How Delivery Apps May Put Your Favorite Restaurant Out of Business
February 8, 2018 5:48 PM   Subscribe

“We know for a fact that as delivery increases, our profitability decreases,” she said. For each order that Mulberry & Vine sends out, between twenty and forty per cent of the revenue goes to third-party platforms and couriers...For a sense of why a thirty-per-cent delivery-service charge is so problematic, consider that in the restaurant world, notorious for its slim profit margins, an industry-standard budget apportions thirty per cent of revenue for the cost of ingredients, thirty per cent for the cost of labor, and the remainder for “everything else”—rent, utilities, insurance, supplies, credit-card fees, and profit. (slNewYorker)
posted by d. z. wang (81 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've often wondered about this, because when I've looked at the prices on the delivery apps they don't seem to make sense to me - it's clear that they can't possibly cover the normal cost of the meal plus a normal wage for the delivery person, even if you figure in less wear and tear on the physical restaurant.

We do avoid platform delivery - my house got some stuff once a couple of years ago but we found the whole experience sort of disturbing from a labor perspective and the food wasn't nearly as good as if we'd actually gone to the restaurant and had it served fresh on an actual plate - honestly pizza, burritos and the starchy more Americanized kinds of Chinese food are really the only things that hold up well to the rough and tumble of delivery, and we can get those from restaurants that run on the delivery model with all the money going straight to the business and the delivery person. I was actually glad the food was not really especially enticing because I didn't want to be tempted to order regularly.
posted by Frowner at 6:08 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]


It’s worth noting that, even while charging restaurants steep rates, most delivery platforms are not yet profitable, either. Their hope is that order volumes will one day become high enough—and couriers will deliver enough orders per hour—to push them into the black.

You know "sure, we're losing money on every order, but at least we make it up in volume!" is supposed to be a joke.
posted by asterix at 6:13 PM on February 8 [46 favorites]


My beef (sic) is that food not designed to be delivered is just not good once it's put into an array of plastic containers. Pizza and take-out Chinese food are designed to be delivered and turn out still good (in so far as they only started out so good). Getting fancy thai food delivered or god forbid, a steak, just doesn't work as well for me.
posted by GuyZero at 6:19 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


Doesn't matter, because it's game over once Amazon expands into the restaurant business.
posted by Beholder at 6:21 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I've often wondered about this, because when I've looked at the prices on the delivery apps they don't seem to make sense to me - it's clear that they can't possibly cover the normal cost of the meal plus a normal wage for the delivery person, even if you figure in less wear and tear on the physical restaurant.

In my experience, the prices are the same as they are in the restaurant (I think they're sometimes a dollar or two higher). Those prices don't include the delivery fee, which is typically $5-10 depending on the restaurant and the app. And many restaurants still have delivery minimums. However, they lose alcohol sales, and the effect of being in the restaurant, where you may be more likely to order extra things because "it's a night out!" or your server does a good job of upselling.

It is however well-known that these services are all HELL on the delivery people. I used to use a few of them pretty frequently when I had an insane job and lived in a neighborhood with few takeout options. The barely-concealed panic on the faces of most of the delivery people is pretty bleak. Some of the apps allow you to set the amount of tip you give them - I definitely recommend giving more than the suggested amount, because it is a super shitty, low-paid job that requires a lot of skills and hustle, and has zero security.
posted by lunasol at 6:23 PM on February 8 [40 favorites]


Doesn't matter, because it's game over once Amazon expands into the restaurant business.

They're already there. I'm pretty sure Amazon Prime Now is the biggest food delivery service in Seattle, at least.
posted by lunasol at 6:24 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I tend to order more food when I'm getting delivery because it offends me when the delivery charge is a significant percentage of the total. However, I'm also kind of bad at money.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:43 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]


Pho to-go is the worst glop of noodlemass by the time you get it from the restaurant to the house.

Restaurants should be able to turn delivery off and on, so they can limit it to downtimes and make it (I'm assuming) more cost-effective. The article is kind of unclear on whether they're actually losing money, just that it lowers their "profitability."
posted by rhizome at 6:48 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


Possibly relevant data point: Amazon appears to have recently changed their Prime Now restaurant delivery fee structure in the Portland market. Up until a couple of weeks ago, they had a lot of places (most? all?) that offered free delivery on orders larger than $40. Just tonight I saw that the $40 cutoff seems to be gone -- it's now a flat fee on all the places I checked, no more free delivery.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:53 PM on February 8


As a former Postmates driver, I'll second what lunasol said. It is impossible to make a living driving for one of those apps, even without the assholes who don't tip because they didn't like the taste of their waffle. And now I know why the restaurants were regularly so shitty to me when I made pickups.
posted by queensissy at 6:59 PM on February 8 [11 favorites]


I'd gladly pay whatever amount made it worthwhile for everyone involved. Grubhub is how I keep myself fed these days. And occasionally DoorDash when I'm desperate and I tip well. But I'd much rather just pay whatever the cost is rather than feel guilty for using these services. I feel like the system now just makes everyone feel bad. TBH all I really want is not to have to talk to anyone on the phone.
posted by bleep at 7:20 PM on February 8 [40 favorites]


Yeah, I’m not really interested in the “just talk to a human being!” type of moralizing, I just wish this type of service actually figured fair wages and sustainable practices into the cost. I suspect that even public companies like GrubHub are infected by the venture capital mindset of pouring money into a problem until it either turns into an actual business or (more likely) has on-paper engagement numbers good enough for the biggest stakeholders to cash out before the whole thing burns down and takes entire industries with it.
posted by invitapriore at 7:26 PM on February 8 [17 favorites]


The article would be more interesting if it talked to restaurant owners who actually knew what was happening and had reasons for making the decisions they made. Saying things like, "yeah, we don't really know but we think we're probably losing money on it," and "it's like crack getting all those delivery orders" doesn't make me want to care about their problems.

Did I miss the spot where it explained why these restaurants have to offer delivery at all?
posted by Winnie the Proust at 7:49 PM on February 8 [13 favorites]


Doesn't matter, because it's game over once Amazon expands into the restaurant business.


