Uber Expands Direct Offering with Cartwheel Partnership

Uber Eats is expanding its hybrid delivery offering through a new partnership with Cartwheel that will make it easier for restaurants across the globe to build a white-label fulfillment program that lowers the total cost of delivery for operators.

Hybrid or white-label delivery has become a flashpoint for restaurants operators as delivery captures an increasingly large portion of the global restaurant sales. As restaurants seek to lower the cost paid to outside meal delivery providers, many have relied on in-house drivers for delivery fulfillment or only using third-party marketplaces like Uber Eats and DoorDash to fulfill delivery orders, rather than bringing new customers to restaurants via their online marketplaces.

The new partnership is only the latest for Cartwheel, an on-demand delivery management software provider. The Los Angeles-based company has recently announced other partnerships with SquareOmnicart, ChowNow, Nash, RMDA, and deepened its connection with Olo in recent months.

This latest tie-up brings Cartwheel’s Hybrid Delivery technology to restaurants of all sizes, regardless of whether they have their own in-house fleets. By integrating Uber Direct into its ecosystem, Cartwheel enables restaurants to enhance delivery coverage, reduce costs and increase service levels. Restaurants will gain access to a vast network of delivery drivers and the necessary tools to manage them, at what Cartwheel calls “competitive” rates.

The partnership further addresses the pressing challenges faced by the restaurant industry, including the ongoing shortage of restaurant employees and delivery drivers. Cartwheel claims that restaurants using its Hybrid Delivery technology have reported an average revenue increase of 20 percent.

“We are excited to partner with Uber Direct to expand driver coverage and provide competitive rates for our Hybrid Delivery solution,” said Alex Vasilkin, co-founder and CEO of Cartwheel. “This collaboration also opens up opportunities to work with brands that don’t have in-house fleets. In a market where the availability of delivery drivers is scarce, relying on a single fleet or fulfillment method is no longer sufficient. There always has to be a backup.”

Uber Direct brings significant advantages to Cartwheel’s delivery ecosystem. By leveraging Uber Direct’s vast network of drivers and their expertise in logistics, restaurants utilizing Cartwheel’s platform will enjoy a reliable and efficient delivery experience for their customers.

“We are excited to bring increased coverage and reliable service to the restaurant industry through this new partnership with the team at Cartwheel,” said Bernie Huddleston, head of Uber Direct across the US & Canada. “Working together, we can improve the way restaurants fulfill their delivery orders—and ultimately boost customer satisfaction and business growth.”


Orders.co and Grubhub Partner on Ordering Integration to Streamline Third-Party Food Delivery Operations for Restaurant Operators

Orders.co, the leading all-in-one platform for restaurants to manage their online food orders, has announced it has partnered with Grubhub, a leading food ordering and delivery marketplace, to streamline order management for more than a thousand independent and enterprise restaurants across the country. 

With this integration, restaurant operators will be able to update menus across ordering channels with a centralized menu management system, streamline operations by ingesting Grubhub orders directly into their POS via Orders.co and sync in-store hours of operation. Together, the partnership alleviates some of the pain points operators face when having to update menus and hours across multiple systems.

“We are delighted to join forces with Grubhub, a renowned leader in the food delivery industry,” said Arsen Stepanyan, chief executive officer of Orders.co. “Our collaboration with Grubhub will deliver tangible benefits to our clients, helping them save time, reduce costs, and ultimately, grow their businesses.”

“Our restaurant partners continue to tell us that the ability to manage all orders in one place is paramount for their operations, and we’re excited to partner with Orders.co to help streamline their day-to-day order management,” said Steven Delzell, director of restaurant product at Grubhub. “In a world where operations are nearly exclusively digital, it’s more important than ever that we continue to provide solutions for our partners that help them deliver a better experience all around.”

This integration is now available to restaurant operators and Grubhub will provide a free 30-day trial for restaurants on Grubhub who sign up with Orders.co. In addition, restaurants not currently partnered with Grubhub can sign up for a free 30-day trial here.

