Paying third-party delivery services more than the cost of her restaurant’s rent convinced Kristen Corral she had to do something.
The epiphany came in July 2020. The pandemic shutdown was over, but restaurants were still permitted to operate at only partial capacity, and a lot of their customers remained skittish about dining out. Takeout and delivery were the only roads to survival.
And then Corral, co-owner of Tacotarian, realized she had paid $7,500 in delivery fees to third-party services that month, when her rent was $3,500. A sneaking suspicion suddenly turned to fact.
“We kind of knew, but we were reliant on them,” Corral said. “This is what we’re gonna do if we want to deliver food.”
But she’d heard of initiatives in other cities aimed at capping the fees and limiting what she called egregious business practices and predatory behavior on the part of the huge third-party services. Some were charging owners 30 to 35 percent on orders, sometimes without an agreement. Some were posting the restaurants’ menus without the owners’ knowledge or consent. In some cases, phone numbers were posted online to imply that they went directly to the restaurants, when in reality they went to the third-party service.