During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, food delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates accept been indispensable for many people across the country. Moreover, even though public dining rooms were closed in many states for much of 2020 and 2021, such services allowed restaurants to remain in business concern.
Unfortunately, that’s but i side of the story. Equally more information comes to low-cal, information technology’due south becoming articulate that food commitment apps come with their own gear up of cons — and costs. And nosotros’re not just talking fiscal costs. Here, we’ll take a look at the hidden costs that third-party delivery services pose and the ways these services bear on everything from restaurants’ income to the surround.
Given that many businesses would accept otherwise shuttered during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, information technology’south easy to assume that nutrient commitment services are popular among restaurant owners and workers. After all, look how many of them chose to sign up as partners, right? Well, things may non be as they seem. As Mathieu Palombino, owner of New York City-based Motorino Pizza, recently told CNN, signing up for food commitment services is sometimes less a thing of convenience and more than a matter of
“The worst thing that has ever happened to usa is them,” Palombino said of delivery service Seamless, which is owned by Grubhub. Before food commitment apps became all the rage, Motorino Pizza had its own delivery system — one that worked simply fine for the restaurant and its customers. Now, however, Palombino feels that failing to sign on with a third-party delivery service would severely undercut sales, equally many customers only opt to order from restaurants listed on these apps.
While such a listing may indeed help upwards a restaurant’s customer base grow and encourage folks to really place orders, the added publicity doesn’t come without a cost. Unfortunately, most commitment services charge their “partner restaurants” a premium fee — sometimes of up to 30%. Not to mention, the equipment and sign-up fees that some businesses finish up paying to delivery services can cost a bit. For smaller restaurants, this tin can quickly cut into their profits, and, at times, leave them in the red.
Additionally, restaurants miss out on controlling
their deliveries are made; a bad customer service experience may not stop someone from using DoorDash again, but it could cause them to associate the negative experience with the eating house and avert it in the futurity.
The Gig Worker Question
While signing up every bit a food delivery commuter can be a great way to earn some supplemental income, it’s non necessarily a gig that many people are able to rely on full-time. This seems specially true for people who are trying to support a family without another source of income.
Drivers for companies similar DoorDash are paid a apartment rate for each commitment they brand, which ranges from $2–x based on a variety of factors. In the terminate, nevertheless, many Dashers are heavily reliant on tips to make the gig worth their time. If they are unlucky enough to get hit with a long wait time at a eating place or non-tipping client, notwithstanding, a driver’s pay rate can easily fall well below the minimum wage marker.
So you have to consider that, as independent contractors, drivers are also responsible for taking their ain taxes out of the income they receive each month. Add that to the necessity of supplying their own car (or cycle), gas, insurance, and other benefits — and, before long enough, it becomes clear why nigh drivers make food delivery a side hustle, not a primary job, if they tin.
How Our Obsession with Takeout Impacts the Environment
Okay, so being able to have food delivered right to your door is pretty crawly, right? During unprecedented circumstances, like the COVID-19 pandemic, it may accept even saved a few lives. But given what we’ve learned over the last yr plus, it may exist time to wait at the hit our planet is taking from our newfound love of nutrient apps.
All those takeout orders have to be delivered in something — often single-use paper or plastic food containers, cups, and silverware. Every year, Americans throw away 120 billion disposable cups, the bulk of which are not recycled or composted. That equates to nearly 11 million felled copse every year, and that’s simply to fuel our disposable loving cup addiction. Not to mention, the ii.2 billion pounds of waste and a COii
build-upward, which is equal to that produced by effectually 366,384 cars.
That said, at that place is hope on the horizon. A new company called Become Box has come up with a promising, piece of cake way to eliminate our massive container problem. The company produces zero-waste matter, reusable takeout containers and cups. Currently, Go Box is starting out in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California — a urban center that’s already banned plastic bags and straws too equally styrofoam cups and containers in favor of wholly compostable and/or recyclable alternatives. So, how does Become Box work? When a customer orders food from a participating vendor, they tin cheque out with a reusable box and, later, drop information technology off at a Go Box drove site. From at that place, the company collects, washes, redistributes the containers. For now, Become Box offers customers a monthly subscription of $three.95.
Convenience vs. Increasing Delivery Costs
Y’all’re not wrong if yous’re starting to feel similar ordering takeout through Grubhub, Postmates, or other nutrient commitment services is a lot more expensive than information technology used to be. A recent survey past the BBC discovered that ordering from a third-party delivery service can increase the price of your order by up to 44%. Why all the price hikes?
Some of it goes dorsum to one of the things we’ve already mentioned: the commission that commitment apps accuse restaurants to be listed on their platforms. Some cities, such as Los Angeles and Philadelphia, passed laws to help local restaurants during the pandemic by capping the commission charge per unit that third-political party nutrient delivery services could charge. Unfortunately, some delivery services found means to brand upwardly the difference by passing the costs forth to customers. This can come in the form of tacked-on “service fees” or even college prices for the food on the menu itself.
In all fairness, the card-based price hikes often become back to the restaurants themselves, simply it’due south due to the fact that they are attempting to brand upwards for the commissions they’re being forced to pay. Regardless, before you put in your next order for third-party commitment, it wouldn’t hurt to run into how much information technology’d toll to social club directly from the restaurant itself.