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Bay Area restaurants take hit with third-party delivery apps

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Update Monday, April 12: DoorDash tells KRON4 that roderick Roadhouse will now benefit from their restaurant relief program.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) — Struggling Bay Area restaurants are pushing for more delivery and curbside pickup to help their businesses throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

But some restaurants say delivery companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats are taking significant chunks of their money through commission fees.

San Francisco has stepped in to help local restaurants by putting a 15% cap on commission fees charged by the delivery companies. 

The charges typically range from 20% – 30% an order. 

But now those fees are hurting local restaurants that are already struggling to survive.

“We’re all suffering and their business is booming probably because everyone is relying on third party deliveries right now who don’t want to get out of their house,” said Rolla Ghaben.

Ghaben is a part-owner of the Broderick Roadhouse, a restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek.

Walnut Creek has not put a cap on commission fees like San Francisco has.

Ghaben says throughout this coronavirus pandemic their delivery partner DoorDash has been taking more than 20% commission on orders plus fees.

“They definitely need to come to the table. They need to be part of the solution, not be part of the problem. And right now they are a part of the problem,” Ghaben said.

DoorDash announced a restaurant relief program last week, which they said will cut local restaurant commissions in half.

Ghaben says she and her brothers, who are franchisees for a number of the Original Mels Diners and also own a restaurant in Lafayette, are not eligible for DoorDash’s commission cut.

“It only applies to certain restaurants which I don’t understand how that could be,” Ghaben said.

Ghaben hopes DoorDash will reconsider because they’re also depending on them to keep going.

“We need them to be able to survive these days,” she said.

Ghaben says they’ve thought about doing their own delivery but they’re already running on a skeleton crew.

For restaurants that can benefit from DoorDash’s $100 million relief program it will begin on Monday and run through the end of May.

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