Rise of the apps: In Asheville, food delivery service infuriates some, while others profit

…It’s not just delivery drivers making money on services like Uber Eats, Waitr and smaller, more-local versions like Takeout Central. Some restaurants are embracing what Hiers calls the “culture of to-go.”

…Richard Cundiff, who owns Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack, said the business of filling to-go orders has exploded since he first opened the West Asheville location in 2011, adding a South Asheville store four years later.

Offsite orders now represent 15-20 percent on average of the restaurant’s business, he said. “It’s a shift and, as the technology grows, it will affect more and more how we’ll design restaurants in the future.”

Next year, Cundiff will open another location in Greenville, and he’s designing that newest location with delivery in mind, whereas adapting the Asheville locations required learning on the fly.  

“We’ve had to literally change our staffing model, and the to-go role is a position you have to be highly trained and experienced to pull off,” he said.

…Cundiff favors Takeout Central and its service and locally staffed office over larger platforms like Uber Eats, where restaurant owners with app issues must file a ticket and await solutions from a call center.

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