About Orders.co

Orders.co provides innovative technology solutions for restaurants to streamline their operations, enhance customer experience, and achieve growth. Its exclusive tools include order consolidation, a commission-free website with Master Menu Management, a Free QR Menu Maker, POS system integration, and online ordering platform integration. By seamlessly integrating multiple services, Orders.co simplifies the complexities of modern restaurant management and helps restaurants save labor costs and increase revenue. 

About Grubhub
Grubhub is part of Just Eat Takeaway.com (LSE: JET, AMS: TKWY), and is a leading U.S. food ordering and delivery marketplace. Dedicated to connecting diners with the food they love from their favorite local restaurants, Grubhub elevates food ordering through innovative restaurant technology, easy-to-use platforms, and an improved delivery experience. Grubhub features more than 365,000 restaurant partners in over 4,000 U.S. cities.


DeliverThat Introduces New Smart Catering Dashboard That Will Change the Future of Catering Delivery

DeliverThat, the industry-leading catering delivery company, with over $200 million dollars in catering delivered, just introduced a new “smart” dashboard that will change the future of catering delivery. Over a decade ago, when delivery was in its infancy, DeliverThat was one of the first to recognize that catering delivery required a very different business model than that of simply taking food served in-restaurant and moving it from point A to point B. Simply put, they identified that catering delivery was an entirely different beast altogether. “Catering has its own unique set of operational challenges that requires very specific solutions in order to deliver high quality to the end consumer. In a perfect world, catering teams would have their own ‘operating system’ that lets them run the business as they see fit and not have to conform to the on-demand world of technology,” says Matthew Benzel, Chief Technology Officer for DeliverThat. Not only does the dashboard allow merchants the ability to create and manage their direct entry catering deliveries, but it also directly integrates with other catering channels, like Olo. “We love the increased flexibility with editing submissions as well as the ability for restaurants to have a clearer view of their individual deliveries,” said Megan Welcome, Director of Catering for One Table Restaurant Brands. Additionally, regardless of order source, the dashboard provides timestamps, set-up photos and real-time updates on delivery and driver statuses, allowing for full transparency across all channels. “The enhanced dashboard is a game changer: effective, sleek, intelligent. Our catering team instantly sees orders placed from our native site and can track drivers in real time with only a few clicks. The setup pictures are an added plus,” said Wes Patrick, Vice President, Ops Excellence and Off-Premise Performance for Tijuana Flats. The dashboard is creating efficiencies and streamlining driver schedules. It is helping brands save money, by ensuring their restaurants have the food ready and on time for pick up. This alone is driving catering comps down from over 2% to .3%. Top headlines in your inbox Sign up for Morning Rush and get all the news you need to start your day. SIGN UP This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. “Since inception, restaurants using the dashboard have seen a significant decrease with in-store related adjustments (food isn’t ready, forgotten or wrong items, packaging issues) from 19% to 10%. Restaurants using our dashboard are seeing one of the highest fill rates in the industry – 98.79%. That’s unheard of with catering,” added Benzel. DeliverThat is collecting all this intelligence; building a smarter business model, better drivers, accountability for restaurants and ultimately better delivery schedules that run like well-oiled machines. “DeliverThat is BRINGING the HEAT in the Catering delivery space – Hands Down,” Wes Patrick added in closing. About DeliverThat DeliverThat is the industry-leading catering delivery and setup company that has been revolutionizing catering delivery since 2013. With over $200 million dollars of catering delivery under its belt and a network of over 15,000 active drivers, DeliverThat is operational in all major cities in all 50 states of the U.S. DeliverThat’s extensive network includes over 500 brands that rely on their exceptional service for their catering needs. DeliverThat sets the standard for excellence with a focus on quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. A niche business model, DeliverThat offers a flat-rate delivery service and an around-the-clock team of live customer service agents based at its headquarters in Canton, Ohio. In addition to OLO, DeliverThat fully integrates with ezCater, Bringg, and many more. For more information about DeliverThat, visit deliverthat.com.


