One of the sectors listed as essential work during Ohio’s stay at home order are food production and distribution. With the newly gained popularity of food delivery services such as DoorDash, will use of these services increase or be deemed unnecessary?
As described on their website, DoorDash is a technology company that facilitates door-to-door deliveries. Products available for delivery range from local businesses to fast food chains. “Dashers” refer to the drivers that deliver these products to the consumer.
In the wake of Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay at home order, all restaurants that remain open are providing carry-out and delivery only. With heavy restrictions being implemented on businesses and social distancing encouraged, some delivery workers do not know how their work is going to be impacted.
For DoorDasher Jackson Clark, he keeps up with his deliveries despite moving back home due to the coronavirus.
“I assume that I am an essential worker, but I really do not know. I’m delivering food, and the app hasn’t shut down. I’m an independent contractor, also, so I’m not in direct employment to anyone” Clark said. “There is more demand from what I see.”
DoorDash operates on a schedule-based system. Employees need to wait until slots open up before they can make deliveries. In situations of high demand, DoorDash will open up slots on the schedule for drivers to take.
“It is hard to see if (the demand) is because of there being more drivers on the road or more need for delivery” Clark explains. “I have tried to keep up; although sometimes I want to just have dinner at home rather than go out and deliver from 5 to 10. I’m gonna be dashing later tonight.”
DoorDasher Conor Moore is experiencing a similar trend in his deliveries. Not only is he allowed to continue making deliveries during the stay-at-home order, but he is also experiencing a pay increase.
“I do think it has been busier since the stay-in-order and all the restaurants closing. They have upped the base pay from $2 without tip to $3 without tip. It’s not a lot but it is helpful. Plus, my phone keeps getting the ‘it’s very busy in BG right now’ alerts.” Moore says.
According to an eMarketer study in 2019, 38 million people in the United States use food delivery apps. In that same study, food delivery apps are defined as a “third-party mobile app whose primary function is the ordering of prepared food for delivery.” By 2020, it is estimated that the number will rise to 44 million. Now that home isolation is becoming more frequent, it is likely that the number will surpass 44 million as more people turn to food delivery instead of in person grocery store shopping.
Bowling Green resident, and BGSU student, Ashley Clark finds herself using delivery services for the first time.
“I didn’t (use delivery services) before the outbreak, but I ordered something through DoorDash for the first time.” When asked if she would use it more moving forward, Clark answered, “Probably; I’m desperate for food that is not pasta.”
Currently, delivery service companies are still working as the number of users increase for services such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grub Hub.