by David Klemt

Rise of the ‘Not’ Delivery Platforms

by David Klemt

The big third-party delivery services are facing pushback in the form of community-based competition.

We’ve kept our eye on this burgeoning trend and the push for operators to implement first-party delivery, also known as direct delivery.

It isn’t directly related to hospitality but the first of the “not” sites that grabbed our attention was Not Amazon. As the name suggests, Not Amazon is…well…not Amazon.

The founder highlights businesses owned and operated by women and BIPOC and LGBTQA+ people. However, Not Amazon goes even further, as illustrated in their mission statement:

“Providing the most we can, while taking as little as possible, in order to build a new kind of community.”

Community and neighborhood support is at the core of Not Amazon. The digital era has been marked by local, mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar businesses suffering in the wake of online shopping. Convenience has outweighed community. More often than not, women-, BIPOC- and LGBTQA+-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by “convenience.”

Of course, it makes sense with a global pandemic to shop online. Not Amazon, which currently serves Calgary, Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver, provides a viable alternative to its behemoth of an online retail counterpart.

That brings us to two compelling hospitality industry-specific platforms.

It’s not a secret that KRG Hospitality supports first-party and last-mile delivery. In fact, we’ve very clearly explained that operators lose guest data and control over the guest journey when they sign with a third-party delivery company.

That’s to say nothing of the fees third-party services charge their F&B “partners.” Is it convenient that DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates and other companies provide a semblance of infrastructure, the lure of reaching a larger pool of customers, and drivers (including the associated liability)? Sure.

But are the costs associated with doing business with a third-party delivery company worth it? Most likely not.

Studies have also shown that when a delivery goes wrong on the third-party’s end–cold food, for instance–it’s the restaurant that tends to get the blame.

There are two websites that, like Not Amazon, have popped up to put supporting local restaurants front and center: Not UberEats and NotGrubhub.

The former serves Toronto and operates as a non-profit, according to their FAQ page. The latter is mainly focused on the United States, offers the option to purchase gift cards, and is powered by Lunchbox. NotGubhub also boasts more than 100,000 direct ordering links.

Both operate in similar fashion: Restaurants submit their information to be added to the respective platforms, provide an ordering link, and obtain a listing. From there, people can search by location for restaurants in their area to place a delivery order.

In the case of NotUberEats, deliveries are fulfilled by Ritual or DoorDash. As noted on their FAQ page, Ritual is offering Toronto restaurants free delivery through 2021. Restaurants can also DoorDash because, as NotUberEats explains in their FAQs, the service is charging a flat rate and not collecting any commissions.

People can also send restaurant information to NotUberEats to help grow their listings. Anyone who wishes to do so is asked to provide at least 50 businesses in their city and submit them here.

Operators ready to make the move to first-party/direct delivery and own their guest journey should consider the following platforms:

With delivery here to stay, the sooner operators transition to direct delivery, the better. There’s no longer a reason to lose control of guests, a profitable operational element, or costs.

Image: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash