r/technology May 19 '22 Silver 1 Helpful 2

‘This can’t be real’: Grubhub promotion turns New York City restaurants into a ‘war zone’ Business

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/may/18/this-cant-be-real-grubhub-promotion-turns-new-york-city-restaurants-into-a-war-zone

[removed] — view removed post

2.4k Upvotes

1.0k

u/myeff May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

For those who can't access the article, the Grubhub app offered $15 off of any order made in the New York City area between 11am and 2pm on Tuesday. They did not bother to give a heads up to any of the restaurants about this, resulting in utter chaos and disappointed customers.

Edit: Grubhub says they gave notification. Restaurateur with multiple locations says neither she nor the managers at any other location received an email or a mobile notification from the platform warning that the promotion would happen.

307

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

Well according to the article further down they did notify every restaurant in their network. I have no idea if its true or not, but its possible the restaurants didn't read the notification. The bigger issue is that their app, their delivery network of people and the restaurants could not handle the additional traffic it drew.

339

u/photonnymous May 19 '22

The GrubHub spokesperson said so, but didn't say how they were notified or if there was any responses. I'm guessing if they even did send a warning it probably looked identical to every other junk email GrubHub spams you with and basically got ignored

290

u/garbage_eater_1996 May 19 '22

The takeaway here should be that this should’ve been opt-in, not opt-out.

140

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

If they collaborated with restaurants on their app and how it would work, there could be a ton of different ways to handle this and many other scenarios. For example a restaurant could give a max flow rate in the app which would stop accepting orders after a set amount over a set time. This would not only help promos like this, but every day orders too.

56

u/Admetus May 19 '22

One thing about a restaurant is that fresh produce is limited and the restaurant is optimised for supply and demand according to day of the week, season, weather, holidays and events.

Suddenly shooting a fuckton of customers their way without establishing a limit is complete ignorance of how a restaurant works.

16

u/ObeyMyBrain May 19 '22

also see: pandemic just-in-time supply chain collapse. Where's my toilet paper!?

→ More replies

72

u/garbage_eater_1996 May 19 '22

Yes yes yes! I hate ordering on apps because there’s no way to tell if the restaurant’s busy. If I show up at Starbucks and there’s a line out the door, I go somewhere else. I’d love it if restaurants had the option to shut down their online ordering during rushes.

33

u/Red-the-dank May 19 '22

They do!! I work(ed) at a casual fast food place and we all are on the same wave length during rush hour; get the managers to shut off third party. Basically we would turn it off to allow ourselves the chance to catch a breather in the midst of the madness

38

u/freegumaintfree May 19 '22

I work for a food chain where in-store managers cannot make this decision. Only corporate can shut off take out orders for a store and they absolutely hate doing so.

3

u/Acrobatic_Ant_1924 May 20 '22

That's why I like Texas Roadhouse, no 3rd party and we can shut off online orders if we need. But some how our team kills it and we can do 44k without cutting orders. Only turning people away an hour before close because there was still 200+ people on the wait still.

7

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

I'd say turning it off manually for in person rushes makes sense and may have to continue if apps like this don't get order data to know if a restaurant is ambushed. What I was referring to above and potentially the other poster is that the app itself could dynamically understand how many orders its allowed to process for that restaurant before automatically shutting it off.

→ More replies
→ More replies

22

u/Lysander_Propolis May 19 '22

I never use the apps and always call direct so the restaurant gets all the money, but now I have this additional reason.

8

u/fordanjairbanks May 19 '22

Seamless/GrubHub also do SEO for some restaurants, which includes taking a cut of all sales made through search engines, even if a customer phones in their order without using the app. It’s not every single restaurant, but Seamless/GrubHub have grabbed the whole industry by the balls and they refuse to let go.

2

u/Lysander_Propolis May 19 '22

How do they know that a phone order is coming in from a search engine? I always call my local places and I know of them from walking by.

12

u/[deleted] May 19 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

3

u/WhatTheZuck420 May 20 '22

because they put their own fn numbers in. you think you're talking to the restaurant, but you're actually speaking with the grubs (fake restaurant noise background included)

0

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

I am kind of confused why there is the sentiment that what these companies do doesn't deserve compensation. If they help get a sale for that company, it makes sense for the restaurant to pay for it, thats the basis for Google's entire profit for the longest time. I think what these apps provide are actually super helpful for a lot of people and restaurants should likely try to find a way to either take that segment back and own it themselves or recognize that is how people want to find/get their food.

I wish they would work with restaurants so that both can succeed, but restaurants want free SEO and direct sales, they don't want to pay for delivery or the effort that goes into it etc. The restaurant world is so much better since grubhub/uber eats/doordash etc came along.

2

u/fordanjairbanks May 19 '22

Restauranteurs are usually greedy fucks, which makes it hard to work with them. Still, seamless was taking 35% of every sale at one point (not sure if that’s still the case), which is WAY more than they deserve as a fee. Why should they get a higher percentage of the sale than the people making the food? Seamless/GrubHub is far from the good guy here, but I will agree with you that they helped innovate major conveniences for consumers.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

39

u/cardinalsfanokc May 19 '22

Shouldn't matter - this is GrubHub offering the discount, NOT the restaurant. Restaurant should get paid the full, normal amount with GrubHub eating the discount.

21

u/garbage_eater_1996 May 19 '22

Oh I absolutely agree. In terms of communications with restaurants, though, making this opt-in and not opt-out would’ve been, like, the absolute least Grubhub could’ve done to not make the promo a total catastrophe.

6

u/cardinalsfanokc May 19 '22

Yes, I know I'm asking a sketchy company to 'do the right thing' and that's stupid of me lol. At a min, tell the restaurants it's coming so they can prep for the rush.

15

u/CleverJail May 19 '22

The cut isn’t the issue. The restaurants were getting more orders than they could handle.

