Crisis coronavirus It has not only brought a rebound of infected people, but also a rise in consumers who prefer to place an order online of food to your favorite restaurant to be delivered privately and safely to your home, without exposing themselves to the potential risks that lurk in a dining room over which the diner has no control.
Although this situation might seem positive at first sight, because it translates directly into an increase in the volume of business in the restaurant in times that, for this sector, they are proving to be very complicated, reality is another. Many restaurants begin to take a dim view of the enormous dependence they have on home delivery and order and reservation management companies..
companies like Postmates, by Dash, Just Eat, Uber Eats, Deliveroo and the like were built on the premise of wanting to help an economic sector perpetually mired in a situation of high competitiveness and narrow profit margins. An easy industry to dupe with the promise of reaching the masses and getting more customer traffic.
Although there is no doubt that food delivery and order management companies have complied with this part., making visible many restaurants that previously could not project to their potential audience, everything must be said: reaching this point has had a cost.
The cost has been loss of control over customer relationships. Some restaurants can no longer survive without resorting to delivery, so much so that some market analysts predict that the future of restoration is to become wholesale suppliers of ready meals. In this stage, restaurants would be reduced to kitchens (Dark Kitchen) that serve delivery companies, they would be the only ones who would establish contact with the end customer. It may seem like a distant ideation, but it's not that crazy.
During the pandemic, the situation has reached a boiling point. Restaurants felt they were not in control of the situation, and to make matters worse his only way of making cash was to use some of the apps for delivery on the market; apps mobiles that, from the point of view of the entrepreneur, incur huge expenses in fee forms. Sometimes the commissions of the companies of delivery they reach the 40% of the total amount charged to the diner, an inefficiency that cannot be overlooked.
At the height of the crisis, covered by the stipulated social protections, some restaurants decided to close their doors and turn off their stove instead of continuing to deposit money thanks to take-away orders. This is what we have seen in some American newspapers.
At Pierogi Mountain they had never paid special attention to Grubhub, the main company of delivery with which they worked. There was no reason, the business was going well, being one of the fashionable places in the city. Popularity covered all costs. But when the quarantine came, and with it the restrictions for hospitality businesses, things changed dramatically. Overnight, the only source of income in the store was the purely digital business that entered through the app. And with closed classrooms and active staff at minimal, Grubhub had inadvertently become the restaurant's biggest expense.
Charlie Greene and Matt Majesky's case is not unique. Giuseppe Badalamenti, owner of the gastroneta Chicago Pizza Boss he screamed to heaven through his personal Facebook account. Grubhub's commissions left him barely enough money to pay for food expenses. The same was done by Spencer Warren, owner of The Warren en Pittsburg (Pennsylvania), in his restaurant with cocktail bars Grubhub was hogging the 57% of the incomes. And from Albuquerque (New Mexico), Erin Wade of the restaurant chain specialized in salads Vinaigrette wrote an open letter to Matt Maloney, Grubhub CEO, exposing everything that is wrong with your company:
- Abusive commissions and unnecessary flat fees
- Inability to generate new customer traffic
- Loss of humane treatment between catering professionals and the end customer
- Creation of clonic websites in order to dilute the digital image of the restaurant
- Inclusion of menus in the app without the consent of the restaurant owner
- Inability to solve problems that arise
- Control over the information and consumption habits of the clientele
The current unrest stems in large measure from the difficulties owners are going through to keep businesses afloat., but also because of the way in which platforms delivery they have taken advantage to propose themselves as the saviors of restaurants during the pandemic. Especially blatant is the case of Grubhub, which has been issuing a large-scale advertising campaign to make itself known to the population now that take-away orders are on everyone's lips, and it has done so by showing itself as the main ally of restaurants, when its mode of operation remembers, following the words of Erin Wade, to the mafia.
Time will tell where the balance tips, but what is already a reality is that the owners of restaurants have lost confidence in delivery companies during this pandemic. As our director always comments, Diego Coquillat, the data will be the most important intangible asset of restaurants in the coming years, and big data and technology companies know it, and they will try to take over this in the restaurant market to become the great leaders in the sector.