Just Eat and Uber Eats have provided a locked down population with a chance to indulge in their favourite meals, with the two companies now being among the most valuable food tech companies in the UK, with Just Eat making £1bn in 2019.
Especially with younger generations which grew up with phones and apps, it’s more common to order food via an app rather than relying on collection or an in-house delivery, but it also means there’s hidden costs on businesses that rely on the technology.
Use of the Just Eat platform requires businesses to install a ‘Just-Connect Box’ at the sum of £699 as well as allowing the platform to charge 10%-15% commission on each order, which can be a sum in the hundreds on top of the existing overheads of running a food business.
Hasan Odguglu, 31, works at a kebab shop in Cardiff, and spoke about the challenges of operating with these apps.
He said: “It’s crazy, absolutely crazy, it’s like a tax. I can’t compete with other takeaways who are using Just Eat or Uber Eats because people don’t call up to order any more.
“On top of that it’s so expensive, paying 10 per cent of every order, I can lose hundreds on a busy night. The worst part is since all of the pubs and bars are closed I’m losing out on all of the customers I would get later at night.
“McDonald’s and the rest know that people will go to them, they even got the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, and what do we get? Nothing. I have a feeling that the world is trying to force out small businesses like mine.”
Just Eat is profitable as a result of mainly providing a service in the form of connecting the restaurant to the customers with its value placed in the technology, while Uber Eats is slightly profitable but still massively successful as it provides delivery staff as a part of its service.
Uber Eats, however, manage to work around this by paying staff £1.40 per delivery and £1.50 a mile, if a bike courier manages to make two deliveries an hour and covers three miles during this, they only make £7.30.
The way that we consume and order food has changed forever, and the pandemic has helped solidify this, with 50m meals ordered during the first lockdown from one platform alone.
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