In a recent article by Khushbu Shah in Food and Wine, he describes the predatory practices of online delivery services. What most consumrers don’t realize is that that GrubHub and others charge the restaurants 20-30% to make that delivery. For restaurants that are just trying to survive, that’s a huge bite and can make the difference between profit and loss, especially if they are discounting the meal. Instead, he suggests calling the restaurant directly and ask if they deliver, many do. If not, ask what delivery service they prefer and use that one if you are unable to pick it up yourself.
Shah goes on to describe other practices such as adding a restaurant to a delivery app without their permission, asking restaurants to pay for promotions the app is offering, and the hundreds of dollars these services charge the restaurant to use their platforms. The restaurant industry asked the services to reduce their commissions as a result of COVID-19, but instead they started PR campaigns to make them seem as saviors to the restaurants. For example GrubHub deferred $100 million in commissions which only means the charges will have to be paid later, not reduced.
San Francisco passed an emergency order capping commissions at 15%, then GrubHub sent an email to its San Francisco customers asking them to oppose the order. DoorDash has reduced its commission to 15% as of this writing, for a limited time. With curbside pickup and now lunch trucks from notable restaurants available in Venice, think twice about using these apps.