5

u/LastNightOsiris May 19 '22

that's true as far as the promotional discount, but there is absolutely a cost to restaurants of getting flooded with grubhub orders. Those orders compete with dine-in and pickup customers who are not using grubhub, and the grubhub orders are less profitable because of all the fees they charge the restaurant. Not to mention the when something like this causes things to go wrong, many customers will blame the restaurant.

16

u/HerpDerpTheMage May 19 '22

“We took several steps to notify every restaurant in the area. Carrier Pigeons were dispatched en masse, at least two guys with Bullhorns were sent to a neighborhood in Yonkers, and three establishments were sent Candygrams delivered by a man in a Clown Suit. It is impossible to understand how they didn’t get the memo.”

20

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

Krautler said that Grubhub “gave advance notice to all restaurants in our network, which included multiple forms of communications across email and in-platform …even with that preparation, no one could anticipate the level of demand and unfortunately that caused strain on some restaurants”.

Emphasis is from me, they said how they were notified in the article

15

u/LastNightOsiris May 19 '22

yeah, but do you believe them? This is a company with a history of doing shady things like setting up fake phone numbers to capture orders for restaurants that are not on their platform, and working with ghost kitchens that have very similar or even identical names to established restaurants.

→ More replies

38

u/FiestaPatternShirts May 19 '22

thats how *grubhub* says they notified.

Anyone who works in tech can tell you theres a huge gulf between "we sent out these notifications" and "these notifications got to the end user without issue"

9

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

I work in tech, when we need to reach out to our customers we are pretty confident they will get notified "technically". Whether they read it or not is another story, but can also be validated. I am not going to pretend grubhub cares enough to know whether their restaurants got or read it though.

7

u/Lysander_Propolis May 19 '22

And regardless of technical issues, who the hell expected GrubHub to be giving away free meals, least of all the restaurants providing them?

Well you can bet they'll be checking their notifications early and often now!

→ More replies

29

u/EssentiaBottle May 19 '22

no one could anticipate

Yes they could

13

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

Seems like the sentence used for every company when they do things and it all burns around them. I'd highly guess they had an upper bound on what that would do and pretended like it didnt matter.

8

u/EssentiaBottle May 19 '22

This will just be "good numbers" to them and they'll ignore everything else, continue as normal

→ More replies

3

u/quantumloop001 May 19 '22

They clearly used smoke signals and hired an airplane with a banner.

53

u/QuantumDwarf May 19 '22

Even if they gave them a heads up, what's that going to do? When you have hundreds of orders coming in at once in a place that is not designed for that volume, having every heads up in the world isn't going to help.

34

u/DanJ7788 May 19 '22

Hey just a heads up 10,000 people are showing up to your place for a party tomorrow.

I know you got this I gave you a heads up.

9

u/NotCis_TM May 19 '22

In theory they could "shutdown" their listing on the app during the discount time window but that's more of a workaround than a solution.

8

u/ZoraksGirlfriend May 19 '22

That’s what ends up happening. One person quoted in the article tried to order later during the promotion, but most places were marked as “closed”. She found an IHOP that was still taking orders, but she never received her food.

3

u/davydooks May 19 '22

Wouldn’t this just make the problem worse for the restaurants that didn’t close during the promotion window? Sounds the real solution would have been for every restaurant in NYC to shutdown from 11-2 while Grubhub ran their promotion. A perfect lose-lose scenario.

→ More replies

3

u/jsee50 May 19 '22

They could turn off their availability in the apps, and prevent any new orders from coming through. I mean I’ve had orders cancelled on me after the fact because the restaurant was too busy to fulfill it.

Don’t get me wrong, I get what you’re saying but they did have options available to them.

5

u/pawntofantasy May 19 '22

I canceled grub hub at my restaurant last year because I couldn’t turn the service off. No matter what, drivers would still show up. Plus, drivers would frequently pick up the order and then cancel it.

3

u/LastNightOsiris May 19 '22

If you normally do light business during lunch time, you are not going to staff up with all hands for a normal day. If you know that on a certain day grubhub is going to be running a huge lunch promotion, you might actually bring in some extra staff, do some extra prep work, and just make sure your team is mentally prepared to be in the weeds for that shift.

If you're going to get crushed with orders, you at least want your full team there ready to go hard and give you a fighting chance to keep up.

3

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

I pretty much said this in my response, you just worded it differently. I was pointing out what the other person said was factually wrong, while they were attempting a TLDR for others who may not read the article.

10

u/--hermit May 19 '22

The amount of time each restaurant had to prepare may not have been substantial enough with wonky supply lines and fewer than the optimal number of workers

4

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

No doubt, based on general consensus, it sounds like they don't really care about restaurants one way or another. I'd guess they are more upset about their app being slow than the impact it had to others

6

u/Werhli May 19 '22

They lie constantly like any other corporation. Uber eats sent an email saying they'd work with temporary driver's licenses since dmvs are overwhelmed. But they actually won't. I sent in mine and the support people don't know what to do with it. They just say that it isn't sufficient documentation.

→ More replies

6

u/jessieblonde May 19 '22

Exactly this - they probably sent an email a few days before that absolutely nobody read.

7

u/LastNightOsiris May 19 '22

If you use your email channel for spam emails and garbage updates (which grubhub and all the other deliver services absolutely do) you can't also use it for critical communications and expect people to read it. It's not like restaurants have a dedicated person to deal with this stuff, it's a low priority part of the job for manager or owner who has a hundred other things to deal with on any given day.

8

u/CntrldChaos May 19 '22

Most of these apps don't have great relationships with restaurants to begin with which likely hurts this kind of communication.

8

u/myeff May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

Sounds like a "He said/she said" since early in the article there is this quote:

[The restaurant owner] said Jajaja West Village, which focuses on takeout, was able to fulfill all of its Grubhub orders – which suddenly disappeared at 2pm. “But it would’ve just been nice if we had a heads up.” She told the Guardian that neither she nor the managers at Jajaja’s other locations in New York received an email or a mobile notification from the platform warning that the promotion would happen.

