The online restaurant delivery business is a rapidly growing one in Canada, despite many issues with consistent service.
A new report from the Ottawa Citizen takes a look at online food delivery services like Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes and how while the might be highly beneficial to some restaurants, the services’ inconsistent and relatively new platforms have made their adoption somewhat difficult for a lot of restaurants.
Services like Uber Eats, while they can certainly help a business increase its sales, can also put an unwanted strain in a kitchen, sometimes doubling the number of orders a restaurant might have normally.
“When you do it, you have to do it like a military operation,” says Craig Buckley, the founder and CEO of Kettleman’s Bagel Company in Ottawa.
“Yes, the online restaurant delivery business is booming, not only in Ottawa but also nationally and beyond,” reads the report. “The burgeoning industry took in $2 billion last year in Canada and is expected to grow for the next several years, says Howard Migdal, SkipTheDishes’s managing director for Canada. A 2017 Morgan Stanley study predicted that by 2022, digital food delivery in the U.S. may take up 11 per cent of the total restaurant market, compared to its current six per cent share.”
“The (restaurant) industry could get ‘Amazoned,'” the study says.
More skeptical restauranteurs fault the services for things like late drivers, food showing up late, saying that their meagre returns aren’t worth the headaches that come along with using Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes.
“There are loads of problems,” says Jamil Bhuya, co-owner of the Ottawa-based Burgers n’ Fries Forever chain, which has partnered with both Uber Eats and SkipTheDishes.
“We’ve had delivery drivers show up as late as an hour,” Bhuya says. “Once, we had a five-meal order take two hours to pick up.”
“We’re trying to get in touch with service providers … their business practices have gotten a little less transparent in terms of who we can contact if we are in trouble,” he continues. “It’s becoming increasingly harder to keep the customer happy and usually the customer takes his anger out on the restaurant.”
Despite their ever-growing presence (SkipTheDishes has partnered with close to 1,000 eateries, while Uber Eats lists 700), restauranteurs are still struggling with using the new platforms.
“It’s like everything in the restaurant industry. Every time there’s a new technology, it makes it better for (customers) but the restaurant in between is caught in a hard place,” says Simeon Yaremko, the general manager for Dunn’s Famous Restaurant in the ByWard Market.
As the food landscape changes, Ottawa Citizen‘s examination of the online food delivery business in four different Ottawa-based eateries is an interesting insight into the way we eat. Read it over at their website.