Emergency bill passes to give DC restaurants relief against higher delivery app fees

WASHINGTON (7News) — The D.C. Council this week has passed an emergency bill that offers restaurants relief against high delivery app fees. After being amended and adjusted, the legislation passed unanimously.

Third-party companies like GrubHub, DoorDash and Uber Eats offer restaurants delivery package plans that range from 15% to 30%.

In March, after the city’s 15% pandemic cap on commission fees expired, food delivery companies started raising charges for special services, including prioritizing search results for consumers.

“During the pandemic, the council created a 15% cap on fees but as the pandemic measures ended, we’ve seen third-party apps move to increase fees. And what we heard from many small businesses and restaurants is that without further protections, they would be forced to pay higher fees or see themselves reduced or removed from consumers just looking to buy a meal,” said Councilmember Charles Allen.

Some restaurants said they are now losing customers, being buried on the app even if they have fewer miles to deliver to, all because they have chosen to pay the lowest commission. The legislation introduced by Allen states that a delivery company cannot reduce the availability of delivery drivers to a restaurant based on the commissions paid.

“That plays out by suppressing restaurants who pay lesser fees in searches, shrinking the delivery radius around restaurants and more. They know they’ve got the upper hand, small restaurants have few choices and the third-party app, not the driver bringing that meal to your doorstep or the staff cooking in the kitchen are the ones making record revenues while everyone else is struggling,” said Allen.

DoorDash last year made $6.6 billion, a 35% increase from the previous year. The company said the new measure undermines the relationships with merchants and argues that all D.C. restaurants are treated equally.

Many small restaurants in D.C. said that they are being unfairly singled out by delivery companies because they are choosing to pay the lowest delivery plan. The bill prevents companies from reducing the delivery area for a restaurant below four miles, which is paying the lowest commission, which is 15%.


Uber Eats expands voice order tracking with Amazon Alexa

Dive Brief:

  • Uber Eats has partnered with Amazon to allow consumers to use Amazon Echo devices to track their order status in the U.S., the company said last week
  • The integration will provide real-time, hands-free order tracking from preparation to delivery. 
  • Uber Eats also has voice integrations with Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, which were added within the past year.

Dive Insight:

Uber Eats has been expanding its use of new technologies within the past year to increase customer access, including via autonomous vehicles and partnerships with stadiums and airports. The Alexa integration was designed to offer convenience to consumers. Users can set how they want to receive updates and how many Alexa devices they want to activate to provide notifications when an order’s status changes. Consumers can also choose to have Alexa change to yellow when there is a notification and ask “Alexa, what’s my notification?” 

These various activations could help the company boost partnerships and differentiate from its competitors. Restaurant Dive conducted a search of Alexa Skills and did not find DoorDash or Grubhub listed. Other restaurants on Alexa include Domino’s and Panera, however.

Uber Eats in the U.S. and Canada has been growing its selection of merchant partners in recent quarters, especially with small- and medium-sized businesses, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during prepared remarks about Q1 2023. Active merchants in these countries increased 10% year-over-year. The company’s Uber One subscription program has helped with lowering the cost to consumers, and adoption reached an all-time high last quarter, he said. 

Uber also redesigned its app during the past quarter to allow cross-platform access to its mobility and delivery platforms. That update included a new home screen and personalization, according to the company’s Q1 2023 earnings release.


EatStreet Drivers Win Final Nod for $1.2 Million Wage Suit Deal

  • Drivers’ legal action covers more than four years of work
  • Hawks Quindel gets more than $413,000 in attorneys’ fees

EatStreet Inc. and food-delivery drivers who say the company improperly used their tips to meet minimum wage obligations secured final approval for a settlement worth more than $1.2 million. But the company has warned it might not be able to pay.

The deal includes more than $413,000—one third of the total settlement fund—in attorneys’ fees for class counsel Hawks Quindel SC, the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin said. Judge James D. Peterson also …


Wawa aims to grab a bigger piece of the corporate catering pie

Wawa catering spread

Convenience store chain Wawa partnered with the ezCater platform to expand its catering program./Photo courtesy of Wawa.

