Ethical dilemma in Online Food Delivery Industry

In today’s rapidly changing environment, it is becoming apparent that many people prefer online food because of their convenience. Online food delivery as an emerging industry is making in-roads because of the increasing number of people who have access to smart-devices. While the online food industry is growing steadily with number of users increasing every day, they are experiencing ethical dilemma. The companies requires the services of couriers to deliver the ordered foods to consumers (Roy, Arijit, and Kiran 67). The couriers are being paid less than $10 every hour for the delivery. These has stirred a lot of discussions with couriers demanding more while the companies claim that increasing the wages would affect their existence. The online food industry is faced with an ethical dilemma on whether to increase courier’s wages or not.

Ethical dilemma

One ethical dilemma in the online delivery is the courier payment uncertainties. The online food companies such as Uber eats depends on the commission obtained by raising the prices of food slightly higher than what the customer would have paid at the restaurant. The company’s uses part of the money to pay the couriers who aid in the delivery of food ordered to the customers. However, the couriers have been complaining of low pay while the companies argue that the courier are independent contractors. In regards to this, if the company increases the courier’s payment, it will force them to increase the price of foods for customers. If the companies fail to increase the courier, the move can affect their delivery process. Both actions have a negative impact to the company.

Impact of the ethical dilemma on the emerging industry

  Food delivery online, as an a developing industry is that utilizes the internet for services and machines like vehicles, and motorcycles among other means to move the ordered item to customer locations. (Nettey 34) The industry relies on the couriers or delivery-agents to move the food items to customer location. Most companies in this industry hire couriers who are paid $10 per hour for delivering the products. The ethical dilemma is greatly affecting the emerging industry especially on treating the couriers fairly by giving them good salaries. It is required of the companies to invest in a good delivery system to make the process fast and convenient. Currently, the couriers are receiving peanuts in terms of payment to sustain the industry especially in financial system.

The issue of increasing courier’s delivery payments bogs down the companies under the online food delivery industry. For the company to satisfy the interest of the couriers, the funds must be acquired from the customers by increasing the prices of products or taking the food products from restaurants at a lower price compared to their normal rates (Menghani, Kiran, and Kashinath 56). The companies might lose some of the customers because of increasing the prices of food products to run their services. Besides, the move of convincing the restaurants to provide the food at a lower price would compromise the relationship. The companies stand a chance of losing supplies from the restaurants. In addition, maintaining the status quo can affects the companies’ delivery process.

Solutions to the ethical dilemma

There is need to address this ethical dilemma to increase industry emergence. However, negotiation is needed to make sure that all the parties involved in the process mutually agree and speaks one language. In this case, the courier agents should get a fair share of the bargain and the same should happen to the company and the restaurants. Since the industry consumer driven, the company should maintain the prices in the market to avoid losing the customers who can easily opt for take away services. To solve this, the companies should reduce the number of delivery agents and employee some to handle the deliveries while receiving the required minimum wage.

Moreover, the companies should handle courier like a guest. Without carriers, then delivery, which is the engine of this business, would be paralyzed. The courier needs extra support to ensure that they can get the right deliveries to consumers on time. For this to happen, the courier agents has to be paid well to make them feel part of the company. The online food delivery as an emerging industry must consider the positions of couriers when they are preparing company’s budgets. For instance, these delivery companies should invest more on the delivery process because effective customer services will be measured on the delivery time as well as the accuracy of the products.

Part 2

Online food delivery service is gaining immense popularity in different regions across the world. The increasing popularity of the food delivery operations is characterized by rapid internet penetration, quick access to smart-devices and a simple online payments system. Today, an increasing number of restaurants are making use of food delivery apps or third party delivery service providers to allow fast ordering and delivery of their food to the different consumers. Because of these factors, it is anticipated that the global food delivery market will experience a strong growth and establish a promising platform to restaurants and online food delivery providers over the next couple of years. There is an increasing number of online delivery users in different countries worldwide.

