I know many of you are ordering in to help support local restaurants. Often these restaurants use delivery services such as Uber Eats, Door Dash, Delivery Dudes and the like. An acquaintance of mine in Chicago who owns a restaurant points out why you should really pick up, rather than order delivery. I was not aware of the cost to restaurants using the delivery service, assuming the money I was charged by the service paid for the delivery. Here’s the letter the restaurant owner sent to her mayor to try to alleviate these costs.
“Dear Mayor Lightfoot,
I own a restaurant on the Northside of Chicago. We, like many other restaurants are hurting and I know there is nothing you can do about this because being closed to diners is the right thing to do. But many of us have chosen to still do take away and delivery to stay in business, keep some staff on and pay some bills. Prior to this pandemic many of us did take away only, and would not do delivery, due to the high cost requested of the delivery companies, many around 30%. Many of us are now forced to pair up with them during this pandemic in order to stay in business. As you know the margins of restaurants are not built to give 30% to a third party delivery company.
You may also have heard of organizations that are trying to help restaurants in your city by getting donations and ordering food for frontline workers from us. Off Their Plate and Restaurants Feed Heroes are among two of these wonderful organizations trying to help us. This does not work as planned when they have to utilize the food delivery companies, essentially giving these national companies 30% of the funding that was raised to help local restaurants.
I am asking you to follow San Francisco’s lead and put a cap on these fees from 3rd party delivery companies. I know it may seem that a cut to a 15% cap on their fees seems harsh but when you walk or drive through an area that has numerous restaurants open for take away and delivery 90% now are utilizing Grubhub, Doordash and Uber Eats. The increase in businesses now using them should far outweigh the cut of fees. If we are all in this together then we all need to give a little.”
Readers, when you order food to go, ask the restaurant if they pay a fee to a delivery service. If so, please try to pick up the food yourself. It may help make the difference between whether your favorite eatery survives this interruption in their regular service or not.