Insider Secrets and The Suprising History of the Takeout and Delivery Industry
Are you a self-proclaimed takeout addict? Do you find yourself scrolling through food delivery apps more often than you’d like to admit?
If so, you’ve come to the right place, as we’re about to take you on a wild ride through the surprising history and secrets of takeout and delivery. So, pick up your box of drunken noodles and get ready to learn more about the weird and wonderful world of takeout and delivery.
Pizzas In Space
In 2001, the world of pizza delivery reached new heights, literally. Russian cosmonaut, Yuri Usachov, made history by becoming the first person to order a pizza for delivery to space.
We can only imagine the look on the pizza delivery guy’s face when he realized he had to travel approximately 250 miles above Earth’s surface to make the delivery. But hey, that’s a dedication to customer service that we expect these days!
Pizza Delivery Fit for Royalty
Legend has it that in 1889, the King and Queen of Italy ordered the first-ever pizza delivery. They had grown tired of eating the same old royal cuisine day in and day out and decided to spice things up.
The royal chefs were stumped, having never heard of such a thing as a pizza, but they were determined to please their majesties, so they gathered the finest ingredients they could find and whipped up a classic Margherita pizza. It’s rumored that they even started a weekly pizza night!
The Romans Invent Takeout
It turns out the ancient Romans had a pretty sophisticated takeout game. While they didn’t have access to DoorDash, they did have access to ancient slaves.
The wealthy citizens of ancient Rome would send their slaves to pick up food from their favorite eateries and bring it back to them. And just like modern-day takeout, the Romans had their own version of the iconic pizza box — a ceramic container called a testo, which would keep food warm during transport.
Breaking World Records with Pizza
In 2006, Papa John’s made history by delivering the biggest shipment of pizzas ever. This delivery included 13,500 pizzas delivered to more than a few thousand San Diego shipyard workers.
It took 15 Papa John’s branches to meet the needs of this incredible delivery. We imagine that the streets of San Diego smelled absolutely heavenly that day.
The Origins of the Oyster Pail
The humble oyster pail is a ubiquitous sight in Chinese takeout restaurants, but did you know that its origins are steeped in mystery and intrigue? Okay, maybe not so much mystery and intrigue, but definitely a lot of confusion.
Some say it was invented in New York City in the 1890s, while others claim it was first used in Chicago in the 1920s. Most say it was originally used for oysters, while some say it was used for soup. One thing’s for sure: it has stood the test of time.
The Vada Pav King
Mahadeo Havaji Bachche, also known as the “Vada Pav King,” was a man on a mission. He wanted to bring the joy of his beloved vada pav (an Indian street food) to the masses, and he wasn’t going to let anything stand in his way.
As any self-respecting entrepreneur would do, he built a massive delivery network of 15,000 dabbawalas (delivery men) who would pick up freshly made vada pav from his central kitchen and deliver it to hungry customers across Mumbai. It’s clear that Bachche was not messing around.
No Onions, Please!
When Uber Eats’ 2021 ‘Cravings Report’ is in, they noted that the most requested special instruction for restaurants is simple: “No onions!” It seems that the humble onion has been the villain in many culinary dramas.
There’s no doubt they cause tears and bad breath, but to say onions ruin meals is something we simply can’t stand. Of course, if you’re not an onion advocate like we are, know that you have the support of millions of onion-hating foodies next time you order food.
Is Delivery… Lazy?
75% of people say they order food delivery at least once a week, with 10% admitting to ordering food delivery every single day. When asked why they prefer to order food instead of cooking, 50% of respondents cited laziness as their primary reason.
The other 50% were split between “lack of culinary skills” and “I just really like getting food delivered to me.” So, there you have it, folks, the science is in, and ordering takeout and delivery is a lazy person’s dream come true.
French Fries Are the Great Unifiers
In March 2020, the world was turned upside down, and people were forced to adjust to a new normal. And what did they turn to in their hour of need? French fries, of course.
According to Uber Eats, in March 2020, French fries were the most-ordered item on the platform. Yup, amid a global pandemic, when people were hoarding toilet paper and canned goods like they were going out of style, the world was still united in its love of crispy, salty, fried potatoes.
