Yes delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo have changed the way people eat, but it comes at a cost that might be too much for a lot of our restaurants.
When the pandemic hit, Australians were forced to stay at home. Restaurants across the country closed their doors, some limited their capacity to stay open, and others moved solely to online orders only. Restaurants had to adjust and delivery became a lifeline. With many restaurants moving to delivery services for the first time, like them or not, joining these foreign-owned delivery platforms was their way to help drum up more business.
Although these platforms offer a convenient way for customers to order from local restaurants, process relevant payments and organise delivery, restaurant operators are complaining that this ‘convenience’ comes at a considerable cost to their business. For these services, restaurants are charged around 30% per order, which in an industry where profit margins are often razor thin, these fees can wipe out a restaurant’s profits and land them in financial trouble. Unfortunately this is leaving businesses with just two choices: raising prices or closing for good. Both of which are a loss for the customer.
What’s worse is that the 30% commission being taken from our restaurants is void of any tax when it’s paid to a foreign-owned company such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Menulog. This means profits and tax from our restaurants are going overseas instead of being invested back into local industry.
The situation is concerning for restaurants, cafes and caterers as rising costs, government imposed restrictions and heavy competition is putting extreme financial pressure on owners.
So what can diners do to help support their local restaurants and keep taxes within Australia?
- Dining in at your favourite restaurant when possible
- Contacting the restaurant directly via phone or website to make your order
- Look for a local delivery business – they’re out there. Australian Owned Zoom Delivery recently launched and services the northeast of NSW. With more local entrepreneurs realising this gap in the local delivery market, more choices are sure to come.
Convenience is obviously a strong driver when choosing what and where to eat, but it is important we understand that restaurants will close if something doesn’t change soon. It’s never been more important to support our Australian restaurants and caterers.