Doordash–Delivery or Theft?

Trevor Davis, Reporter

Doordash, Grubhub, UberEats, Postmates, and other services present a unique new way of easily getting food to our homes in the pandemic. You are just one scroll away on their convenient apps to a fulfilling meal.

However, this convenience comes at a hefty price for you, the restaurants, and even their own drivers. With each of these third-party delivery platforms, there is a noticeable increase in price. For example, if you order directly from Chipotle, a Steak Burrito with Chips & Guacamole will cost you $13.10, but through Postmates will cost you $15.15 before taxes, delivery fees, and a tip. This leads to the customer not compensating the driver as much because they already paid so much for the food. When you take into consideration the price increases going directly into Postmates’ pockets, you will realize how much more cost effective it would be to get delivery directly from Chipotle or to go to the store and pick it up. Without that extra charge from Postmates, you could just tip the restaurant and/or driver so much better.

Postmates is not the only offender of  hefty price markups. For just a normal Subway order, it was reported that Grubhub implemented a 25% markup, Doordash had a 46% markup, Postmates had a 63% markup, and UberEats had an astounding 91% markup. Do these astronomical prices make the simple convenience of the apps worth it for you?

The drivers for these delivery services don’t benefit either. You’d think that when you were placing your order and leaving a tip to support your delivery driver, that the money would go to the driver rather than funding a large corporation. Doordash takes that tip money directly from you to themselves. Doordash has a “guaranteed minimum” they pay their drivers. This minimum pay is even lower than minimum wage in some cases due to the system being based on the distance and size of the order. If the driver is tipped with an amount less than the guaranteed minimum, the driver does not see that tip, and it goes directly to Doordash. This is a more than shady business practice.

This mass flood of third-party delivery services not only hurts your pockets, but also the restaurants. For example, UberEats charges a 30% fee for deliveries, and a 15% fee for pickup orders. This is a huge profit margin just for the convenience of having your restaurant show up on a list in an app. This doesn’t even take into account the cost on the restaurant for the food and the labor cost of its own employees, so this 15-30% really adds up. Now, this may not be as bad for a big chain restaurant that has all the expendable money in the world for these extra fees. This could absolutely destroy a smaller local restaurant. With the mass influx of delivery and take out orders with the pandemic and the growing popularity of these third party delivery services, it leaves restaurants no choice but to give in and partner with these platforms.

Local businesses and restaurants closing in the pandemic is not something that is unheard of. Just recently, January 27th, Commonwealth Bistro, a well-known local restaurant in Northern Kentucky closed down due to the difficulties presented by the pandemic. With the pandemic already presenting so many challenges, extra fees and the necessity of using third party services could lead to the downfall of many more beloved local restaurants.

Please, the next time you’re thinking about ordering food. Abstain from using these third party delivery services, check online and see if maybe the restaurant has an app or a way to order using their own delivery drivers. In times like these, doing the most we can to keep ourselves safe, while also supporting our local businesses is more important than ever. The restaurants are doing as much as they can to work through the pandemic and provide, it’s time to do your part and return the favor.