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Delivery Providers Roll Out Restaurant Relief



Editor's note: With the state mandate to close bars and restaurants until March 27 and restricting service to off-premises channels only, we thought you'd be interested in what the four largest U.S.-based national delivery providers have rolled out as ways to help their restaurant partners, including new customers. The following report was put together by Tom Kaiser, the editor of our sister publication, Food On Demand. For updated information on the delivery side of the restaurant industry in this pandemic landscape, go to the FOD website at www.foodondemandnews.com.

As of March 16, efforts by third-party delivery providers included increased marketing to boost delivery in general; Grubhub suspending $100 million in commission payments from independent restaurants under limited circumstances; Uber Eats waived delivery fees for independent restaurants and allowed daily, rather than weekly merchant payouts; and Postmates waived commission fees in certain markets.

Here’s a rundown of the merchant responses from DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmate--in their own words. 

DoorDash

Merchant contact: (855) 554-5779

DoorDash's task force is actively working to develop and implement a strategy to protect the health and safety of our community in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus, including introducing a program to assist Dashers financially if they are diagnosed with COVID-19 or put under quarantine by a public health agency. This program will provide up to two weeks of assistance to Dashers and Caviar couriers who are diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are subject to quarantine at the direction of public health officials. The program will be available globally in all of the markets we serve in the United States, Canada and Australia. Further details on the program, including how to request financial assistance, will be made available to Dashers and Caviar couriers in the coming days.

We have provided and will continue to share the latest public health guidance to consumers, Dashers, and merchants. We are also closely monitoring city and state mandated closures and will continue to operate in areas where local officials have deemed safe to do so. 

To reduce the risk of transmission, we are reminding our community in affected areas of the delivery instruction feature, enabling requests for food to be left at the door along with a photo of where the food should be left through the app—and we are testing enhanced drop-off options for contactless delivery to be rolled out shortly. We have also distributed much-needed supplies to Dashers in affected areas, such as hand sanitizers and gloves—in more than 400 cities and counting. 

We are working closely with our merchant community to share best practices on how they can adjust their in-store and off-premise operations, such as removing items in open packaging, taping over straw holes, having food handlers place all items in bags and offering new and innovative packaging options.

For reference, HERE is DoorDash’s our merchant community page, HERE is Caviar's restaurant page. HERE is the Dasher community page and HERE is Caviar's courier page. All corporate employees have all been mandated to work from home and we've closed our Seattle onboarding Dasher support center. 

In addition, we’re announcing a package of commission relief and marketing support for new and existing DoorDash partner restaurants to help them generate additional sales this year: 

  1. Beginning today and continuing through the end of April, independent restaurants in the United States can sign up for free with DoorDash and Caviar and pay zero commissions for 30 days. This is not a deferral of fees, nor will merchants be asked to pay anything back.
  2. For all existing DoorDash partners, restaurants will pay no commission fees on pickup orders so customers can spend less time in the store. We are also providing additional commission reductions for eligible merchants that are already on DoorDash.
  3. We’re adding more than 100,000 independent restaurant partners to DashPass—our subscription program which offers $0 delivery for consumers—for free. Merchants on DashPass see higher sales, which are critical to helping restaurants through this difficult period. We’re also reducing commissions for those merchants already on DashPass, and providing all Caviar restaurants with the opportunity to participate in a $0 delivery fee program. 
  4. Lastly, we are earmarking up to $20 million in merchant marketing programs to generate more revenue for restaurants that are already on DoorDash.**

We stand ready to help other organizations that need last-mile delivery support, and we invite them to connect with us by visiting our intake site

Grubhub

Merchant contact: (877) 805-5081

Grubhub has uploaded a FAQ page for operators, including the details and restrictions of its merchant relief efforts that’s available here - https://lp.grubhub.com/commission-deferral/#faq

In collaboration with the mayors of large cities across the United States who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response efforts, Grubhub announced it is temporarily suspending collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants nationwide.

