Restaurant Roundup: DoorDash Proposes Solution To Aggregator Fee Problem

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Since the start of the pandemic, there have been countless conversations and disputes about restaurant aggregator pricing, with restaurants, aggregators, local legislatures and consumers all left feeling frustrated by the lack of legislation, leaving some to wonder whether the aggregator model even works in the first place. Now, leading United States aggregator DoorDash has announced a new pricing structure geared toward making the platform more affordable for some restaurants while still charging a steeper fee where possible.

“Delivery is a three-sided marketplace — you’ve got restaurants, consumers, and Dashers,” DoorDash COO Christopher Payne said, per The Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s very important to keep the system in balance so that we can all benefit and make profit from the system that we designed.”

As TechCrunch reports, the aggregator announced that restaurants will be able to choose from one of three options. With DoorDash Basic, restaurants will be charged a 15 percent fee, customers will pay a larger fee, and restaurants will have access to a smaller delivery radius. With DoorDash Plus, restaurants will pay a 25 percent fee, will be available for DashPass subscribers, and will get a boost in DoorDash’s in-app listings. With DoorDash Premier,  restaurants will be charged a 30 percent fee, customers will pay the lowest fee of the three options, the restaurant will have access to the largest delivery area, and DoorDash guarantees a boost of 20 more orders per month total through DoorDash delivery and pickup and Caviar delivery and pickup.

“This is not designed in response to legislation,” said Payne. “It’s designed in response to listening to restaurateurs and learning what they need.”

Landry’s To Accept Bitcoin

Landry’s, the company behind over a dozen well-known restaurant chains including Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Rainforest Cafe, Joe’s Crab Shack and Morton’s The Steakhouse , will soon be accepting bitcoin cryptocurrency in its restaurants. As company Chairman and CEO Tilman Fertitta told CNBC, the move will happen quickly. He explained, “We’ll have it, probably, within all of our restaurant brands — or 80% to 90% — in the next 90 days, where you don’t have to use a Mastercard or Visa or American Express anymore. You can use bitcoin or other digital currencies.”

Fertitta believes that cryptocurrency will soon be accepted in a far wider range of businesses. “It’s amazing how simple the transaction is, and it is here to stay. This is where it is, and it’s inevitable that this was going to happen,” he said.

This announcement comes amid highly public flash crashes associated with the cryptocurrency, and amid general instability, with prices rising and falling quickly.

Select upscale restaurants have been accepting bitcoin for years, and Fertitta’s luxury car dealership in Houston, Texas has been accepting cryptocurrency payments since 2018.

7-Eleven Tops Itself With Two-Restaurant Location

In late March, convenience store giant 7-Eleven announced a company first, a location that featured a drive-thru restaurant. Now, just a month later, the company has one-upped itself. On Thursday (April 29), the company revealed that its new Evolution Store in Manassas, Virginia will feature two restaurants: a Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuits restaurant and a Parlor Pizza onsite pizzeria.

“Since 7-Eleven began selling milk and bread from an ice dock in 1927, our spirit of innovation has allowed us to evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of customers for over 90 years,” 7-Eleven Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco said in a statement. “Today’s opportunity is in the QSR space, and we are responding by aggressively rolling out our restaurants across the country — both in Evolution Stores and beyond. Our plan is to open nearly 150 restaurants in 2021.”

The company describes these Evolution Stores as an “experiential testing ground where customers can try and buy the retailer’s latest innovations in a pioneering store format,” noting that “all Evolution Stores include a restaurant concept.”

RBI Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Sales, Tim Hortons Impacted by Lockdowns

Restaurant Brands International (RBI), parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, announced Friday (April 30) that sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels in the first three months of 2021.

As RBI Chief Executive Officer José Cil told analysts on a call, “In the first quarter our global system wide sales grew by 1.4 percent compared to 2019, as a result of having three strong brands diversified around the world with dedicated teams driving a return to growth in their respective markets.”

Tim Hortons sales dropped 2.3 percent for the quarter, while Burger King sales were up 0.7 percent, and Popeyes sales increased 1.5 percent. Cil attributes this disparity to Canada’s ongoing lockdown restrictions.

“There is no doubt that the biggest factor affecting our performance at Tims is the continued lockdown of a large majority of the country significantly affecting mobility,” Cil said. “Americans are experiencing a very different path out of COVID than Canadians today. Canada continues to face strict lockdowns in much of the country with mobility severely restricted.”

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