Meet Kris and Denise. They’re neighbors, living two houses apart on a beautiful city block. They don’t know each other that well. Maybe pleasantries in passing on the sidewalk or a quick conversation every now and then (Hey, how’s it going? Tough week? How ‘bout that cold front coming in…)
Tonight, though, Kris and Denise have the same problem. Neither was willing to brave the Sunday grocery store lines (and, in doing so, admit that Monday is fast approaching). Now, their refrigerators are empty and their stomachs are screaming for food.
It’s time to grab something from a local spot.
A Tale of Two Orders
Kris and Denise unknowingly have something else in common. They both love Dougie’s Delicious Dogs (and no, not just because of the alliteration).
Dougie’s Delicious Dogs is a neighborhood staple, serving up creative hot dogs to the community for the past five years. Like any restaurant during the pandemic, Dougie’s has faced its share of challenges, but it’s persevered because of local support.
A little about Dougie’s: They’re a tiny brick-and-mortar establishment with a walk-up window. Part of the appeal. The experience, if you will. Plus, less overhead.
However, this doesn’t mean that Dougie’s doesn’t want to grow. In fact, the owner—Douglas “Dougie” Davidson—was working hard to expand before the pandemic. In particular, he wanted to reach more people by setting up his own delivery service.
Then came the coronavirus. Plans had to be put on hold, and Dougie did the only thing he could to get by and expand his reach: He partnered with third party delivery platforms.
Kris is tired. It’s the last day of the week, he’s been working double-time at his job, and he just wants some good ‘ole fashioned comfort food from Dougie’s Delicious Dogs.
Dougie’s is a 3-mile hike from Kris’s apartment. Sure, Kris could hop in the car, but then he’d have to find parking near Dougie’s and parking when he got back. Not worth it, he decides. Instead, Kris grabs his phone, opens up one of the (several) third party delivery service apps, and places an order.
Nice thing about Dougie’s? It’s cost-friendly. Typically, Kris gets in and out the door for under $10. Today, he’s going to pay a bit extra. His usual $8 combo meal collects a 15% service charge and $3 delivery fee.
Pre-tip, Kris spends $12.20 on a standard single-digit meal.
Meanwhile, Dougie Davidson gets the order and lets out a big sigh. It’s business, but…he’s getting hit with a 20% marketing fee and 10% delivery commission for this single order.
55 minutes later, Kris has his grub. It’s delicious. It’d be even better if I didn’t pay so much for it, he thinks.
Yeah, Kris, it would.
In this scenario, all parties involved lose.
Denise’s story is much simpler. Dougie’s is a 3-mile hike, but she has a car, could care less about having to find parking and, more importantly, knows that delivery services are gouging restaurants.
So what does Denise do? She gives Dougie’s Delicious Dogs a direct call. She places her order, hops in the car, and in under 25 minutes, is sitting on her couch with a delectable $8 combo meal.
What’s more, Dougie Davidson just made real profit from selling his product. And all because the middleman was told to go take a seat in the corner.
In this scenario, all parties involved win.
The How Matters
It’s no secret what’s happening in the restaurant industry right now. Pandemic or no pandemic, relationships with third party apps can be described as “rocky” at best, and a lot of this stems from disproportionate fees that restaurants have to pay in order to “partner” with these companies.
Because of this, the how behind #supportlocal is just as important, if not even more so, than the act itself.
Ordering from a local restaurant is the first step. Ordering in a way that proves profitable to the restaurant (and yourself) should be the very next.
Supporting local is a movement, and you can join at any time. Do your research beforehand – does a restaurant have its own delivery service? If so, use it.
If not, can you order takeout? It’s an added step for you, but it takes #supportlocal to the next level. To the appropriate level. One where the basic semantics of “support” and “local” come to fruition.
It’s a tale of two orders. And one in which your choices can make all the difference.