Restaurants Growing Reliance on Delivery Orders Puts Fees in Focus

NBCUniversal, Inc.

As locally-owned restaurants have become increasingly reliant on delivery orders during the coronavirus shutdown, fees from popular delivery applications are becoming a growing burden.

“Basically I’m buying food, paying the cooks and paying Uber Eats and Door Dash,” Lewisville restaurant owner Jason McDermott said.

McDermott owns Hat Tricks Bar & Grill and said the vast majority of his business is now delivery, most of which goes through popular applications Uber Eats and Door Dash. Both, he says, take 30% of whatever he makes on an order.

“There’s virtually no money for me, this is just bidding time and trying to keep cooks it took me years to find, good quality people,” McDermott said.

Restaurant owners across DFW have told NBC 5 that the popularity of the apps has spiked due to COVID-19.

NBC 5 reached out to Uber Eats and Door Dash who said they are working to help independent businesses hard hit by the shutdown.

In a statement, Uber Eats said in part:

“We've focused on driving demand towards independent restaurants on Uber Eats by waiving our Delivery Fee to help make up for the significant slowdown of in-restaurant dining.”

Door Dash told NBC 5 independent restaurants can now sign up for free and commission is waved for the first 30-days. The company said they have also earmarked $20-million to market programs they hope will generate sales for independent restaurants.

But for McDermott and likely many other restaurant owners, it is likely not enough to help their business survive.

“My guess is the end of this month, that will probably be it for me,” he said.

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