Doordash and others? They're all screwed

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"Doordash and Pizza Arbitrage".

While that pizza arbitrage aspect is kinda funny both humorously and in a suspicious way, what's not so funny is how Doordash, UberEats and Grubhub are screwing various restaurants, those restaurants' customers, and ultimately those companies' investors.
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In March 2019 a good friend who owns a few pizza restaurants messaged me (this friend has made appearances in prior Margins' pieces). For over a decade, he resisted adding delivery as an option for his restaurants. He felt it would detract from focusing on the dine-in experience and result in trying to compete with Domino's.

But he had suddenly started getting customers calling in with complaints about their deliveries.

Customers called in saying their pizza was delivered cold. Or the wrong pizza was delivered and they wanted a new pizza.

Again, none of his restaurants delivered.

He realized that a delivery option had mysteriously appeared on their company's Google Listing. The delivery option was created by Doordash.

To confirm, he had never spoken with anyone from Doordash and after years of resisting the siren song of delivery revenue, certainly did not want to be listed. But the words "Order Delivery" were right there, prominently on the Google snippet.

Basically ALL of the writer's pizza-making friend's problems were due to Doordash:

1) the Doordash drivers do not have bags or containers which help keep pizzas hot. Even when some restaurants offered such, no Doordash driver will take them because they would involve a return trip back to the restaurant.

2) the Doordash drivers sometimes mixed up orders.

Even when a restaurant DOES offer deliveries, that system can get hijacked:
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Many restauranteurs were complaining about their Google listings being "hijacked" by Doordash, sometimes even usurping their own preferred delivery.

These underhanded tricks aren't unique to Doordash though. In recent weeks there has been some great work coming out around a Yelp - Grubhub phone scam. This one is just priceless (seriously, read this Buzzfeed piece). Grubhub for their own sites generates a phone number for each restaurant that goes to a centralized, Grubhub owned call center. If someone calls in and orders via this number, the restaurant gets charged a fee. Apparently, some enterprising BD folks came up with the idea that Yelp could put the Grubhub phone numbers in place of the real restaurant phone number on the Yelp listing. Customers who think they’re “helping” their local restaurants by calling in the order are still creating a fee for Grubhub.

[links omitted]

So people MUST be making money running these delivery companies, right? Wrong:
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Grubhub just lost $33 million on $360 million of revenue in Q1.

Doordash reportedly lost an insane $450 million off $900 million in revenue in 2019 (which does make me wonder if my dream of a decentralized network of pizza arbitrageurs does exist).

Uber Eats is Uber's "most profitable division”. Uber Eats lost $461 million in Q4 2019 off of revenue of $734 million. Sometimes I need to write this out to remind myself. Uber Eats spent $1.2 billion to make $734 million. In one quarter.

Amazon just bailed on restaurant delivery in the U.S.

[links and emojis omitted]

BUT:
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Delivery can work. Just look at a Domino’s stock chart. But, delivery has been carefully built as part of a holistic business model and infrastructure. Maybe that’s the viable model.

After the start of this pandemic, my friend actually launched in-house delivery at one of his restaurants. He said he’s starting to get a sense of the economics and explained he’s starting to get a sense of the volume required per location to make the economics reasonably work. That’s what is so odd to me about third-party delivery platforms. The business of food delivery clearly is not intrinsically a loser. Domino’s figured it out. Every Chinese restaurant in New York City seemed to have it figured out long before any platform came along. My friend is figuring it out.

I HAD given a thought to using one or another of these "indepedent" services, but the suspicion that SOME such drivers would be doing things like touching the food bothered me (not as much as drivers sampling the food because at least they would be invested in that food's quality). THIS article convinced me that such services are simply a bad deal all around, just another weird money-sink without proper follow-through like pets.com from two decades ago.
obvs To hell with toilet paper. I own a bidet
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I use these services really frequently. I've found them very convenient, if a bit pricey. For instance, my favorite pizza place doesn't deliver, but I can sure get it through Postmates.

I'm going to continue to use them, and I expect that some form of food delivery is going to continue to be available, regardless of whether individual companies go under.

Keep in mind that Amazon lost money for 17 straight quarters, and back then, people kept saying that it was a terrible investment.
UberEats in Taiwan has a special where you can subscribe monthly. US$4/month for unlimited, free delivery on orders over US$7. Normal delivery fees range from 50¢ to $2.

It's been a good deal for us. But here the drivers have special boxes to carry food and keep it hot, insulated carriers to keep other things cold, and because most local places are not us sit-down restaurant style the businesses are very willing partners because it extends a normally walking-distance reach for local places to a couple of km. Most small restaurants have an UberEats or Food Panda sticker in their window.

But in the US, the cost, the economics... it just doesn't make sense.
jkahless Custom Title
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These services are parasites, blood sucking insects on the face of society. fiddlesticks them, fiddlesticks Uber, and fiddlesticks Amazon. They’ve cost me hundreds of dollars and endless aggravation as a cook, and treat their employees like human waste.

That convenience you all enjoy, comes from stick fiddling over the workers. They’ve somehow managed to not only screw over their own employees, but other company’s as well.

fiddlesticks them.

Don’t use them, not if you value people.
jkahless posted:
These services are parasites, blood sucking insects on the face of society. fiddlesticks them, fiddlesticks Uber, and fiddlesticks Amazon. They’ve cost me hundreds of dollars and endless aggravation as a cook, and treat their employees like human waste.

That convenience you all enjoy, comes from stick fiddling over the workers. They’ve somehow managed to not only screw over their own employees, but other company’s as well.

fiddlesticks them.

Don’t use them, not if you value people.


Yes.
Ribtor posted:
jkahless posted:
These services are parasites, blood sucking insects on the face of society. fiddlesticks them, fiddlesticks Uber, and fiddlesticks Amazon. They’ve cost me hundreds of dollars and endless aggravation as a cook, and treat their employees like human waste.

That convenience you all enjoy, comes from stick fiddling over the workers. They’ve somehow managed to not only screw over their own employees, but other company’s as well.

fiddlesticks them.

Don’t use them, not if you value people.


Yes.


X2.

My wife has suggested it, but I would rather order take out and go pick it up. My convenience is not worth the bs that the delivery companies generate.
jkahless Custom Title
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Thanks. I appreciate the support. <3


:love:
Pariah Know Your Enemy
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I want all of the "gig economy" corporations to fail and fail big. As has been mentioned above they are nothing but parasites who suck the life's blood from legit businesses and their employees.
Pariah posted:
I want all of the "gig economy" corporations to fail and fail big. As has been mentioned above they are nothing but parasites who suck the life's blood from legit businesses and their employees.


Yes.
obvs To hell with toilet paper. I own a bidet
Send private message
Pariah posted:
I want all of the "gig economy" corporations to fail and fail big. As has been mentioned above they are nothing but parasites who suck the life's blood from legit businesses and their employees.
Like Amazon, Walmart, McDonald's and the private ambulance services!
Pithecanthropus Roast Master
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The Google listing for my business had a delivery option listed from a company I've never communicated with, and I could find no way to remove it.
juice Inadvertently correct
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Pithecanthropus posted:
The Google listing for my business had a delivery option listed from a company I've never communicated with, and I could find no way to remove it.

This should be illegal.
Malkin kick 'em in the face; taste the body
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I saw local restaurants struggling against that sort of thing before the pandemic. It's so very, very wrong.

Have you let your customers know about it?
j_tso posted:

Um, that is a VERY shortened version of "pizza arbitrage" which is only part of the link in my original post here. While rather humorous, I did not focus on that because it wasn't particularly important.
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Doordash and others? They're all screwed