Annotated Bibliography on Issues faced by Uber Eats Drivers during COVID-19
Task: You must choose 10 articles for your annotated bibliography. This should be in an area that you are interested in researching for your Applied Project. The research question is about a research area but it must answer a question.
The main concern of this annotated bibliography is the impact of Covid-19 pandemic that has affected the economy, industries and livelihoods. The hospitality sector has been majorly hit by the aftermath of coronavirus outbreak. The recovery of losses of the industries is tough but not impossible. During the lockdown period the industries have understood about the safety, quality and hygiene of their products. Restaurants and hotels are taking stringent norms to ensure quality of food products and maintaining contactless services. Delivery services of these restaurants are also taking strong measures to maintain safety while delivering food items to its customers. Most importantly, people are choosing to order food online with most of the restaurants being closed during the coronavirus outbreak. People are dependent on online food delivery applications like Uber Eats as they tend to serve its customers with utmost safety and hygiene. Even when the company is taking safety measures, the workforce is majorly due to loss of jobs and low employability opportunities.
Article 1: Lakshmi, B. M. (2020). Impact of COVID 19 on the Restaurants.Journal of Interdisciplinary Cycle Research.12(8). pp. 1327-1333. http://www.jicrjournal.com/gallery/161-jicr-august-3141.pdf
The Covid-19 outbreak has been declared as the global pandemic by World Health Organization. As the government has imposed restrictions on hotels, restaurants and food delivery businesses, it has impacted their businesses as well as the livelihoods of its workforce. Many of the employees are supported by their companies but it has been a great difficulty for companies to maintain its workforce. Uber Eats is one such food delivery company that has excelled in maintaining social distancing norms through its delivery services. However, customers want the delivery people to wear masks, get temperature checks, maintain social distancing and adhere to contactless delivery. At present, many employees have lost their jobs during the pandemic. It is suggested that delivery staff must be considered as an important resource for Uber Eats.
Article 2: Hossain, M. (2020). The effect of the Covid-19 on sharing economy activities.Journal of Cleaner Production.124782.
The sharing economy has made it easier for travelers to organize their trips in ways they want. However, during this pandemic situation, the travel and its associated industries has been radically hit with loss in revenues and decreased workforce. Service providers like Uber Eats are under serious debate to consider its employees, workers and delivery partners. According to the author, sharing platforms like this are now considering their delivery partners and drivers as contractors to offload their insurance and social benefits. Uber Eats has seen significant growth in its business with change in its business policies and long-term planning to establish a new social identity. The report identifies that Uber has reduced its workforce by 14% which has affected millions of peoples’ jobs.
Article 3: Ibn-Mohammed, T., Mustapha, K. B., Godsell, J. M., Adamu, Z., Babatunde, K. A., Akintade, D. D., ... &Koh, S. C. L. (2020). A critical review of the impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy and ecosystems and opportunities for circular economy strategies.Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 105169. DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2020.105169
Many small businesses are thriving to maintain its space in the market which has been disrupted by the pandemic situation. Besides the survival, retaining customers through ensuring safety measures has become an important measure. Customers are also more inclined towards online food delivery to maintain safety. Uber Eats has exploited the home delivery market but customers are still concerned about the human-to-human transmission issues. As per the article, drivers are often seen not wearing face masks which can increase the risk of spread of the virus. The problem arises when contactless delivery and receiving of food items safely is not followed. Apart from this, the research identifies that Uber Eats employees are not yet resilient to such global shocks and remote working might not be possible for many. Article 4: Polkowska, D. (2020). Platform work during the COVID-19 pandemic: a case study of Glovo couriers in Poland. European Societies, 1-11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616696.2020.1826554
According to the authors of this article, food platforms like Uber Eats has tried to sustain successfully in the coronavirus outbreak but it also identifies that Uber Eats in the US has helped small restaurant owners to sustain the competition. The author suggests that Uber Eats has induced restaurant business during the lockdown and helped the economies of many countries. It is also observed by the author that many employees and drivers of Uber have experienced considerable losses. Several full-time employees have been laid off over Zoom call meetings. Although food service business has remained profitable during the lockdown, Uber drivers are still in fear of their health and safety. However, the article suggests that businesses like Uber Eats has still allowed a good platform for many delivery workers to stay afloat during the Covid-19 and gives them the satisfaction that they still have a job.
Article 5: Raj, M., Sundararajan, A. & You, C. (2020) ‘COVID-19 and Digital Resilience: Evidence from Uber Eats (June 12, 2020)’. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3625638
As opined by the authors of this article, food delivery platform like Uber Eats is an excellent alternative for small businesses to survive during the Covid-19 situation. The authors have observed that small restaurants have taken good advantage of online on-demand channels to offset the losses from shutting down their dine-in services during the pandemic situation. The downside of this is loss of jobs of many employees working for the restaurant. The stay-at-home orders by Governments have devasted economic conditions of countries with rising unemployment rates and falling consumer activity. Nevertheless, the steps taken by Government is only to safeguard the health and safety of both riders and customers. Customers are still under suspicion about the safety measures used by restaurant owners to deliver their food and therefore prefer buying from only good rated restaurants. This has implied small restaurant owners to shut their businesses.
