grubhub's earnings statements were dire about the reality of what they were doing, and the only reason why any of them are remotely profitable right now is because of a literal pandemic, financial meltdown, and atrocious unemployment rates. And even then, Doordash couldn't survive on its own and sold out to Uber. The industry's first "profitable" year has literally only been possible by being built upon the misery and fear of millions.

I still don't understand what you mean by "trouble" here.  A growth oriented pseduo tech/middleman company not being profitable doesn't mean they are in trouble.  Doordash is going for a 30 billion dollar IPO, think you confused them with Postmates, a much smaller competitor.

My apologies for confusing one ethically bankrupt outfit with a silly name for another. Doesn't change the point a lick.

It sounds like internal staff propaganda that companies want to pay as little as possible for services?  The low driver pay isn't deferring profits - there's no reason or plan to pay them more than absolutely necessary.  Drivers aren't valued because valuing drivers doesn't drive profitability

Restaurant compensation rates are actually effected by in-house vs contracted delivery, at least as far as I've seen.  On the topic of gouging the restaurants (whether they like it or not because all major players auto-create restaurants without their consent) - that's just plain old capitalism.  Restaurants (and increasingly other retail) are the revenue source for the growth and/or profits of these companies, that's literally their business model.

That's literally the business model of useless middlemen. That's not Capitalism, that's a protection racket. They think so long as they have hungry customers, they can stay in business. Well, what happens when they run out of honest drivers and piss off or bankrupt enough restaurants that nobody wants to cook or deliver for them outside of maybe fast food chains because their business model is literally predicated upon financially exploiting these two most key elements of making the very service they're selling to customers work in the first place?

Grubhub itself has literally stated out loud that there's no money in delivery service.

Want to know a not-so-secret?  The diners aren't the customers, the restaurants are.  These companies sell services to the restaurants - very aggressively. 
They argue they drive business to the restaurants and provide customer support and delivery.  The economy is filled with middlemen, but these companies actually do work the restaurants would not otherwise do.

No kidding! You mean to tell me that the large greedy techbros who exploit and treat their drivers like human garbage to get rich are using said demand of their end users and labor of these people to force their way into forcing themselves and their service upon local restaurants so they can exploit them as well by charging them outrageous fees to provide a $10 a month website and phone number that re-routes to their actual phone number of business!? Why... NO! THAT'S UNPOSSIBLE! Who would have thought such a thing! What was I even condemning about these businesses anyway!?

Oh, right. THAT.

If government forces their way into small business to take a cut and demands how people do business, people scream SOCIALISM!
If organized gangs force their way into small business to take a cut and demands how people do business, people scream CRIME!
If Silicon Valley Techbros force their way into small business to take a cut and demand how people do business, you cheer and say, CAPITALISM!"
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 07:09:07 AM by Daley »

reeshau

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #40 on: December 01, 2020, 07:44:05 AM »
So, what will the moral judgment of the gig economy look like when it ends, replaced by robotaxis?

Those who say the current business models are unsustainable are right.  And even with the relative corners cut for a contractor vs. an employee, wages are still the highest single cost for any of these companies.  That's why Uber was working so feverishly on self-serving cars:  they only have a certain amount of time (i.e. investors willing to continue funding a loss-making enterprise) before they need to reach that end state, or fold under the pressure.

Food delivery is a little harder, as you have to get to the door.  But there are real sidewalk-roving bots and drone delivery services operating now at a city scale.

The opportunities may look bad, compared to what once was.  And the wheel of history will turn again, and the same will be true when we look back again.

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #41 on: December 01, 2020, 07:45:05 AM »
Want to know a not-so-secret?  The diners aren't the customers, the restaurants are.  These companies sell services to the restaurants - very aggressively. 
They argue they drive business to the restaurants and provide customer support and delivery.  The economy is filled with middlemen, but these companies actually do work the restaurants would not otherwise do.

No kidding! You mean to tell me that the large greedy techbros who exploit and treat their drivers like human garbage to get rich are using said demand of their end users and labor of these people to force their way into forcing themselves and their service upon local restaurants so they can exploit them as well by charging them outrageous fees to provide a $10 a month website and phone number that re-routes to their actual phone number of business!? Why... NO! THAT'S UNPOSSIBLE! Who would have thought such a thing! What was I even condemning about these businesses anyway!?

Oh, right. THAT.

If government forces their way into small business to take a cut and demands how people do business, people scream SOCIALISM!
If organized gangs force their way into small business to take a cut and demands how people do business, people scream CRIME!
If Silicon Valley Techbros force their way into small business to take a cut and demand how people do business, you cheer and say, CAPITALISM!"