Yeah, I was gonna say that here in Seattle, I only order delivery dinner from Amazon. Pretty much any restaurant I want and they already have my credit card so it’s just a couple clicks and BOOM — enchiladas or sushi or burgers in 30 minutes.

Ordering in is an act of desperation. I don’t have the time or the energy and I care fuck all about the cost, because you know, desperation. Just charge people what delivery of steak tartare actually costs and they won’t bat an eye.

Amazon builds in a “delivery charge” and a “tip” and I still hand the driver a ten, because A. I assume exploitation and B. When I’ve worked 12 hours and have kids screaming for food I just don’t give a fuck.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:53 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


Glad I don't use these apps so don't have to feel guilty about it. Wait, do I still have to feel guilty if I just stop going to restaurants?
posted by skewed at 8:05 PM on February 8


I have a friend who says in 10 years there'll be no more restaurants, just Amazon food warehouses around the rim of every town which have every ingredient and prepare enchiladas, sushi, burgers, etc., and get it to you in 30 minutes, so you never have to leave the house and you can have food about as good as you'd get from the prepared food case at the supermarket in a reasonable amount of time. She thinks this sounds great. I think it sounds horrible.
posted by escabeche at 8:06 PM on February 8 [16 favorites]


As a former Postmates driver, I'll second what lunasol said. It is impossible to make a living driving for one of those apps
I have a friend who used to deliver for Ubereats, and now does it for Foodora (biking) as an almost full-time gig and he makes a solid $20-25 per hour before tips. He's been at it for more than a year and it seems to be working out for him, although it's not something he's going to be able to do forever.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:12 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


I have a friend who says in 10 years there'll be no more restaurants, just Amazon food warehouses around the rim of every town which have every ingredient and prepare enchiladas, sushi, burgers, etc., and get it to you in 30 minutes, so you never have to leave the house and you can have food about as good as you'd get from the prepared food case at the supermarket in a reasonable amount of time. She thinks this sounds great. I think it sounds horrible.

jesus. that basically describes the Medium Place, for anyone who gives a shit about food.
posted by palomar at 8:13 PM on February 8 [25 favorites]


She thinks this sounds great. I think it sounds horrible.

Considering what's available in Madison now that would be terrible. Green Owl might be closing soon. Nothing better happen to Marigold Kitchen or heads will roll.
posted by Jpfed at 8:19 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]


It is however well-known that these services are all HELL on the delivery people
With a decent car in a decent enuf market, it's far less hellish than 8 hours trying to concentrate in an airless cubicle or noisy open office
posted by serena15221 at 8:34 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


Ever since the dot com fiasco, and given all the news I read on the blue these days, I have to wonder if the concept of running a BUSINESS on internet even exists. "We'll make it up in volume" is no longer a joke. In a lot of cases it appears to be a business model. I would add to that business model the concept of rank exploitation of workers, I mean, independent contractors as a replacement for "Human Resources." For some capitalism is evil. Can we now add stupidity to the list of capitalism's faults?
posted by njohnson23 at 8:54 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


Every server I know reflexively flinches when that Caviar notification tone goes off, whether they're working or off duty and on the other side of the bar having a beer.
posted by Lexica at 8:58 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


I know several places in my neighborhood that now devote so much time and effort to putting out delivery orders, that the quality of food and level of service for the customers at their actual locations has declined dramatically.

This is obviously unsustainable, but restaurant owners could simply decide not to partner with these apps.

Also, ramen does not work as delivery. Just stop.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:16 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


So, you're saying the food delivery services are ripe for disruption?
posted by aramaic at 9:52 PM on February 8 [9 favorites]


I used these apps far too much last year and finally came to my senses when I realized I was paying like $800 a month for food that I really just didn’t like all that much. My wife and I have made a conscious decision to cook at home, walking to the butcher for most meat we need, getting grocery delivery from Good Eggs (not Instacart) and vegetable delivery from Imperfect Produce. We’re much happier, the food is better and we go out to eat more frequently at better restaurants.

It’s sometimes tough on weeknights but there’s nothing wrong with filling a rice cooker one day with 3 days worth of rice and doing some quick stir fries or even just simple Japanese pickles over rice. Fortunately we don’t have kids so the only palates that need pleasing are our own.

I also have a problem with tipping, which we need less of, not more of. Put the true cost of the delivery and a living wage in the app rather than asking me to subsidize a shitty exploitative business.
posted by mikesch at 10:00 PM on February 8 [8 favorites]


Did I miss the spot where it explained why these restaurants have to offer delivery at all?

Customer-led disruption. They don't have to, and eventually the best restaurants will not do it, but for the medium-tier restaurants it's difficult to offer an experience which is better than eating in the comfort of your own home. People work very very long hours, and while they may not have time to cook, they may also prefer not to have the noise/wait/disruption of the restaurant experience. Not for an average weekday. Or they may want to watch a film with their food.

Restaurants don't have to offer delivery, but this is a genuine customer-led change and they do need to decide where they are-- and it may be that the mid-tier gets pretty thoroughly disrupted.

I'm not offering this up as a good thing, fwiw. Or arguing with the slow food cook at home approach. But at least in busy urban areas where kitchens are small and groceries are expensive then this disruption is happening very quickly.
posted by frumiousb at 10:45 PM on February 8 [6 favorites]


Well, I don't use the apps, but, as an ex (everything but restaurant management), I still hang out in some cooking places, and ALL the currently working people that deal with third-party deliveries just cringe when they have the orders come in. Often the orders are screwed up when they come in, and they get frustrated, also , since it isn't THEIR staff, once the food leaves their doors, they have no more quality control over it, and, if the food gets screwed up in transit, it is their restaurant that gets all the blame and having to deal with customer appeasement, on top of the slice the delivery services takes. No one Yelps Postmates or Grubhub.
posted by Samizdata at 11:00 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]


I have a friend who says in 10 years there'll be no more restaurants...

You know what would be even easier and cheaper? Building a utility network for delivering liquefied food straight to the taps in homes. I assume you could flavour your soylent yourself. Mmm, future.
posted by Laotic at 11:21 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


I know several places in my neighborhood that now devote so much time and effort to putting out delivery orders, that the quality of food and level of service for the customers at their actual locations has declined dramatically.