Article 6: BBC News. (2020). Coronavirus: Uber customer activity falls sharply. Retrieved from: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53687422 The Uber Eats has earned double its revenues to 1.2 billion dollars as people have started ordering online rather than going outside for food. This has allowed the business to flourish and continue to earn higher revenues. However, the article suggests that Uber Eats considers their losses as no permanent damage to their business. Uber has slashed around 6700 jobs which is roughly a quarter of its workforce. The company considers its drivers and delivery partners as contractors and do not take them employees. The revenues will not be distributed among such contractors and therefore many lawsuits have been filed against this. A lawsuit by California’s Labor Commission claims that Uber must consider its contractors as employees and change their driver classification.
Article 7: Pahuja, R. (2020). How India helped in Uber's massive surge in Uber Eats business during Covid-19. Retrieved from: https://cio.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/strategy-and-management/how-india-helped-in-ubers-massive-surge-in-uber-eats-business-during-covid-19/77733663
According to the author of the article, Uber Eats has remained profitable even when the Uber’s services were earning losses. The restaurants are closed and dine-in options are less. This has increased an opportunity for Uber Eats to deliver food to their customers during the lockdown. Uber Eats has maintained utmost safety through its services. There are many employees recruited to support the services but still employees are considered about their own health while delivering the food items. Uber Eats understands this issue and automated their systems to make it easy for both employees and customers. The riders are instructed to maintain social distancing and adhere to all safety measures. The company strictly follows the safety guidelines instructed by WHO and local authorities, but still want people to maintain their personal safety.
Article 8: Sarmiento, G. I. (2020). As Restaurants Across the Country Close Their Doors, Deliveries Pick Up. Retrieved from: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/22/819011691/as-restaurants-across-the-country-close-their-doors-deliveries-pick-up
The following published article shows hoe Uber Eats has mitigated its way to become an essential service during the coronavirus outbreak. As per the article, the Uber Eats drivers are now working more than usual due to rise in the orders from customers. Riders from all over the world are satisfied that this job has the potential to help them during the tough times. The food delivery business has majorly contributed to the economic condition of countries thereby helping workforce to earn significant amount of money when others are losing their jobs. However, the concern lies in their own safety and security during the delivery. While some delivery riders are not concerned about potential exposure to the virus because they are more concerned about losing their jobs. However, Uber Eats has provided its riders with sanitization products to avoid any human contact.
Article 9: Nicole. (2020). Obstacles Faced by Food Delivery Giants UberEATS and Postmates. Retrieved from: https://liveinspiredmag.com/2020/02/11/obstacles-faced-by-food-delivery-giants-ubereats-and-postmates/
The following article suggests that even after having a great business model, uberEats has faced many challenges during the covid-19 situation. The problem lies in understanding the customer needs. In order to rectify this issue, the author has identified that the problem lies in poor delivery network. Although Uber Eats has remained profitable in the pandemic situation, it still has made mistakes in its delivery systems. During the initial lockdown period, Uber Eats started gaining momentum in business, however, it was difficult for customers to trust the safety measures taken while food delivery. The customers are still concerned of the safety but now Uber has started following the sanitization methods like wearing safety kits and masks which was earlier being not followed.
Article 10: Sriram, M. (2020). Uber Eats’ India exit sums up the struggles of every food tech company.Retrieved from: https://www.livemint.com/companies/start-ups/uber-eats-india-exit-sums-up-the-struggles-of-every-food-tech-company-11579629307076.html
Uber Eats has identified that it is not profitable in the Indian market. The struggle to make money in India has downgraded the business of Uber Eats. The delivery partners and drivers are not paid well due to lack of delivery orders from customers. The severe losses incurred by the company has forced it to offload its workforce and survive during the tough times. Although this offloading technique can be challenging to manage the huge operations of Uber Eats, it surely has reduced the expenses on cutting down the salaries. While other companies have successfully recovered their losses during the pandemic situation, Uber Eats has still not gained much momentum in India. This differentiation in the market has been difficult for both Uber employees and the company as a whole.
Uber Eats has seen a profitable business across the world while its employees and riders have suffered huge losses. In some articles, it has been mentioned that Uber Eats has taken appropriate measures to safeguard the efforts and interests of its employees whereas few articles have identified that Uber Eats has laid off many of its employees to reduce the workforce. These measures have been significant to save some money but the employees have suffered the aftermath. The delivery partners are supported by the company as the food delivery orders have increased. However, riders are more concerned about their health and safety. Even when contactless driving and delivery is maintained by the company, it all depends on individual employees to adhere to social distancing norms. All the above articles have somewhat similar viewpoints on the company but still have different points on how the company has treated its delivery partners and riders during the covid-19 situation.