Why your $20 salad bowl is costing you $30 on a delivery app
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Fast food chains are marking up individual menu items by up to $10 on delivery apps, passing on their losses after third-party services take a cut of the sale.
The higher prices – which are being charged by local outlets as well as multinational corporations – are paid in addition to delivery and service fees charged by delivery apps such as Menulog and UberEats, which can add another $8 to an order.
UberEats prices are frequently higher than those in store, before delivery and service fees are applied.Credit: iStock
Third-party delivery services charge restaurants a commission of up to 30 per cent on every order. This fee is reduced for orders delivered by the restaurant’s own staff or picked up by customers.
Zeus Street Greek, which has 24 stores nationally, has some of the biggest gaps between its in-store and third-party delivery prices.
The fast food chain charges $32 for one of its Spartan bowls on UberEats and Menulog, but only $22 if purchased at the shop or ordered through its own website for pick-up or local delivery.
Its pita wraps, which retail from $13.50 to $15.50 in store, are between $5 and $6.50 more expensive if ordered through a third-party service.
At Fishbowl, the prices of all salads are increased by up to $4 when ordering on UberEats.
Oporto’s double Bondi burger is $10.75 in-store but $14.25 on third-party apps, while nachos from Guzman y Gomez cost $3.80 less ($15.20) if purchased in person.
Ramon Castillo, the chief marketing officer at Zeus Street Greek, said the price difference between its delivery menu was “100 per cent in place to offset the fees charged by third-party delivery companies”.
“The convenience that delivery partners offer comes at a cost,” he said. “The ability for our franchisees to absorb these fees in addition to our other operational costs is simply not sustainable.”
Fishbowl co-founder Nic Pestalozzi agreed higher prices were necessary to make partnering with delivery companies viable.
“These don’t match [Uber’s] commission, so we still run a slight loss … but we also understand the convenience delivery offers, and this is what those customers are ultimately paying for,” he said.
Uber does not require restaurants and stores listed on its UberEats platform to conform to in-store pricing.
“Which items merchants decide to list and how they price those items is at the complete discretion of our partners,” a spokesperson said.
Large multinational chains are also setting higher prices for meals delivered on third-party apps.
A KFC original recipe burger is $7.45 in store but $8.95 on UberEats. McDonald’s charges $7.80 for a Big Mac, but $8.20 on UberEats; a six-pack of chicken nuggets costs $8.50 on UberEats, $1.10 more than in-store.
Supermarket shoppers can order groceries from Coles and Woolworths through UberEats. Coles has maintained its in-store pricing on the platform but Woolworths has not.
However, Woolworths does charge in-store prices on its own delivery app, which is now called Milkrun after the supermarket purchased the failed grocery delivery start-up and used it to rebrand its own delivery service, previously known as Metro60, last week.
A Woolworths spokesperson said the higher prices on UberEats were to recoup the fees charged by Uber on each sale.
Menulog did not respond to requests for comment.
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