The National Restaurant Association on Wednesday asked the federal government for $145 billion in direct aid to restaurants through a Foodservice Industry Recovery Fund, in addition to $100 billion of federally-backed business interruption insurance, $135 million of disaster unemployment assistance, $45 billion of loans, $35 billion of federal community block grants and tax reforms.
The threat of the novel coronavirus has left restaurants across the nation facing uncertainty and scrambling to focus their efforts on providing take-out, pick-up and delivery options, as their customers practice social-distancing. Government leaders across the country have taken strict measures to slow down the spread of the virus by banning on-site dining, as we saw from Governor DeSantis’ latest executive order today.
Given the evolving situation of the coronavirus outbreak, many food delivery services doing their part in taking active measures to work with their partner restaurants by encouraging contactless deliveries and waiving commission fees to alleviate the cost on independent restaurant owners on their platforms.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Yelp announced this morning through its blog that it will be providing $25 million in relief to local restaurants and nightlife businesses that are seeing a drop in business as a result of the crisis. This will come in the form of “waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services.” They will also offer restaurants and nightlife businesses that remain open free access to Yelp page upgrades, including Business Highlights and Call To Action, as well as Connect, which will help them communicate timely information to their customers.
Restaurants will also receive three months of free access to Yelp Reservations and Waitlist. For restaurant clients that offer delivery and/or takeout, they’ll provide $100 in free search advertising, among other relief efforts.
GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to provide small business owners with the financial support and resources needed to continue running their businesses during and after the coronavirus crisis. Under this partnership, GoFundMe campaigns will automatically appear on Yelp profiles for restaurants, nightlife, beauty and fitness and active-life businesses.
The three companies have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund. Supporters can donate to the Small Business Relief Fund and GoFundMe.org will provide grants to small businesses across the United States. The Small Business Relief Fund will be issuing $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.
Food Delivery Platforms:
To support the restaurant industry, DoorDash announced it is waiving commissions charged to restaurants through April 30. Independent restaurants in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Australia can sign up for the service for free and pay zero commissions for 30 days. For existing partner restaurants, there will be no commission fees on pick-up orders. DoorDash also confirmed that the set default delivery option is “no contact,” to minimize contact between delivery workers and customers.
Understanding the urgent need of small businesses during this time, Uber Eats has waived delivery fees on all Uber Eats orders from independent restaurants across the US and Canada in an effort to drive sales. They have also introduced new functionalities to enable same‑day payouts for any Uber Eats restaurants who request it, to increase cash flow certainty.
Grubhub announced it is temporarily suspending collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants across the nation. The move will provide immediate and substantial cash flow relief to qualified independent restaurants, which make up the majority of GrubHub’s 350,000+ restaurant community and drive more than 80 percent of the company’s orders.
The Grubhub-owned delivery service announced that it would be deferring its commission fees for independent restaurants struggling to stay in business. Additionally, it will be matching all promotions run by the restaurants with its “Smart Promotions” feature to “help make their investments in growth twice as effective.”
Delivery app Postmates said it would waive commission fees for small businesses in San Francisco that sign up for a relief pilot program.
In an effort to support existing and potential clients, Toast is offering three free months of the Toast Digital Ordering Suite which includes a mobile-friendly website that allows guests to order directly from restaurants, commission-free, among other benefits.
Resy, an app for restaurant reservations, is using its reservation system to temporarily allow restaurants to sell a limited menu of take-out meals. The company also announced it was offering relief on all fees and billing for at least 30 days.
Tock, another reservation platform, has pivoted its team to develop a solution for restaurants that don’t typically offer take-out or delivery. Partner restaurants can now sell meal kits, to-go packs, or whatever experience they can dream up directly on Tock.
The restaurant payment technology solutions provider has waived all set-up and transaction fees to help restaurants during the COVID-19 outbreak. The platform’s pre-order, scan-to-order and scan-to-pay features will allow guests to order from their phone and have the food delivered right to their car.