If you own a smartphone or know how to use the Internet, you’re probably aware there are a plethora of ways one can order food now. Any number of apps now vie for your business. One of the downsides of these apps is the gouging they inflict on the restaurants, taking a cut of your money, which in the old days, all went to the restaurant itself.
I’ve come to expect now that restaurants will make a patron pay more per item if you order via one of the apps, just to make up for the money that lose to the app maker. The most common markup I’ve seen is about a dollar more per item. For example, if you go to the restaurant and see an item costs $10 on the menu, it’ll show up as $11 on the app.
For the most part, I’m ok with this markup, especially if I’m just ordering one or two items. In exchange, it means I don’t have to talk to anyone on the phone, there’s less chance my order gets screwed up since it’s printed out for everyone, and I can chill in my home until it’s time for me to go pick up my food.
This weekend though, I noticed the most wild markup I’ve seen with these apps. There’s a pizza place downstairs called Pizza Garden. Their pizza is fantastic and the quality of their pies makes them a step above some of the other pizza joints in the area. The “Primo” pizza, which I ordered via their own website (so no need to markup) is about $21 for a medium size. If you use “Skip the Dishes”, there’s a two-dollar markup for the same pizza and size. If you order via “Uber Eats”, the same pizza is marked up four dollars. Should you unfortunately use “DoorDash” to order this pizza, it’s marked up a staggering $7. That’s almost $30 for a medium pizza that contains no seafood or solid gold.
I’ve never seen such wildly different prices for the same item at a restaurant. I don’t know if “Door Dash” takes a massive cut compared to the others or if Pizza Garden just hates “Door Dash” more than the others.
This is just a warning that if you can’t use a restaurant’s own website or app to order, it can’t hurt to see how much you’ll be paying depending on which of those other apps you use. You could wind up paying more than you should.