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One (or Some) of the Reason (s) to Loathe Delivery Apps


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#1 joethefoodie

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 02:21 PM

I confess - I loathe delivery apps.  I confess - I've never used a single delivery app for a single delivery of a meal. Years ago, when they (grub hub, seamless, door dash, uber eats, et al.) first were rearing their ugly heads, I had a friend who was an early adopter; I complained to said friend that all the apps would do would be to increase the cost to consumers, as well as to chip away at the meager profits of small restaurants. He didn't cook at home and he didn't care; case closed.

 

Oh sure - let's face it - I used delivery. But didn't we all back in simpler times, simply by calling up our local Chinese/Thai/Vietnamese/Pizza/sandwich/bodega place (A friend literally used to order Tab and cigarette delivery from her bodega - those were the days!)?  

 

I knew that when I ordered a bowl of wonton noodle soup, some stir fried pork with mixed vegetables (don't tell my rabbi) and some shrimp with black bean sauce from Tang Tang (now New Tang's Garden) on 76th and 3rd, it would arrive at our apartment practically before I'd hung up the phone,  And the guy would climb 4 flights of stairs to deliver it. We had a relationship.

 

I knew, for years after we moved downtown and started to order Saturday lunch sandwiches from Tiny's Giant Sandwich Shop, that it would always be the same guy who would deliver said sandwiches to us - without getting lost trying to find our building. We had a relationship.

 

And when my delivery guy from Noodle Village arrived with a sack full of noodle soup, some sandy pot chicken and mushroom rice and a small order of stir fried greens with garlic, looking all sorts of disheveled, and I asked him if he was ok, his response was (I'll keep this clean): "Too much f*^%ing last night!" We had a relationship.

 

And those relationships now? Well, let's just say they've gone the way of rotary phones, touch-tone phones, talking on phones and black & white TV's.  I mean after all, if 95% of one's life is spent looking down at an iPhone while walking the crowded streets of NYC, or worse yet, riding on a damn electric scooter that gets dropped off and picked up via an app, what should I expect?  Delivery apps are here to stay, I guess. Doesn't mean we should like them, does it?

 

Take a look at what the grey lady had to say yesterday (my guess is it's not just limited to France):

 

Food-Delivery Couriers Exploit Desperate Migrants in France

 

These jobs have become more precarious,” said Jean-Daniel Zamor, president of the Independent Deliverymen’s Collective in Paris, a group that works on labor issues for couriers. “The fact that there is less money from the platforms has pushed poor people to outsource to people even poorer than them.

   

And The Wall St. Journal just weighed in last week, about the issues restaurants face with using the apps:

 

Some Restaurants Get Served in Delivery Boom

 

Many independent restaurants say they work with multiple online-delivery apps because they have become so pervasive; without them, they fear missing out on business. But that doesn’t mean they come cheap. Last year, Modern Restaurant Management reported that Uber Eats was charging restaurants a service fee of 30% of the bill. Similarly, a 2018 analysis by Business.com found select New York restaurants that opted for sponsored listings, in addition to delivery services, ended up paying a minimum of 30% to Grubhub.

 

Who do you think is paying that 30% folks?

 

So, let's just say I was ahead of the curve in my dislike of this particular segment of the gig economy.  And let's just say that instead of Uber Eats, why not cook a meal or two at home?



#2 small h

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 02:56 PM

When I order via Delivery.com or Seamless.com, the delivery person is an employee of the restaurant. This is different from Uber Eats/Caviar/Postmates (which I've never used, 'cause I'm too cheap to pay the fee). And i'd be happy to order delivery through a restaurant's own website, if that were an option. I prefer to type my order rather than speak it, which I think is easier for everyone.



#3 joethefoodie

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 03:00 PM

But aren't you paying the fee via higher prices?  I believe seamless is GrubHub.



#4 small h

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 03:01 PM

Seamless is Grubhub, and no, the price is the same for delivery as it is for eat-in or takeout. I've checked.



#5 joethefoodie

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 03:05 PM

The point I'm making is that since the inception of delivery via apps, prices have risen across the board 30 - 40%.

 

That's why it now costs $200 for a halfway decent meal out, as opposed to what it used to cost.

 

We're paying whether we use the service or not; someone's gotta cover that nut.



#6 small h

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 03:09 PM

That sounds like a correlation/causation leap. And I can have a halfway decent meal out for a lot less than $200. Good grief.



#7 Orik

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:42 PM

Seamless is Grubhub, and no, the price is the same for delivery as it is for eat-in or takeout. I've checked.


Grubhub does offer the option for restaurants to use their own drivers, and then they only charge 20%, but the majority of places use the terrible grubhub / seamless drivers.

These services are a plague on the industry.
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#8 Josh Karpf

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 05:43 PM

I’ve been asked by a couple of places from which I regularly pick up food to call instead of using an app. Takeout ordered via a service extracts similar pain from a business.

Of course no discount offered. Also, one of them, a busy Australian-style cafe w/ great sandwiches, rarely picks up its phone.

#9 joethefoodie

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 06:04 PM

 

Seamless is Grubhub, and no, the price is the same for delivery as it is for eat-in or takeout. I've checked.


Grubhub does offer the option for restaurants to use their own drivers, and then they only charge 20%, but the majority of places use the terrible grubhub / seamless drivers.

These services are a plague on the industry.

 

 

Exactly.



#10 StephanieL

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:48 PM

The only time I've ever used Seamless was way back in 2010, when I think it was just starting, as the company I was working for at the time had an account with them because we were all mandated to work at least one late night a week.  OTOH, I rarely used the old-school delivery options when I lived in NYC, unless I was sick, and I think I've gotten pizza delivery twice in the 4 years in CA (once when we had to feed movers).  Something always gets lost in translation with the long delay between the kitchen and the delivery location.


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#11 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 11:51 PM

Seamless started way long before that. It was called “Seamless Web” (as in “the law is a . . .”) and catered to law firms. That might be when it started expanding outside law.
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#12 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 11:52 PM

I never ever have food delivered, either.
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#13 greenspace

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 01:13 AM

I’ve been asked by a couple of places from which I regularly pick up food to call instead of using an app. Takeout ordered via a service extracts similar pain from a business.

Of course no discount offered. Also, one of them, a busy Australian-style cafe w/ great sandwiches, rarely picks up its phone.


------------------------------

 

“We wanted a higher level of culinary discourse”

 

"I was much further out than you thought

And not waving but drowning."


#14 greenspace

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Posted 19 June 2019 - 01:16 AM

Believe it or not, if you browse a menu on seamless and then click the phone number provided on that page to call, seamless extracts a fee from the restaurant. Often, the phone number displayed on seamless isn’t the actual restaurant number, but a unique revenue line. There are lawsuits pending

------------------------------

 

“We wanted a higher level of culinary discourse”

 

"I was much further out than you thought

And not waving but drowning."


#15 small h

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Posted 26 June 2019 - 08:52 PM

Things may possibly get better.

 

https://nypost.com/2...er-fee-protest/