Food Loss and Waste in Fish Value Chains

The New Normal in the Restaurant and Catering Industry – Food Delivery

Omar Peñarubia, 31 August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of many businesses and establishments including restaurant and catering services. This has resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars to this highly in-demand industry.

Although during the pandemic people tend to prepare and cook foods at home, consumers still crave a variety of dishes that are normally found in their favourite restaurants. While some have managed to prepare and copy the recipe of their desired meals, many have failed and give up the tedious process of cooking.

As people decide to stay home and reduce social interactions, food deliveries are becoming popular and are the best, if not only, option to get the variety of foods that they are craving for. Some restaurants that did not previously offer food deliveries have started to explore this business opportunity. The increasing demand for food delivery has led to higher pricing in some areas, however, it also contributes to increasing employment, as some businesses have started to recruit new drivers and delivery staff.

Consumers may remain worried about the transmission of COVID-19 via food delivery, therefore it is highly recommended that consumers maintain good hygiene practices when accepting deliveries. Practices like wiping down or proper disposal of packaging, washing and sanitation of hands thoroughly before and after handling foods are encouraged.

A quick look at food deliveries using a food loss and waste lens might suggest a positive impact, as foods are delivered in serving portions. However, it is still highly dependent on the consumer behaviour. Having a good understanding of flavour and tastes, portion size, and further instructions for preparation will be helpful in choosing the best food for delivery.

Food delivery is not totally free from food waste, as it can occur during mishandling and delays in delivery, resulting in rejection by consumers. Furthermore, malicious prank calls for fake orders and food deliveries could result in food waste. Responsible use of food delivery services either through a recognized app or through online systems or simple phone calls can help to curb food waste.