If you thought the McDonald’s drive-thru was lazy, Russia has brought the art of apathy to a whole new level with automated food delivery service.
There are two main food delivery services in Russia: Yandex Food and Delivery Club.
In the end, Yandex will win… at everything, in Russia. They are taking over, from taxis to money transfer systems, now real estate, and much more. If you think of Yandex just as “Russia’s search engine”, you are missing out. It is much more.
And that now includes swarms of young men with thermos-box backpacks, hustling and bustling through the streets of major Russian cities, rushing steaming victuals to the famished masses, who are too lazy to do anything more than stand up from their couch and open their front door.
These food delivery guys are improving their physical condition, while the rest of the population is rapidly degrading. If I were into conspiracy theories…
Not only is pushing buttons on your cell phone easier than brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and changing out of your pajamas… it’s also usually quite a bit cheaper.
A Burger King bacon cheeseburger, 3 Whoppers (w/cheese), 3 medium fries, one order of “village-style” fries and 15 chicken nuggets for 500 rubles. That’s about $7.69 (USD). And the best part is, that’s the price only if it’s delivered. If you made the effort to put on your shoes and coat and walk outside and breathe fresh air, the price would be considerably more.
All the nutrition, without all of the cost and exercise: Here’s how my wife bought all of that fantastic food, delivered to our home, for our kids, on an evening when she and I were out. Delivery Club was having a promotional sale: If you spent 800 rubles or more, they would subtract 300 rubles from the total and give you 15 chicken nuggets. And yes, the delivery itself is included in the cost.
These food delivery services aren’t limited to fast food. It seems any restaurant that wants to stay in business had better link itself to the service, including even some of the lesser-known establishments, like this small Indian restaurant. So, whether you fancy sushi, pizza, shish-kabobs, vegan, or a steak, you can just push a few buttons on your iPhone and lay back and wait for the doorbell to ring.
And because these food delivery systems are incredibly efficient and convenient, they are also very disruptive. It will be very interesting to see how it affects the restaurant business, and over time real estate value, particularly for restaurant locations.
And the other night when my wife and I were out and our kids were devouring Burger King at home? Well, she and I were sitting with some friends in Vokrug Sveta, which I sort of refer to as a “trendy international food court”, and watching the food delivery guys rush past, with their thermos boxes.
And that’s when we got a fantastic Moscow money-saving idea: why not walk into a busy Moscow food court, sit down at a table, and then order delivery from the restaurant of your choice to your table. Pretty sure it would work, you would save money, and maybe some time. And why embark on that arduous expedition to the cash register when you can just sit in a chair and look at your cell phone?
If you try that genius idea, please be sure to let me know how it goes. As for now, I’m feeling hungry, and if I were to go into the kitchen, I might need to put food into the microwave to warm it up and then put my plate in the dishwasher. Seems pretty complicated. I might as well just pick up my phone and see what sales Delivery Club is offering today…