COVID-19: How do delivery services impact local restaurants?

Click to play video: 'How delivery services are helping Lethbridge restaurants through COVID-19' How delivery services are helping Lethbridge restaurants through COVID-19
WATCH ABOVE: Lethbridge restaurant owners are relying on a number of services to deliver food to paying customers through COVID-19. As Emily Olsen reports, some are urging customers to carefully consider how to best support businesses more directly – May 12, 2020

Cory Medd, owner of Two Guys and a Pizza Place, says the switch from dining room back to just delivery is going well.

“That’s what we started as,” Medd explained. “So we had the system in place and I guess an advantage over some other restaurants that didn’t know what to do exactly.”

READ MORE: As coronavirus spreads, is it still safe to use food delivery services?

Many other Lethbridge restaurants are making the leap to use services like SkipTheDishes.

“I’ve heard from them many times that’s for sure,” Medd acknowledged. “But over the years we’ve had our own drivers. Since day one, I always wanted to have great customer service that we’d have some control over.”

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Medd says it also means closer control over health and safety measures.

“We definitely offer contactless delivery or pickup,” he said. “To the point where if you roll up and phone us, we’ll bring it to your car.”

All things considered, Medd says he understands why app services have been so important to many food businesses.

“I mean through this [pandemic], there’s no question, SkipTheDishes has served a purpose: for restaurants to stay in business. And it just comes at a cost I guess.”

When asked about the cost to businesses in commission and fees, SkipTheDishes answered, in part, “…our partnership agreements are confidential contracts individually negotiated between SkipTheDishes and our restaurant partners…”

But the company says it’s also reduced its fees by 25 per cent during the pandemic.

Medd calls delivery services a necessary way to keep the doors open during COVID-19, and — in the case of an app — to potentially attract new customers.

“The idea of supporting local… has really kicked in,” Medd said.

READ MORE: Edmonton restaurant owner encourages people to think beyond delivery apps during COVID-19 crisis

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He says it’s important customers know exactly where their money is going.

“Many places now, as you know, if you’re phoning them directly, they’re offering a discount or a different price than what is on SkipTheDishes,” Medd said. “Because it is such a big cut.”

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