Some restaurants sit out the third-party food delivery boom

Food delivery services like Uber Eats and Grubhub are taking off like a rocket. But some restaurants aren’t on board.

This week, Jimmy John’s sandwich chain launched a national ad campaign promising never to use third-party delivery. Jimmy John’s says its own drivers — which number around 45,000 at its 2,800 U.S. restaurants — can best ensure fast, quality service.

…There’s a lot for restaurants not to like. Delivery services eat into their profits. Grubhub charges them a commission of 12 to 18 percent per order; Uber Eats charges as much as 30 percent. Service can be haphazard; some drivers have coolers to keep food chilled, for example, while others don’t.

…Bolden of the Boston Consulting Group expects third-party delivery services will probably consolidate over the next few years, leaving two or three big players with the scale to be profitable.

At the same time, he said, many big restaurant brands will probably follow Jimmy John’s lead and do their own delivery so they can control the customer experience and retain valuable order data.

“They may use third parties today because they want the demand, but in the long run they don’t want to be dependent on them,” Bolden said.

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