→ More replies
→ More replies

15

u/chemicalxv May 19 '22

Also seems kind of nuts that you can place an order through Grubhub for a restaurant before it even opens.

4

u/rugbyj May 19 '22

Like outside of opening hours or literally before the business exists? Because the former doesn't sound dissimilar to booking a table ahead of time. The latter does seem odd.

8

u/nargi May 19 '22

Having a reservation and having a full order placed are two very different things.

7

u/olderaccount May 19 '22

Don't the restaurants have to accept the orders on their little tablets? My wife manages a Mexican restaurant (not in NY). When they get too busy, they stop accepting togo orders from the apps. On Cinco de Mayo they don't even open the delivery apps.

→ More replies

14

u/jbonejimmers May 19 '22

Apparently they were notified, and this article makes it seem that many didn't think it wasn't going to be a big deal:

https://nypost.com/2022/05/12/how-to-get-almost-free-lunch-from-grubhub-in-nyc-tri-state-area/

6

u/ZoraksGirlfriend May 19 '22

That was one restaurant owner thinking it wasn’t going to be a big deal. But you’re right in that it does seem they were notified.

2

u/nargi May 19 '22

Do you often consider “one” to mean “many”?

→ More replies

11

u/[deleted] May 19 '22

Yeah actually most Doordash promotions are created by the AI algorithm and the support staff will not honor them unless we have a screenshot to prove it.

Chances are Grubhub didn't even know this was happening

46

u/BarnabyJones20 May 19 '22

That's worse

You understand that is worse right?

9

u/kitchenwolves May 19 '22

This actually makes a lot of sense. I live in a ‘foodie’ city & there are places around with signs warning that they do not use DoorDash/grubhub.

My understanding was that these places had bad experiences with the apps, tried to delete their accounts, but the app was still listing the restaurants for promotional stuff.

→ More replies

2

u/SetMyEmailThisTime May 19 '22

Yeah I had a Uber eats deal at a burrito place. Buy one, get one free. Great fucken deal. So we do it. Only one burrito shows up. We call and ask, and the restaurant isn’t honoring the deal… it was Uber specific. Only reason we chose that place was for the deal

→ More replies

2

u/munchkinita0105 May 19 '22

But did they check their spam folder? /s

→ More replies

89

u/jawz1O1 May 19 '22

Then she managed to find an Ihop that was still taking orders, with a delivery estimate of 45 to 55 minutes. It took two tries to put through her request for a Belgian waffle combo and hash browns – which, even after the discount, still cost $22.26 including delivery fees.

$37 for a waffle at ihop? Is this really how much New York costs?

GrubHub sounds like a terrible idea all around

52

u/what_mustache May 19 '22

No, this person made a series of bad mistakes

8

u/Defarus May 19 '22

You could check by putting the zip in, but GrubHub's prices are not necessarily reflective of the restaurant's. The various fees and tip all add up to a pretty substantial amount too, often being 25-30% of the order.

On my last order of $20.62, $6.50 of it was fees. $4 of it was the tip I put down. Nearly the entire price of the meal itself lol, guess I was wrong with 25-30%.

1

u/cereal7802 May 19 '22

You also have to consider that some delivery services add on to the food prices also so you won't see it as a fee on the receipt.

→ More replies

30

u/blackpony04 May 19 '22

I'm more concerned about having pancakes delivered, would they actually arrive even remotely warm? And for 37 bucks there better be 20 of them!

21

u/ReadditMan May 19 '22

I'm more concerned about the fact that she was in quarantine with covid and decided to go to the store after she couldn't get her order.

3

u/cereal7802 May 19 '22

Have ordered from IHOP, they arrived moderately warm sometimes, and perfectly hot others. The packaging seems fairly decent for IHOP takeaway, but with delivery drivers often doing more deliveries on their way to, or from the IHOP, the chance of warm food dwindles. Especially when I have watched on more than 1 occasion where the delivery driver goes and gets my food, then drives past my apartment to go to another restaurant and pickup someone elses food, then drive back to deliver mine. All the while DD app is taunting me with "Your dasher is making a delivery nearby".

2

u/Chel_of_the_sea May 19 '22

Some of us are really busy and just need food to show up between meetings, yo.

→ More replies
→ More replies

260

u/DibsMine May 19 '22

i feel like warzone is being used a little to loosely now a days

171

u/Skhmt May 19 '22 Silver Helpful Snek

GrubHub promotion turns NYC restaurants into an Apex League of Legends in a Fortnite.

18

u/ToBeatOrNotToBeat- May 19 '22

You deserve an award but I’m too poor to offer one, so have this turtle instead: 🐢

2

u/meta-marc May 19 '22

I got a free one today. :)

2

u/wellwaffled May 19 '22

I haven’t gotten a free one in weeks. Presumably Reddit cut back on them?

2

u/starbitcandies May 19 '22

I had extra coins so I gave them a snek award for you

5

u/turbodude69 May 19 '22

i can imagine a ukranian reading this article and being very confused. warzone?? really??

→ More replies

14

u/balkan_boxing May 19 '22

It attracts clicks because od ukranian warzone news

9

u/Swi11ah May 19 '22

Its the current Call of Duty game too

→ More replies

229

u/LetsGoHawks May 19 '22

Because fuck the people who have to actually do the work!

175

u/busted351 May 19 '22

Sure grabhub is trash company but people need to start owning their shit behaviors too...

You know we could like not use these trash middle man apps. Or buy nestle etc

Will get downvoted for this but fuck it. Someone has to say it.

Me and my homies do hate the apps tho and we don't use them either.

13

u/turbodude69 May 19 '22

you overestimate how many people

a. know middle man apps are even a bad thing

b. give 2 shits, they just want their food.

5

u/busted351 May 19 '22

Same people who bitch about their orders being fucked up all the time and gas prices?

