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Before the pandemic, I never put that much thoughts into food delivery platforms as I usually made my own food or went out to eat, instead of ordering takeout. However, as the pandemic dragged on and daily cases and deaths grew by the day, I too grew wary of going out for food and started to rely more on these food delivery platform, which made me start to grow curiosity about this industry, so I made my sample one regarding this industry.

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A brief documentary film about how food delivery workers work at frontline in Greater Toronto Area.

Jacob, an ordinary food delivery worker, is one of the frontline workers working during the pandemic. As contact-less delivery developed, the already limited social interaction between delivery worker and customer evaporated into just a knock on the door and food was waiting for people by my doorstep. I hope that through this film, I can bring the lives of these essential workers like Jacob into the spotlight instead of them being out of sight, and out of mind.

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Order delivery and support small business

        As Ontario goes into lockdown due to the COVID situation, we see the phase “Order delivery and support small business” a lot, and many citizens started ordering food delivery to support their favorite restaurants. However, we still see more and more well-known and popular restaurants are forced to close permanently during the lockdown period. Why is it so hard for restaurants to survive even when their customers order on delivery platforms to support?

        There are mainly three reasons behind the unfortunate shut downs. Firstly, all food delivery platforms charge a large percentage of commission of at least 25% from the food ordered; among that, UberEATS, the most popular carrier, charges restaurants as high as 30%. However, most restaurants can only make an average revenue of less than 50% from food served, so it is hard for restaurants to manage their original operation after commission charged. Some restaurants tried to increase menu prices on platform to cover the gap, but their food become too expensive and attract less customers. Secondly, when people order food delivery, the platforms charge customers “delivery charge”, “service fee”, and tipping for delivery worker is also recommended. For example, a $10 burger can double the price when customers order delivery. As a result, although customers want to support local restaurants, they cannot do so too often because the cost is too high. Lastly, when restaurants enter the food delivery platforms, they face more competition because they have to compete with restaurants in a larger range. Regardless of the hardships of being on delivery platforms, some merchants decide to attract orders by giving huge discounts, which leave them very little profit that can barely remain stores to stay open and other merchants are forced to join the price war, which can easily eliminate some restaurants.

        In conclusion, ordering delivery during lockdown can only give restaurants very limited support. The exorbitant commissions taken from delivery platforms, the additional fees imposed on delivery orders, and the increase of competition results in restaurants just barely able to survive.   

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