Hey check this out, we've got a new online menu site for DNA Pizza that lets you place orders for delivery or pick-up -- and, for pick-up at least, it does not gouge us into paying 15% to the middlemen!
If you order for pick-up, the only fee they charge us is a (small, reasonable) credit card processing fee, so it doesn't cost us any more than if you paid with a card in person.
For delivery orders.... it's more complicated and I don't fully understand it. This new thing is operated by DoorDash, and they (like all of these delivery middlemen) are just amazingly deceptive and sleazy. It looks like what's going on is this:
- If you click through from dnapizza.com/order/ and order for pick-up, there are no additional fees, as I said above.
- If you click through from dnapizza.com/order/ and order for delivery, they charge you (the customer) $3 plus 11% for delivery, but they do not make us (the restaurant) pay additional fees on the back-end. Hooray!
- That's the same thing that used to happen if you went to DoorDash through this link (with a bunch of "utm_source" crap on the end). That magic URL was their concession to the restaurants where they said, "Ok, if it's obvious that you drove the traffic rather than us, we won't charge you a commission."
- But these sites, like Facebook, are all about lock-in: about converting our customers into their customers and then kicking us to the curb. Here's where it gets sleazy.
Let's say that yesterday you went from dnapizza.com to DoorDash, and we got that commission-free deal. Great. But then today you go to DoorDash and you click "order again".
Well if you do that, then not only do they charge you (the customer) 11% + $3 for delivery, but they also charge us (the restaurant) 15% of the order on the back-end. That 15% doesn't show up on your bill, but it eats up most of our profit on the order.
When I first saw that DoorDash was offering this new "no commission for pick-up orders" option, my first question was "what's the catch?" It took us a while to figure it out. The catch is, "the first hit's free." They make it look like it's a better deal for us, but actually it's a customer-acquisition con. Once they have made our customer a captive of their silo, they get to gouge us on the back-end. And that probably happens immediately after the first order.
We are still listed on the other delivery sites (except Postmates because fuck Uber) so that if someone does happen to find us via Grubhub or whatever, well, I guess we'll take it? Even though their hidden 15% fee eats up almost all of our profit.
But if you would like to order from us and ensure that we get your money and don't have to give away a huge chunk of it to a middleman, then I think that the best way for you to do that is to always click on dnapizza.com/order/ rather than starting from your DoorDash account.
And I expect them to move the goalposts again at some point. I mean, being consistent or clear or honest is no way to make money.
I'm not sure, but at this point we might be better off just closing the restaurant entirely. If we aren't currently paying more in staff than we're making on food and booze sales, then we're pretty damned close to it. Not only are sales a shadow of what they were when the nightclub was open, but these delivery "commissions" are absolutely killing us.
And buy some pizza and cocktails! Preferably for pick-up.