As restaurants began to close their doors to dine in service at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many thought that delivery apps and services would provide a lifeline to keep may afloat. However, over time many have discovered the uncomfortable relationship many restaurants have with delivery service apps like Skipthedishes, Uber Eats and Doordash.
In the industry they are viewed more as a necessary evil than an innovative new practice. Delivery apps may prove to be causing more harm than good in an industry already on it’s heels. It is common practice for these services to take approximately 30% commission off an order. Prior to the pandemic, this was viewed as a price to pay to get your restaurant known to the public.
Today however, the arrangment is only exacerbating the problem. And many of the apps know this. Uber Eats has reduced their fees. Muncipal politicians like Toronto Mayor John Tory is asking these services to cut their commissions to give restaurants a lifeline in this pandemic. Skipthedishes and Doordash have reduced their commissions. However the message here is clear. The relationship between restaurants and the food delivery apps is not a sustainable one.
Unless drastic changes are made to their business model, these food delivery apps will cease to exist. Eating away at the profit margins of small and medium sized restaurant businesses is not a sustainable way to survive in the COVID-19 era. A more symbiotic relationship will be needed to ensure both industries survive and thrive into the future.