Food delivery explodes, but reaction mixed


Ever wanted a Big Mac delivered to your house? The drive-through has now become a “drive-to.”

Uber, the same company that helped transform the taxi industry into the ride-hailing service popular today, is seriously pushing forward its UberEats program, launching a new partnership with McDonald’s. But even as customers are finding services like meals delivered to them, not all restaurants are celebrating what many are calling the future.

“McDelivery” now provides the famous McDonald’s menu from more than 300 restaurants in the city — including the McDonald’s at 5765 Broadway — straight to customer’s doors.  

McDelivery customers purchase food using the same account — but on a different app — as they use for Uber’s car services. 

They have access to nearly everything on the McDonald’s menu, except for soft-served cones.

UberEats and McDonald’s launched the program earlier this year at 200 Florida restaurants. Soon after, both companies rolled out services in Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and Columbus, Ohio.

Uber supplies the drivers — the same ones who also deliver passengers on a regular basis — while McDonald’s pays a commission to Uber based on a portion of their sales on the platform.

It’s yet to be seen how successful online delivery services like UberEats will be for global chains like McDonald’s, however some local restaurants have not exactly trumpeted success when it comes to online delivery.

Henry Lee hoped listing his restaurant, Golden Phoenix on Riverdale Avenue, on GrubHub would attract more teenagers to his Chinese eatery. Similar to UberEats, the Chicago-based GrubHub boasts 50,000 restaurants and more than 8.7 million diners through its app, available on most smartphones. 

Unlike UberEats, Grubhub does not provide its own drivers — delivery is handled by the restaurant.

“The times are changing, and these teenagers cannot live without their phone,” Lee said. “But since they don’t like to speak on their phone, it makes sense for them to order online from their phone.”

While GrubHub did indeed spur more sales, Lee has been dissatisfied with the app because the company charged him a 15 percent commission on every delivery order, which has proven too much for Golden Phoenix.

“We are a Chinese restaurant, so the bills are not very high,” Lee said. “We cannot afford to give up 15 percent of the bill, plus a credit card fee.” 

Shahid Shamraz, manager of Skyview Cafe & Deli, is another GrubHub user. Although he has to pay the same 15 percent commission as Lee, Shamraz said he’s happy with the results he’s getting from GrubHub since adopting the service six months ago.

“A lot of new business has really come in since we started using GrubHub,” Shamraz said. “Everyone is always on their phone, so we have definitely seen an increase in sales recently from all people, regardless of age and gender.”

Shamraz also is pleased because GrubHub supplies instant feedback for the restaurants.

“The reviews from people on GrubHub have been very good,” Shamraz said. “It has been very good for our restaurant, GrubHub has made us more popular.”