Pizza “The Innovator” Hut
Pizza Hut is a true pioneer of the digital age, and they have the pizza sales to prove it. In 1994, they made history by selling a pizza online, which marked the first-ever online sale of anything.
Long before the days of Amazon, eBay, and online shopping as we know it, there was Pizza Hut, paving the way for the future of commerce one cheesy slice at a time. There’s no doubt in our minds now that pizza was probably the best thing to happen to the internet.
Tip Your Delivery Drivers!
Have you ever wondered where your delivery fees actually go? We hate to break it to you, but they don’t actually go to the delivery driver.
We’re not sure that they go anywhere specific at all. It’s like a mysterious black hole of delivery fees, sucking up your hard-earned cash and leaving you with nothing but a lukewarm burrito and a sense of regret. Point is, tip your drivers — they deserve it.
Korea Has a Long History of Delivery
Believe it or not, Korean food deliveries have existed since the 18th century. Of course, these 18th-century Koreans didn’t have fancy apps or GPS tracking, so the delivery drivers had to rely on good old-fashioned directions and a sense of adventure.
They’d strap a hot pot of kimchi stew to the back of their horse and set off on a perilous journey. It was a simpler time when the only thing that mattered was getting that kimchi stew to its rightful owner, no matter the cost.
Do the Days Impact Our Cravings?
Who knew that people had such specific cravings based on the day of the week? According to a 2021 Uber Eats study, it’s true!
On Tuesdays – for example – people ask for extra sauce, and on Wednesdays, people suddenly remember that they hate tomatoes. Weirdly enough, come Sunday, it’s all about the heat, the spice, and that slight bit of extra crispiness. Who knew we were such creatures of habit?
China Takes the Cake for the World’s Largest Delivery Sector
Looks like China is really living up to its reputation as the land of takeout. With a $27 billion revenue, that’s a whole lot of moo shu pork and General Tso’s chicken. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., we’re still trying to figure out how to keep our pizza hot and our burgers from getting soggy.
Maybe one day we’ll surpass them. But for now, we’ll just have to settle for our measly $13 billion in takeout sales.
Before the Days of Domino’s, We Had…
DomiNick’s. But alas, it just wasn’t meant to be. Maybe the customers were confused about whether the owner was named Dominic or Nick. Maybe Nick had a falling out with Dom, and Dom needed to make changes.
All we know is that DomiNick’s had a sudden stroke of genius and decided to switch things up. “Hey, let’s call it Domino’s! It’s catchy, it’s fun, and it has clearly worked for decades.
The Future Of Delivery Is Already Here
Well, it looks like the future is finally here, and as you expected, it includes robots and drones. Pretty soon, you won’t even have to leave your house to get your favorite takeout – you can just sit back and watch as a tiny robot scurries up to your doorstep.
In places like New Zealand and Texas, you can already have a drone swoop down from the sky like a hungry hawk and drop your Pad Thai onto your porch. We never thought we’d be living in a sci-fi movie, but here we are.
Americans Are Spending A Lot on Delivery
Well, it looks like Americans have finally found a way to combine their love of food with their love of laziness. Today, a whopping 100 million people order takeout and delivery every week.
It’s no wonder the nation’s collective waistline is expanding at such a rapid rate. But hey, who needs to go outside and exercise when you can just order a salad and have it delivered to your couch, right?
And Apparently, the Market is Growing Faster Than Ever
If that didn’t already make you lose hope, it looks like Americans are getting lazier by the day. With the U.S. food delivery market growing by 20 percent, it won’t be long until we’re all floating around on hover chairs like in Wall-E.
We’re getting closer and closer to the singularity, and delivery is the first step to our total dependence on smartphones. Who needs exercise when you have DoorDash or Uber Eats?
We Can Thank Los Angeles for Chinese Takeout
Who would’ve thought that the beloved staple of American takeout – Chinese food – actually has its roots in sunny Los Angeles? Apparently, the first Chinese takeout joint as we know it today was the Kin-Chu Café.
This little cafe opened its doors in the City of Angels back in the 1920s. Maybe one day, we’ll discover that Italian cuisine was actually invented in Antarctica!