Grubhub's initiative will provide immediate and substantial cash flow relief to qualified independent restaurants—restaurants that make up the majority of Grubhub's 350,000+ restaurant community and drive more than 80 percent of the company's orders.

Matt Maloney, Grubhub founder and CEO said: "Independent restaurants are the lifeblood of our cities and feed our communities. They have been amazing long-term partners for us, and we wanted to help them in their time of need. Our business is their business—so this was an easy decision for us to make."

Grubhub has also created a fund that will enable proceeds from its Donate the Change program to go toward charitable organizations that support restaurants and drivers impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis. The program will allow diners to round up the change from every order and donate it to the Grubhub Community Relief Fund––with donations from Grubhub+ (and Seamless+) members matched by the company. 

Grubhub will work with local city officials to identify the organizations that can utilize the funds and to consider other support programs during the pandemic.

Uber Eats

Merchant contact: https://help.uber.com/restaurants/article/coronavirus-covid-19-support-initiatives?nodeId=0693b599-9c24-4d47-9807-1d4b05aa0729

Uber Eats announced efforts to support independent restaurant owners and operators as the hospitality industry faces unprecedented challenges amidst the COVID-19 state of emergency. 

“We know the coming weeks will be challenging ones for many small business owners, and we want to help restaurants focus on food, not finances.” said Janelle Sallenave, head of Uber Eats for the U.S. and Canada. “That’s why we’re working to drive increased demand to more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada through free delivery and marketing efforts.”

Details of the support package include a waiving of delivery fees on all Uber Eats orders from independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada, and dedicated marketing campaigns—both in-app and via email—to promote delivery from local restaurants, especially those that are new to the app.

Additional benefits include a new opt-in program for all restaurants in the U.S. and Canada using the Uber Eats platform to receive daily payouts, rather than the company’s standard weekly payout.

To support first responders, Uber Eats has pledged 300,000+ free meals to be delivered to healthcare workers and other relief efforts in coordination with local and state governments.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, Uber has acted across 60+ countries to support users including delivery people, restaurants and drivers. Efforts include financial assistance to drivers and delivery people who are either diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been asked to self-isolate by a public health authority.

Uber Eats has also begun a user campaign to drive awareness of “contactless” delivery, provided CDC guidance to restaurants to ensure all delivery orders are properly sealed in tamper-evident packaging, and is working to provide delivery people with sanitization materials in the most impacted markets.

“We are always working to help keep everyone who uses Uber safe,” said Andrew Macdonald, vice president of platform at Uber and global head of the company’s global coronavirus response team to support users including delivery people, restaurants, and drivers. “We remain in close contact with local public health authorities and will continue to follow their guidance to do what we can to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”

Postmates

For its fleet of workers and couriers, Postmates has created an emergency fleet relief fund from which it will cover the costs of workers’ doctors appointments and medical expenses. This fund will allow couriers in impacted states to take proactive and preventative steps, and will cover medical check-ups regardless of whether the courier has been quarantined or diagnosed with COVID-19. 

In addition, Postmates has unveiled a pilot program for small businesses to more easily use our platform at a time when brick-and-mortar business owners are seeing a decline in sales and customer foot traffic. The program will temporarily waive commission fees for businesses operating in San Francisco so they can join the platform free of charge and support the increasing demand for deliveries. As they monitor the efficacy of these pilots, they will evolve their scope and geographic applicability.

The company said, both of these initiatives are part of their ongoing efforts to provide meaningful support for the people who power their platform, businesses that rely on them, and customers who enjoy using Postmates every day. They recently announced the creation of a new in-app feature on Postmates that enables non-contact dropoff, so customers can opt to avoid any direct interactions for health or other reasons. Postmates also continues to share CDC guidance and best practices throughout the communities in which they operates, closely monitoring the evolving situation so they can adequately inform and meet the needs of those who use the service.

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