If you’re currently relying on food delivery to get you and your family through a work-and-school-at-home situation—or if you’re having food delivered to elderly relatives and friends who need a little extra love and care right now—there’s one good way to ensure that as much of your money as possible goes towards the businesses you want to support.
Order directly from the restaurant.
Why? Because when you order takeout directly from a restaurant’s website, or make a phone call to request pizza delivery, you cut out the third-party delivery services that are hoping to take a cut of the pie.
You might have seen, for example, Grubhub’s recent announcement that it would be “temporarily suspending collection of up to $US100 ($162) million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants” in the U.S.
That’s good, right? Well, sort of. Many restaurants are losing valuable dine-in income as people self-quarantine or practice social distancing, and Grubhub’s decision to suspend the commission it receives every time you place an order with Grubhub or Seamless (remember, they’re the same company now) will allow restaurants to keep a little extra cash at hand during a time of reduced cash flow.
But Grubhub is going to get that cash eventually. As Eater explains:
Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney, at a news conference at Chicago City Hall, said the company is prepared to delay collection of $US100 ($162) million in fees. The fees would affect restaurants across the country, not just certain cities. Maloney said Grubhub was looped in on Thursday after officials from cities like Chicago, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Atlanta discussed how they could help restaurants during the pandemic and reached out to the company. It’s unclear how long with Grubhub will wait until it collects fees from restaurants. One restaurant owner, who didn’t want to be named, said his Grubhub rep described it as a no-interest loan.
Which is still not terrible! We could all do with a few more no-interest loans in our lives.
But it’s also a good reminder that if you’re able to order directly from a restaurant—especially a locally owned restaurant—it’s a much better way to spend your social distancing dollars.
And then you and your friends or family can join each other for virtual dinner, face to FaceTime to face.