News Source: bangordailynews.com
Excessive fees have Maine restaurants rethinking delivery app partnerships
News Source/Courtesy: bangordailynews.com

While indoor dining remained closed on and off for months during the pandemic, takeout and delivery were two lifelines for the beleaguered restaurant industry.

Third-party delivery apps DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub rushed in to fill a huge demand for delivery services. Though all three services were available in urban areas in Maine before the pandemic, they became a big part of the survival scheme for restaurants of all sizes almost overnight.

A year later, however, restaurants are more closely scrutinizing the delivery apps’ business practices. There have been numerous complaints in Maine and nationwide that the apps list restaurants without their permission, use outdated menus and take up to 30 percent of the total cost of an order.

“It’s making customers think they are getting free delivery. But really, these apps make restaurants pay for it themselves. It sets local businesses up for failure,” said Tim Lo, who owns Bangor Beer Co., the sister brewery and restaurant to the Oriental Jade in Bangor.

Now that most restaurants have reopened and are starting to grapple with how their businesses have changed because of the pandemic, some are looking more seriously at regulating third-party delivery apps.

“I think, early on in the pandemic, people were afraid to say anything about these apps, because they needed any element of success to keep the business going,” said Greg Dugal, director of government affairs for Hospitality Maine, which represents Maine’s restaurant and lodging industries. “But now that it looks like we’re starting to come out of it, people are starting to say, ‘Hey, wait a minute. This isn’t fair.’”

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News Source: bangordailynews.com

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