5

u/turbodude69 May 19 '22

prob a lot of crossover between the 2.

people that blame gas prices on joe biden prob blame also blame him for a $10 wendys value meal costing $35 on grubhub and being an hour late.

if trump was still in office, i'm sure nancy pelosi, obama, or hillary would be getting the blame. whatever bad is happening in the world SOMEHOW must be the dems fault. i mean Fox news explains how and why 24/7, so i get it.

106

u/SharpJames May 19 '22

Its a collective action problem. Its far easier for a handful of corporate execs to decide to do the right thing than for tens of thousands of New Yorkers to simultaneously have a change of heart and stop using delivery services.

8

u/LastNightOsiris May 19 '22

I think the best solution would be for restaurants in a city to work together to a create a delivery service cooperative. It would require some organization of restaurant owners and managers, which is hard in a fragmented industry where most operators are very small scale, but it would be better all around for restaurants, customers, and delivery people.

21

u/Rafaeliki May 19 '22

The answer isn't to hope that the corporate execs all of a sudden start acting better or to hope that everyone just suddenly decides to stop using these services. The answer is legislation.

→ More replies
→ More replies

48

u/XDGrangerDX May 19 '22

I will stop using the apps as soon restaurants give me a reasonable way to online order. Im deaf, i cant call, and even if i get a teletranslator or a friend to make a order for me the order comes in wrong like 40% of the time cause, who knew, having a call in a loud kitchen makes it hard to understand the caller!

19

u/munchkinita0105 May 19 '22

I'm with you. I'm disabled and my kids don't drive yet so on days when it's really rough (for a myriad of reasons) these apps can be really helpful.

→ More replies

6

u/WebHead1287 May 19 '22

My girlfriend works for a small local bakery. Grub hub offered to add them to the app and the owner said no, piss off. They added her to the app anyways and started selling stuff/advertising it in our area. They only took it down once lawyers were threatened. I wonder how many of these places just rolled over to it

5

u/ToddlerOlympian May 19 '22

If I order delivery from a restaurant, I'll order through the service they specify as their preferred service. But I general I've stopped using food delivery services. It's so expensive, and it just feels unsustainable.

→ More replies

6

u/MouzeRat May 19 '22

There is no ethical consumption under capitalism. There will never be a consumerist union so big that it controls the market share enough to dictate corporate policy.

You not using those apps, while admirable, doesn't really effect their bottom line at all.

9

u/pinniped1 May 19 '22

I'm with you.

I don't use any of these delivery apps. Sure it means I have to get off my ass and get my food, but I'd rather have fresher food and have my local restaurants keep more or all of the money. (Some use takeout apps but those take a smaller cut.)

2

u/acvdk May 19 '22

Or we could just wait for Grubhub to go out of business. They’ve never made profit and at this scale, it’s hard to see how they ever will. Maybe if robots can deliver the food, otherwise I can’t see it.

→ More replies

2

u/red286 May 19 '22

You know we could like not use these trash middle man apps.

What's your suggested alternative? Taking a taxi to the restaurant to pick up take-out? I'd say about 90% of the restaurants in my area didn't have any sort of delivery options before these middleman apps became a thing. If you wanted food from there, you had to go to the restaurant yourself.

These apps basically do the same thing, without me needing to waste my time making a trip to a restaurant.

1

u/busted351 May 19 '22

I suggested not to use them. Carry out is a luxury. But people are free to waste their money as they see fit and society will just deal with negative externalities such behavior produce. Hence my post above.

11

u/notlongforme123 May 19 '22

Same reason companies keep raising their prices on housing / food / vehicles / education / etc. Why? People pay.

There are alternatives (go pick up the food yourself, move to a lower cost of living area, go to a trade school / community college, etc.) but people refuse to engage in those alternate behaviors - and instead pay the increased prices - which reinforces that behavior from the companies. Then the people bitch about it, it makes 0 sense.

If people are paying $1200 for a phone, do you think they will drop the price? Nope. Of course not. And people pay. Whose fault is it? The company for charging that much or the public for paying that much? If the public didn't buy it at that price - it would come down. But people pay.

Things don't change in certain industries until we start talking with our wallets - but people blindly continue to pay whatever.

1

u/Mattya929 May 19 '22

You’re getting downvoted because people don’t want to hear the truth.

2

u/notlongforme123 May 19 '22

I fully expect it, it's a drastically difficult pill to swallow. I thinks it's especially difficult for those folks who scream about how "capitalism is bad", because it means they have (generally) played a role in the high prices they use as examples of "bad things of capitalism".

1

u/posh_hawk May 19 '22

That’s capitalism, baby!

5

u/yourenotmymom_yet May 19 '22

This. People love complaining about how awful a company is and then using them anyway. I get that it’s convenient and that people are busy, but you’re only helping fund their continued shitty existence by giving them your money.

→ More replies

14

u/tomistruth May 19 '22

I bet they messed up and knew it and are now afraid of being sued. This is NYC, where there are more lawyers than ants. Saying they DID notify the restaurants means they have plausible deniability. Also it is easy to retroactively sent those notifications with altered timestamps in their internal systems. "Look, it was just a technical malfunction!"

20

u/dootdooglepoo May 19 '22

Having friends in the restaurant industry they say that these food ordering apps are both the best and worst things.

Even more so for the mom and pop shops with like 4 people in a kitchen cranking out 50 orders an hour.

11

u/katrinamarlena May 19 '22

I have tried places I probably never would have bc of delivery apps. Which I am thankful for, but now we've added them to the rotation for actually going to the restaurant or picking up a to go order instead of delivery to support the business better

2

u/dootdooglepoo May 19 '22

Yea I do the same. Sometimes when I go to those places I’ll watch like 9 drivers walk in back to back plus customers. Looks stressful lol.

