Still, he asked restaurants to “hang in there,” amid business drops of 75 to 90 percent.
“We’re constantly telling them if they have customers lists to blast off emails and let them know they are available for delivery especially ones that hadn’t delivered previously,” he told MarketWatch. “A lot of customers aren’t aware they deliver because they literally didn’t deliver last week. Also, we encourage them to think about loyalty promotions and how to get ongoing orders.”
A troubling situation he sees evolving is the lack of relief. Restaurants have to pay employees, lay off some, or close for the rest of the month, he said.
And if they do shutter, it’s difficult to reopen “because it’s almost not worth it to retrain staff if they had to let them go,” Maloney said.
As for the stop-gap that is delivery, he admitted, many restaurants can’t survive long-term on the channel alone. “The industry isn’t large enough for all restaurants to survive just on delivery, but they can survive for a matter of weeks potentially. It’s definitely not a long-term solution to bridge across restaurants,” he said.
Grubhub has delayed fee collections for the foreseeable future—something it started doing last week.
Some customers remain wary of the hand-off moment with drivers. Maloney said Grubhub instructed them to not accept orders if they have any sense of illness. And the company is now offering two weeks of paid sick leave.
Customers can also text or call the driver and ask for the food to be dropped somewhere.
Thus far, Maloney said, restaurants with a history in delivery are outpacing others. But “all of them have been furloughing employees.”
He added, “Chinese restaurants are really taking a hit. They aren’t seeing the same number of orders they used to get, which is kind of asinine and, quite frankly, racist.” Here’s a deeper look at that sad reality.
Maloney said Grubhub doesn’t plan to bring on more full-time staff at this time but is onboarding drivers, which are independent contractors, “as fast as we can.”
Grubhub isn’t the only aggregator shifting business in face of the COVID-19 world.
DoorDash recently launched an #OpenForDelivery campaign “aimed to let consumers know that restaurants are open, that delivery is safe, and that restaurants need patronage more than ever to weather COVID-19.”
It includes TV spots, paid and organic social, and the launch of a new website. The idea being to get the message out that the FDA has stated there is no current evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the spread of the coronavirus.
Brands like Wingstop, McDonald’s, The Cheesecake Factory, and Buffalo Wild Wings are featured throughout the campaign, among many others.
The company also, like Grubhub, temporarily waived commission fees for independents and added more than 100,000 independent restaurants to its DashPass—a subscription program that waives delivery fees for customers—for free. Commissions will be reduced for businesses already on DashPass and Caviar restaurants will have the opportunity to participate in a $0 delivery fee program.
Uber Eats also said it was pausing delivery fees for more than 100,000 independent restaurants across the U.S. and Canada and launching marketing campaigns to help operators