The popularity of the internet food delivery has increased in countries such the US, China, Europe and East Asia. To begin with, China is the biggest shareholder in the online delivery industry as the largest number of clients due to the increased internet use in the country and their massive population. China’s food delivery industry is worth more than $37 million and it is increasing steadily (Liu, Weijun, and Wojciech 78). Among the products sold online, food is the most lucrative category attributed by 36% rise yearly. In addition, in online delivery apps have about 355 million users, which means that majority of the Chinese people order food directly through their phones. It is estimated that about 1.8 million food delivery orders are placed daily in Beijing.

Online Food Delivery Market in China
China's provinces by online food ordering demand

The US ranks among the largest online food deliveries due to the high purchasing power as well as high number of users.  Food delivery through the internet is the process of ordering food from a food service provider through a mobile application or webpage (Goch, Robert, and Jeremiah 89) Most Americans summons their favorite meals to their doors with the pervasiveness of smart-devices and high delivery apps and the exciting delivery menus are becoming more diverse. Due to high number of smartphone users in the users, most Americans have access to platforms that can be used to make orders. Most Americans rely on ready foodstuff ranging from pizza and others as shown in the figure below;

Even with small profits, business people in Europe are shifting towards food delivery system because of its reach and revenue. It is the fastest growing market for service providers with a forecast larger than ride-hailing operations. Europe where food delivery is most common UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark. It is apparent that many people in these countries have high access to technology which is allows them to work (Chai, Lau and David 26) The increasing number of users of the delivery app allows them to access and make orders from the system as shown in the graph below. In addition, most of the companies operating in this industry are growing tremendously because of the high number of users in this region.

Image result for why online food deliveries are popular in Europe

Although the online companies are related to innovation and the e-services, the industry has experienced radical expansion in the innovation organizations are competing to create an excellent framework that adequately attains the clients’ needs (Gera 45). Based on these requirements is the speed of getting the orders, in the context of online delivery, majority of the clients expect to instantly get their ordered food at an optimum temperature depending on the type of food. To attain the client’s speed need, various organizations have opts to make use high-tech machines for food delivery.

The growth of the online delivery organizations made restaurants in different countries like Asia to adjust to offering food thus in a short span creating opportunities for application and e-commerce website creators and also offering job opportunities for the online market (Correa et al, 23). Anticipation of the long-term adverse impacts of the created online delivery sectors rendering majority of staffs being unemployed. The loss came because of the preference of the majority of the clients in ordering fast foods like sandwich. The restaurant will now employ few employees at the restaurants who can handle catering activities.

Apart from the loss of employment as an everlasting challenge in the online food delivery industry, the sign up information retrieved from the user database when they place, their order is essential in finding target promotions, efficient giving coupons and discovering consistent eating habits of the customers (Yusra, Yusra, and Arawati 57). The clients place orders using the apps which are at times developed by a restaurant or a company dominant in the delivery market, after placing an order , the company verifies if the food is accessible at that time, if the food is ready, the client proceeds to confirms their placement.

Work cited

Chai, Lau Teck, and David Ng Ching Yat. “Online Food Delivery Services: Making Food Delivery the New Normal.”

Correa, J. C., Garzón, W., Brooker, P., Sakarkar, G., Carranza, S. A., Yunado, L., & Rincón,. Evaluation of collaborative consumption of food delivery services through web mining techniques. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 46, 45-50. (2019)

Gera, Megha, et al. “Operations research in food delivery.” (2018).

Goch, Robert, and Jeremiah Titone. “The Economics of Quick Service Restaurant Delivery Partnerships.” (2018).

Liu, Weijun, and Wojciech J. Florkowski. Online Meal delivery services: Perception of service quality and delivery speed among Chinese consumers. No. 2015-2018-368. 2018.

Menghani, Kiran, and Kashinath Mishra. “Analytical Study of Consumer Buying Behavior Towards Online Food Delivery Channels.” SFIMAR Research Review 13.2 (2018): 13-20.

Nettey, R. A. (2018). Creating a peer-to-peer food vending, ordering and delivery ecosystem in colleges.

Roy, Arijit, and Kiran Reddy. “Emerging face of E-tailing: Online food delivery.” (2018).

Yusra, Yusra, and Arawati Agus. “Online Food Delivery Service Quality: Does Personal Innovativeness Matter?.” Asia Proceedings of Social Sciences 2.3 (2018): 251-255.

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