Restaurants are about to get more competition for a share of office catering dollars. Convenience store chain Wawa announced it’s teaming up with ezCater to expand its presence in corporate catering.

All 1,000 of the c-store’s locations launched on the ezCater platform Tuesday, allowing workplaces across the mid-Atlantic states, Washington D.C. and Florida to order up the brand’s breakfast sandwiches, hoagies and other signatures.

Wawa is one of the nation’s leading convenience store chains when it comes to foodservice, according to Restaurant Business sister publication, CSP. It’s earned a reputation for freshness and menu innovation.

“Thanks to this new partnership with ezCater, we now have the ability to reach more business customers with our fresh offers, perfect for breakfast, meetings and corporate events,” said Steve Hackett, Wawa’s director of digital experience, in a statement. “We see this as a great way to provide even more convenience to the business community.”

Wawa’s Sizzli Breakfast Sandwich Box features 12 assorted individually wrapped sandwiches layered with eggs and ingredients including sausage, bacon and/or cheese on bagels and croissants. There’s also a bagels, coffee and OJ bundle, a doughnut box and a bagel box.

Wawa lunch catering

Wawa offer both hot and cold trays and boxes for lunch catering./Photo courtesy of Wawa.

For lunch, there are hot selections such as Meatball Hoagie Hot Trays, Mac & Cheese Hot Trays, Mashed Potato Trays and combos of these. On the cold side, Wawa offers various sub sandwiches, salads and soup and sandwich combo boxes and bundles.

Although post-pandemic hybrid and remote workers are keeping office building occupancy below 100%, the return to the workplace is gaining momentum, according to ezCater. Bookings through the company’s marketplace platform were up 87% year over year, attributed to the draw of catered breakfasts and lunches to tempt people to come into the office.

“Our customers count on us to provide a variety of reliable caterers for all of their food for work needs, whether that’s for breakfast meetings, daily employee lunches or anything in between,” said Mike O’Hanlon, chief partnership officer of ezCater, in a statement. “Wawa’s iconic lunch staples and breakfast options like the Sizzli make them fan-favorites.”


Lawsuit Claims Apple Users Are Charged More for Delivery on DoorDash

If you’ve spent more time comparing your DoorDash bill on your iPhone to your friend’s Android device than actually eating your delivery food, you might be on to something—at least according to a recent lawsuit. According to an amended complaint filed May 5 in Maryland federal court, Apple users get the raw end of the deal in delivery and “expanded range fees” when placing an order on DoorDash.

The lawsuit was brought by Maryland-based DashPass subscriber Ross Hecox and his sons. The 134-page complaint reads like a book of grudges against the service’s allegedly obtuse fee structure. Primarily, it targets the “expanded range fees” placed on certain orders, saying the company will charge users extra for delivering from restaurants further away despite there being closer options available, or in other words “DoorDash manipulates delivery areas based on its Dashers locations, consumer demand, and merchants’ partnership with DoorDash.”

This “expanded range fee” has come up in some user circles as a particular pain point despite it not being listed under the company’s official fees. DoorDash has claimed this fee applies when ordering from restaurants outside their area, and that the fee is showcased both on the restaurant page as well as at checkout.

The lawsuit says that based on multiple tests, two deliveries placed at the same time to the same restaurant addressed to the same location resulted in two different fees. A DashPass subscriber received an expanded range fee, but the regular user did not. Most importantly, an iPhone user in orders placed to Chick-fil-A, and a local steak house received the expanded range fee or higher delivery fees, while an Android user did not.

Image for article titled Lawsuit Claims Apple Users Are Charged More for Delivery on DoorDash
Screenshot: Lawrence & Bundy LLC

“DoorDash charges the expanded range fee on iPhone users more often than Android users and charges iPhone users more for ‘delivering,’” the complaint reads.

