Are we ordering more than just food online?

As life gets complex, people resort more to convenience, such as ordering food online. Besides the convenience of getting food delivered to your doorstep, you can experience food from different cultures. A big advantage is a clutter-free kitchen and beautiful nails—after all, haven’t we chosen to skip cooking and washing the dishes?

While ordering online seems like manna from heaven, it doesn’t come without cons. Let’s have a peek at what ordering food offers residents living in the Parkdale Cromdale area.

“I love it!” says Nick, a student. “I always thought Indian food was the most flavourful until I ordered Mexican. Ordering food is like having a genie around,” he laughs. “I order what I want and when I want. I go online, check out the menu, and place a call.”

Ordering food or preparing it yourself is a personal choice. | Nazreena Anwar-Travas

“I don’t get to save much, though,” Nick admits ruefully. “Most of my money goes on rent and food. I can’t avoid paying rent, but I could have probably saved at least 200 dollars each month if I had learned to cook.”

Let’s do the math of what it actually costs to make a burger yourself.

Bread: $0.50

Tomato: $0.67

Lettuce: $0.25

Patty: $1.50

Sauce: $0.20

After taxes, the total cost is a little over $3.20. It’s unlikely you’ll find a restaurant agreeing to deliver anything below $5. Most of the time, there is a minimum delivery cost and people actually end up ordering more than what they would normally eat. So why order online?  

“It becomes a sort of addiction,” admit Kim and Joe, who order food almost every other day. “Some restaurants offer discounts after a certain number of orders and then it becomes a never-ending habit.”

And although most restaurants are stringent about following proper food preparation and hygiene guidelines, some don’t. It’s impossible to know the conditions in which the food is being prepared or what actually goes into the food unless we stand next to the chef.

“I have walked out of a restaurant because it was so shabby, only to realize that I had actually ordered from there several times,” reflects Lucia, an airport staff member who orders food whenever she is on the graveyard shift. “After a hectic workday and a long commute, slaving away in the kitchen seems the least appealing thing. I was [so] carried away with the convenience factor that I obviously overlooked the health factor.” She taps her tummy. “I have gained 10 pounds ever since I started ordering food. Plus, you never know what was used to cook the food I ordered. Was it leftover oil, fresh or stale vegetables? You just never know!”  

It’s tempting to order in food after working all day. | Nazreena Anwar-Travas

Game and movie nights were synonymous with online food ordering for Alex and Bryan, two brothers who just started working.

“It could be a burger, chicken, or pizza. And then fries or pop. A $10 here, $15 there and before long, we had spent lot of hard-earned money on just food.” Alex grimaces. “We started cooking and that drastically improved our bank balances.”

“And our body weight,” Bryan chimes in. “The serving portions on the food ordered are large sometimes and when you are busy watching or playing, you just eat the whole meal instead of saving it for later.”

Ordering food or preparing it yourself is a personal choice. I would rather cook and know what goes into a meal, never mind stay healthy (and wealthy).

On your day off, why not prepare meals for the whole week? Make cooking enjoyable by listening to music, watching television, or chatting with family or a friend. That way, you get the best of both worlds—relaxing after a long workday plus eating out …of your fridge.

Featured Image: Ordering food can add up to a lot of money. | Nazreena Anwar-Travas