There's two separate points here - 1. that these companies aren't providing any meaningful value, and 2. that what they are doing is immoral to the point as being as bad as crime or socialism.

The companies do provide value with their large marketing and advertising budgets.  They meaningfully increase traffic to restaurants, and most restaurants can't compete with their own advertising due to economies of scale.  They create technology platforms to incentivize diners to return.  They recruit a labor force of drivers and manage that aspect of food delivery.  They provide customer support that can resolve issues without needing staff at the restaurant to handle it.  If you contract with them, they'll even ensure you can stop the order flow to them (actually a dirty little secret - if these restaurants signed up with a commission based model they incur no particular up front costs and then get access to the tech to essentially permanently turn off their order flow on their own, but if the restaurant doesn't sign up they don't get to control that).

You can argue whether the value they provide is worth the associated costs - but they clearly provide value.

As to this being as bad as socialism or crime - the key difference is force.  You don't go to jail or get shot if you don't play along.  Yes, having these companies is annoying for many business owners.  Having direct competitors is pretty annoying too!  Lots of business is annoying, but the heart of capitalism is that you have a bunch of free actors applying forces to each other to try to get what they want (typically money).  The government sets laws to limit the amount of force that can be applied by these businesses, and we have courts to enforce those laws when companies overstep.  It's not a perfect system, certainly, but there are checks, balances, and rules here.



Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #42 on: December 01, 2020, 08:19:38 AM »
The companies do provide value with their large marketing and advertising budgets.  They meaningfully increase traffic to restaurants, and most restaurants can't compete with their own advertising due to economies of scale.  They create technology platforms to incentivize diners to return.  They recruit a labor force of drivers and manage that aspect of food delivery.  They provide customer support that can resolve issues without needing staff at the restaurant to handle it.  If you contract with them, they'll even ensure you can stop the order flow to them (actually a dirty little secret - if these restaurants signed up with a commission based model they incur no particular up front costs and then get access to the tech to essentially permanently turn off their order flow on their own, but if the restaurant doesn't sign up they don't get to control that).

You can argue whether the value they provide is worth the associated costs - but they clearly provide value.

As to this being as bad as socialism or crime - the key difference is force.  You don't go to jail or get shot if you don't play along.  Yes, having these companies is annoying for many business owners.  Having direct competitors is pretty annoying too!  Lots of business is annoying, but the heart of capitalism is that you have a bunch of free actors applying forces to each other to try to get what they want (typically money).  The government sets laws to limit the amount of force that can be applied by these businesses, and we have courts to enforce those laws when companies overstep.  It's not a perfect system, certainly, but there are checks, balances, and rules here.

All at the low-low price that's higher than the restuarant's actual profit margin per meal! And the only way to opt out is to opt in!

Mob rule isn't force? Making restaurants use your service whether they want to or not isn't force?

That's why they lobby so hard against employee rights laws and get slapped with so many lawsuits, right?

It's a parasitic business model. These are parasites getting fat off the dying carcass of late-stage capitalism, exploiting the poor and hastening the demise of their very target customer base by charging untenable prices. These aren't people to them desperate to survive, they're robots who's sole existence is to make them money at any price, and the instant they become a liability, they're tossed aside. As long as the STONKS! evaluation is favorable, WHO CARES! They can cash out their share right before the collapse and sail away on a golden parachute to "disrupt" another economy until there's nothing left but serfs and a pile of money to sleep on at night. Wash, rinse, repeat.

This is Eddie Lampert making money off of the bankruptcy of Sears territory. There are no checks, balances and rules here because the laws haven't been able to keep up with what's actually happening. These are a handful of people exploiting and making money off of collapsing and destroying small business.

Tell yourself whatever you have to in order to sleep at night, to spin the reality into socially palatable doublespeak that doesn't make the delicate matrons faint in horror, and try to hand-waive away the problem and pretend actual "value" is being provided, but know that this isn't capitalism in the slightest. Your arguments for "providing value" sound like a spoiled, entitled Instagram influencer, "BUT I'M GIVING YOU EXPOSURE! GIMME!".

And the fact that you're willing to argue and defend a group of people who have an undeniable track record of using up and discarding people solely to make money, pretending that you're somehow special and exempt from that sort of treatment shows how much of the Flavorade you've actually drunk.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 08:25:04 AM by Daley »

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #43 on: December 01, 2020, 08:29:37 AM »
Mob rule isn't force? Making restaurants use your service whether they want to or not isn't force?

That's why they lobby so hard against employee rights laws and get slapped with so many lawsuits, right?

...

This is Eddie Lampert making money off of the bankruptcy of Sears territory. There are no checks, balances and rules here because the laws haven't been able to keep up with what's actually happening. These are a handful of people exploiting and making money off of collapsing and destroying small business.