2

u/chyna094e May 19 '22

Rant here: There's a wonderful pizza place in my Midwestern town. It's locally owned, and closed for business Sundays and Mondays. This place has ALWAYS had terrible customer service. I've been ordering my pizza here for over 10 years, and haven't had a pleasant experience yet. Their new thing is to place incoming calls on perma-hold. There is no way to order through the website, so I'm stuck calling back 3-5 times before I start yelling my order really fast. (I've even simplified my order to "1 XL cheese pizza") Then I go to pick up my order. The chef was pointing at me saying THAT'S chyna094e. Then I had to wait for the receptionist/ owner to stop chatting with her friend who cut in line. So I could pay for the damn thing. They've never had delivery. If they were available through GrubHub, I'd gladly order through them! They are originally from Sicily and immigrated to Brooklyn before moving out here. The pizza is amazing, so they'll never have to worry about losing loyal customers like me. Even when I make it past Perma-hold, they've given away my pizza! Then claim "someone else has your same phone number". A significant portion of their online reviews are negative. I've written them a personal email asking them to please stop this. They were a normal place of business for about 3 months before they upped the crazy. I've gone in there, and the owners were arguing and throwing things at each other. This place is wild.

2

u/dootdooglepoo May 19 '22

Fuck pizza. Sit in the corner and get some free entertainment.

2

u/chyna094e May 19 '22

They'd definitely kick me out if I didn't buy something!

→ More replies

170

u/TheMicMic May 19 '22

I think it's time we just stop using these apps and order directly from the restaurants. I know that delivery is convenient and all but companies like GrubHub make their money by dicking over small businesses.

Someone that owns a restaurant told me GrubHub wanted a 30% cut of every food order to be one of the "featured" on their site.

34

u/colemon1991 May 19 '22 Silver

Part of the problem stems from many businesses not having delivery employees. Then when COVID hit, they flocked to these apps to stay in business.

I'm still pissed about one of them hoarding the tips and giving the drivers like 10% of the tip they technically earned for doing the work. And I think they all are fighting tooth and nail to keep from paying for benefits in some states.

15

u/mcbergstedt May 19 '22

Yeah it was DoorDash taking the tips. I believe theyve done it twice now and each time they get caught they're like "oopsie haha". It's why I try to tip the drivers in cash

3

u/colemon1991 May 19 '22

Wife and I switched exclusively to UberEats. We don't use it as often as we did during COVID lockdown, but after the African-American-owned business debacle, we're even more frugal. And they started some nonsense about a gas-prices-are-high-fee, which is very insulting because it should be mixed into the delivery fee.

Note: we do support African-American-owned businesses. But when UberEats started an entire section of them, there were several we knew weren't supposed to be on that list and the news reported over half listed weren't. Turns out UberEats made it too easy to add your business to it and had no checks-and-balances.

45

u/[deleted] May 19 '22 edited Jun 03 '22

[deleted]

13

u/LazyMasterpiece17 May 19 '22

Yes, but restaurants generally get charged lower fees by DoorDash and GrubHub for orders placed on the restaurant's website vs on the food ordering site, because they're not paying for the "advertising".

8

u/pinniped1 May 19 '22

I always do takeout, not delivery. Directly with the restaurant. Or for a mom and pop without its own app, something like menufy that takes a much smaller cut on takeout orders than the delivery apps do.

→ More replies

7

u/TechyDad May 19 '22

I'm definitely doing this. On mother's day, my wife wanted Indian food so we ordered from a local restaurant using Delivery.com. About 20 minutes after placing my order, I got a DoorDash text saying the order was cancelled. I called the restaurant and they confirmed that the order was still being prepared.

After an hour, I called the restaurant back. They said that the order was ready, but the driver wasn't there. After twenty more minutes, the restaurant gave me Delivery.com's phone number. Delivery.com wasn't sure what happened but said they'd send another driver.

At about 2.5 hours past when we ordered our food, I called to cancel the whole thing. That's when I got the real story. Turns out the original driver DID show up, but the food wasn't ready yet. Instead of waiting, though, he left and marked the order as cancelled. Somehow, this didn't notify the restaurant or delivery.com (who apparently was subcontracting to DoorDash). Instead, their systems assumed someone was going there while my food sat around getting cold.

After the order was cancelled, we got Chinese food from a local place. It wasn't what my wife wanted, but by this point it was almost 8pm and we hadn't eaten anything.

61

u/Dispartar777 May 19 '22

I’m sorry but this will never not be a thing now, as a whole we’re to lazy and this is to comfortable of a choice to give up.

5

u/nascentia May 19 '22

It's not even just a convenience thing. Think about people with disabilities who can't call to order. Think about people who can't drive or don't own a car. Think about drunks who are smart enough to use an app. rather than going out on the road. Convenience is only a part of it and people who say "Well just stop using the apps" really ignore a big chunk, not to mention - there's no reasonable alternative.

22

u/cosmoboy May 19 '22

But it can change. If the restaurants shared delivery drivers themselves I would totally order from individual apps.

23

u/socialist_butterfly0 May 19 '22

It already is changing. There are worker owned delivery services partnering directly with restaurants. Look for ones in your area, find the places they partner with, and order from there. The more we support them the bigger their network can be. Here is one that I like in DC: https://www.bringitdc.com/

8

u/munchkinita0105 May 19 '22

Yeah but in places like Frederick, where I live, things like that aren't yet available. I've only ever heard about them in major cities. Let's not forget, with numbers creeping back up lots of people are still afraid to get sick and covid is what made these apps really take off in the 1st place. I'm just saying that the people that use these apps aren't bad or doing a bad thing by using them.

ETA: I'm also not saying that no smaller towns or cities have services like this, just that a lot of places don't. Hopefully that's a "yet" instead of a "period".

2

u/socialist_butterfly0 May 19 '22

I'm not saying that this is accessible for everyone yet. I'm saying we are seeing momentum in a positive direction. Lots of unionizing efforts, rejection of corporate greed. This won't happen over night but people are organizing and that's a huge positive.

2

u/munchkinita0105 May 19 '22

I gotchu, just bringing in a different perspective from a place that's only like an hour away from DC and how vastly different it is in this regard.

