28 Percent of Food Deliverers Admit to Taking Your Food, According to Study

Traveling can be as stressful as it is fun. Flight delays, canceled reservations, and driving a rental car in traffic in a different city are just three of myriad factors which can take the joy out of travel…

28 Percent of Food Deliverers Admit to Taking Your Food

…so that by the time you arrive at your hotel room, the last thing you would probably want to do is first venture out to a restaurant or pick up a burger and fries at a fast food joint. If the hotel property still offers room service and you decide to take advantage of it, you might be treated to an expensive but disappointingly lackluster meal.

Cue in delivery services such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, Door Dash or Postmates to provide a solution. For a fee and a gratuity for the driver in addition for the cost of the meal itself, you can place an order from any participating restaurant and have the food conveniently delivered right to the hotel property at which you are staying…

…but are you really getting all of the food for which you have ordered and paid?

According to this study which was conducted and recently released by US Foods — which is a leading foodservice distributor and supplier to restaurants — 54 percent of deliverers who were surveyed are often tempted by the aroma of the food which they deliver while they are driving; and 28 percent of deliverers admitted to taking food from an order. This could mean something as simple as stealing a few fries from your order — and you would typically not be the wiser.

When I was in Florida at the beginning of this year, I had food delivered by Grubhub. The meal was delivered in one of those plastic containers with the clear plastic top; and I did not notice that any of my food was missing — but then again, I had nothing to which I can refer how the dish originally left the Chinese restaurant which was chosen. All I remember was that although the sauce tasted good, the consistency of it was as thick as petroleum jelly, which did not appeal to me.

The study also imparts other interesting statistics, of which a select few are listed below:

  • 84 percent of customers would be upset if the deliverer took some of their food along the way — such as a few fries — before delivering it
  • 17 percent of customers complained that the food was not warm or fresh upon delivery
  • 17 percent of customers have had a deliverer drop food outside and leave
  • 16 percent of customers claimed that food was delivered late
  • Although 95 percent of customers regularly tip drivers, 60 percent of deliverers complained of receiving a “weak” gratuity — or no tip at all


Approximately 500 food delivery drivers and greater than 1,500 customers in the United States were surveyed for the study; so take it with a grain of salt, as the sampling size is not relatively significant.

Chances are good that your food is not being pilfered by the driver who is delivering it — but to feel reasonably comfortable that no one has touched it since the food left the establishment in which it was prepared, only accept food which has been delivered in either packaging which is resistant to tampering, or ensure that labels which indicate evidence of tampering are affixed to the packaging of your food order.

As for me, I was not impressed enough with the delivery service which I experienced earlier this year to want to do it again; and I rarely used more traditional food delivery options in the past anyway. I will likely stick with the choices of going out to a restaurant to eat; picking up a quick meal at a fast food establishment; or shopping for items in a supermarket to bring back to my hotel room if it is equipped with a microwave oven and a refrigerator.

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

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