Food delivery services have been branded ‘parasites’ as Australian restaurants ditch the apps in massive numbers, claiming they are exploiting small businesses. Several popular restaurants have urged customers to think twice about using the service, while others have dropped off entirely and are asking customers to consider picking up the food themselves. UberEats currently takes a 35 percent cut of the total price of every order made through its system, which can represent a significant portion for restaurants and cut into profits.
“We do not use Foodora, Deliveroo or Uber and we encourage you not to. They are parasites that take high percentages from the establishments that they have sucked into dealing with them,” wrote Marios Café owner Mario Maccarone on Facebook. “Please spare a thought for the people who are loosing [sic] money for your comfort factor and the delivery people are earning next to nothing for their work, while the people in their ivory towers are earning big time for doing nothing.”
“I wasn’t making any money out of it at all,” said Taste of Texas BBQ owner Prabhakar Raj, another restaurant owner who has abandoned food delivery. “I’ve had to explain to a few loyal customers why we’ve stopped but they have supported our decision when I explained why. I think other small businesses will start to make tough decisions like this because I think it only really works for big restaurants.”
The move away from food delivery isn’t new, with several restaurants in New Zealand expressing their concerns last year. At the time, a spokesperson for Uber said the fee varied between restaurants depending on the “volume and size of orders and marketing investment from restaurant partners.” The fee gives restaurant partners access to a network of delivery partners and contribute to customer and operational support, as well as app development, marketing campaigns and business insights. The Restaurant Association, of which UberEats is a member, has been in extensive negotiations with the company about improving the flexibility of their fee, but Restaurant & Cafe understands that the fee still sits at 35 percent.