Effectively, what these food apps have managed to do is take us one step further away from having a relationship with our food and where it comes from. They have stripped the face of labor from the service industry.
This surge in food-delivery apps seems to be yet another offshoot of the Silicon Valley -- born gig economy, whereby temporary, contracted labor is packaged in fun colors and careful vowel elimination that somehow make exploitation "fun." [...]
And it is a particularly isolated industry at that. The drivers are isolated from one another -- a tactic employers have consistently used throughout modern history to skirt attempts at unionization. Waitresses and cooks never see the consumers. Sometimes I try to imagine what the cute couple who order matching breakfast burritos every Sunday morning looks like, but I'll never know. [...]
As I confirm your orders, I have to wonder why this means of sustenance is so popular. Efficiency and ease? Maybe. It seems more likely, though, that a food app's convenience lies not in its ability to save time but rather in that it demands only minimal communication with those on the other end. It's a choice driven by the desire to limit one's chitchat to only those who also speak the language of code. With food at the tip of the fingers through a heat-activated Plexiglass button, no across-the-counter talk is required.
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