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Coronavirus: Toronto restaurants boycotting Uber Eats due to high commission rates

Click to play video 'Toronto restaurants boycott Uber Eats app for Canada Takeout Day' Toronto restaurants boycott Uber Eats app for Canada Takeout Day
WATCH ABOVE: Il Fornello and Cibo Wine Bar in Toronto won’t be using the Uber Eats app on Canada Takeout Day. The owners say they lose money because the app charges restaurants too high of a commission. Tom Hayes has the story – May 6, 2020

Some Toronto restaurants say they are boycotting Uber Eats due to the high percentage of commission the app is still choosing to take per order amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday marks Canada Takeout Day, but for the Ilfornello Restaurant, located in Bayview Village, they will not be taking part in it through Uber Eats, but instead, will be using other food service apps such as Door Dash.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Longtime Toronto bar closes as restaurants fight to survive

“Uber Eats takes 30 per cent of an order and that’s a lot of money,” Ian Sorbie, CEO of Ilfornello’s, told Global News.

In the Yonge and Eglinton area, CIBO Wine Bar has the same complaint.

“Every time I make an Uber delivery, I lose money,” said Nick Di Donato, CEO of Liberty Group who owns Cibo.

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The owners of Cibo and Ilfornello said they shut off their Uber Eats app for Canada takeout day to send a message.

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“I hope the people who use these apps will begin to realize how it affects the restaurants they think they are supporting,” said Sorbie.

“Delivery is critical for our survival and if we make no money in our delivery, we can’t survive,” said Di Donato.

Both restauranteurs say they spend approximately 32  percent on food, 32 per cent on labour costs and Uber Eats takes 30 per cent.

Di Donato said after that there’s not much left for the owner.

READ MORE: Toronto restaurant owner under fire for controversial COVID-19 comments, language

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He said he prefers the Door Dash delivery service because rates have been reduced during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Lisa Hutcheson is a retail expert with JW Group and said she believes an affordable delivery is crucial to restaurant’s survival as the province and city inch back to reopening.

“Even when the restaurants reopen, they’re only going to be allowed 50 per cent capacity, so delivery is crucial,” said Hutcheson.

Uber Eats responded to an inquiry from Global News and said the commissions taken from restaurants are for company profit.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Toronto to close down some streets to car traffic in favour of pedestrians, cyclists

“To support our restaurant partners during this challenging time, we’re driving demand with $0 delivery fees on deliveries over $20 from independent restaurants. It’s important to note that the commissions restaurants pay to Uber Eats for our services is not profit.

“Instead, these commissions are used to cover the operating costs of providing safe, reliable services – including earnings of delivery people.”

As of Wednesday, Ontario reported a total of 18,722 coronavirus cases and 1,429 deaths.

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