For years now, third-party food delivery apps like UberEats, Caviar, GrubHub, and Postmates, as well as the shop and delivery apps owned by eCommerce giants such as Amazon or AliBaba, have gained a foothold in communities around the world, transforming traditional shop-in and dine-in business models by offering an innovative approach to capturing additional revenues through services that bank on modern consumer convenience. However, in a post-pandemic world, many consumers are rethinking the convenience of these apps in favor of their community’s small businesses and workforce, many of which are straining to survive during shelter-in-place. Instead, these individuals are choosing to cut out the middleman and go out of their way to not only place orders with these local establishments themselves, but also, either driving to the location in their own vehicles or contracting a gig worker to do it for them rather than using fee-charging delivery apps that siphon profits from their struggling local favorites while helping to keep their workers on the payroll.
While third-party delivery apps promote their capabilities in scaling the reach of a business, are the businesses themselves actually doing more work for less money?
As delivery apps create consumer dependence on their platforms, are they effectively hindering the sense of community a local business depends on to survive?
Are third-party delivery apps a predatory practice, holding restaurants and other businesses hostage by monopolizing search results?
Should these businesses eschew third-party platforms that can take up to three-quarters of their profits, and instead, provide delivery or takeout services themselves?
Will people continue to stay local-business-community-minded in a post-pandemic world, or will they revert back to creatures of convenience that enable the both popularity and profitability of third-party delivery apps?
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