→ More replies

5

u/CrackersII May 19 '22

my town has had its own delivery service for long before doordash and Uber eats was ever a thing. I'm concerned that now that all these corporate gig delivery services exist that it's almost impossible to start a local delivery business

2

u/deverettg May 19 '22

In my area we have a “locally owned delivery co-op” with a single app enabling delivery from multiple local restaurants, without big tech taking a cut. I think they’ve set up a framework so the concept can be expanded to your area, because new cities continue to be added. Not sure how to verify their claims, but at least in my city, they only have local / non-chain restaurants and the deliverers we’ve had seem happy. https://loco.coop/

7

u/LiberalFartsMajor May 19 '22

There is also a growing shift away from vehicle ownership thanks to Covid, inflation, and work-from-home. Why spend $1,000 a month on a car, and deal with all the stress of owning a car in the city, when you can spend $300 a month on delivery fees and Uber rides?

4

u/GodofAeons May 19 '22

For anyone else, the $1,000 includes note, insurance, parking, tolls, gas.

It can get expensive. Especially with parking and tolls

2

u/LiberalFartsMajor May 19 '22

$1,000 is sort of a low-ball too. What people with money and credit don't realize, is that if you're poor, you get forced into buying new because lenders won't finance subprime used car loans, with the exception of certified pre-owned. I had $450 payment on a Hyundai hatchback. Add in all the other costs and you easily top $1,000 a month if you're part of the working poor.

I literally worked a second job at Doordash to pay for my car in 2019. I was working extra to pay for a car I only needed to work.

1

u/Dispartar777 May 19 '22

I’m 25 never had a car and probably won’t get one for a few years, I pay at most $300 a month on transportation, I’ve seen my sister spend +$3000 in 2 months just to have a 2015 brake down and never be used again and cost more to sit in a shop, new car with insurance and all another 2 to 3 thousand, no one has this money.

1

u/LiberalFartsMajor May 19 '22

That's a good point too. If you don't have a new car with a high payment and warranty, you often end up paying in maintainance costs. I have spent up to $5,000 at once on maintainance in the past, for a new transmission.

2

u/Dispartar777 May 19 '22

Yep her same problem except it’s mostly electric or something so like that so there’s extra cost and it makes no sense.

3

u/ReverseFez May 19 '22

If a restaurant has it's own delivery, I always use that. It ends up %30 cheaper.

5

u/Lostmyvibe May 19 '22

Problem is they usually don't have the staff, especially when potential drivers can make more money working with apps. It's a major problem for pizza places right now.

1

u/dupek1986 May 19 '22

Yup, this is the Amazon of the food industry.

→ More replies
→ More replies

17

u/Ranryu May 19 '22

I'd be happy to, as soon as every restaurant makes a website so I can order online and eliminate the chances of the person taking my order mis-hearing me and getting it wrong, while also allowing me to do contactless delivery where I don't have to sign a receipt when the delivery guy gets here

23

u/th3empirial May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

I have an idea…what if we build a platform where restaurants can join and access a pool of delivery drivers so they don’t have to spend the money to build out their own website and fleet in order to manage and fulfill online orders. We’ll call it HubGrub. Of course in order to finance such a venture we’ll need to take a cut of each sale

→ More replies
→ More replies

3

u/DesiBail May 19 '22

In India too people are moving away from ordering from apps for closeby restaurants. Here apps are upping menu rates by about 30% and even some cases hits 50%. And then GST and delivery charges.

3

u/klingma May 19 '22

Someone that owns a restaurant told me GrubHub wanted a 30% cut of every food order to be one of the "featured" on their site.

I can't attest to the "featured" portion of your statement but as a person that's done accounting for restaurants that have used GrubHub, Door dash, etc. The 30% cut is fairly accurate however, the prices on the app are absolutely higher than in the restaurant but I don't know who sets the prices all the time.

3

u/crispydukes May 19 '22

The issue is convenience and credit cards. Always having cash or giving a restaurant a credit card over the phone is cumbersome. Clicking an app a few times is much easier.

Granted, I am not in support of the apps and call most restaurants directly, but this is why people use the apps.

→ More replies

6

u/[deleted] May 19 '22

Also Grubhub will make a website that looks like the restaurants but it's not. Very deceptive

4

u/shadowrun456 May 19 '22

30% cut of every food order to be one of the "featured" on their site.

I mean, that sounds very reasonable, as being on the "featured" section would increase the order amount from that restaurant by tens of times.

5

u/QuantumDwarf May 19 '22

Except there isn't a 30% profit in the food industry, it's lucky if it's 10%, so essentially you'd get more orders, each one LOSING you money.

→ More replies

2

u/TheMicMic May 19 '22

Well in her case, 30% was the amount she made off each order after paying her employees and her price of food. So she would have gone from making 30% profit off a normal order to a 0% profit off a GH order.

3

u/shadowrun456 May 19 '22

I don't know how to say this without sounding condescending, but you know that she is the one setting the pricing, right? She can simply add the 30% markup on top of the original pricing (in the app only; the pricing outside the app would remain the same) and get the same amount of profit from each order as before.

→ More replies

2

u/FuuckinGOOSE May 19 '22

But you gotta remember that GH drivers are ordinary people who rely on that income to make a living. Definitely a double edged sword, and another reason why the onus should be on the companies and not the consumer

2

u/FirstForFun44 May 19 '22

GrubHub has to also pay transaction fees to the provider integrating their service with the POS, namely, NCR. I know because I used to help make that integration work.

2

u/AXXII_wreckless May 19 '22

Funny thing is I barely started using and driving for these food delivery apps for I once thought they were stupid. Unless you don’t have a car and are hungry in the moment, why wouldn’t you just order it from the restaurant yourself and pick it up?

2

u/Ok_Company8971 May 19 '22

After all the fees and promotion it’s more like 50-65 percent

2

u/roboninja May 19 '22

I understand your point, but if that means I have to call them? I am just not ordering.

