29 episodes

When a city changes, you can feel it in its local food culture. As the pandemic spread across the U.S., local restaurants closed or adapted, with many relying heavily on takeout and delivery in unprecedented ways. This season on Dish City, hosts Patrick Fort and Ruth Tam discover how food delivery became normal and ponder if it actually benefits restaurants, couriers and diners during the pandemic. From WAMU.

Dish City WAMU

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 139 Ratings

When a city changes, you can feel it in its local food culture. As the pandemic spread across the U.S., local restaurants closed or adapted, with many relying heavily on takeout and delivery in unprecedented ways. This season on Dish City, hosts Patrick Fort and Ruth Tam discover how food delivery became normal and ponder if it actually benefits restaurants, couriers and diners during the pandemic. From WAMU.

    Solutions Mode

    Solutions Mode

    There are problems with food delivery. There's the reliance on gig laborers who say they are underpaid. Restaurants have to pay high commission fees on top of most orders. And delivery companies wind up operating on threadbare margins and still haven't turned an annual profit. Oh, and soggy fries. We haven't quite solved for that yet.



    There's plenty to vent about. But, food delivery's not going anywhere. So, on our season finale: Can food delivery be better?



    Read a transcript of this episode at dishcity.org.

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @dishcity.

    Leave us a tip at wamu.org/supportdishcity.

    Email us your favorite delivery order at dishcity@wamu.org.

    • 42 min
    Gig Work: The Fine Print Of Food Delivery

    Gig Work: The Fine Print Of Food Delivery

    "Quick sign up! Flexible hours! Be your own boss!"

    The perks of gig work are well-known, but do they actually reflect the reality of drivers working for food delivery apps? Patrick and Ruth try driving for DoorDash to find out. Plus, they interview three drivers in D.C., Seattle, and Denton, Texas, to see how gig workers are fighting for better working conditions.



    Read a transcript of this episode at dishcity.org.

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @dishcity.

    Leave us a tip at wamu.org/supportdishcity.

    Email us your favorite delivery order at dishcity@wamu.org.

    • 36 min
    The Rise And Farce Of Third-Party Delivery Apps

    The Rise And Farce Of Third-Party Delivery Apps

    DoorDash started a decade after its competitors, but now controls half of the food delivery market in the U.S. What can we learn from the very first order its founders delivered? And how did all these third-party platforms reshape the way we think of food delivery? Ruth and Patrick explore the origins of DoorDash and examine whether the "magic wand" it built for restaurateurs is working.

    Note: This episode has been updated to reflect DoorDash and Uber Eats' current policy regarding listing restaurants on their platforms.

    Read a transcript of this episode at dishcity.org.

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @dishcity.

    Leave us a tip at wamu.org/supportdishcity.

    Email us your favorite delivery order at dishcity@wamu.org.

    • 38 min
    How Big Pizza And Big Tech Made Hot Delivery Possible

    How Big Pizza And Big Tech Made Hot Delivery Possible

    In the '60s, delivering pizzas meant wrapping hot pies in a blanket or driving them to customers over open flames. With those humble (and, uh, life-threatening) beginnings, how did we get to the quick and easy delivery everyone knows and loves today? From heatproof bags to rotating ovens, Patrick Fort and Ruth Tam investigate how 'big pizza' changed the delivery game forever.



    Read a transcript of this episode at dishcity.org.

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @dishcity.

    Leave us a tip at wamu.org/supportdishcity.

    Email us your favorite delivery order at dishcity@wamu.org.

    • 26 min
    How American Chinese Food Became Delivery Food

    How American Chinese Food Became Delivery Food

    On a cold November night in 1976, a New York City restaurateur named Misa Chang started sliding delivery menus under her neighbors’ doors for her Chinese restaurant in Manhattan. Chang wasn’t the first to offer delivery, but when delivery gained traction in U.S. cities, Chinese restaurants were often the first to do it. As dishes like chop suey and General Tso's chicken became part of American food culture, Americans’ feelings toward the Chinese Americans who made the food (and delivered it) remained stuck in the past. And now, as demand for delivery increases, many American Chinese restaurants are closing. Is delivery the key to survival?



    Read a transcript of this episode at dishcity.org.

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @dishcity.

    Leave us a tip at wamu.org/supportdishcity.

    Email us your favorite delivery order at dishcity@wamu.org.

    • 32 min
    Why Is Delivery A Thing?

    Why Is Delivery A Thing?

    When you really think about it, delivering food from restaurants to homes is kind of strange. Nothing about the process saves money and it doesn't make the food taste any better! And yet, platforms like DoorDash and Grubhub doubled their revenue during the pandemic. So, what's the history of this weird system? Welcome to the latest season of Dish City, where we unwrap the past, present and future of delivery.

    Read a transcript of this episode at dishcity.org.
    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @dishcity.
    Leave us a tip at wamu.org/supportdishcity.
    Email us your favorite delivery order at dishcity@wamu.org.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
139 Ratings

139 Ratings

RMGordon ,

Enjoyable

I really like the hosts and the topics they cover.

catlovingdoc ,

Pandemic Aware Without Fire Alarms

Great company on my walks. Even when talking about the terrible effects of the pandemic on the restaurant industry, they don’t use the urgent tone of voice of cable news. Reality without ginned up drama. Interesting, personal, informative. I find myself liking the people they talk to as well as the hosts.

cb_MD ,

Dish City

I learned so much. I have lived here my whole life and yet there was so much new you shared. Thanks for doing the deep dive. It was fun and I hope you do more.

Top Podcasts In Arts

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by WAMU