My local falafel place was always busy, then they started taking online orders (not even delivery) and the whole place turned into a shitshow. Among other things, the kitchen area simply can't fit enough people to make that many orders. I think I've only been back once in the year or two since this happened, and I used to go probably monthly.
posted by rhizome at 11:41 PM on February 8


Customer-led disruption.

I don't buy it. There's no way that customers started demanding delivery from non-delivery restaurants such that the restaurants themselves were clamoring for a turnkey delivery service, which then made it to developers and MBAs, who successfully received VC funding for this.

No, some Harvard or Stanford graduate sat in their apartment watching BBT with their thumb up their butt, idly complaining, "I want sushi, why doesn't anybody deliver sushi?" So they build a order/dispatch website/app, got funding, carpet-bombed their launch cities' restaurants in spam and postal flyers, then started calling them to sign up and put a "DELIVERY BY ______" sticker in their window. Next stop, $1B...or so the story goes.
posted by rhizome at 11:49 PM on February 8 [16 favorites]


Ain’t a single person I know who works in the restaurant industry that thinks these damn things are a good thing. Everybody hates delivery apps.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:28 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I don't buy it. There's no way that customers started demanding delivery from non-delivery restaurants such that the restaurants themselves were clamoring for a turnkey delivery service, which then made it to developers and MBAs, who successfully received VC funding for this.

A MBA with VC can't disrupt an industry. If customers didn't want it, it wouldn't have worked. (Witness the graveyard of VC funded startup ideas.) Customers don't (usually) directly demand solutions. They have needs based on their lifestyle and priorities. And they really really like these services. Once customers know they can have their wants/needs met, it's very difficult to walk backwards.
posted by frumiousb at 12:35 AM on February 9 [16 favorites]


I work in catering and coffee machine engineering on the service side. I am not seeing restaurants going out of business as a result of delivery apps. Instead, I am seeing restaurants re-purpose their kitchens to handle the needs of having two or more delivery only services in house in addition to the sit-down service they provide. A great example (in Dudley, no less!) is a Turkish grill that offers a full service differently branded delivery only Italian pasta and pizza menu; another is the wood-fired pizza place that has a differently branded hamburger delivery service.

What is definitely changing is that delivery drivers want more pay and better rewards from restaurants. There is such a high need for delivery services in England I am sure there will be a reckoning of the industry in the next one to two years.
posted by parmanparman at 12:43 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


(Also in Seattle city limits, apparently like half of the people who've posted here so far. Hi, neighbors.)

I've noticed two interesting changes in restaurants around here, at least where "here" is defined as "waaay north of the ship canal but still south of 145th."

First is that two restaurants that used to handle delivery themselves both stopped and now only do it through Amazon Prime Now. When I asked both of them why only Amazon, they said it was because Amazon came around and offered them perks to exclusively run through them and nobody else had asked so they went with the first company that came calling.

Second is that the business model for at least one of the companies (DoorDash) is to do delivery from almost any place that serves food within some radius of the destination address and that really seems to irritate some restaurants. I was browsing their site and found fast food places, like Taco Time Northwest and Dick's Drive-In, listed yet neither of those two outlets knew that they were present on the service when I asked. I was also almost run out of a smallish fast casual restaurant when I walked in and placed a rather large order for takeaway. The cashier took the order but someone appeared from the kitchen and asked me in a gruff voice, "are you from one of those delivery services? 'Cause if you are, you can just leave now." (I was ordering food for me and my officemates.)

(One note: BiteSquad employs their drivers directly and doesn't do the "independent contractor because gig economy" shady business that the others do so I've started using them to the exclusion of all others. I guess jury's still out on how much it helps, though.)
posted by fireoyster at 1:06 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


Where are you getting delivery noodle soup that doesn’t come parted out into separate containers so nothing gets too soggy? I thought that was standard everywhere.
posted by thedaniel at 2:01 AM on February 9 [19 favorites]


> TheWhiteSkull:

Also, ramen does not work as delivery. Just stop."

Business idea: deliver dry ramen in a plastic cup with a thermos of boiling water. Charge corkage fee if your customer wants to use their OWN water.
posted by chavenet at 2:33 AM on February 9 [14 favorites]


With a decent car in a decent enuf market, it's far less hellish than 8 hours trying to concentrate in an airless cubicle or noisy open office

Here in the UK the delivery companies are often of the shitty gig economy type, so at least an office job has minimum wage, sick pay, paid holiday, and all the other handy employment rights.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:52 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


I went to a talk about food delivery in London late last year. The restaurant owners welcomed it, as they were seeing a big increase in orders, and it made some locations far more viable than when they were just offering food to people who visited them.

(They also said that they had to think hard about the menus - 'chips really don't work well')

But... They don't know anything about the customers. They don't even know if they get repeat trade, because the only info they get from the apps is the order and when someone will come to collect it.
posted by DanCall at 3:52 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I don't buy it. There's no way that customers started demanding delivery from non-delivery restaurants such that the restaurants themselves were clamoring for a turnkey delivery service, which then made it to developers and MBAs, who successfully received VC funding for this.

First, every single restaurant I ever worked in received calls about delivery or takeout regularly whether they did it or not. It's the same demand-driven process that led to most restaurants developing a website (people call about your menu or prices) and taking reservations online - people constantly ask you about it which creates demand for the solution that walks through your door.

Second, every city has entrepreneurs providing these solutions way ahead of the VC version. Every major city I've ever lived in had some fly-by-night or startup delivery service already going even in the 80s. Big chains would hire their own drivers, but formerly non-delivery restaurants would often experiment or use these services to do deliveries for them. I did a bunch of websites for restaurants back in the early 90's before a turnkey solution made hiring a developer a silly idea. Once those first few intrepid folks start up in a bunch of cities, someone comes in and tries to turnkey it.

