ref:topbtw-2641.html/ 21 Settembre 2020/A
Anyone living in China will have noticed the immense food delivery culture here.
With one click, you can have food delivered from almost all restaurants in the city, and people from all walks of life
are often seen with disposable tapper wear full of delivered food.
When on the street, it it isn't unusual to see dozens of brightly-dressed workers on matching
motorcycles and bags full of food in the back.
However, this has not always been the case.
Before 2010, there was no such thing as a delivery culture.
However, American fast food chains such as McDonald, KFC, and Pizza Hut began offering this service to those
who wanted to order from home or workplace.
Needless to say, this quickly caught on.
Small restaurants looking to expand their clientele without adding more tables began investing
in door-to-door deliveries, often employing two or three students on e-bikes delivering food.
Seeing a steady profit, more and more began.
At the time, every restaurant had their own app or phone number to call for delivery.
Slowly platforms emerged to collect all the restaurant menu and information to make it more accessible
and all in one place, in return for small commissions.
Now, Meituan and Ele.me are the biggest sites for food delivery, and boast a total of 102.8 million
monthly active users, all available to pay with WeChat or Alipay.
WeChat (http://www.topbtw.com/topbtw-1561.html) in particular took advantage of the growing target market,
linking these platforms together to make it even more accessible for its users.
Additionally, when you order many services give coupons that can be sent to friends on WeChat, with the
ninth person clicking getting a reward.
Similarly, discounts are automatically sent out and the first person to open them have up to 30% off any order.
With China being the group-oriented country that it is, people created WeChat groups of hundreds of people
to give and receive these coupons, discounts, and vouchers.
Most customers are young users, specifically ones between 18 and 39 (75%).
This can be attributed to greater knowledge of the internet than the older generation, but can also
be attributed to heavy immigration.
Many will move away for university or better jobs in big cities such as Beijing or Shanghai.
Since food ranges immensely between regions in China, many never get used to the local food and rather
Alternatively, they may develop different tastes than their parents by travelling around the mainland.
One of my friends, for example, is from the east coast, where seafood is the main delicacy.
However, after having travelled he found he adored Sichuan food most of all, which is the spiciest food in the country.
This led to a bit of a culture clash between generations, hence when they order they always do so from different
restaurants, and still manage to bond and eat dinner together.
This delivery culture is not only enticing for ordinary customers, but also for restaurants.
Many have gotten rid of tables and chairs and moved into smaller places with only kitchens.
This is desirable because it leads to places paying less electricity and rent, and still getting an enormous
amount of orders.
Additionally, the failure rate is much lower as owners invest less by only paying for equipment, groceries,
cooks, and the app for deliveries.
Even though food delivery is the most popular form of on-call delivery service, this has expanded to include
many other things, especially since the confinement of COVID-19.
Groceries, office supplies, and even on-call hairdressers and masseuses can all be ordered or
booked through the same app!
As the epidemic here got serious, masks got added to this list.
Someone I know for example had to go to the hospital to pick up medication, but they couldn't let him
in without a mask.
So, he called for a mask on his delivery app and one was delivered within half an hour!
But who are these deliverers?
The immense amount of internal immigration and how there is a constant opening and closing
of companies means many are left unemployed.
Delivery services are always happy to have more people.
While in other countries they are paid minimum wage, Radiichina comments,
"in big cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen, an order delivered on time normally earns the driver 7RMB in commission".
This means that with thirty orders a day, six days a week, you could earn about 5, 000 RMB per month,
which is average salary of a young secretary, but without any particular qualifications.
However, as with all things, this has downsides as well. For example, young people in China
today are helpless without deliveries.
Having everything on-call means that, despite the efforts of older generations, they don't know how to buy groceries,
plan for meals, cook, and many traditional recipes passed down in families are lost as young people prefer to order instead.
Apps are always pursuing ultimate efficiency by paying extra to workers to arrive faster,
but this results in dangerous driving.
Workers would drive recklessly through crowded cities
to get extra tips and this results in them getting injured in accidents.
The problem is, often times they are uninsured.
After seeing this, numerous platforms removed the extra incentive, and encouraged safer driving instead.
The biggest impact of this delivery culture is on the environment.
Mass-produced single-use cutlery and plates keep adding to the already mounting piles of plastic in garbage dumps
and oceans, further harming the environment.
There is a ridiculous amount of overpackaging at times, now reaching 1.6 million tons in 2017.
China is now taking action to remove these single-useplastics, and apps followed by providing discounts
to people choosing not to be given cutlery in an effort to reduce waste.
Regardless of which side you look at it from, it is obvious that the delivery system has completely
revolutionised the country.
All we can hope for is that people and the environment don't pay the price of our ambitions.
Cortesia di L.B.
- Torna alla Prima Pagina - Back to the Front Page -
- Today' new contacts -
I lettori di questa pagina sono: