Having a mother who went to the Culinary Institute of America and a father who is Italian, you could say I’m a massive foodie. Food is what brings our family together, and one of my favorite activities to do with friends and loved ones is going out to eat. When I heard Hulu was coming out with its newest show, “The Next Thing You Can Eat,” I jumped right on it.
I went into the show not knowing much, but I can safely say it wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought it would be about different cuisines and yummy things one could eat (hence the title), but I was pleasantly surprised when the host, David Chang, delved into the business side of the restaurant industry. The first episode, “Delivery: Rise of the Machines” discussed how COVID-19 impacted the food industry and everyone and their mother was ordering delivery. Chang and his team take known foodie topics, such as delivery, breakfast or burgers, and put an informative, current spin on it.
I don’t know about you, but when I get takeout I rarely want to go pick it up. Now imagine yourself living in New York City where almost every restaurant is either on GrubHub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates or any of the other millions of food delivery apps. You, while on your couch and in your pajamas, can choose from numerous options and then proceed to wait for a bag with your food to be delivered to your door. Pretty amazing when you dissect it, right? Well, here’s the thing that Chang sheds light: very few food delivery apps are profitable. In fact, in the first episode, an Uber Eats employee admitted they aren’t even breaking even.
I found it effective that Chang went to actual restaurants and explained his points of conversation by using real-world examples. In the first episode, he visits an establishment where instead of having an employee work the fryolator, it has a robotic hand. This machinery ensures all chicken nuggets are cooked to perfection while simultaneously placing other food where it needs to go. It was interesting and eye opening to see how fast technology is advancing in all sectors of life, including cuisine.
Overall, I really enjoyed “The Next Thing You Can Eat.” While it wasn’t what I expected, I was pleasantly surprised. It was an informative twist on the classic foodie show and taught me so many things I never knew. On top of that, I have a great appreciation for works of media that make a noticeable effort to discuss their topic in the connotation of relevant times. For example, when talking about delivery drivers, Chang and his crew touched upon the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the restaurant industry and how takeout was the only option for months on end. It was refreshing to see a show that didn’t swipe COVID-19 under the rug, but rather discussed its effects on society. If you love food and need something to watch, I definitely recommend checking out “The Next Thing You Can Eat” on Hulu.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars