STD Phone - © 2021 Skip The Dishes

Sunday Musings: Food Delivery Extremes Amaze!

Skip the Dishes. Sure. Fine. Order out and have one of those food delivery services bring dinner to your door. No fuss, no muss, no leftover ingredients to go bad in the fridge. No effort required. But some folks are apparently relying too heavily on deliveries than may be good for them…

Skip The Dishes - © 2021 Skip The DishesOne resident of my town, Ottawa, ordered more than twice a day via STD over the past 11 months…

I was at first curious to see what Skip The Dishes (STD) Canada had to say about the past year, in the context of demand for its services. But once I saw the stats, I was out and out amazed at the extremes to which some folks rely on food delivery.

Amazing extremes

A CTV News story this week revealed that, among other eye-opening cases, one unnamed customer in my town, Ottawa, placed more than 780 orders through STD for restaurant meals – more than 2 a day – during the first 11 months of this year. At an average charge of (C)$3.50 per order, that’s more than $2,700 in delivery fees alone! The record number of orders placed by a single customer in all of Canada, January to November, was 1,475. That’s more than 3 a day, and over $5,000 in delivery charges! Perhaps these customers are independently wealthy. Who knows. It’s what they chose to do. Just as an aside, I can’t say it’s all that healthy, either.

How much they spend

Based loosely on the latest food prices per kg / lb., as published by Living In Canada, adjusted by the 2021 cost of living increase, a very conservative dinner for 4 (2 adults and 2 children) costs about $20.00. That’s $5 per person. And that’s for a home-prepared meal. If they had those meals delivered, the service charge alone would be $3.50 per plate.

But according to Authentik Canada, the average cost of a restaurant dinner is $20 per plate. Wait… Make that $23.50 with delivery. Even if we average all three daily meals together, the cost for restaurant food still comes in at $11 per plate, or $14.50 with delivery.

The waste factor

Even if we factor in the official UN food waste figures, the average Canadian produces 2.7 kg / 6 lb. of food garbage a day. Applying the cost of that conservative dinner for a family of four, we get a dollar value of about $2.85 lb. / $6.27 kg cost of food wasted every day. That’s a total of just under $17 per day! Sounds like a lot, but that includes what we leave on our plates. what goes to waste as leftovers that aren’t eaten at a future meal, what spoils in the fridge and in the fruit bowl on the table, and what’s spilled during food preparation. It even includes fruit and vegetable peelings that could be eaten, but are pared off and thrown away.

Now… If a highly-addicted food delivery service patron plays the ‘zero-waste’ card to justify their spending, remind them that they’re still paying an average of $3.50 for delivery per item ordered. That’s a minimum of $18.50 for delivery of a coffee and Bagel breakfast, a sandwich and coffee lunch, and a burger and soda supper. Don’t forget: the delivery charge is the same for a $2 cup of coffee as it is for a $25 steak!

Then pull out the dramatic cost difference between a home-prepped meal versus a restaurant meal: $14.50 for the resto repast vs. $5 for the home-made meal. No matter what they’re paying for their delivered meals, they’re wasting an average of $9.50 a pop!

Ask them what they could do with that $9.50, especially when you consider it adds up to just short of $3,500 per year! And that’s just for one meal a day!

My take

There’s something that keeps these delivery addicts at home, and precludes their taking a few minutes to prepare their own meals from supermarket-sourced fresh ingredients. I’d bet a luxurious restaurant meal that it’s either a computer or TV screen. Gaming enthusiasts are legendary for ordering-in food at all hours, day and night while glued to their chosen amusements. Some even inserting a catheter or wearing disposable absorbent underwear so they don’t have to leave their screens in the middle of a contest. But I may be wrong. If I am, please let me know!

Nevertheless, I’m convinced that a lot of folks are using food delivery services a lot more than they need to. Or really should. The STD stats for the first 11 months of this year do clearly show one thing: ‘Convenience’ has emerged as an economic disease of epidemic proportions. Consider that the vast majority of the folks who order food by delivery pay online by credit card. What happens the bills arrive? What happens when the cards are maxed out, and the credit companies start to decline charges, and order-in addicts still have other things they have to pay for? How do they pay for utilities and clothes and gas and so on?

I am sorry if you feel these folks are hard done by, but I have no sympathy for them, whatsoever.

Muse on that!

~ Maggie J.