Why does hot food delivery exist at all?

Who predicted it? And who would have believed it?

If Cassandra had predicted that there would be a world wide pandemic that brought us all to our knees, no-one, as usual, would have believed it. Yet if she had said that the great British public, rather than cook tasty and nutritious food at home, would expect delivery drivers to jump into their cars, or onto their scooters, in all weathers, to deliver hot pizzas, hamburgers, curries, chicken drumsticks and all manner of fast food that could be easily whipped up at home at a fraction of the cost? They'd have laughed her to scorn.

Yet here we are with tens of thousands of food delivery riders buzzing up and down the roads on their scooters and mopeds. The insurance industry have even invented a special type of scooter courier insurance. New multi-million pound companies such as Uber Eats, Dominos, Just Eat, and deliveroo have huge waiting lists of pizza shops, Indian restaurants and Chinese takeaways begging them to let their scooter riders loose on their hot junk food. And meanwhile in the rest of the world people starve.

Unbelievable. And no-one predicted it! Not even J K Rowling.

Stories like those about Harry Potter are a form of escapism - few people take them seriously. And yet who would really believe that, rather than cook a quick nourising meal (there are enough recipes online for really fast food preparations with economical ingredients) or even pop down to a local takeaway to collect a hot, freshly prepared takeout a high proportion of the food that British families now consume is cooked in a kitchen perhaps miles away.

It is then collected by a courier who works for a different company which charges a large fee to the food producer plus another fee for every delivery. The delivery courier (who gets another fee) then takes the food to the customer burning precious polluting fuel on the way whilst in the meanwhile a meal which was once hot and fresh gets older and cooler.

The customer eventually gets a knock on the door, receives a (usually) lukewarm pizza, curry, or other item of junk food. The person delivering this offering, perhaps reasonably, expects a decent tip for this.

Result? a meal which could have taken a few moments to prepare, cheaply, arrives perhaps half an hour later after having sat in a box on the courier's back for much of that time. The cost of it has been inflated by the expense of the fuel that the courier has used going to collect the meal and then deliver it; the courier's wages; the fee charged by the delivery company; and the profit margin of the food producer.

Against logic like this, the fictional exploits of Harry and the wizards seem positively believable.