"Mob rule"?  And I was very explicit with my use of the term force - everything in human interactions when competing for scarce resources involves the use of force, it is simply a matter of magnitude and legality.

Are they nice fluffy charities that just want to make sure everyone gets a fair cut?  No.  Are they legitimate businesses?  Yes.

Running one step ahead of the law is in some ways the highest expression of capitalism - maximally playing the system to its breaking point for your own personal gain.  The law catches up and new tricks are found. 

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #44 on: December 01, 2020, 08:55:47 AM »
Running one step ahead of the law is in some ways the highest expression of capitalism - maximally playing the system to its breaking point for your own personal gain.

There we go.

What these gig economy businesses are doing, according to Joleran, is the highest expression of capitalism... and the highest expression of capitalism, according to Joleran, is to do things that violate social contracts and exploit and harm others solely to make money until they're no longer legally able to do so.



There's your answer, Bloop Bloop. The answer is, "Yes."
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 08:58:47 AM by Daley »

joleran

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #45 on: December 01, 2020, 10:36:29 AM »
Running one step ahead of the law is in some ways the highest expression of capitalism - maximally playing the system to its breaking point for your own personal gain.

What these gig economy businesses are doing, according to Joleran, is the highest expression of capitalism... and the highest expression of capitalism, according to Joleran, is to do things that violate social contracts and exploit and harm others solely to make money until they're no longer legally able to do so.

There's your answer, Bloop Bloop. The answer is, "Yes."

It's one way of looking at capitalism as a more or less pure pursuit.  There's nothing about violating social contracts and harming others inherently required though some of them will get trampled over.  Others will be put on a pedestal - every company has a massive diversity initiative these days for example, though it doesn't provide direct profit it's something society seems to demand and so it's there because not having it would hurt profit.

Daley

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #46 on: December 01, 2020, 10:43:09 AM »
Will someone please take Joleran's shovel?

Bloop Bloop Reloaded

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #47 on: December 01, 2020, 02:41:14 PM »
Except it's not $25 an hour. The workers have to register as independent contractors and pay their own super, insurance, leave means they owe $0, fewer protections than casual work.

I don't use these services, but when friends do sometimes I'm there, when I've talked to drivers they'll say their earnings can be as little as $10 an hour which is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy less than the advertised rate. There are dozens of ways for that attractive figure to be reduced for the time you're on the job.

Some relevant records of first hand experience:
https://www.vice.com/en/article/jgeyex/we-asked-food-delivery-drivers-uber-eats-menulog-deliveroo-which-is-the-worst-company-pay
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/delivery-drivers-australia-pay-rates-coronavirus-work-2020-9

Doesn't sound like anyone really likes it at all.

Read an article about a shelf stocker who'd been at Coles for 54 years. That says a lot about the inherent ok-ness of that work. Hard to imagine anyone delivering food for the same amount of time.

That's what I'm saying. A shelf stacker gets paid $20/hour or whatever and it costs the business $25/hour for labour that's super marginal. I mean you can get good white collar workers for $30-$35/hour so would you pay $25/hour for completely unskilled manual work? Maybe for shelf stacking...till the robots take over. Definitely not for food delivery. That's why Uber Eats etc exist. Because there's a market for delivery but no one's willing to pay $25/hour for it. So it falls into the gig economy instead.

LonerMatt

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #48 on: December 01, 2020, 04:57:38 PM »
What happened in your life to make you so cynical? Literally every discussion with you is the most anti-humane, silent hand, evading social responsibility, accepting of arbitrary problems that it's possible to get. Seek to improve the world, not stand for the shitty reality greedy and ethical void companies seek to perpetuate.

Plenty of times in the past people 'haven't been willing to pay for xyz' and plenty of times it's changed.

No one should work FT hours and be at the poverty level. No one. Regardless of age, skill, field of work, country, industry, whatever. It's that simple. If uber have to give up their profits to do so fine by me. Anyone who isn't fine with that is trying to justify corporate bootlicking over giving a shit about their fellow man but isn't ballsy enough to articulate their spineless position.

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Re: Is using food delivery apps unethical?
« Reply #49 on: December 01, 2020, 05:06:48 PM »

It's one way of looking at capitalism as a more or less pure pursuit.  There's nothing about violating social contracts and harming others inherently required though some of them will get trampled over. 

I agree.

I reject the proposition that economic activity within the bounds  of ordered liberty violates the social contract.

IIRC, concerning contract law, Justice Holmes opined that a man has a right to make a bad bargain.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 05:12:51 PM by John Galt incarnate! »