Third, the only thing really holding people back in the many restaurants I've worked in from providing delivery was figuring out the logistics of it and concerns about food quality. The former has been made easier by turnkey, and considering most restaurants these days are struggling to get people to come in the former problem of the kitchen being completely overloaded and delivery impacting your bread and butter in-house service is less of an issue. Food quality is still an issue, however given door counts are going further and further down on some level restaurants are being challenged with surviving without delivery too.
posted by notorious medium at 3:59 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


In my area, I'm pretty sure that many restaurants have rejected these delivery services outright. I think I've used them twice, ever; every time we look through their websites, they have so few restaurants listed. There is a considerable concentration of restaurants near my house; well over 100 restaurants within 10 minutes. If I remove the places that already deliver from Grubhub's menu, for example, they have 4 places that are drive-through fast food, and 7 proper sit-down restaurants left. "Doorstop Delivery powered by Bitesquad" has more, but the vast majority are on campus across town, not from any place near me. People are discussing this topic as if participation is somehow mandatory, but surely that cannot be true.

“We don’t have the capacity to really analyze the economics of it carefully. We’re in the dark.”

Multiple interviewees in the article say something similar to this. How is that possible? I've never worked in a restaurant, but why can one not use math to find out whether these delivery companies help or hurt long-term?
posted by heatvision at 4:09 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


The title makes it look like "Your Favorite" adds some kind of age or longevity trait to whichever restaurant. It doesn't. Look for your favorite restaurant of five years ago, ten years ago, and fifteen years ago - even if you have multiple favorites - they probably shuttered or changed names long before apps arrived to claim a hollow victory.
posted by filtergik at 4:33 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I suspect that even public companies like GrubHub are infected by the venture capital mindset of pouring money into a problem until it either turns into an actual business or (more likely) has on-paper engagement numbers good enough for the biggest stakeholders to cash out before the whole thing burns down and takes entire industries with it.
posted by invitapriore at 11:26 AM on February 9 [6 favorites +] [!]


This is totally the thing about almost everything structurally shitty in 2018. Almost all the companies, people, and services I interact with are under some kind of warped incentive that looks kind of like capitalism but isn't. Capitalism is when I pay a person to go to the restaurant, buy me the food, and bring it to my door at a price that makes said person willing to do so.

I'm currently in Jakarta, where Go-Jek, the first "unicorn" in Indonesia, swept over the country with the tide of smartphones and completely reshaped the landscape. What used to be the city's fleet of informal motorcycle taxi drivers are now Go-Jek and their competitors' motorcycle taxi drivers, delivery boys, errand runners, and other informal service delivery providers (want a Go-Massage or an hourly maid through G-Clean? guess who shuttles the providers to your door). Informal ojek drivers can still be found, but they're assumed to be either scammers, unemployable, or otherwise shady (and bluntly, many are, however), but that means entire industries are now mediated by Go-Jek. Distance fares are set by Go-Jek, masseuse and maid hourly rates are set by Go-Jek, restaurants live and die by Go-Jek listings and delistings. Go-Jek was founded in 2011, and only now are Uber and Grab are trying to wedge themselves into the same role of arbiters of the informal economy via motorbike taxi.

As a recently arrived consumer, Go-Jek does a lot to make Jakarta a livable place, rather than a mystifying third-world hellscape (it is not that at all, but tourists and newly arrived expats without language skills all have days where it feels like that). I can eat from any restaurant in the city, get to anywhere in the city, and get almost anything available for purchase in the city delivered to my door, all without talking to a human, haggling, or paranoia about being gouged or ripped off because I'm a tourist, and at prices that barely dent my wallet. That is powerful. There's a good chance this year will be the year Indonesia goes cashless (via Go-Pay's mobile wallet! who were you expecting?), which will remove unlisted taxes, expectations for tips, and a lack of bills for change from my list of worries as a consumer. There are positives.

But this is all because Go-Pay stepped in, built the app, set rates, and invites star ratings for every single service provider in town, you're damn right they take a cut, and you're damn right the service providers in question protest and get mad. So now my choices are - cheap, effective, convenient, monopolistic, possibly exploitative, or going out and braving the wilds of Jakarta to pay the pretty much the same price for unaccountable services that may wildly exceed or wildly disappoint my expectations. That doesn't feel like capitalism to me. It feels like a complex moral choice for which the only correct answer is selfishness.

So, I decided to skip the pizza delivery, walk around the corner to the Indomart, and buy a tuna sandwich out of the fridge. It tasted rational and guilt-free.
posted by saysthis at 5:00 AM on February 9 [17 favorites]


Read it as "delivery apes." Image of hostile winged monkeys descending vengefully upon brunching diners. Prefer to actual article.
posted by Scattercat at 5:18 AM on February 9 [14 favorites]


I am seeing restaurants re-purpose their kitchens to handle the needs of having two or more delivery only services in house in addition to the sit-down service they provide.

Yup, the local food press has been highlighting several local restaurants which are opening "delivery-only" concepts - different name usually but frequently sharing the same kitchen as the regular place. And these are decently high tier restaurants, too - example.

Back in the 90s, there was a company in our area in South Jersey called something like "Restaurant Taxi" which was exactly the same concept as GrubHub minus the internet part of it. If I remember correctly, they'd actually send you a booklet of photocopied menus of the restaurants they worked with, you'd call the delivery company directly to place your order, and some schmoe would show up with your tacos or whatever in an hour and a half.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:22 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


In Chicago there's some sort of minimum storefront retail one needs to provide in order to do catering or delivery. But I've seen all sorts of contortions to meet the rules without actually honoring the spirit of the rules.
posted by lagomorphius at 6:33 AM on February 9


I wish they dug further into why attempts at delivery-only like Ando have been so unsuccessful. It seems like it should work. There are plenty of places around here with a half dozen delivery bikes/scooters parked out front all the time and when I go in to eat in the restaurant I'm treated like a big distraction and I end up wondering why they have a storefront at all.
posted by enn at 6:34 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Wow, the internet delivers (heh) - Carry-Out Cab!
posted by backseatpilot at 6:40 AM on February 9


They don't know anything about the customers. They don't even know if they get repeat trade, because the only info they get from the apps is the order and when someone will come to collect it.

One assumes the delivery companies will soon begin offering this data for a fee.

(Like others here, we used DoorDash and UberEats for a while, but gave it up after thinking about the business model. And after dealing with too many screwed up orders.)
posted by notyou at 7:00 AM on February 9




They don't know anything about the customers. They don't even know if they get repeat trade, because the only info they get from the apps is the order and when someone will come to collect it.

