Samantha Wood, the founder of the FooDiva website, has written an open letter to food delivery food aggregators in the UAE urging them to support the local restaurant industry.
Amid increasingly strict restrictions on F&B outlets being enforced and restaurants having to rely heavily on delivery to for survival, Wood urged aggregators to "prioritise corporate social responsibility" by waiving or reducing their commission rates. Commission rates can be as high as 35% and typically the delivery fee is not passed onto restaurants however, this varies from contract to contract.
Speaking exclusively to Hotelier Middle East about her decision to address the issue, Wood said: "Given the advice for self-isolation, naturally, we've seen an increase in restaurants that deliver, even those who never used to - and for many this is now their sole source of income. This trend is reflected in the #UAERestaurantsUnite campaign, where the majority of posts are related to delivery. However, with food delivery aggregators continuing to charge restaurants such hefty commission rates in a global crisis, these F&B outlets are unlikely to sustain operations for much longer. One of FooDiva’s objectives has always been to champion the underdog and support local businesses. So I am hoping, by adding my voice, we might be able to influence these delivery aggregators in waiving, or at least drastically reducing their commissions - and thus sustaining some kind of future for the UAE’s F&B industry.
Waiving delivery fees benefits the consumer ordering in a small way, which of course is a good thing - but this cost is typically not passed on to restaurants. So the only way for these food delivery aggregators to support F&B outlets is by waiving/ slashing commission."
Follow the conversation on social media on @foodiva and #UAERestaurantsUnite.