Coronavirus lockdowns and quarantines have led to spikes in food delivery services, including the use of third-party apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Menulog. Wyndham locals are staying home while trying to support local restaurants that have closed their doors except for takeout and delivery. However, many customers don’t realise that these apps charge hefty fees for the restaurants — typically between 15% and 30% of the total order price, according to several restaurant owners.
Restaurants choose to work with third-party delivery apps in order to access their millions of users — if a customer doesn’t see a local restaurant on any of the apps, they might assume that it isn’t open, or doesn’t do delivery, and choose another option that is there. The apps can also free up staff, reduce order errors, and prevent customers from skipping out on a payment. During this already difficult pandemic, delivery service fees are cutting into already-decreased profits — even though some apps have reduced their fees in recent months.
People use these apps under the assumption that everybody is getting a fair deal, but a lot of people are being taken advantage of because they think that they need to play this game.
Several Wyndham restaurant owners have already said that unless third-party delivery service fees drop to something between 5% and 10%, it will be difficult for businesses to sustain using them.
Pizza Tabrabne on Tarneit Road was going through same situation and be left with very little money after paying for commissions and fees.
The restaurant has since started using Ordering Direct, a Wyndham owned business that has developed an app to work with restaurant’s directly for a flat monthly fee. Now, Dean – Pizza Tabrabane owner, puts fliers in every bag picked up by third-party delivery companies letting customers know the restaurant has its own app and option for ordering.
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The restaurant saw more than $20,000 in online orders in April. “The community wants to help local businesses survive and will order from you directly for delivery if they have the option,” Dean said.
Every restaurant owner interviewed for this story agreed: The best way to support your local restaurants is to call in an order or place one directly through the restaurant’s website or app, when possible. Local restaurants likely offer pickup, and may have an in-house delivery service. They also might have a wider selection and discounts that are not available on the delivery app. Ordering directly can also save you some cash, since extra charges and fees typically get added to the tab when ordering through the general delivery apps.