Worker with Uber Eats bicycle and a bag in a street of Moscow
Worker with Uber Eats bicycle and a bag in a street of Moscow

Showdown over food delivery commissions

THE survival of the state's restaurants and cafes will be the focus of high-level talks today as business owners complain delivery services like Uber Eats and Deliveroo are milking them dry.

Small Business Minister Shannon Fentiman will convene talks over what can be done to tackle the hefty fees being charged - up to 35 per cent commission - in what has been the first time major players have come together to discuss the ongoing issue.

Deliveroo, Uber Eats, unions representing delivery drivers and peak bodies representing food businesses will all attend, with Ms Fentiman hoping they can agree to compromise solutions rather than necessitate government regulation.

Restaurant and cafe owners say they are paying too much commission to food delivery businesses.
Restaurant and cafe owners say they are paying too much commission to food delivery businesses.

Ongoing complaints around high commissions have been exacerbated as COVID-19 restrictions mean more restaurants and cafes have had no option but to sign up to delivery apps to make any money.

"The last thing we want to see is struggling businesses hit with high fees from delivery companies - it's not the Queensland way," Ms Fentiman said.

She said small businesses had needed to innovate and think fast, pivoting their business to online and takeaway and they deserved a fair go.

"This is why I will bring together key stakeholders so we can look at how to tackle the issue of exorbitant delivery fees as a matter of urgency," Ms Fentiman said.

Small Business Minister Shannon Fentiman Photo: Kit Wise
Small Business Minister Shannon Fentiman Photo: Kit Wise

"We need our food and beverage businesses to be open, not just now but also once the economy recovers."

Queensland Small Business Champion Maree Adshead, who will also attend, said she was looking forward to "opening the lines of communication" and exploring ways to better support small business.

PawPaw Café at Woolloongabba owner Giorgina Venzin has implored customers to "support your local by travelling local".

 

Since being one of the first restaurants listed on Uber's delivery platform in Brisbane in 2016, Ms. Venzin has experienced first-hand the struggles some venues have gone through while using the service.

"Besides them taking that big (35 per cent) cut, they don't take responsibility for any problems with the drivers" she said

"We get people who call and ask where their order is when the driver doesn't show up.

Once every two weeks there's a full order that goes missing with a driver, and we cop the abuse for it."

When Ms Venzin went to Uber with her concerns, she said nothing was done to follow up on her complaints.

"You call them, but you don't even have a representative you can talk to … you would expect that service when you're giving them that much money." She said.

"In times like now, online delivery is important, but you need to weigh up if that 35 per cent is worth it."

The café has recently thrown their support behind local delivery platform Bopple, which takes a 5.9 per cent cut as opposed to Uber's 35 per cent, in addition to zero set up fees.

"They've been great. You can actually talk to someone when you need help, they give you full control and it's good exposure without costing you an arm and a leg."

 

Originally published as Showdown over food delivery commissions


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