Who would have ever said a few decades ago, when our grandparents were young, that one day you could buy anything you need through a computer or a smartphone and have it delivered directly to your home? Yet in recent years, delivery has become a worldwide phenomenon that has influenced all sectors, even the delicate food industry.
We are talking about Food Delivery, one of the many modern-day global phenomena whose growth is constantly increasing.
Some historical hints of delivery
The phenomenon has distant origins, culturally, temporally and geographically. America in the eighteenth century: hotels of the major colonial cities advertised a particular service to families who could afford it of daily delivery of prepared meals of any kind to the home by the same caretakers of the hotel supplier.
The first example of real e-commerce in America was only in 1994. Four years after the birth of the World Wide Web, a location of the "Pizza Hut" chain in Santa Cruz (California) started a website where customers could order pizza online.
Food delivery: support for the modern family or loss of traditions?
From the fast historical path of the Food Delivery phenomenon it is possible to see how this service was born and evolved according to the needs of families and people. It is not surprising that, with time, many things have changed and many others will do the same. Today's society wants everything to be fast, energetic, and concrete – no wasting time on trivial things or things that can be left to someone else. A hectic life being pulled between family, work, and hobbies, requires us to optimize our time. The possibility of having dinner, grocery shopping, the last-minute gift already prepared at the time you communicated to the rider (the food delivery) is acquiring the role of convenient necessity especially for the younger generations now accustomed to having everything they want just a click away. Now everything is at your fingertips: one click and you are spoiled with a million different choices. You decide everything yourself: from the delivery time even late at night (in some cities even until midnight), to the preferred type of payment, to the use of electronic discounts, points, and promotions. You can read the reviews of the riders or choose to pick up an order personally at a delivery point or at the restaurant or store, skipping lines and avoiding wasting precious time. Furthermore, how could we forget the support we received by home deliveries during the whole pandemic crisis we are just going through?
With time and with the inevitable and constant growth of services, the risk is that, in some aspects, people tend to be more inclined to laziness – preferring the online purchases. Additionally, often, going shopping was a way to socialize with your neighbor. You could walk through stores and browse their window displays, using the excuse of "being in the area" and then meet a friend for a coffee or a drink. You could take advantage of the outing just to unplug or stop, for a moment, taking care of things around the house like preparing meals. Like everything, therefore, there are personal evaluations to be made according to one's character and way of thinking which, as a consequence, is reflected in the choices one makes.
But what social and familial value can food delivery have? Of course, having lunch or dinner prepared, cooked, and delivered from a restaurant, takes away that touch of magic and warmth that the preparation of a meal in the kitchen always gives us. But there are also some advantages. For example, you could have more free time to be together with your children and maybe organize better, and with more time, after dinner to play games together as a family or watch a good movie. In short, the food delivery does not take away the conviviality at the table but rather can revive it, bringing us new enthusiasm and energy. Discover our advice to preserve conviviality at the table.
Digital innovations? Yes but with criterion
After analyzing its origins and impressive development in the different cultural and geographical realities, it is clear to everyone that today - more than ever - the world of food delivery is a business with a trend that is destined to grow exponentially and that will yield billions of dollars worldwide.
It is needless to deny how online shopping can be one of the innovations that, most of all, has changed the way we live and supported us during some important historical times such as what we are experiencing. Like almost everything, however, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
It is important to be able to balance every choice and decision in the best possible way – to be smarter and devote free time to things you love to do, but at the same time to be aware that the abuse of "comfort" could in some cases have negative consequences. It may reduce the opportunities to leave the house and be social. After all, even a simple expense can give us something in return. "We can have all the means of communication in the world, but nothing, absolutely nothing, replaces the gaze of the human being," as the famous writer Paulo Coelho says.