Restaurants counting on Uber Eats angry over weekend hiatus

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When Leemo Han transferred its Hanmoto, Seoul Shakers and Pinky’s Ca Phe restaurants to Uber Eats delivery last week, it envisioned a steady flow of orders leaving the kitchen.

Instead, Han says he had loads of hot food orders that were getting colder, and barely an hour-long Uber Eats driver walked through the door to bring them to customers.

Han blames the Uber Eats app, which sent orders to restaurants but frequently sent error messages to them and other Ontario businesses throughout the weekend.

“It was such a waste. At one point, I had to say to my guys, “Don’t do it,” “says Han. “We expected very good sales and they were cut in half. “

Uber Eats told The Canadian Press that the recent outage was caused by a “technical problem”. It compensates restaurants that have not filled orders and encourages customers affected by the outage to place new orders with a $ 25 promotion code funded by Uber Eats.

Restaurants are looking for other options

Han, who had just reopened after closing his restaurants for a month during the COVID-19 epidemic, says he is now accepting orders by email and making the deliveries himself, a method he will continue in a foreseeable future.

The incident places Han in a group of restaurant owners who say that Uber Eats has disappointed them and eroded their ability to make money when they need it most.

They are now investigating other messaging options and are fleeing Uber Eats, which, according to research firm Statista, has 25% of the global food delivery market – the second largest share after UK-based Just Eat.

Canada has been a particularly important battleground for delivery companies because it is the birthplace of Uber Eats, which was piloted with a handful of restaurants in Toronto in December 2015.

Uber Eats now delivers to tens of thousands of restaurants and has signed deals with McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, A&W and Starbucks.

Some restaurants say they are switching to different delivery apps after the weekend outages. (Ben Nelms / CBC)

In the wake of Uber Eats are competitors SkipTheDishes, DoorDash and Chanmao.

The Uber Eats outage, combined with years of complaints about the company’s 30% commission on orders, may have served rivals well.

Richmond Hill, Ontario-based Chanmao, which serves the Greater Toronto Area, Waterloo, Hamilton, Halifax, Edmonton and Winnipeg, saw an increase of approximately 20% in orders during the outage, said Vice-President Ivy Chen to The Canadian Press in a press release. E-mail.

Craig’s Cookies, a Toronto-based company that sells decadent cookies stuffed with treats like Oreos, cream eggs, and brownies, decided to drop Uber Eats and switch to DoorDash.

“I’m really crazy that Uber Eats is saying it’s a relationship, that we’re working together,” said owner Craig Pike, who added that he was not informed of the weekend outage.

“They have a lot of restaurants in a corner and they are not responsible for them. “

Frustration with Uber Eats’ cutting edge rules

The outages come after Pike spent a week talking to Uber Eats about his policies that prevent restaurants from accepting tips above $ 2.

Pike wanted to allow customers to tip extra.

“Right now, a lot of people are ordering $ 100 worth of food from Uber Eats and the only option for the consumer is to be able to leave a $ 2 gift for the restaurant, which is not useful for people working in restaurants and always count on the subsidy of a gratuity to help pay the bills, “he said.

He estimates he lost $ 9,000 over the weekend due to the outage of Uber Eats – a blow to a company that has already had to cut staff and usually sees all of its weekend orders coming from of the platform.

“Uber Eats might think they’re doing their best, but from the outside, it really isn’t really the case,” said Pike.

He says Craig’s cookies will stay on Uber Eats for a week or two longer than customers switch to DoorDash.

As for Pike, he said he only takes things “one cookie at a time.”

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