Contents:

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    Will delivery companies ever be profitable? That’s the million-dollar question going into 2021. In this episode, you’ll hear a replay from a conference I helped put on called Curbivore. I coordinated this panel and think you’ll find it fascinating, as we will cover how delivery companies could become profitable in the future… or not. This panel discussion may surprise you!

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    Panel Discussion

    • Introduction to Amir, Vignesh, Peter, Kelly and Mark (Show Notes below for more information)
    • Is there a clear path for delivery companies to make a profit?
    • Examples around the world: China, for example
    • Criticism is that delivery could be exploitative

    Considerations

    • Size of a company does determine profitable, but it’s not that simple
    • Flywheel system – more restaurants on an app, more customers, able to do more deliveries in shorter amount of time
    • Is it exploitative? Larger conversation about the relationship of labor + companies
    • Question also ignores how one career is not always enough – many people need gig jobs to make ends meet

    Can Delivery Be Profitable?

    • It will be very, very difficult
    • Higher end customers – potential for profitability
    • Unless there is a monopoly, it will be difficult for these companies to become profitable

    Changes for Restaurants

    • Pandemic upended everything for restaurants
    • The opportunity to get more couriers in a restaurant, helps make up for lost revenue
    • Restaurants have needed to become more creative and flexible – delivery is a part of that

    Driver Goals

    • Drivers are looking for consistency, as much as possible
    • Don’t necessarily want to deliver 4 orders at once, but goal is to deliver more in less time
    • Opportunity for platforms to take earnings and subsidize the unprofitable orders
    • Driver earnings must be low in order to provide cheaper costs to customers – customers unwilling to pay more for convenience, so drivers must accept less

    The Future of Delivery

    • Companies need to focus, not pivot to something new and shiny
    • Comparisons with Amazon – things got cheaper over time instead of shifting dramatically
    • Drivers don’t necessarily want to be jack of all trades, either
    • Virtual dining concepts changes how restaurants will function, too – makes it easier for restaurants to focus on what they’re good at

    Outro

    • Thanks for listening to this Curbivore panel on delivery
    • Make sure to follow Curbivore (links below) and sign up for our newsletter
    • Planning big things for a Curbivore conference in 2021 – stay tuned!

    Show Notes

    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.