Relative rates of fraud

About 21% of delivery customers worry the driver may have nibbled their order en route—and with good reason, according to a new study of delivery gripes. Some 28% of drivers say they were unable to resist taking a bite.

Here is the full story, via the estimable Chug.


That is disgusting. Put cameras in these vehicles ASAP. The story didn't reference pizza which is likely the most delivered meal at least in North America and also very obvious if someone took a bite.

Pizza delivery drivers are employed by the restaurant and get paid minimum wage between orders, both of which seem like important differences.

Unless something has changed in the past 20 years (which it might have), delivery drivers received a higher wage than a server in the restaurant (driver wage was around $4.25-$4.50 with a server wage being around $2.13; minimum wage was $5.15 then), but their wages didn't vary depending upon whether or not they were delivering food at the time (it was $4.25 if they were delivering pizza or waiting in the store to deliver pizza). If they came in to do something else (answer phones, make food, etc.) then they were given at least minimum wage, but not if they were just doing those activities during their down time between runs.

They don't earn enough even for getting lunch? Anyway 28% is probably way less pilfering than what's happening at Restaurants. And who says Drivers don't just wan't to do their own quality control?

A related survey said a large majority would like to see tamper-proof packaging. Not economical?

No, they earn enough. But the same traits that lead them to being a delivery person are the same traits that lead them to take a bite. They are low class hooligans!

Is this proof that the labor's share of GDP has not been increasing?

"Labor's share of the pie", I think you meant


If you look at the BLS productivity data it includes a chart of labor's share that fell modestly from1950 to 1990 and fell sharply since. It equaled 63% in 2000 and 56% IN 2012. It has bounced around 56 % since.

What is your data to support the claim that labor's share is

Many years ago my father owned a large restaurant with many employees. I liked to hang out in the restaurant, mostly in the kitchen with my "friends" who worked there. The kitchen included a small "lunch room", where the employees could eat the free meals that were provided. I've been in the offices of several large law firms that have their own "lunch rooms", where free lunches are provided to the lawyers (not sure about staff), which I assumed was intended to shorten the lunch break and increase the time the lawyers spent billing clients. Anyway, I thought about my father's restaurant and its "lunch room". As anyone in the restaurant business can attest, preventing employee theft of the food is a major problem. My father often referred to "profits" going out the back door, which confused me: how do "profits" go out the back door? Anyway, I suspect that the "lunch room" and free meals were provided to help prevent those elusive profits from going out the back door.

I knew someone who ran a restaurant for years as well. The problem wasn't hungry employees nibbling food while they worked, it was unprepared food being stolen in bulk (e.g a whole ham or wheel of cheese vanishes).

That's correct. I think the free meals was a way to discourage theft by creating a stronger bond between employer and employee and between employees: people are less likely to steal, or tolerate stealing, from someone they respect. Of course, I could be way off base: maybe my father provided free meals as a way of disposing of excess inventory. A very big problem for restaurants today in urban areas with a high cost of housing/living is the absence of good employees: they cannot afford to live there. I have commented before that Charleston's best restaurants are suffering as a result, with several celebrity chefs moving to other cities where the problem isn't as acute. Chefs, like the owners, are dependent on quality help to produce quality food.

Amazing how the law of supply and demand, which is supposed to solve all problems through “market forces”, suddenly ceases to apply when it comes to paying workers enough to get them to show up.

It doesn't. But restaurants are caught between what customers are willing to pay and what employees are willing to accept. Restaurants tend to be precarious businesses -- there is no big pool of excess profits to provide raises.

Don't restaurants also have high rates of creative destruction? We should see high speed and adaptability to market forces under those conditions, at least in theory.

I think about my father's restaurant often, especially the kitchen where I hung out and my father worked. I did not realize it at the time, but the kitchen was an extraordinary feat of efficiency. Even the location of the different sections was the result of a great deal of thought. The store room and walk-in freezers and refrigerators were in the back, while the dish washer (it was mechanical) was nearest the dining room. There was a section for making salads that was near the dining room, a bakery section for making bread, pies, cakes, and pastries that was off in a corner, a section for roasting meat, a section for frying meat, a section for cooking vegetables, and a section for making sauces that were near the middle of the kitchen. The layout had to avoid employees running into each other. It was an amazing place. As I learned much later, in French it's called mise en place (everything in its place). I can't even accomplish that with the kitchen in my house.

We need Elizabeth Warren to come up with a solution. It would entail a tax on everyone, regulations on packaging and delivery vehicles, an entitlement of a pizza slice per delivery. The cost of delivered foods would increase to the point that the whole problem went away.

That reads like just another more harmless variant of redistribution profiteers.

Whilst I generally love these little glimpses into the hidden workings of the world, I feel I really would have been happier not knowing

Ever drink from an opened can of coke or beer?

Then likely you have never talked to anyone who has worked in a warehouse that handles beverage cans.

Maybe a lock box to which the customer is sent the code by the restaurant? Apparently another problem is that the food doesn't arrive hot. Heated box?

Or a bag or box and tamper evident tape.

Everyone's so stoopid. The obvious solution is to charge extra for the "calorie reduction service".

Wait a minute. The headline to this post is "Relative rates of fraud". Delivery drivers aren't committing fraud here. They are stealing food. If the customer doesn't get the amount of food they were told they would receive then it is the restaurant that has defrauded them.

This happened to a DoorDash order of mine many months back. I know exactly how many Baked Potato Tots Cheesecake Factory puts into an order and there are almost never Tot bits in the dipping sauce when you begin.

DoorDash completely refunded the order, not sure what (if anything) they did to the "dasher" but I was satisfied with the refund.

DoorDash is actually pretty great to with refunds/credits when things don't go as I expect, even when it's out of DD's control (like food prep quality), I can't speak for other services.

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