28% of Delivery Drivers Have Tasted Your Food, Survey Finds

One of America’s top foodservice distributor’s recently surveyed 1,518 customers of food-delivery services — and then also surveyed 500 delivery drivers. Restaurant Business magazine shares one surprising result:

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…

Overall, the research uncovered a wariness on the part of consumers about the drivers who cart their meals. More than 4 out of 5 (85%) said they would like restaurants to adopt tamper-proof packaging. The consumer respondents were given a hypothetical situation: “If you ordered a burger and fries, and the deliverer grabbed a few fries along the way, how upset would you be?” On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being an attitude of “no big deal” and 10 representing “absolutely unacceptable,” the average score was 8.4.

They also readily cited service snafus. 34% of respondents said they’d experienced a driver refusing to leave his or her car to hand over the meal. 29% said a driver refused to walk all the way to their door for the delivery. Nearly 1 in 5 (17%) reported that a driver had dropped the food at the door and left, without any interaction.

Meanwhile, though 95% of customers said they tip regularly, insufficient tipping was a “consistent” complaint for 60% of the drivers — and in fact, the survey showed the drivers had much higher rates of consistent irritation. 52% complained their restaurants didn’t have their orders ready on time, though many also complained about customers leaving unclear instructions in the app (39%), taking to long to answer the door (33%), not answering their phone (37%), or messaging the deliverer with questions or complaints (34%).

And a full 54% of drivers said they were “often tempted” by the smell of food they delivered.

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