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As Diners Flock to Delivery Apps, Restaurants Fear for Their Future

顧客湧向外送平台 餐廳添憂
By Nathaniel Popper

Before the coronavirus lockdowns, Matt Majesky did not take much notice of the fees that Grubhub and Uber Eats charged him every time they processed an order for his restaurant, Pierogi Mountain.
在新冠病毒導致全面封鎖之前,麥特馬耶斯基對於Grubhub與優步每次為他「波蘭餃子山」餐廳處理訂單時收取多少費用,並沒有太注意。

But once the lockdowns began, the apps became essentially the only source of business for the barroom restaurant he ran with a partner, Charlie Greene, in Columbus, Ohio. That was when the fees to the delivery companies turned into the restaurant’s single largest cost more than what it paid for food or labor.
但在封鎖開始後,對於他跟查理葛林在俄亥俄州哥倫布市共同經營的這家酒吧餐廳而言,這些應用程式實質上成了生意唯一的來源。就在那時,付給外送公司的費用成為餐廳最大單一成本,高過食材或人事的花費。

Pierogi Mountain’s primary delivery company, Grubhub, took more than 40% from the average order, Majesky’s Grubhub statements show. That flipped his restaurant from almost breaking even to plunging deeply into the red. In late April, Pierogi Mountain shut down.
馬耶斯基的Grubhub報表顯示,波蘭餃子山主要外送公司Grubhub從一般訂單抽成超過40%,這讓他的餐廳從幾乎損益兩平變為嚴重虧損。4月底時,波蘭餃子山宣告停業。

“You have no choice but to sign up, but there is no negotiating,” Majesky, who has applied for unemployment, said of the delivery apps. “It almost turns into a hostage situation.”
已申請失業救濟的馬耶斯基談到這些外送應用程式時說:「你別無選擇只能簽約加入,卻毫無談判餘地,幾乎成了人質。」

Even as apps like Grubhub have cast themselves as economic saviors for restaurants in the pandemic, their fees have become an increasing source of difficulty for the establishments. From Chicago; Pittsburgh; and Tampa, Florida, to Boise, Idaho; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Richardson, Texas, restaurant owners have taken to social media to express their unhappiness. Some restaurants have shut down, while others have cut off the apps and are looking for other ways to take orders.
儘管Grubhub之類應用程式自命為這場全球大疾情下餐廳的經濟救星,它們的收費卻日益成為這些餐廳經營困難的一個源頭。從芝加哥、匹茲堡與佛州坦帕,再到愛達荷州波伊西、新墨西哥州阿爾伯克基跟德州理查森。餐廳店主們在社交媒體上表達他們的不滿。有些餐廳已經停業,另一些餐廳則關閉應用程序,正另謀接單之道。

Complaints about the fees that the apps charge to both restaurants and consumers are long-standing, but the issue has become heightened as many restaurants have shut down in-room dining. Even as they begin reopening, delivery is likely to remain a bigger part of their business than before the pandemic.
這些應用程式向餐廳和消費者的收費招致抱怨已久,但隨著許多餐廳停止內用,這個問題也變得更加尖銳。儘管他們開始重新營業,跟疫情爆發前相比,外送在他們生意中所占比率很可能更大。

The gap between the success of the apps and the pain of the restaurants is striking. Spending at restaurants in recent weeks dropped about 35% from a year earlier, while revenue for the delivery services rose about 140%, according to data from M Science, a firm that analyzes transaction data.
應用程式的成功與餐廳的痛苦,二者的對比相當驚人。根據交易數據分析業者M Science的數據,近幾周在餐廳消費的金額約比一年前下滑35%,外送服務的營收卻成長約140%

At the heart of the issues is some basic math. For the typical restaurant, fixed costs such as labor, food and rent eat up around 90% of the money coming in. That leaves little room for the base fees that the large delivery services charge small restaurants, which generally are 20% to 30% of what customers pay for each order.
問題核心是一些很基本的數學問題。對一般餐廳來說,人事、食材與租金等固定成本占掉營收90%左右。這樣一來,小餐廳承受大型外送服務業者所收基本費的空間所剩無幾,這些基本費用通常是顧客每筆訂單支付金額的20%30%

Restaurant owners are concerned about more than the apps’ fees. In 18 interviews with restaurant owners and industry consultants, plus in lawsuits and social media posts, many said Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats also engaged in deceptive practices like setting up websites with inaccurate information for the restaurants, all without asking permission.
餐廳老闆們擔心的不只有這些應用程式的費用。在對餐廳老闆與產業顧問的18次專訪中,加上訴訟和社交媒體中的貼文,許多人表示,GrubhubDoorDashUber Eats還從事欺騙性的行為,像是為餐廳建立資訊不準確的網站,而這些行為均未經餐廳許可。

原文參照:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/technology/delivery-apps-restaurants-fees-virus.html

2020-06-21.聯合報.D4.紐約時報賞析.陳韋廷 核稿/樂慧生

說文解字看新聞 陳韋廷

新冠疫情重創餐飲業,外送平台雖成為業者的救星,抽成過高卻引起商家不滿,而文中第三段片語take a percentage from即指抽成,其中take可用deduct代替,另提及抽成,就容易讓人聯想到傭金,英文為commission,又delivery除指外送外,還有「運送、傳遞」等常見意思,若用於財經商業領域,還有「交貨、交割」之意。

break even為財經新聞中常見單字,指的是「損益兩平、不賺不賠」的意思,其中even意為「相等的」,同段片語in the red則是「虧損、負債」的意思,反義詞則是in the black,這是因為西方傳統記帳時,用紅墨水表示虧損,獲利數字則使用黑墨水來表示。

