Friends popping in for those catch-up dinners, and drink nights with snacks… and you say, you prefer just to order in, and have it delivered? Bad news! Your food delivery habits are killing the nation's food scene
In fact, given the proclivity of city-dwellers for services like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Deliveroo and Menulog, industry association Restaurants and Catering Australia (RCA) has resorted to pleading with customers to let them go. "We encourage people to actually go to their favorite restaurants to either pick up their food or dine in rather than use a delivery platform," RCA CEO Wes Lambert said in a release issued to Business Insider Australia. "Convenience is obviously a strong driver for patrons, but it is important diners understand that restaurants will close if something doesn’t change soon."
Bad news! Your food delivery habits are killing the nation's food scene - COOK IT YOURSELF -
Its radical call to ditch the delivery companies comes straight off the back of a recent survey of some 15,000 local businesses. While acknowledging the services helped drum up more business, the majority claimed it was impossible to actually make a profit from them due to their high fees. The news is troubling, especially considering DoorDash is signing up restaurants without their knowledge. Unless Australians heed the call, their favorite diners and eateries will have but two choices, Lambert warned -- hike prices or shutter doors.
"Our call to the Australian dining public is to be prepared for their local restaurant, cafe or caterer raising the prices of their meals to ensure they survive. These businesses cannot continue to pay the high commission forced on them by delivery platforms on top of rising costs across the board," he said.
"Something has to give or businesses will be forced to close."
In fact, the latter seems to be the more likely option, with 55% saying their inability to raise prices and maintain business was their biggest challenge.
In fact, it again comes back to the same economic factors weighing on most Australians. "When millions of households are seeing bills rise while wages stay relativity flat, restaurants, cafes and caterers do not feel customers will accept any increase in their prices, even as key costs across the business continue to rise year after year," Lambert notes in the report.
The Australian economy is at recessionary levels
It's gotten so bad, three in four owners admitted they've forgone paying themselves at award rates, with more than half doing so just to keep their heads above water. "This year, we are seeing more restaurants struggle than ever before.
There are a number of rising and additional costs that consumers don’t consider which are putting extreme financial pressure on restaurant owners,"
Lambert said. "Food prices have soared as farmers combat the drought and costs such as rents, wages and utility prices continue to rise.
Finally, restaurant, cafe, and catering businesses are left to contend with the hefty chunk delivery platforms take out of the profit. It’s a battle that business owners are slowly losing." It comes at the same time that an Australian court is hearing Uber Eats drivers are only able to negotiate a pay cut, rather than a pay rise. Given both restaurants and drivers have beef with some of these services, customers appear to be the only ones still enthralled with them.
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