Restaurants talk about experiences with delivery apps | Local News

With the recent cold weather, having food delivered is a very appealing idea. This can be done in several ways, including through food delivery apps.

But many St. Joseph restaurants recall having unpleasant experiences working with delivery apps, which is why they no longer offer those options to their customers.

Jamie Vicker, general manager of Jake’s Steakhouse & Sports Bar, said their restaurant was operating with delivery apps such as Waitr around 2018 or 2019.

He said that experience “absolutely backfired” on their restaurant.

“It did us more harm than good,” he said.

Vicker explained that when their restaurant offered delivery apps, it caused positive and negative effects.

On the plus side, the apps offered convenience to their customers.

“But a (delivery app) business just started and closed left us hanging,” he said. “And the other, their drivers were rude and rude and we cut ties with them.”

When it comes to delivery apps, Jake’s prefers to have control of its own product as it is delivered from its restaurant to the customer’s doorstep.

In the past, delivery app drivers would take food to the wrong house, which spills over to Jake’s.

“We want that control,” Vicker said. “We’ve just had so much bad luck in the past with things going wrong, complaints coming back to us that whether it’s our fault or not, it’s 100 per cent coming back to us.”

Although Jake may try to use delivery apps in the future, Vicker explained that they are currently happy with their situation.

Whitney Loehnig, co-owner of Adams Bar & Grill, said she stopped working with delivery app services about six months ago.

She said Adams has yet to have a “great experience” with delivery apps.

“From the fees they charge you for using the service, to the quality of service after an order has been placed,” she said. “That has unfortunately been more of a problem than a benefit for us as a company.”

Fees charged by app services are extremely high, making it difficult for restaurants to want their menu to be reasonably priced.

“And with their fees, we would end up being lost even using their services. And so, that was obviously the first ‘we can’t do that’,” Loehnig said.

Another negative effect was confusion caused by delivery drivers placing take-out orders and not specifying that they were working for a delivery app service.

This meant that when the food order was incorrect or had gone cold, the customer would call Adams to complain. When this happened, their staff didn’t even know the order had been delivered through a delivery app service.

“So we were doing it right on our end. And in turn losing that money that we would get completely for a takeout order,” Loehnig said.

Michelle Margulies, owner of Pappy’s Grill & Pub, recalled delivery app service DoorDash circa 2019 offering food deliveries for Pappy’s as part of their trial period to try to figure out which businesses to partner with .

Along with other businesses during this trial period, she said Pappy’s was not contacted first by DoorDash.

“We had so many problems with DoorDash in this kind of trial period that when they came to call us, asking that we wanted to partner with them, we just said no,” Margulies said.

She explained that DoorDash’s menu for Pappy did not include certain food options for customers.

“It was an absolute nightmare for us,” she said.

While working with application delivery service Waitr proved to be a better experience, the company later exited the local market.

After that, Pappy’s did not partner with another delivery app service.

“When we partnered with Waitr, we raised our prices on that app just so we wouldn’t lose money using it,” Margulies said. “And I know a lot of small businesses don’t, and they end up losing money, especially right now with everything going up (in price).”

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