I was eating (or attempting to) in a restaurant in London recently and the food took ages to arrive. Why? Because the kitchen kept cooking things for Uber Eat delivery drivers to collect, which seemed to take priority over the food for people actually sitting in the restaurant. I won’t be going back there again. But it seems I’m not alone.
Putting aside the fact I always seem to be in traffic stuck behind a van delivering supermarket items for people that can’t be bothered to visit a supermarket there’s a good example from New York that I heard about yesterday. Guy walks into a dry cleaners….but it’s not a joke. He want to pick up a suit, but there’s a queue of six people in front of him collecting parcels from Amazon or some such. This is because the dry cleaning shop has become an online delivery hub. His view was wait a minute, surely I have priority here. I’m using the dry cleaning for dry cleaning. Is he right or wrong?
So how to solve this. One idea being developed by Amazon is in-home delivery even when you are out. If you fit a digital lock to your front door you can digitally authorise companies or delivery people to open the door and drop things off. Or for that matter allow cleaners, baby sitters, dog walkers etc to get in when you are out.
I can see this working for people in rented apartments with nothing worth stealing, but otherwise I’m not convinced. Depends how much you trust the likes of Amazon, Uber etc I guess, which in my case is not a lot. Actually, I can see this being widely adopted by younger generations. Also, on the plus side, if all your stuff is stolen I guess you can let the insurance claims guy in when you’re not at home too.
BTW, in case you think that same day delivery is a fixed feature of the future it might not be. I’ve been told on good authority that in the UK a delivery costs £20, so on orders of £25 or £30 this may not be sustainable…unless, of course, we give the job to robots.