If You Use Grubhub, Please Read--They Defied SF's Delivery Commission Fee Cap

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Thank you for not using Grubhub. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

On Friday June 12th, the first day Mayor Breed allowed San Francisco restaurants to offer outdoor dining service, many SF restaurants who use Grubhub as a delivery service may have received an email notice about their delivery, marketing, and pick-up order commission fees increasing. After calling out on Twitter for submissions, I received a number of emails from restaurants with rate increase emails from Grubhub, some up to 20 percent.

This is doubly infuriating: not only did Grubhub choose to deliberately misinterpret our Mayor’s Emergency Order, which capped all delivery commission fees at 15 percent until the Stay Safe at Home Order is lifted and indoor dining resumes, but like jackals over a fresh kill of a starving animal, decided to welcome our poor beleaguered restaurants’ first (and early!) day of outdoor service with a fee increase. They couldn’t even wait until June 15th, the original day outdoor service was slated to resume. I reached out to Grubhub to inquire why defied the order, but have not heard back.

I have been in touch with executive director of the GGRA (Golden Gate Restaurant Association) Laurie Thomas over the weekend about this, and on Sunday she informed me the Mayor has updated the Stay at Home Order in regards to the third-party food delivery commission cap to be abundantly clear: “That order terminates when the Stay Safe At Home Order is amended or modified to allow dine-in service. For the avoidance of doubt, the Mayor now issues the order below to clarify that the order terminates when the Stay Safe At Home Order is amended or modified to allow indoor dining.”

So, if your restaurant received a commission fee increase, write to Grubhub and get any additional fees they charged you this past weekend credited back and your commission fees reverted since they are in violation of the Stay Safe at Home Order terms. I’d also see about ending your contract with this disgusting leech of a company.

Readers, please don’t use Grubhub. Call the restaurant directly and try to pick up food when and if possible—Grubhub even charges a commission if you use their platform to pick up food. And be sure it’s the restaurant’s actual phone number—refer to the restaurant’s website to be sure—and not a Grubhub-generated phone number, which can appear in Google search results and will lead to Grubhub charging a commission fee from the call (read more in this BuzzFeed News article here). And don’t forget Grubhub’s fake restaurant listings, promoting restaurants on their platform that don’t even offer delivery and doing so without their permission. Their shady business practices know no bounds.

UPDATE: And another thing: restaurants, be sure to regularly audit your menu page on Grubhub and check the pricing. A friend pointed out to me that Grubhub raised prices of a restaurant’s menu items and pocketed the extra percentage (she called the restaurant to confirm when she noticed the price difference, and they were not aware of the price increase). So, not only as a consumer are you paying more than if you ordered directly from the restaurant, but the restaurant may not even know about the padded pricing. And Grubhub is still charging their commission fee (and all their other additional fees they charge).

Use another delivery service if you must use delivery—Grubhub lives up to their name, again and again. So utterly grubby.