Diabolical Delivery Apps?

A recent Food and Wine Magazine Article has made the case for deleting your food delivery apps. An absolutely sacrilegious request in a time when dining out is no longer an option, or a mercy cry for an already suffering dining industry?

Many apps have generously offered to forgive the commission they usually charge restaurants for services. The fine print reveals this isn’t an altruistic gesture, but a sneaky rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul maneuver. In reality, most of these agreements hit restaurants with the fees at a later date rather than truly waiving them. Meanwhile restaurants are running ragged to keep up with the increased demand, knowing that they’ll be taking a financial loss on the service.

Additionally, some restaurants have faced online wrath after the delivery services list them and their menus without the consent of the restaurant itself. Angry customers storm the unsuspecting establishments with vile reviews for not delivering orders that were never seen by the restaurant.

Choose Local, All The Way

I have historically been a huge fan of delivery. A work-from-home mother of three, and the only person in my home who likes their chicken tikka masala at a level nine, post-bedtime delivery has saved me many nights. It hadn’t occurred to me as my driver arrived late, with breath smelling like samosa and my order being light the side that it wasn’t just the restaurant being shortchanged. Drivers are often stiffed and left hungry (and taking it out on customers) for lack of fair pay.

Supporting local restaurants means looking beyond the convenience to the acts that will do the most good. Many restaurants have begun offering online ordering, while others are begging your patience as they take orders.. all of them.. over the phone. Ordering directly from the restaurant requires more patience, but is the best way to direct your dollars toward keeping your favorite establishments running. While you’re ordering, consider grabbing some restaurant merch for a  few extra dollars.

The Reader would love your input. A local organization had been working to create free online ordering for locally-owned establishments, but as of this morning the site was not yet up and running. What online ordering services exist to help bridge restaurants and consumers without taking a bite out of the profits?

We’d also love to hear about your favorite grab and go, pickup, and curbside services you’ve been frequenting during quarantine! Email Sara@TheReader with your tips and to be featured in an upcoming issue and on our Instagram @TheReaderOmahaDish

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