You’re Favorite Chinese Takeout Isn’t Chinese!
Did you know that many dishes you order from your local Chinese takeout restaurant were invented in America? Dishes like General Tso’s chicken, crab rangoon, and fortune cookies are all American creations.
We essentially decided to take a bunch of Chinese ingredients and deep-fry them, smother them in sweet sauce, and call it “authentic cuisine.” Of course, we can’t deny how delicious these American-Chinese dishes are.
Looks Like the Aztecs Were Forward Thinkers
The Aztecs were ahead of their time in more ways than one. Not only did they build impressive pyramids and have sophisticated societies that we’re still learning much about today, but they also had takeout!
After a long day of conquering neighboring tribes, the Aztecs would set up stalls for the community to pick up food. Just imagine a group of fierce warriors sitting around a campfire, munching on ancient tamales.
New York’s Fishy Past
Nothing beats the taste of fresh fish sitting in a styrofoam container for an hour. Apparently, in the early 20th century, New Yorkers didn’t need a fancy restaurant with all that pesky ambiance to enjoy their abundance of seafood.
We can only imagine early New Yorkers, surrounded by the sweet aroma of garbage trucks and subway exhaust, enjoying their fish. At least they were getting the nourishment they needed.
TV Was the Catalyst for Delivery
Well, who would have thought that being lazy and watching TV would be the saving grace of the restaurant industry? In the early 20th century, restaurants were struggling, and they realized they needed to innovate by delivering food to people glued to their TVs.
The American public got to stuff their faces while catching up on the latest episodes of their favorite shows, and the restaurant industry thrived. Cheers to the restaurant industry and lazy people for making it possible!
Pizza Hut Had a Fishy Surprise
In the ’90s, Pizza Hut made a big splash in Russia by introducing a special fish pizza. Because when you think of a cheesy, saucy pizza, fish is the first thing that comes to mind, right?
While the locals were confused, the fishermen were ecstatic. Finally, their catch could find a new home on a pizza. Fortunately, this tuna, sardine, salmon, and mackerel pizza didn’t last.
Did you know that Pizza Hut’s name was originally going to be “Pizza House”? But when the founders went to order a sign for their restaurant, which they opened in their mom’s house, they found out that “Pizza House” wouldn’t fit on the sign.
So, they decided to go with “Pizza Hut” instead. We guess you could say that their sign problem was the “hut” button issue they faced.
WWII Had a Big Impact on Delivery
Ah, the suburbs! It’s a place where the grass is always greener and the delivery drivers always get lost. However, these suburban havens led to a boom in delivery services.
With people fleeing the crowded cities and setting up camp in the burbs, they still craved the convenience of city life – and that meant delivery. Plus, after World War II, everyone was exhausted and didn’t feel like cooking.
30 Minutes and a Lawsuit
Well, it seems Domino’s delivery guarantees have caused some drivers to take their job a little too seriously. Reports say that some drivers have gone to great lengths to ensure their pizza arrives within the promised 30 minutes, including driving through red lights, dodging pedestrians, and even taking flight on rocket-powered scooters.
These drivers are on a mission to deliver that pizza, no matter the cost. So, next time you see a pizza delivery driver zooming by, know they’re racing against the clock.
Veganism Is In
Did you know that vegan food deliveries have increased by over 17% in the past few years? It seems like everyone is hopping on the plant-based bandwagon these days.
Studies show that 1 in 4 Americans are now eating less meat, and that number is only growing. According to a Comfy Living study, cauliflower pizza deliveries rose by around 650% from 2020 to 2021.
Online Orders are Growing
It’s safe to say that online ordering is helping to bulk up America’s waistlines, one pizza at a time. It seems that ordering pizza online is not only convenient but results in bigger orders!
Pizza places see orders up to 18% large online compared to phone orders. Maybe it’s because people feel less judged for ordering extra toppings and a second pizza when not talking to a human being.
Pizza On a Mountain
While it wasn’t a pizza in space, it was a pizza on one of the world’s tallest peaks. In 2016, a group of adventurers ordered a pizza to be delivered to them at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Yup, a piping hot pizza was sent up the highest peak in Africa. The real question is: did the delivery guy get a really good tip?