Bad Taste: Some business owners push back against delivery apps

Local

EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) — For small business owners like Michael Schmitt, reputation can be everything.

So when he found his sweets shop listed on online food courier services like DoorDash and Grub Hub, it soured his mood.

“The potential is a ding on our reputation, on our pockets. We don’t know when the orders are coming in.”

And, he says, there’s another problem:

“The sites, when I was noticing it, had items that sometimes we don’t have, because we are revolving to keep products fresh and new.”

Some businesses do opt to partner with these type of companies, and that works for them.
But for others like Schmitt’s, it’s just not the right fit.

In a statement, Grub Hub told us:

Our mission since we were founded in 2004 has been to connect hungry diners with great, local restaurants. We partner with more than 155,000 takeout restaurants in over 3,200 U.S. cities, and we provided nearly $6 billion in gross food sales to our local takeout restaurants in 2019, processing an average of more than 500,000 orders a day. The vast majority of our orders are and will continue to be from these restaurants we partner with.

Starting in late 2019 in select cities across the country, we’ll add restaurants to our marketplace when we see local diner demand for delivery so the restaurant can receive more orders and revenue from deliveries completed by our drivers. We work to provide accurate menus and hours for these restaurants on our marketplace based on available information online.

Historically, we’d only chosen to list partnered restaurants, and we still firmly believe this is the right way to build the marketplace and the only way to drive long term value for diners, restaurants and drivers. As other food delivery companies have chosen to list non-partnered restaurants on their marketplaces for years to widen their supply of restaurants, we’re now trying this strategy in select markets as a way to close the restaurant supply gap and drive more delivery orders to local restaurants.

It’s our aim to bring the best delivery experience possible while balancing the interests of our diners, restaurants and drivers, and complying with all local laws and regulations in connection with our business. If a restaurant prefers not to be on our marketplace or needs to change any information like menu items or hours, they should reach out to us at restaurants@grubhub.com, and we’ll work as quickly as possible to make necessary updates or remove them.

We also reached out to DoorDash:

DoorDash was founded as a platform to help grow local businesses, and restaurants tell us that being on DoorDash brings them new customers and incremental revenue. Independent, third-party research shows that around 80% of sales generated through platforms like DoorDash are from new customers who would not have otherwise dined in. While the majority of the merchants on our platform have partnerships with us, we will occasionally offer to act as a courier service for customers to restaurants in their neighborhood. This listing is at no cost to the restaurant, and orders are paid for in the same way that any other customer would. For many restaurants, being listed on our app is considered a helpful trial test towards a formal partnership that provides additional benefits and services. For those not interested in being on DoorDash for any reason, we remove them from the platform upon their request.

Schmitt says DoorDash did remove him from their platform as their policy states, but it wasn’t fast enough.

“I called DoorDash directly. It took two weeks and threats of lawsuits to get us off Google search, off their website all together.”

When we called Grub Hub concerning Schmitt’s listing, they removed it within 30 minutes.

Full quality control and delivery options are now back in Schmitt’s hands, but he says the business model has left him with a bad taste.

“Us being…pirated, basically, without our knowledge […] what else do they do behind the scenes? Is there quality control on that? I don’t know, and I don’t trust them now.”

Schmitt says he’s not against delivery services, he just wish he had been contacted first.

“I wouldn’t have had a problem signing up with GrubHub, had they approached us …. officially.”

Sweet Schmitt’s Candy now offers their own delivery online.

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(This story was originally published on February 28, 2020)

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