This isn't really that different from how non-chain in-person dining rooms worked already - many now use electronic solutions to manage their dining rooms, but restaurants typically run a book with reservations that they don't analyze and know nothing about walk-ins. A very small number of customers actually fill out those "how did we do" surveys so you're not even capturing much data that way.

You would have a few frequent filers that you know because they've established relationships with servers or sit at your bar 3x per week, but honestly that's very much the minority of restaurant business.
posted by notorious medium at 7:49 AM on February 9


The fact that most of these businesses can't even tell if they are losing money... The restaurant business is a very special business.
posted by tofu_crouton at 8:04 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


>>If customers didn't want it, it wouldn't have worked.

Like so many successful, yet exploitative apps and businesses, the app is great for the users and the provider of the platform (i.e. the middlemen) and terrible for the provider of the actual service. See, e.g., Uber.

The "platform" for ordering delivery used to be the telephone system: a very cheap, taxpayer-funded public service. A platform like Seamless is privately owned and exists to extract all possible value from the transaction. Charging customers directly for ordering through the app turns them off (see "free shipping") and competition (in NYC) among delivery-heavy restaurants is so fierce that an individual restaurant can't raise prices, so they end up taking the hit.

If the service for ordering online were owned by some collective/coop of restaurants or a restaurant association, its mission would just be to facilitate orders and its costs could be widely shared. For now, I still call any restaurant that accepts phone orders.
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 8:19 AM on February 9


So when I use GrubHub to order from my local pizza place, and it's delivered by the local place's own drivers, what kind of cut is GrubHub taking, and do restaurants like or hate that service? I use GrubHub to order from my locally-owned pizza and Chinese places that have always been take-out/delivery places, and they self-deliver (not a third-party driver, and the driver is the same guy every time and he totally knows my order), and I like that I can order online and all my slow-ordering relatives can look at the menu at leisure and I don't have to place an order by phone to a noisy restaurant where nobody can hear me, but I can still patronize these locally-owned, non-chain places. (Where, also!, I like the food.) But if it's screwing the restaurants, I'll go back to phoning in.

A profitable business for someone would be to partner with one of these services to deliver various sick-person packages -- a quart of chicken soup, a sleeve of saltines, and a six-pack of 7-Up. Gatorade and pedialyte as add-ons. Some OTC medicines. Stick a "Get well soon! Your friends at SickFoodDelivery" card in every order. I would pay double what it should cost, plus delivery, to not have to go to the store when I have a stomach bug, or figure out how to go when my kids are all sick.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:20 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I live in Springfield, Ill., a town of just over 100k. We have not one, but two online delivery services, and it's waaaaay too easy to get into an order-in rut.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 8:22 AM on February 9


I don't buy it. There's no way that customers started demanding delivery from non-delivery restaurants such that the restaurants themselves were clamoring for a turnkey delivery service, which then made it to developers and MBAs, who successfully received VC funding for this.

Almost every restaurant I've ever been to minus the top 1% type places offers take-out - many chains have a dedicated entrance! There's a take-out/delivery sushi restaurant that's been in the same place for 10+ years. It's not new. I don't get why restaurants are undercutting their own prices by not adding a delivery surcharge. That's the business 2.0 of this - "we'll undercut your pricing so that you can cover our delivery costs".
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:43 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Wow, the internet delivers (heh) - Carry-Out Cab!

In a few neighborhoods in DC, the deliveries are being made by robots.
posted by ryanshepard at 8:46 AM on February 9


Last I time worked in a restaurant, one reason we HATED the delivery apps was the delivery drivers; they’re supposed to wait outside until we punch the “Your order is ready” button. That way the diners are not disturbed by the delivery guy walking up to the bartender, looking at their phone, wondering if their order is ready.

But no. The drivers tend to come in 2 minutes before the order is supposed to be ready, then fucking post-up at the host station staring angrily at their phone with the “IT SAYS IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE READY” look. And for a fine-casual establishment, that’s not the ambiance the patrons are expecting.

Those seats out in front aren’t for you, buddy. You & me, we’re on the clock and we don’t sit. I fucking stand behind the bar, you stand outside till your fucking order is ready & I call for you.

The cashier took the order but someone appeared from the kitchen and asked me in a gruff voice, "are you from one of those delivery services? 'Cause if you are, you can just leave now." (I was ordering food for me and my officemates.)

I salute that chef (I assume it was the chef, as only that position would have the juice to do that). One of the worst aspects of delivery services is kitchen bandwidth.

God forbid you’re in the weeds and some fucking godforsaken office wants 8 goddamn burgers and a vegan option all of a sudden. Because now your in-house meals are risk getting impinged, and those patrons ABSOLUTELY leave shitty yelp reviews when their meal goes sideways.

BEST option is that the manager is gonna comp a portion (or even ALL) of their meal to keep them from Yelp-fucking the joint before dessert even comes out. That’s hard to track in the profit-loss sheet. But it happens all the time.

Never EVER fucking use these apps for large, multi-person orders during the dinner rush; the food you will eat will be soaked in the curses and vituperation of the line cooks.

But that’s the EXACT kind of thing SF tech-bros tend to do. Plan the fuck ahead like a grown up, dammit. Either make a goddamn reservation in advance or order a fucking pizza or some Chinese.

But that’s the problem with tech-bros; so much of what they invent is ways to get the shit done that their mother used to do for them, and which they have not developed skills to tackle. But now they have money and no life skills, so they invent this shit.

I've never worked in a restaurant, but why can one not use math to find out whether these delivery companies help or hurt long-term?

The restaurant industry is notorious for razor thin profit margins, and people who are better at cooking/service than at math.

Groupon is a SHIT deal for restaurants that brings in gaggles of cheapos who aren’t going to come back & pay full price again, so all they do is descend like locusts, make everyone’s shift Hell… then leave. And yet businesses still use them.

Why? Because they think it’s helping when it’s not. And even if they have the wherewithal to accurately calculate it’s effect on the bottom line, the thought of public backlash from patrons whose expectations have gotten too damn high is frightening, and hard to put a number on.