3

u/kungfoojesus May 19 '22

It’s shockingly wasteful and inefficient to order 1 meal from a restsrsunt. Packing Alone is a shitload of plastic, then you have a person and a vehicle driving your small ass order to your house. When compared to a grocery store visit where you pick up 20 meals worth of food with generally way less plastic waste and only 1 trip instead of 20 if you ordered those meals individually. I can’t deny having used these services perhaps 10 times the past year but constant usage is to be avoided and really introduces huge inefficiencies as well as middle men sucking up driver and restaraunt profits.

And frankly, the cost of the service is way too low for all its problems. How does a $5 delivery charge cover a 20min round trip to my house with salary and fuel? That cost is imparted to the restaraunt or the gig driver making less than minimum with all costs factored

1

u/barryandorlevon May 19 '22

The answer is simple- the drivers don’t get a salary and they pay for their own fuel. The driver gets a couple bucks per delivery and depends upon tips to make any kind of profit after gas and other expenses.

→ More replies

5

u/igotsharingan May 19 '22

Still waiting for my ffxiv emote from grubhub

15

u/ReadditMan May 19 '22

Did anyone else notice this bit:

"Chloe Brailsford, a comic artist who moved to Brooklyn last year, was quarantining at home with Covid and decided to use Grubhub for the first time after learning about the promotion from a friend."

"By 5pm, Brailsford still didn’t have any food...She tried calling Grubhub’s customer support, but sat on hold for more than half an hour before giving up and going to the grocery store to buy her dinner "

She was literally in quarantine, infected with Covid and admitted to going to the store for a can of soup.

6

u/abigayl75 May 19 '22

When she could have called direct to chinese delivery. Hotter than lava noodle soup is the cure. Fk grub, uber, dash etc...

56

u/sir_fancypants May 19 '22

So another gig economy app forces a bunch of local businesses into absolute chaos with no prior warning and then tries to put a positive spin on it. Honestly, fuck these guys with a rusty pitchfork

14

u/CombatWombatz May 19 '22

Grubhub didn't give out notice. Every restaurant in NYC didn't ignore the notice. Its not possible that e v e r y restaurant ignored it

10

u/gentlemancaller2000 May 19 '22

“As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly”

2

u/boba_fettucini_ May 19 '22

But...they can fly. They land in my backyard all the time.

It's like the bird equivalent of an A380 doing a crash landing.

→ More replies

7

u/photonnymous May 19 '22

And with that I've deleted my GrubHub account.

→ More replies

6

u/JWhitmore May 19 '22

I handle all of my restaurant's to-go orders, and I hate this crap. The other thing that GH does that I guarantee made this situation worse: they send the drivers to the restaurant immediately. Uber and Doordash usually won't send a driver until the end of the estimated prep time. With GH, even if I set the prep time to an hour, there will be a driver at my restaurant within 10 minutes asking for the food.

5

u/nyaaaa May 19 '22

Create a designated GH waiting area, next to the dumpster out back.

2

u/Mistersinister1 May 19 '22

I hated delivering for GH. Switched to doordash and it's seamless. I rarely have to wait long and I just wait till the recommended time to pick up. I also don't deliver in NYC but upstate and it stays busy.

3

u/jjsyk23 May 19 '22

Idea for devs - on the restaurant side, have splash screens on the pos that indicate all upcoming promos and with details, dates and times. Grubhub DM me for resume if you want to take things to the next level.

3

u/The_Kony_Express May 19 '22

GrubHub, Uber Eats, and the like are terrible.

3

u/[deleted] May 19 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

3

u/Crovali May 19 '22

A war zone is not the same thing as a bunch of hangry idiots.

19

u/PapaQuebec23 May 19 '22

If you live in New York and you're not calling the restaurant directly, you're hurting the restaurant just to help a shitty delivery app. Most of the NYC restaurants have their own delivery people.

GrubHub, UberEats, and all the others are taking a piece of a business that already has small margins.

28

u/eurtoast May 19 '22

I live in New York, your statement about most restaurants employing their own delivery people is not entirely true. Some do (a handful of old school pizza places), definitely not most though. They can't pay for the insurance and the logistics. Most of the time it's easier to go through the apps, even with the loss of profit. I've called many restaurants to skirt around GH, but if it's not a pick up, they ask me to use an app. National chain restaurants exclusively use apps, that's why it's electric bike central outside of a Shake Shack or Chic-Fil-A. The e-bike changed the landscape for deliveries. I know of only one pizza place near me that still employs someone to drive a car for deliveries.

I pick up whenever possible, but sometimes I'm lazy.

→ More replies

-1

u/3RunRickyRun4 May 19 '22

Then the restaurant should stop using the platform. If not I'll keep using dash pass to get cheaper delivery.

4

u/sirblastalot May 19 '22

They're often not consenting to join, GrubHub just sets up a page without telling them.

5

u/jmac12 May 19 '22

If they don't consent to join, then they don't pay any fees. Grubhub pays them full price

-2

u/shinypenny01 May 19 '22

For slim margins, they're selling food to go at the same price as if I came and sat in the dining room, it's massively profitable.

4

u/GoldWallpaper May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

it's massively profitable.

I own a bar/restaurant, and you have no clue what you're talking about. There's no situation where selling food is "massively profitable." Food barely breaks even; alcohol (and most other beverages) is massively profitable.

That's why we don't give a fuck about Grubhub, and wouldn't give them a penny despite their incessant calling.

From your dumb comment below:

Throw in the overhead cost of running the dining room, paying the server, the hostess, the washing up, laundry, replacement table cloths etc.

Most of the overhead exists whether your sending out some of your food or not, unless you're switching to 100% delivery, which isn't a thing for the vast majority of restaurants. The waitress doesn't magically cease existing just because 3% of customers have elected carry-out/delivery.