In an email statement sent to Gizmodo, a DoorDash spokesperson said:

“The claims put forward in the amended complaint are baseless and simply without merit. Our priority is to provide the best service possible and ensure there is clarity for consumers that allows them to make informed decisions. We ensure fees are disclosed throughout the customer experience, including on each restaurant storepage and before checkout. Building this trust is essential, and it’s why the majority of delivery orders on our platform are placed by return customers. We will continue to strive to make our platform work even better for customers, and will vigorously fight these allegations.”

The complaint also claims that DoorDash tricks users into believing delivery fees are going to the Dashers who are delivering food, but that the company takes the pot. Meanwhile, the company has claimed a part of those fees go to pay delivery drivers and fund insurance costs. The lawsuit is currently seeking class-action status.

“DoorDash utilizes a psychologically manipulative pricing structure that strategically misleads, deceives, and defrauds consumers into using the technology platform at a much higher, premium cost,” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit tries to imply DoorDash charges Apple users more because iPhone users earn more on average than Android users. However, Apple also charges an extra 30% on in-app purchases made through the regular iPhone in-app payment system. This fee has incentivized some companies to charge more for premium services for iPhone users.


Grubhub adds customer insights, other features to restaurant portal

An image of Grubhub's restaurant portal.
Grubhub added consumer insights to its Grubhub for Restaurants portal in May 2023. Courtesy of Grubhub

Dive Brief:

  • Grubhub updated its Grubhub for Restaurants portal with three new features: customer insights, self-serve refund requests and self-serve photo shoot access, the company said Thursday
  • These features were developed after feedback from restaurant partners.
  • The expansion of Grubhub for Restaurants comes a few months after the company added three features to its Grubhub Direct platform, which is a commission-free branded ordering channel for independents.

Dive Insight:

Grubhub developed the portal updates after hearing from restaurant partners and receiving feedback from partners involved with Grubhub’s Restaurant Leadership Council, the company said in an email to Restaurant Dive. A handful of partner restaurants within the council then met with Grubhub’s Restaurant Success team to discuss a range of topics, including features and products that can best help restaurants achieve their goals. 

The portal’s additional features, especially customer insights, may make Grubhub for Restaurants more competitive with Uber Eats and DoorDash, which already offer sales trends data.

Using the “Insight” tab on GFR, restaurants can view and filter sales and order metrics by new or returning diners and Grubhub+ or non-Grubhub+ members. Partner restaurants can access up to a year of aggregated data to compare sales and metrics. Grubhub said the data will allow restaurants to make better strategic decisions and adjust their marketing plans with Grubhub accordingly. The food delivery company said this is the first version of insights on the platform, and it will continue to build out this feature based on partner feedback. 

Grubhub also added self-serve refunds, allowing restaurants to request automatically an adjustment in the platform to dispute a refund. Previously, partners had to call or chat with Grubhub Care, a process that often took 10 minutes, the company said. It now takes one minute to dispute refunds.

Partners can dispute charges up to 30 days after the original order date by clicking on the specific order ID and hitting a button that says “dispute adjustment” and select a reason for the dispute. A Grubhub agent will look into the situation and respond within 24 hours. 

Grubhub’s self-serve photo shoot access has been updated with an opt-out option allowing restaurants to click “I’m not interested” when asked if they want to schedule a professional photo shoot of menu items. The banner will then return every 30 days after an opt-out and every 90 days after booking the shoot. Grubhub said this feature increased the frequency with which it presented operators the chance to book a photo shoot, which would help restaurants update menu images for seasonal items.

Additional functions improve the value proposition of delivery platforms, especially now that sales have declined across the channel as consumers have returned to dine-in. Delivery companies have enhanced customer service features or are offering discounted subscriptions.

Grubhub last year partnered with Amazon to provide one-year of free Grubhub+ to Amazon Prime members. Earlier this week, Uber Eats rolled out family profiles to link multiple Uber accounts under one profile, as well as video messages for gift cards. DoorDash added a cash payment option for DoorDash Drive, the company’s white label delivery offering, allowing customers to pay cash to drivers.