Support Your Local Restaurants’ Efforts – Order Directly

As restaurants depend on delivery services, they face additional charges. – Courtesy photo

Don’t use third party delivery services if you have other options

Opinion by Terry Miller

Each week, Beacon Media provides free listings of area restaurants that offer take out/delivery to help you decide what’s for dinner during this time of COVID-19.

As a result of this pandemic, restaurants are unable to open their doors for regular business and must sustain on take-out orders, if they can.

We have recently learned that many of these restaurants’ bottom lines are being hit even harder with additional costs they incur if they use third-party delivery services such as GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats.

At a time when profits are VERY low during this pandemic, every penny counts to restaurant owners. Adding a surcharge to their bottom line just makes no sense.

DoorDash, for example, serves by delivering from restaurants to the doorstep of customers who place food orders online. Subsequently a commission/percentage is charged out of each and every order delivered. Usually, delivery services charge restaurants between 20 to 30%.

Looking at it from restauranteurs’ perspective, it simply doesn’t compute. On Monday, a proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in Manhattan against GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats for allegedly overcharging restaurants to process delivery orders. According to reporting by Business Insider, “The lawsuit, filed by three consumers, claimed that by giving customers discounts and forcing restaurants to pay the cost, third-party services have driven up menu prices.”

Local restaurants deserve our business. Why would we want to tack on a surcharge by using a delivery service that has itself become a supremely profitable corporate model (as of March 2016, DoorDash was valued $717 million)? Perhaps, that’s why on April 9 DoorDash announced it would reduce commission fees by 50% for local restaurants with five or fewer locations.

When ordering food to go, please ask if they offer their own delivery service. If not, order by phone and pick it up yourself. You’ll be helping ensure that these businesses will open again soon, hopefully.

In this time of COVID-19, it is imperative that we think locally and help our restaurants as much as possible. I’d rather give that 20% as a tip directly to the restaurant. No middle man!

April 16, 2020

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