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Tucson restaurant, Bacio Italiano, says third-party delivery services hurt their business

Baccio Italiano
Posted at 5:42 AM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 09:15:09-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The pizza comes out hot at Bacio Italiano. When it does, it's boxed up and, often times, picked up by delivery service drivers.

"We have been using the apps since they became popular. Their popularity has increased since COVID," said Bacio Italiano Marketing Coordinator, Frances Leone.

Bacio Italiano allows customers to order food through third-party delivery services, but staff said doing so comes with a hefty price.

"The delivery app takes 30% of the revenue. If your order costs $100, the delivery app would take $30. That's not including delivery fees and tip," said Leone.

According to the City of Tucson, restaurants like Bacio Italiano should not be paying third-party delivery services more than 15% of each order placed. In October 2020, the City of Tucson passed an ordinance to protect local businesses from third-party delivery services. Tucson restaurants with less than five locations, and no pre-exisiting contracts, qualify for this protection.

DoorDash sent a statement to KGUN. A spokesperson said they have worked to comply with Tucson's price controls by reducing commission fees for hundreds of eligible merchant partners:

"Merchant fees help pay for a variety of business costs to support all three sides of our marketplace including paying and insuring Dashers. We know that every restaurant is unique, which is why we offer restaurants a number of ways in which we can support them including DoorDash Storefront, a commission-free, online-ordering product. DoorDash knows that doing our part during this unprecedented time, when delivery is an essential service, is important, which is why we've taken many actions to support restaurants over the past year including providing a robust package of an estimated $120 million in commission relief and marketing investments nationwide. We are committed to supporting restaurants while providing the best possible experience for our entire community. We’ve worked to comply with Tucson’s price controls, and as such have temporarily reduced commissions for hundreds of eligible merchant partners," said a DoorDash spokesperson.

Uber, who owns UberEATS and Postmates, sent a statement to KGUN, as well:

"Uber Eats supports efforts to help the hospitality industry, which is why we continue to focus the majority of our efforts on driving demand to independent local restaurants, which we know is a key concern of our partners during these times. We comply with the City of Tucson's ordinance to temporarily cap the commissions that fund the app-based food delivery marketplace during the COVID-19 pandemic," said a Uber spokesperson.

Tucson council member, Steve Kozachik, represents Bacio Italiano's ward. Kozachik said the ordinance was approved by mayor and council so that businesses would be protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"That way everybody wins. The delivery company has a way to do their business, but the restaurant stays in business," said Kozachik.

Kozachik said the ordinance is still active and in place.

"It's in place until the health emergency leaves and all the restrictions on indoor dining are removed. We're not close to that yet," said Kozachik.

Bacio Italiano is asking customers to order from them directly and not through third-party services. They opened an option on their website that offers delivery or pick-up.

"Instead of giving thirty-percent away to a corporate company, it comes back to our restaurant. It would just go towards keeping us open and ensuring that everyone has the best quality," said Leone.

The City of Tucson encourages any restaurant that is having issues with delivery app services and commissions to reach out to their ward's council member.