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Restaurant Ibid
Photograph: Restaurant Ibid

Ordering from delivery platforms might be hurting your favourite F&B establishments

Try ordering directly from your local restaurant and hawker as much as possible

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Written by
Fabian Loo
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As Singapore enters its second week of the ‘circuit breaker’, ordering meals via delivery platforms is becoming the new normal.

But the high commission rates that these delivery giants take from each order is eating into the revenue streams of already struggling food and beverage (F&B) operators, says an industry group made up of over 500 restaurants in Singapore. 

In an open letter to the delivery platforms posted on the group’s website, Wearefnbsg.com, it says: “We watched in frustration as your commission increased steadily from 20 percent to 30 percent.” 

With mandated take-out rules, F&B operators are left with little choice but to stomach these rates in the hopes of reaching out to more hungry diners. An illustration by the group shows that as much as a quarter of the consumers’ dollar goes to delivery platforms instead of the restaurants.

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According to the chart, it estimates that for a dish of $25, $6 goes to the delivery platforms. After taking into account overhead costs including rent, ingredients, utilities, and labour, the nett profit for F&B owners is a mere $0.50.
Here’s how you can help: order directly from F&B operators directly if you can.
Most restaurants, and even hawkers, have started to engage private drivers whose livelihood has been affected by the situation as well. The delivery cost borne by the consumers goes directly to the drivers, and the amount paid for the food goes straight to the F&B owners. Some like chef Woo Wai Leong from Restaurant Ibid have even taken matters into their own hands by personally delivering all orders to ensure quality control.

For a convenient resource of local restaurants you can purchase directly from, head over to this wearefnbsg.com/forfoodies

Our hawkers need your help too. Most lack the marketing knowledge and social media presence to advertise their delivery services – and this Facebook, 'Hawkers United – Dabao 2020’ hopes to help. Head over to find out how you can support your favourite hawker stall.

It’s important to also acknowledge that delivery platforms aren’t the problem – and removing these players completely from the equation won’t help the situation. These companies help sustain the livelihood of numerous personnel, from delivery drivers to support staff, and bring much-needed exposure to various F&B businesses too. But the call for reduced commission rates, especially during these trying times, will benefit the community. It’ll help stretch each dollar, ensuring that more goes into the pockets of struggling F&B businesses to help them keep the lights on. If you want to support the local F&B industry’s call for lowered commission rates from delivery platforms, join the group’s petition here.

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