One hospitality operator has kept his casuals to make deliveries rather than pay the high prices of Uber Eats or Deliveroo.
One hospitality operator has kept his casuals to make deliveries rather than pay the high prices of Uber Eats or Deliveroo.

Backlash against takeaway delivery prices

Restaurant owners are praying that a combination of takeaway business and deliveries to loyal customers can tide them over as they wait desperately to re-open.

That's already a big ask since much of their razor-thin profit comes from alcohol sales to in-house diners. Even those now able to sell booze for takeaway have an uphill battle since they can't compete on price with leading bottle shops.

Making their situation even more perilous are the big fees demanded by delivery outfits such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo. They charge commissions of 35 per cent and 30 per cent respectively per order as well as hundreds of dollars in initial set-up costs.

But there's a backlash against these delivery leaders by a number of Brisbane hospitality operators, including Ryan Lane, co-owner of Proof BBQ & Booze in Wilston.

Lane revealed this week how he has retained two of his casual staff to deliver food anywhere within a seven km radius for just a flat $5 fee from clients.

"Last week if I was using Uber Eats to deliver, I would have paid them around $4200 for their 'service'. Plus start up fee. If I used Deliveroo, it would have been around the $3600 mark. Plus start up fee,'' he wrote in a Facebook post.

"Instead I kept my guys on the books and utilised them as delivery drivers. People got their food to their houses instead of their tables from the same friendly amazing staff I have here. And it cost me the two wages I'd have normally paid.

"Make no mistake. Like every hospitality owner, I didn't do well last week. We dropped nearly 50 per cent of our normal revenue but how much more would it have been if I'd have paid the above fees? Sure, maybe there's an increase in revenue if I use their services (their argument) but it wouldn't be the same.''

To cope with the new way of doing business during this quasi-lockdown, Lane has deployed Bopple, one of several online ordering services now being used by local hospitality operators.

Just launched in Brisbane last year, Bopple allows consumers to order food via its app or direct from a restaurant web page and it's already been quickly taken up by a number of the city's eateries.

People can order well in advance, choosing to either pick up themselves or have their goods delivered.

Most restaurant operators pay a reasonable 5.9 per cent fee per transaction but Bopple offers three different payment plans based on the size of the business.

Founder and boss Angus McLachlan came up with the idea while working in London back in 2012 and he now has well over 200 clients across Australia and NZ.

"Sitting inside one of our favourite venues we, like most, were unable to catch the eye of wait staff for service. A long queue bottlenecked the point-of-sale and the two tables opposite us were arguing about the bill. There had to be a better way to help the venue,'' he said.

BETTING ON MARKETS

If this isn't the most gambling-obsessed nation in the world, then it must be pretty damn close.

Now we're betting on where the stock market will close each day, a particularly tricky undertaking given the wild up and down swings of late.

Yes, online bookmaker Sportsbet kicked off wagering on the ASX this week, wryly noting that you can now make money on the bourse without actually risking your folding stuff on stocks.

Punters are able to bet on the ASX closing higher or lower from opening, bet on the final digit of the closing price or whether the closing price will be an odd or even number.

Pessimists had the best of it on the first day, betting that the market would close lower at $1.50.

Originally published as Backlash against takeaway delivery prices


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