Some people in the “hospitality” industry take that word too much to heart. And the notion of saying “no” is so alien, it sometimes causes another hole out of which the joint bleeds money.

Same with the wretched delivery apps. Fucking parasites.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:09 AM on February 9 [22 favorites]


No, some Harvard or Stanford graduate sat in their apartment watching BBT with their thumb up their butt, idly complaining, "I want sushi, why doesn't anybody deliver sushi?"

No, it was a bunch of Harvard or Stanford Law or Business graduates sitting in one of about 50 skyscrapers in Midtown or Wall Street at 11 pm who were about to starve to death in a conference room they couldn't leave. That's how Seamless got started; it antedated the smartphone (for most people) and ran mostly on corporate accounts to feed people working 60-hour weeks. A complement to late-night car service home. I'll rag on late capitalism all you like, but it was an actual desired service once. A two-Seamless day was a really bad day.
posted by praemunire at 9:17 AM on February 9 [4 favorites]


I'm clear of conscience on the delivery apps because I don't use them. But the reasons are bad for restaurants.

My husband and I are middle-class, and we have kids, and we live in Toronto and we used to eat out and do delivery a lot.

And now we budget for less than one meal out/month as a family and then we privileged adults also budget 1-2 lunches. Otherwise we eat at home, and if we're having a really, really bad night, we'll get rotisserie chicken and sides at the local grocery store because then I get stock out of the bones.

That's because our salaries have not gone up with the cost of food, gas, and little things like utilities and taxes over the last 15-20 years, and restaurant costs have quite rightly gone up with the cost of food, minimum wage, utilities, and everything else. Now this may be a natural life-cycle thing and we may soon be eating at a table-turning friendly 5:30pm in our old age but we have probably dropped our restaurant spending by at least $1500/yr...in some years easily double that. And once we really got out of the habit, it actually doesn't occur to us. We just scramble eggs and make peas and toast and call it an evening.

So some of the drop may not be app-driven, is what I'm saying.

That said I have no trouble believing that they are lousy for restaurants. Restaurants typically forge long-term connections with patrons based on quality/value of food and service, and if a driver's delivering it from an app they no longer have control of a lot of that, plus all the supply-chain headaches.

You can't tell the app (I don't think) to push the fish right then because you over-ordered or don't point out the risotto as a great choice because the kitchen staff is light that night, etc. etc. etc....all the little human tweaks a really good team does to help keep a business going.
posted by warriorqueen at 9:25 AM on February 9 [3 favorites]


I don't get why restaurants are undercutting their own prices by not adding a delivery surcharge.

Because people using ordering platforms are less likely to order from a restaurant that includes a delivery charge. If someone wants a pizza and you can get roughly identical pies for roughly the same price, they're likely going to go with the option that doesn't throw the additional $1.99 or whatever on top of the purchase price/tax/tip. Most apps allow you to sort restaurants by delivery charge; those that include a charge might not come up for several pages of search results in a big enough market.

Just this morning I got an email from GrubHub touting that they had 'more restaurants dishing out free delivery than ever before!' -- because not doing so makes them less competitive.
posted by halation at 9:59 AM on February 9


I had an experience a couple years ago where some promotional company was doing a thing to promote some new movie, where if you posted a certain hashtag on Twitter, you got DM'd a code to get a free sandwich delivered to you. It was a day where I was not in the mood to cook so I thought why not give it a shot. A guy showed up with a chicken parm sandwich from Ranalli's, and I handed him a $10 as a tip, to make up for the free-ness of the delivery. He exclaimed that he'd been driving these orders out all afternoon and I was the FIRST person to TIP him! It also turned out that this promo company had not really CLEARED this "free sandwich" promotion with the restaurants it was sending orders to - so they were just getting barraged with single-sandwich orders all day with no warning and no idea why. (I think the company was paying for the food at least, but they were still fucking over the restaurant staff and delivery drivers by not preparing them.)
posted by dnash at 10:11 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Because people using ordering platforms are less likely to order from a restaurant that includes a delivery charge

Maybe so, but this is where you sit back (as a business owner) and let your competitors eat themselves. FTA: "In 2016, delivery transactions made up about seven per cent of total U.S. restaurant sales. " You can sit back and let them fight for 7% of the business and if you need to do so in the future, incrementally adjust your prices so that the delivery charge is built into the cost of every meal. No need to be out front of every trend.
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:17 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


Because people using ordering platforms are less likely to order from a restaurant that includes a delivery charge. If someone wants a pizza and you can get roughly identical pies for roughly the same price, they're likely going to go with the option that doesn't throw the additional $1.99 or whatever on top of the purchase price/tax/tip. Most apps allow you to sort restaurants by delivery charge; those that include a charge might not come up for several pages of search results in a big enough market.

Just this morning I got an email from GrubHub touting that they had 'more restaurants dishing out free delivery than ever before!' -- because not doing so makes them less competitive.


I fail to see how this is a problem or any different than consumers being sensitive to price.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:25 AM on February 9


But that’s the problem with tech-bros; so much of what they invent is ways to get the shit done that their mother used to do for them, and which they have not developed skills to tackle. But now they have money and no life skills, so they invent this shit.

This is the most accurate distillation of the problems with tech that I've ever read. Brilliant!
posted by medusa at 10:31 AM on February 9 [7 favorites]


You would have a few frequent filers that you know because they've established relationships with servers or sit at your bar 3x per week, but honestly that's very much the minority of restaurant business.

In a sit-down restaurant, you don't know much about specific repeat customers, but you know "we get a flood of teenagers between 3:30 and 4:30 every afternoon; apparently we're the go-to afterschool snack place" and "most weekdays, we get a swarm of people in suits here for business lunches" and "on X holiday weekend, we're dead from Friday afternoon until Saturday 3 pm, but then we get absolutely swamped with middle-aged women in fancy hats; there's some kind of local convention and we're the restaurant of choice for some of that crowd."

You know what categories your regulars fall into; when you're experimenting with menu changes, you know who you're targeting. You have some sense of their budgets, and whether they'd be willing to pay an extra few dollars for a new dessert. You know if they just want something quick and filling, or something that may take longer to make but is enjoyable to linger while eating. If your prices go up, you know whether to raise everything by 3% or increase just the top-end or just the low-end items, to avoid losing too many customers.

