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Delivery Apps aren't always the best option

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Postmates, and Grubhub are designed to facilitate food to a customer from any restaurant however restaurants are being charged fees between 15-30% per order decreasing profits and forcing some to even close their doors. If you have never used these apps here is how it works, let us say today you wake up and are inspired to eat that memorable brick oven pizza you had last month at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. You simply download a delivery app such as the ones mentioned above look for Girmaldi’s restaurant and place an order through the app. The app will handle contacting the restaurant after the order is placed by the customer and within 45 minutes that brick oven pizza is delivered at your doorsteps. Customers are charged a delivery fee anywhere from $1.99-$9.99 per order. On the contrary restaurants are charge 15-30% per order place via theses apps. For example, that pie you ordered at Girmaldis for $20.00 has now shared $6.00 of its profit (30%) with the delivery app reducing the restaurant’s profit to now $14.00. Because the app is servicing customers at home these customers are no longer physically visiting the restaurant location which is also affecting staff who are no longer being tipped. Profits at the restaurant are dipping which risks the job of employees and the unlikelihood of the restaurant staying open.

As of March 2020, it seems as though these delivery apps serve as a lifeline for most restaurants that are still in business during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus has made restaurant owners reconsider working with delivery apps as dine-in options are no longer available during these times. Food delivery apps have responded to this pandemic by eliminating fees, for example, Uber eats has stopped charging delivery fees on orders from local restaurants. Grubhub is no longer collecting fees from restaurants temporarily which now provides restaurants a $100 million-dollar relief. All the changes made are in an effort to supply the increase in demands that have grown since the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Businesses are no longer looking to just profit but instead to work cohesively with delivery apps to serve communities, people who can no longer step out to grocery shop perhaps because local markets are lacking supplies or simple because for weeks they have been eating the same meals and desire to indulge on something else.

Companies are now scrambling to hire delivery drivers and staff members in order to meet the demands. Other large companies like Amazon is looking to hire 100,000 workers and are increasing wages from $15 to $17 an hour, Domino’s Pizza 10,000 employees and Walmart 150,000 new employees.

In the efforts of feeling normal myself, I ordered McDonald's via Uber Eats something I would have never done had we not been in this situation with the pandemic. I felt that having McDonald's would for a moment bring me back to my childhood. To my convenience, I downloaded the app and placed an order for an apple pie, 6-piece nuggets, and a chicken sandwich meal. My subtotal was $15.82, I was taxed $1.40, charged a service fee of $2.37, and discounted the delivery fee of $1.99 bringing my total to $19.59. I later tipped the driver $5.00 (that was optional). My delivery time after placing the order was for 25-30 minutes and as promised I received my delivery within the time frame. The process of downloading the app to receiving my delivery was straightforward and efficient.

For as long as it’s needed delivery apps will continue to work with restaurants to meet the needs of the public. Will this pandemic reshape the future of dining out? Will people become quickly accustomed to delivery, therefore, eliminating eating out once and for all? I can’t answer those questions but what I do know is that delivery apps were something I was against and in fact, spoke to friends and family to reduce the orders placed. Those same family and friends including myself now rely on those same delivery apps to receive not only restaurant delivery but also groceries and other essential needs. Perhaps if the delivery companies kept these fees reduced to 10% or less for restaurants, many wouldn’t be forced to shut down. Instead, restaurant owners and deliver apps companies can work towards developing a plan where the delivery demands are higher, and both parties benefit. Restaurants were designed to restore, it has become a social scene for friends, family, and business. As a New York City resident, I enjoy stepping out to restaurants and experiencing the scenery, the culture, and the ambiance of a restaurant. I can foresee a large number of restaurants closing their doors if fees continue to stay as high as they were before the pandemic. We will have to wait and see.


When ordering take out or delivery please support your local neighborhood restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Big chain restaurants will likely survive these difficult times, unlike small mom and pop restaurants that may likely never open their doors again.

Citation: Delivery app fees

Wang, J. (2020, February 20). 5 Best Apps to Get Food Delivered Right to Your Door. Retrieved from

Bandoim, L. (2020, March 21). How Food Delivery Apps Are Responding to The Coronavirus. Retrieved from

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