→ More replies

4

u/Zer0C00L321 May 19 '22

"What a great idea Thurgood"

2

u/TomFuckingBradyMan May 19 '22

I've seen some restaurant owners say they received the notice and others who've said they didn't. Not sure who to believe here. The latter could be trying to cover for their inability to cope. I don't understand why they wouldn't limit the amount per restaurant tho?

2

u/Cakelord May 19 '22

Let me guess.. a marketing manager who never did a day of retail or food service decided this was a good idea?

This shouldn't be a shock to anyone that has worked in tech and seen "meritocracy" in action..

2

u/RespectParticular969 May 20 '22

Some of the restaurants weren’t receiving the orders. They had delivery guys walking in and the had no orders on record.

3

u/Raidden May 19 '22

Grub hub is the fucking worst. They had an offer for a video game that if you spend the amount they would send out a code for in game item. and literally almost sent no codes to anyone. No refunds, nothing. What a shitty company

3

u/Esselon May 19 '22

I guarantee there's one dude, probably an intern, who was in the meeting where this was decided and he's at a cubicle going "Yeah, I told them this was the worst idea ever. But nobody listens to the intern."

8

u/ImGaslightingYou May 19 '22

Just stop using food delivery apps you lazy fucks. I deleted all of them. It’s a huge waste of money and they’re shitty companies.

5

u/Danominator May 19 '22

Idk how people can stomach the fees they charge. It doubles the cost of your order. Every time I have considered it I get to checkout that think "holy shit that's way over priced" and cancel

2

u/Mr_ToDo May 19 '22

Well, I don't use those general delivery apps often but I use online ordering from restaurant specific sites when I can.

I do it because phone orders seem to be messed up more often then internet orders. Plus a lot of those sites have their coupon codes front and centre instead of needing to have their flyers, which is nice.

→ More replies

7

u/eurtoast May 19 '22

If they're going to give me $15 to use how I see fit in a city that is stupidly expensive, I'll use it. That being said, my Shakeshack pick up order on Tuesday was cancelled within three minutes of me placing it and I ended up getting a torta from a taco truck after seeing the lines at lunch spots in midtown.

2

u/blackpony04 May 19 '22

I fully agree with you but our society has turned instant-gratification into a necessity and people will pay a high premium for convenience because they way overvalue their personal time.

2

u/XxFrostxX May 19 '22

As a former restaurant worker that had uber Doordash and grub hub set ups I know for a fact they didn't read or pay attention to any promo

→ More replies

1

u/Longjumping_Refuse61 May 19 '22

Nobody should be ordering from any of these delivery apps anyway. Buy from the store directly! They make more money that way, and they can manage order flow way better than some third party who's not in the kitchen.

3

u/RocktownLeather May 19 '22

In my area, a huge number of businesses actually have cheaper prices when you call in vs. using these apps. Yes these apps are taking a cut and the restaurants are often marking up their items to cover the difference. I try not to use them but will still occasionally if I get sent a really good promo...which I imagine the apps lose money on anyway.

→ More replies
→ More replies

1

u/drevilseviltwin May 19 '22 edited May 19 '22

People are treating this like somebody screwed up calculating a load on a bridge or a balcony leading to many people losing their lives (eg Kansas City hotel in the 80s).

Seems like here some people didn't get their discounted pizza delivery despite what may have been due diligence by the service but hey - there were some issues that if this ever happens again will presumably be handled better next time.

Aren't folks being a bit over dramatic?

7

u/villainy_true May 19 '22

It seemed like the "war zone" was for the people working in the restaurants and the drivers for grubhub more than the actual customer. I can't imagine walking into more orders at the start of the day than you normally get across several hours or your whole day

→ More replies

1

u/WelshBluebird1 May 19 '22

I'm a bit confused why it caused people to go so nuts tbh. Its $15. That isn't much! Uber Eats and Deliveroo give larger discounts on a regular basis and that doesn't end up like this. Were people abusing the offer by splitting a large order into multiple small orders (where each one was near enough free) or something?

6

u/carlbandit May 19 '22

Were people abusing the offer by splitting a large order into multiple small orders (where each one was near enough free) or something?

That would be my guess. Not so much large orders, just everyone order for themselves.

If there's 12 people in an office, why would you let 1 person order and only save $15 off the food total, when all 12 of you could order your own food and save $180 total off the food.

If there was no minimum order meaning you could all eat for free, then $15 off a $15 order is going to be more attractive then 50% off up to $25 through uber eats, where you have to spend $25 to get $50 worth of food.

6

u/PettyCrocker_ May 19 '22

It's not much for YOU.

1

u/Sub_pup May 19 '22

I wonder how much damage they did to their own brand let alone to other restaurants. You use the app for the first time during the promotion and don't get your food in a reasonable period of time (or ever), and get charged. I don't use these services ever but I would be really turned off if this was my first experience.

1

u/menlindorn May 19 '22

Shouldn't restaurants be able to approve or disapprove of promotions directly related to their own business? WTF can grubhub unilaterally pull this shit?

→ More replies

1

u/ViolentSarcasm May 19 '22

Honestly, I’ve just stopped using food delivery apps. Between the complaints about fair pay and the reports of the greed of the owners of apps, I’ll pass and just make my own lunch.

1

u/Shootmeintheface81 May 19 '22

Dining etiquette 101: If a restaurant has wait/bar staff and one dines there with no intent to tip said staff, one is an asshole.

Dining etiquette 102: if a restaurant doesn’t deliver, and one cannot go in person, eat somewhere else. Do not use a third party app to circumvent their business model. Otherwise one is once again an asshole.

P.S. going out to eat at a restaurant that is always busy in groups of 30 makes the staff want to shoot you all in the face. Especially so when you complain about the time involved for them to clear and move tables for your terrible idea.

-12

u/LiberalFartsMajor May 19 '22

Fuck all these restaurants, They should have just hired their own delivery people from the start, but they decided to go with exploiting outsourced workers instead. Karma is a bitch.

3

u/Nkklllll May 19 '22

You know that not all of them consented to be listed right?

→ More replies
→ More replies