I am trying to support local restaurants during this coronavirus era by ordering twice per week. And never from the same restaurant. Early on, I thought that delivery services such as Uber Eats, Skip the Dishes and Door Dash were contributing too, by offering steep discounts to customers on each order. I was wrong – but it’s an easy fix.
When I heard that restaurants were struggling to make money and were often losing money thanks to these delivery services, I decided to look into it further. The best info I could find (without spending hours surfing), was this blog that listed the following costs at the restaurant’s end:
Skip the Dishes: 20%
Uber Eats: 30% (?!?!?!)
All have different ‘tiers’ of packages to offer, such as lower rates for pickups (gee, thanks). I mean…if a customer is using Uber Eats to order a pickup, the rate should be almost free – and it should absolutely be free during the coronavirus environment. Why the greed? But I digress.
I can see how restaurants lose money here. Many barely scrape a 20% profit as it is. This is brutal price gouging. But at the same time, the delivery services need to make money as well.
So why not have an option on the checkout page to pay the restaurant’s fee? Will most people ignore it? Yes. Does it hurt to have it there? Absolutely not.
If customers are struggling for money, they aren’t ordering from a restaurant. If customers are doing okay, and want to support the restaurant, then maybe they can’t afford to pay another $5 or $10 on top of their order (and their fees). And that’s fine too. But maybe some customers are doing just fine. Maybe they work from home and their paychecks are the same as always and they really do want to support the restaurants. At least give us the option to pay the restaurant’s fee for them. A simple check box.
Issues With This Idea
Yes, I know it reveals your business model. It reveals how much your arrangement with that restaurant costs them and allows other restaurants to see this and get upset if they’re being charged more. But that’s called capitalism. If your rates are too high for one place and another place gets upset – you either match it or they deal with it…or they walk. Or you walk. After the initial shake-up, things will settle down and customers can actually feel like they’re making a difference.
I get that the companies in question don’t care about fairness – only if their revenue can be sustained or grow. And if fairness can be a part of that, then great. Something like this is only going to give them trouble if different restaurants have different deals. But let the market dictate. Yes, it drives the fees down, but I don’t believe it will be too much – you either can afford the fee you set, or you don’t set it. More restaurants will be on board because the fees go down slightly, and they see the same fees given across the board so restaurant owners feel more comfortable. And with some customers helping to offset the fees it helps the small businesses, since that is mainly the ones they will tend to want to help. Which in turn brings more small businesses on board. Which in turn will offset revenue lost from fees getting forced down a little.
Anyway, I’m sure there’s more to it. There has to be. Otherwise, why haven’t they done this yet?
Add a box at checkout with the restaurant fee beside it, and give us the option to check that box and pay that fee for them.