When COVID struck, Westporters rushed to support their favorite restaurants.
Owners who already had an online ordering/takeout presence heated up their efforts. Those that did not quickly cooked one up.
The ability to pick up a meal curbside — or have one delivered to your home — helped many restaurants survive.
But most customers have no idea how much the service costs those same restaurants they think they’re supporting.
The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce wants us to know that 3rd-party apps, and delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub, feast on restaurateurs’ bottom lines.
Those platforms charge fees up to 30% to the restaurant for delivery — and up to 25% for an order that, amazingly, a customer picks up herself.
Viva Zapata co-owner Bob O’Mahoney says, “those fees are our profit margins.”
The Chamber wants to help. They’re launching an initiative called “Order Direct — Pick It Up.”
The idea is simple: Use a restaurant’s own website or app to make a takeout order online. Or just call by phone, then pick it up.
“This simple adjustment will put those excessive fees back in the pocket of our local friends and businesspeople,” says Chamber director Matthew Mandell.
Restaurant owners understand that delivery is important to some people. Pane e Bene owner Angelo Capponi notes, “70% is better than 0%. But we also offer takeout, and we hope people will come to us. They can just call us up.”
It’s easy to have Uber Eats on your first smartphone screen, or speed dial. But it’s just a step or two more to Google a website, then click on your order. Or press “call.”
If you love a restaurant enough to support it with takeout, take those few seconds to cut out the 25 to 30% fee they toss away, as they toss your salad.
As the Chamber of Commerce says: Order Direct. Pick It Up!