Review of Online Food Delivery Platforms and their Impacts on Sustainability
Li, Charlene; Mirosa, Miranda; Bremer, Phil
During the global 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, the advantages of online food delivery (FD) were obvious, as it facilitated consumer access to prepared meals and enabled food providers to keep operating. However, online FD is not without its critics, with reports of consumer and restaurant boycotts. It is, therefore, time to take stock and consider the broader impacts of online FD, and what they mean for the stakeholders involved. Using the three pillars of sustainability as a lens through which to consider the impacts, this review presents the most up-to-date research in this field, revealing a raft of positive and negative impacts. From an economic standpoint, while online FD provides job and sale opportunities, it has been criticized for the high commission it charges restaurants and questionable working conditions for delivery people. From a social perspective, online FD affects the relationship between consumers and their food, as well as influencing public health outcomes and traffic systems. Environmental impacts include the significant generation of waste and its high carbon footprints. Moving forward, stakeholders must consider how best to mitigate the negative and promote the positive impacts of online FD to ensure that it is sustainable in every sense.
Rights Statement: https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145528
Keywords: online food delivery (Online FD); sustainability; economic impacts; social impacts; environmental impacts
Research Type: Journal Article