BritShish is calling on customers to order their food with cafes and restaurants directly — and avoid Deliveroo, Just Eat and Uber Eats.
The trade magazine for Britain’s kebab industry is making the call after speaking to dozens of cafe and restaurant managers during the coronavirus lockdown.
Delivery firms have become the only way for restaurants to reach their customers since sit-in customers were banned in the middle of March.
But owners say commission rates of up to 35% are driving them out of business.
Some restaurants are serving almost as much food as they were before the lockdown, but nearly all of it goes through the middleman, meaning their income has been sharply reduced.
Delivery firms have rejected owners’ appeals to temporarily lower commission fees for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.
That is why Britshish supports their call for customers to contact the restaurant directly if they possibly can.
“We do urge our local customers to try and call us directly rather than go through the online platforms,” said the owner of one restaurant in Highams Park, East London.
“I know that it is a little bit difficult at the moment but it is probably the best and the cheapest way for both the business and the customer to do so.”
Most restaurants serving takeaway food will take orders by telephone. Some have also developed websites where they can take orders and accept payments.
Contacting cafes and restaurants directly is not just cheaper for the business; it is also cheaper for customers, who pay up to £4 per order.
Many restaurants also offer discounts on their menus for direct orders.
Shefik Mehmet, leader of the Harringay Traders Association in North London, said: “Every day I talk to many traders, especially takeaway businesses, and they are all having a hard time with the charges of these delivery companies.
“I think they have been very greedy with these charges and I would urge them and ask them to bring their prices down.”
BritShish contacted Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat to ask if they would consider the restaurant owners’ call to temporarily lower their fees for the duration of the lockdown. All three refused to do so.