Why delivery apps may be hurting your favorite Des Moines restaurant

“There is a downside: They take 30 percent commission,” said Lesley Rish, owner of Dumpling Darlings, who offers delivery through Grubhub. “It’s hard for restaurants to make a profit.” 

…Delivery fees cut into the company’s margins, but third-party services attract customers who may otherwise never step foot inside the company’s restaurants, Rottenberg said.

…Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, said third-party delivery is part of a sea change for restaurants. 

“We as an industry are on the cusp of a major disruption,” she said. “Like what Uber did to taxis and Airbnb to hotels, we have to be on the precipice of something similar.”

…The ideal situation for restaurants is to deliver their own food, which ensures profits stay with the owner and the food quality is consistent, like pizza or Chinese restaurants. However, most people can’t afford enough staff to make it sustainable, Dunker said.

In the future, restaurants may join together to create coalitions, like an East Village or Court Avenue group to try and work together to make delivery profitable, Dunker said.


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