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.

Last month, 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.

“They are delivering a very valuable experience to the consumers, but they are still growing themselves,” said Dylan Bolden, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group who has studied restaurant delivery. “Their model isn’t completely ironed out yet to deliver a consistent experience.”

Third parties can also take longer. Boston Consulting Group found that four of the most popular services — Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates and DoorDash — averaged 49 minutes to deliver an order. Liz Meyerdirk, Uber Eats’ head of global business development, says Uber Eats averages 31 minutes.


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