Along with overhiring of couriers, one of the biggest problems for us is understaffing of restaurants. Four times tonight (in three different restarants and a Waitrose) I was left waiting for 15–20 minutes for the food to be ready for me to deliver. The front of house staff were all rushed off their feet, I can only imagine the chaos in the kitchens.
I guess this weeks particularly bad because students are finishing their exams and treating every night as a weekend, whereas the restaurants are still on midweek staffing levels. It’s a common problem though.
It’s a nice example of some basic economics — if we’re paid per job it makes sense for the bosses to overhire and let us shoul;der the ebb and flow of the market, whereas for hourly staff the bosses jus want to work less workers harder.
It’s a dilemma as old as capitalism. I remember a passage in Brecht’s ‘Three Penny Novel’ where the bosses of a chain of stores flip between paying by comission and paying hourly rates, depending on whether business is slow (pay by commission and let them burden the risk) or it’s busy (hire as few as you can get away with and pay them hourly, the bosses pocketing the surplus).