Bulk delivery orders with no buyer data means losing all that info. You don't know if a popular order has a college dorm that's just discovered it and order it all the time, or if it's become the trendy thing and everyone wants it. No customer data is a bad thing for any business.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:33 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Huh, every place I order from delivers with their own people (and almost all had their own ordering websites before moving to one of the apps.) I have noticed that free delivery has dropped off a bunch of them, and minimum order amounts have appeared. If I like the food, then I figure the delivery cost is only fair.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:36 AM on February 9


Eyebrows McGee - a lot lot lot of local places have their own specific delivery things set up on their websites, so it's worth a google search to see if they've got something like that.

One thing I want to throw out there, because I haven't seen anybody else mention it yet: delivery apps really screw up tips for those of us in the cafes and sandwich shops scrambling to fulfill orders. We're not getting actual customers in the store, so we lose even the slightest chance they'll put something in the tip jar. It really sucks.

fun story: It was bitter cold and snowy this past Sunday, and Sunday's when I run a tiny coffeeshop on my own all day. We were dead as shit the entire morning, until 10 rolled around. I got 5 huge grubhub orders in 5 minutes, and a traincar of people showed up. And then I shut the app down and threw the tablet into the street.
posted by floweringjudas at 10:45 AM on February 9


"a lot lot lot of local places have their own specific delivery things set up on their websites, so it's worth a google search to see if they've got something like that. "

These two do not (one doesn't even have a website, you used to have to just have their paper menu on hand!). It was my impression that GrubHub was providing a turnkey online ordering and payment system for them, but if they're taking a huge chunk off the top and hurting the businesses, then I don't want to use it. If they're taking a reasonable fee for providing that online ordering and payment processing, that's fine, that's a fair service for a local merchant to decide to use, and I'm sure it gets the restaurants in front of more eyeballs.

There are other local places I order from for take-out or delivery where I use their own website (or call the old-fashioned way) since I assume that's cheaper for them, but in the case of traditional delivery places using their own delivery guys, without an online ordering system, who are on GrubHub, am I hurting them if I use GrubHub instead of phoning?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:07 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]


I fail to see how this is a problem or any different than consumers being sensitive to price.

There has been research to show that people are more willing to buy things that deliver free than things that provide a discount for a greater value than free shipping or delivery. It's more complex than price sensitivity, it's behavioural and a reason why most large e-platforms these days try to offer as much free shipping as they can - to hide those costs so consumers do not see them.

You know what categories your regulars fall into; when you're experimenting with menu changes, you know who you're targeting. You have some sense of their budgets, and whether they'd be willing to pay an extra few dollars for a new dessert. You know if they just want something quick and filling, or something that may take longer to make but is enjoyable to linger while eating. If your prices go up, you know whether to raise everything by 3% or increase just the top-end or just the low-end items, to avoid losing too many customers.

I've worked or managed 8 restaurants and can honestly say that you're overstating what is a typical process for menu development in an average restaurant. The only exception that remotely matches your description was a corporate chain.

There are typically three data points that restaurant owners look at while pressing their head chef for a menu - staffing costs, food margins, and volume (the latter two also intersect with food waste which is a core driver of what's on the menu - fewer items to go bad is better.) You staff based on volume of orders per hour which is still known - you know the food margins for these items, and you also know the volume because you run these orders through a POS system. You also still have the same touch points with whomever is in your dining room. I mean, restauranteurs aren't complaining that they're losing customers - they're complaining that they are busy but not making any money.

The core problem here is not a data one - it's a fundamental challenge to how bricks-and-mortar have been able to finance their enterprise. Good, lean restaurants run on around approximately 300-400% food markup, but an entree alone at that markup is not enough to sustain a restaurant. You desperately need beverage margins and you desperately need the opportunity to get people to spur of the moment order things they wouldn't have (apps, dessert) via upsell. You also need tips to keep good wait and bar staff. You can't do any of those things via delivery.

True delivery shops (pizza, souvlaki, etc.) operate with lean teams, a manufacturing model, and smaller footprints often in less desireable parts of town. This gives them better margins. In essence, sit-down restaurants are running this race with a 20kg vest on and it's no wonder they're not doing well - they only work if people leave their houses and sit-in. If the trend is less of that, they're going to go away no matter what their prices are.
posted by notorious medium at 11:18 AM on February 9 [15 favorites]


but in the case of traditional delivery places using their own delivery guys, without an online ordering system, who are on GrubHub, am I hurting them if I use GrubHub instead of phoning?

Grubhub does take a significant percentage of your money from them. But since they’re actually set up for deliveries, have their own drivers, etc, maybe their overhead is low enough that being on the app works for them. I know eat24 takes less of a percentage on their orders, but i don’t know by how much.

Best thing I can think to do is call the restaurants during downtime and just ask what they prefer, since they already know you pretty well.
posted by floweringjudas at 11:45 AM on February 9


If customers didn't want it, it wouldn't have worked.

Sure, I didn't say they didn't want it once it appeared, but they aren't driving the business model, they're passengers. Willing ones, but passengers nonetheless. Just like we saw after WebVan and other services died 15 years ago, people will just go back to buying things normally after the service dissolves.

No, it was a bunch of Harvard or Stanford Law or Business graduates sitting in one of about 50 skyscrapers in Midtown or Wall Street at 11 pm who were about to starve to death in a conference room they couldn't leave. That's how Seamless got started

Tomato, tomahto.
posted by rhizome at 12:48 PM on February 9


But if it's screwing the restaurants, I'll go back to phoning in.

For what it's worth (not very much) I had a local place I ordered from most Fridays ask me to phone order rather than Grubhub, so much so that they threw in a free 2 liter soda if I called rather than ordered in. I believe they said it was 15% or something to grubhub? It was a while ago so I'm a bit hazy on the details but he was pretty explicit to me that ordering in was a fair bit better for him.
posted by Carillon at 12:59 PM on February 9


> I have a friend who says in 10 years there'll be no more restaurants, just Amazon food warehouses around the rim of every town which have every ingredient and prepare enchiladas, sushi, burgers, etc., and get it to you in 30 minutes, so you never have to leave the house and you can have food about as good as you'd get from the prepared food case at the supermarket in a reasonable amount of time.

