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The History of Food Delivery

Let’s be honest, we all love a good meal from our favourite restaurant delivered right to our door. The convenience of not having to leave your house in order to get a delicious dish is something we’ve all grown to love. With the pandemic, food delivery became even more popular as people weren’t allowed to go to restaurants but still craved outside-made food. Though these services seem like they’ve been around forever, the modern version of them are actually a quite recent development. Though it’s not the traditional meal delivery service we all think of when we hear ‘delivery’, milk delivery services were the first ever farm-to-door delivery system that served millions of people and was started in 1785. The first ever food delivery though, is not so recent either. It was actually made in Italy by King Umberto I and Queen Margherita of Savoy in 1889. They had pizza delivered to them as they become tired of their regular French cuisine, and because the queen took such a liking to the classic pizza, it was named after her (pizza Margherita). Around the same time in India, men called Dabbawalas would bring lunch to the busy workers in the city. These delivery men still work today and have some of the most efficient food delivery practices in the world, so much so that many who started the digital versions went to them for inspiration and advice. In 1922, Kin-Chu cafe in LA became the first Chinese restaurant to deliver food, making it the first. Believe it or not, the invention of the TV was actually harmful to the restaurant sector. People became to entranced by their TV’s that they stopped going out, which led restaurants to adapt and create takeout and delivery options. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the food delivery industry changed. The first online delivery service was started by Pizza Hut. It was called PizzaNet, and ordering a pizza on it was one of the first things you were able to do on the internet. The first food delivery service was started in 1995 and was called WorldWideWaiter, which took online orders and deliveries for over 60 restaurants. Since then, apps such as DoorDash, UberEats, and Skip The Dishes have grown immensely. They, or variations of them, can be found almost all around the world and can deliver virtually any dish you can think of. This is a service we all thoroughly enjoy today and that only continues to grow!


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