Op-Ed: Delivery services make supporting local businesses easier

Photo+from+Alexandria+Leland

Photo from Alexandria Leland

Gianna Cognetti, Copy Editor

The rise in technology and the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in many food businesses partnering with delivery services such as Doordash, UberEats and GrubHub. The delivery services make it so people can enjoy restaurant food in the comfort of their own homes, help those without transportation enjoy a meal out, help businesses gain more customers and it also provides jobs for people who want to create their own work schedule. 

With the food industry struggling during the pandemic’s dining restrictions, people can support local businesses by ordering through delivery services in participating locations. 

Some may think ordering through such services is damaging to the business because delivery services take a commission from participating businesses in order to be compensated for service. However, this is a small price restaurants pay compared to the loss they may experience without them. 

First-year student and on campus resident Peter Stanely says he has used UberEats because he did not have transportation at the time and wanted food. 

A lot of college students enjoy having food delivered because it is a change from their usual cafeteria food, and sometimes it is a way for them to grab a quick meal by themselves without having to physically go alone. 

“It is pretty easy,” he said. “The only downfall is that sometimes it takes a while to be delivered.” 

The long delivery time can be the price to pay for not having to leave the house, and some places such as Tony’s Pizza tend to stay true to hiring their own delivery employees. 

An employee of Tony’s Pizza said that the company has tried using those services in the past, yet it would sometimes get the order wrong and the company would pay the price. 

“People would complain about their order being wrong,” she said. “We find it best to do it ourselves.”

Photo from Alexandria Leland

Yet, many like Stanley think the delivery services help restaurants, which is why it is more common to see a lot of restaurants choosing to partner with them. 

“People who would not normally go to a restaurant can now have their food delivered,” he said. 

Delivery services can be beneficial for both customers and businesses. Businesses have a chance at gaining more customers that they would have missed out on if delivery was not an option. People who are simply too busy to get food themselves now have it easy with delivery. This can be anyone from people who can not leave work, parents caring for young children at home, college students who are busy with school work and many more.  

Junior Gage Fiacco is both an employee and customer for UberEats. He believes delivery services are great for local businesses and even mentions that UberEats raised millions of dollars for businesses during the pandemic. 

“I find more people order UberEats from local restaurants as opposed to chain restaurants,” he said. 

Especially with the importance of social distancing and mask-wearing, UberEats and similar delivery companies mandate contactless customer delivery. 

“Everything is non-contact delivery,” Fiacco said. “I can sit in my car and wait for the food, then I deliver it with no personal contact.” 

Fiacco explained UberEats also raised $4.5 million through a grant program in order to help struggling restaurants. Restaurants can submit applications in hopes to qualify for a $5,000 grant per location. The grant can assist in operational costs from paying employees, paying rent, paying vendors and more. The restaurants that qualify are small businesses with very few locations and can show proof of financial despair. 

Not only has UberEats been able to help restaurants, but they also are able to give grants to restaurant employees who have been out of work since the pandemic. Many restaurants laid off servers because they did not need as many as before. This left many, especially those with children struggling.

Delivery services can be a great way to gain extra income in such difficult times and they can help businesses now more than ever.