Online food delivery services often provide valuable service, especially if you order in advance, place a larger order, have special dietary needs, can not pick up an order or can only pay with a credit card. For restaurants, it can also be helpful to accept electronic orders instead of receiving them by phone during peak hours. (Disclosure: My parents have a small restaurant business and are listed on Grubhub / Seamless, so I'm familiar with how the relationship works.)
However, a recent report has revealed that Grubhub, the food delivery service, belongs to Seamless , Eat24, MenuPages and AllMenus have bought domain names to set up bogus sites that resemble local businesses to allegedly intercept online or phone orders and charge their restaurant partners higher commissions. Since these dummy sites are often not connected to the restaurants themselves, Grubhub can claim that they bring additional business to the restaurant and then charge a higher commission (of only 3 to 20 percent and up) and other service fees such as credit card processing and credit delivery charges.
While not entirely new, this tactic can lead to massive savings for restaurants and other independent contractors, from small business owners to couriers. According to the Grubhub contract, these dummy sites can be set up as a restaurant marketing service, although this may affect small businesses that are unable to conduct their business on the Internet (or are familiar with the legal contract languages).
If this bothers you, you might not want to use the online delivery service when making your next lunch, dinner, or grocery order. Here are some ways to minimize the impact of these commission fees on your local businesses and keep them in business.
Review Local Business Information
Google is a good resource for finding local businesses. It is also a user-generated service that is not immune to unreliable information. If a local business does not claim its online offer, it can be taken over by an unaffiliated third party who may add inaccurate information.
Counterfeit websites such as those established by Grubhub may also contain incorrect information, such as a redirected phone number that is not actually part of the restaurant, but charges an increased commission on use.
So it's a good idea to call Make sure you've checked the contact information before you do so. Perform multiple searches for a business to verify phone numbers and addresses. If you find an official company website, check the links to make sure that they really belong to the company. (Grubhub's "microsites", for example, show "Grubhub Holdings Inc." buried at the bottom of the page.) Several links on the site lead to the company's subsidiaries.) Grubhub.
Note that Grubhub Inc. has several subsidiaries, including Seamless, AllMenus, LevelUp, Tapingo, MenuPages, and Eat24. So these are not reliable sources for verifying information. In fact, the company's seamless list may show phone numbers other than MenuPages, adding to the confusion.
To avoid relying on these sources, you can compare information with traditional unconnected directories, such as Yellow Pages, White Pages, or the Better Business Bureau. You can search for companies by name or address and indicate the city in which you are located.
You can also verify a business address by using the Google Maps Street View feature to match the address to the storefront. When a street view is available, Google Maps often displays a photo over the search result, or you can click the yellow person icon in the lower-right corner and drag it to the map you want. (When street view is available, the street on the map turns blue.)
Of course, this may not always work if you are in a smaller town. In addition, Google information could be outdated. If these methods are not helpful, the absolute best and most accurate option requires most of the work: you need to personally visit the companies you want to interact with and get information directly from the source.
Once You're Safe If you have accurate business information, you can order directly. This does not always mean that you have to place your order by phone or in person.
Companies that know that many people prefer online transactions may offer their own apps / online order forms on their websites. For example, in New York City, local chain restaurants like Mighty Quinn's Barbeque and Num Pang Kitchen offer links or an app on their websites that allow them to place orders without the need for a third-party delivery service.
Smaller independent restaurants may still offer services such as Grubhub for online ordering. If you need to use a third-party service, make sure you are on the right website (check the copyright of the website again below) and order directly from the site of that company. In this way you can reduce the commission that a restaurant has to pay to a minimum.
If you are not sure that these online solutions are serving the best restaurants, ask your best. Call or visit these companies to find out how you can best benefit.
Tip in cash
While some restaurants have their own delivery staff, other companies do not. Party fleet for transporting your order. However, this means that these companies can charge companies an increased commission for outsourcing the delivery, while they make another cut of contracted delivery agents, which may include every tip that you add through the app.
It may be your favorite restaurant. Does not have your own delivery fleet or delivers to your area, so you'll need to rely on apps like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats to access their goods. If you can not pick up your order and need to use a delivery app, be sure to give cash to make sure that the service person receives your intended tip in full. Nothing is more direct than giving them the money themselves.
Ordering food online is convenient, and the traditional route can often lead to longer waiting times and more hassle. But patience and friendliness are very important. The work you do helps to support and build stronger communities, and companies can pass savings directly to their customers through lower commission fees.
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