Or they'll let the public in and just be food halls, which seem to be sprouting up everywhere lately. Actually, I bet there would be demand in a lot of places for a multi-restaurant food hall with table service and centralized paying, Food halls now have food on par with sit-down casual places, but the experience is worse, because everyone in your party has to separately get food and then reconvene and there are constantly people walking by your table.
posted by smelendez at 1:16 PM on February 9


Read it as "delivery apes." Image of hostile winged monkeys descending vengefully upon brunching diners. Prefer to actual article.

Metafilter: hostile winged monkeys brunching vengefully
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:43 PM on February 9 [2 favorites]


Tomato, tomahto.

It's not a major point in this discussion, but I think it's generally worth distinguishing between "services that someone actually did want and was willing to pay a reasonable amount for" versus "random crap late capitalism is throwing against a wall to see what sticks and/or if it can murder a sector by operating at a loss for years then raising its rates." The former may have an argument for existence; the latter is just destructive. I am not a tech bro and, physical and mental health holding up, I am perfectly capable of cooking for myself at a reasonable level of sophistication, but it is literally impossible to cook for yourself beyond ramen cups if you are stuck in an office building from 10 am to 2 am. Seamless was founded in 1999, it's not even Web 2.0.
posted by praemunire at 2:34 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


I've been ordering food through food delivery apps/platforms since 2005. I tend to order way more food using apps than I actually would had I gone to the physical restaurant. (The apps do upsell extra items like desserts, beverages, snacks, etc - and imo, at least for me - they do this way better than an actual human server would. I am more easily swayed by pictures of food, reviews by other customers and a strategic UI designed to make you buy extra stuff than a pushy human trying to wheedle me into ordering a dessert. Also, I am more likely to over-order because, like someone else mentioned upthread, I only have one chance to put in an order for all the food I might want, and so I tend to order way more than if I were at a physical restaurant ordering items in installments. This is just me and how I personally react to the app though, and I don't know.. perhaps it might be a generational thing.)

I also tend to tip a lot more when ordering through an app than I would at the physical restaurant. The app calculates my tip for me (depending on the percentage tip I select), which I appreciate. The way the bill/app seems to work, the tip appears to be delivered together with the rest of the bill. (My impression is thus that the restaurant sees my tip amount before it prepares the food - I don't know whether this is actually true, but I tend to tip a lot more to "incentivize" them to prepare my food with more care. Whether or not the restaurant actually does see my tip before it prepares my food, the outcome is that I wind up tipping way more through an app than in person.)

There are some people who live in places where it's difficult to get decent food/groceries conveniently, especially without a car. There are some people who are studying or working really long hours and don't have the energy to cook, there are some people who are maybe too depressed / fatigued to cook or travel to a place where they can order food. Or too socially awkward/depressed/anxious to order through the phone. There are some people who maybe want very specific food that would otherwise not be available (or discovered/found) through a delivery app.
Maybe the economics of this situation needs adjustment and restructuring, but the demand for food delivery apps definitely exists and will continue to exist.
posted by aielen at 3:51 PM on February 9 [6 favorites]


I also have a problem with tipping, which we need less of, not more of. Put the true cost of the delivery and a living wage in the app rather than asking me to subsidize a shitty exploitative business.

I actually prefer Prime Now to the competitors available in Miami precisely because I know they pay the drivers $18 an hour and even eat the credit card fees on the tip. Sadly, their restaurant selection is much smaller than the others and is much more hit and miss as to whether a given restaurant is available at any given time.

Sorry you think we should spend more time cooking. Feel free to come do it for me. I'd be perfectly happy to pay what I'm paying for delivery 4-5 nights a week for you to bring me food I can reheat as necessary that is at least as satisfying as my mostly excellent delivery experiences around here. My standards are pretty low, given my penchant for leftovers, so it seems like it should be doable, but my only options are picking up not terribly good healthyish food or something like Blue Apron that requires I cook and do dishes, which ain't happening on a regular basis in my house.
posted by wierdo at 9:14 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


"bring me food I can reheat as necessary that is at least as satisfying as my mostly excellent delivery experiences around here."

Do you have something like Schwan's? It's cheaper and healthier than takeout (cheaper than Blue Apron, too, although not quite as healthy). And basically you place your order and a van comes to your house once a week with a bunch of frozen food, that you can nuke in your microwave or cook in the oven, and it's pretty fuckin' tasty. Very popular "new baby" gift around here.

(Also if you look around on places like Craigslist, there's a niche market of mostly women -- a lot of stay-at-home moms -- who do bulk frozen food prep and will deliver you home-made frozen meals for you to reheat. Generally not as fancy or as broad a selection as a corporate outfit, but some of them are very talented, and if you like home-made food and supporting local micro-businesses, it's definitely something to look at! A lot of them also do refrigerated meals, but those are more time-sensitive than frozen obviously. Usually not super expensive; they're leveraging the fact that they're already shopping and cooking to make a few extra portions for sale, to defray their family grocery bills.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:29 AM on February 10 [2 favorites]


The answer for the restaurants is not to participate.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:14 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


The restaurants don't have a choice to participate. Here in Portland we were told by our favorite taco place that Postmates is ruining their business and that they weren't told they were on Postmates — the Postmate courier places an order as an individual and they have no way of knowing if they're preparing for a courier or an actual customer.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 2:09 PM on February 11


The fact that most of these businesses can't even tell if they are losing money... The restaurant business is a very special business.

I’d wager that a lot of small businesses are the same, if you’re talking about being able to analyze the profitability of particular purchases or even classes of purchases. The owner or manager already has their hands full just keeping the plates spinning, it can be very difficult to step back for that sort of analysis. Restaurants are probably especially bad, though, because of the huge labor component compared to something like a retail store.

The LA area had LA Bites back in the 90s that did delivery for restaurants without their own dedicated delivery service. I ate a lot of dinners delivered to the office by them. They made the transition to online ordering, but were acquired by Grubhub a couple of years ago.

How much longer until the food hall trend leads to a cafeteria revival?
posted by jimw at 9:41 PM on February 11


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