此外,文中首段片語take notice of表示「注意」的意思,值得注意的是,它跟pay attention to在中文裡的意思雖然相同,但在英文表達中有程度區別,前者指的只是注意一下而已。最後,eat up從字面上可知有「吃光」之意,另個常見意思則是「大量耗費」。

Economic Strain Grows, Hitting Working Mothers
疫情拖垮經濟職場媽媽受創
By Patricia Cohen and Tiffany Hsu

Working during the pandemic has meant very different things for Virginia Dressler and for her husband, Brandon.
對薇吉妮雅·崔斯勒和她的丈夫布蘭登來說,在疫情全球大流行期間工作,有著非常不同的含意。

As he, a delivery driver, continued his routes near their home in Newbury, Ohio, she spent her days caring for their 3-year-old twins. Only after her husband came home at 6 p.m. could she turn to her job as a digital projects librarian at Kent State University, finishing her eight-hour shift from home at about 2 a.m.
當身為送貨司機的丈夫繼續在俄亥俄州紐伯利市的住家附近送貨時,她則在家中照顧三歲的雙胞胎小孩。要到丈夫6點回到家後,她才能開始做她肯特州立大學數位計畫圖書管理員的工作,在家上班,直到凌晨2點左右才結束八小時的輪班工作。

Later, he was furloughed and took over some of the child care responsibilities. But now, with the economy reopening, the prospect of being summoned back to campus fills Virginia Dressler with more anxiety: Day care centers are just starting to reopen, with restrictions, so who will take care of their children?
後來,布蘭登被迫休無薪假並且分擔了一些照顧孩子的責任,但現在隨著經濟活動重新開啟,被召回校園工作的可能性增添了薇吉妮雅·崔斯勒的焦慮,托兒所才剛開始重新營運,又有種種限制,孩子要由誰來照顧呢?

As the pandemic upends work and home life, women have carried an outsize share of the burden, more likely to lose a job and more likely to shoulder the load of closed schools and day care. For many working mothers, the gradual reopening won’t solve their problems but compound them — forcing them out of the labor force or into part-time jobs while increasing their responsibilities at home.
這場全球大流行疾病顛覆了工作與家庭生活,讓婦女們肩負超大的重擔,她們更可能失去工作,也更可能承受學校與托兒所關閉所產生的負擔。對許多職場媽媽而言,經濟活動逐歩重新開啟並不能解決她們的問題,反而讓問題雪上加霜,迫使她們離開勞動市場或從事兼職工作,同時也加重了她們在家中的責任。

The impact could last a lifetime, reducing their earning potential and work opportunities.
這種影響可能會持續一生,減損她們賺取收入的潛力與工作的機會。

“We could have an entire generation of women who are hurt,” Betsey Stevenson, a professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan, said of pregnant women and working mothers whose children are too young to manage on their own. “They may spend a significant amount of time out of the workforce, or their careers could just peter out in terms of promotions.”
談到孕婦與孩子太小生活無法自理的職業媽媽,密西根大學經濟學和公共政策教授貝西.史蒂文生說:「我們可能會有整整一個世代的女性受到傷害,她們可能會有很長一段時間脫離職場,或是她們的職涯在升遷方面機會逐漸消失。」

Women who drop out of the workforce to take care of children often have trouble getting back in, and the longer they stay out, the harder it is.
為了照顧小孩而退出職場的女性,往往難以重返職場,而且她們退出的時間愈久,重返職場愈難。

The economic crisis magnifies the downsides. Wage losses are much more severe and enduring when they occur in recessions, and workers who lose jobs now are likely to have less secure employment in the future.
這場經濟危機擴大了不利因素,薪資損失在經濟衰退期間要來得更嚴重和持久,現在失業的勞工將來找到的工作很可能更不牢靠。

Family responsibilities as well as lower wages have always pushed women in and out of the workforce. Women often leave or lose jobs to care for a sick child or aging relative. In countries that offer more comprehensive support for families like Germany, France, Canada and Sweden a significantly larger proportion of women are in the labor force.
家庭責任與較低的工資一向都會迫使婦女在勞動市場中進進出出。婦女經常為照顧生病的孩子或年邁的親人而離開或失去工作。在德國、法國、加拿大和瑞典等為家庭提供更全面支持的國家,就業婦女的比率要高得多。

Despite the miserable choices facing many working mothers, several economists retain hopes that the increased pressure on families could over the long term force structural and cultural changes that could benefit women: a better child care system, more flexible work arrangements, even a deeper appreciation of the sometimes overwhelming demands of managing a household with children by partners stranded at home for the first time.
儘管許多職場媽媽面臨痛苦的選擇,有幾位經濟學家仍懷抱希望,他們認為從長遠來看,家庭承受的壓力加重,可能會迫使有利於婦女的結構與文化改革出現:更好的托兒制度,更具彈性的工作安排,甚至對困在家中的兩口子要管理好有孩子的家庭時而大到難以承受的壓力,也首度能有更深的體諒。

原文參照:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/business/economy/coronavirus-working-women.html

2020-06-21.聯合報.D4.紐約時報賞析.陳韋廷 核稿/樂慧生




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