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Brief Published: 13 Apr 2021

Postmates’ Anti-Cookbook Addresses Home Cooking Burnout


While consumers initially took to home cooking in lockdown with aplomb, many have found the process of cooking every day draining. By September 2020, 65% of US consumers said they were suffering from cooking burnout (Datassential, 2020). Appealing to this mindset, US delivery service Postmates has launched an anti-cookbook for the fatigued at-home chefs.

The limited-edition Don’t Cookbook contains 206 “recipes” for dishes such as grilled cheese, tacos, sushi and squid ink spaghetti. But instead of listing ingredients and a cook-along method, it provides tongue-in-cheek instructions and a QR code that directs readers to restaurants offering the dish on Postmates.

For example, the method for its Deli Sandwich recipe reads:

  1. Some people say there's no wrong way to make a deli sandwich.
  2. Most other people don't agree.
  3. Order a deli sandwich.

The whimsically illustrated book also includes activity pages to entertain you while you wait for your food to arrive.

“We’re a year into quarantine, and we’ve tried every food trend from sourdough to whipped coffee. If it has taught us anything, it is that we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and our increasingly complex and often exhausting relationship with cooking at home,” Kevin Byrd, creative director of Postmates, told publication AdAge.

While the book was supposed to be a one-time PR event, Postmates sold out of its first run of 200 issues and plans to release a second run this spring. The success of this marketing tool lies in the way it cleverly speaks to the shifting moods of pandemic-weary consumers, reflecting themes explored in Harnessing the Zeitgeist.

Meanwhile, for more on the non-judgemental attitude that some consumers are taking towards their diet and cooking, read The New Food Freedom.