Consumers Starting To Push Back Against Third-Party Restaurant Fees

Nevin Barich

Nevin Barich

November 18, 2021

As I write this blog, I’m staring at a $30 bill through Postmates for a couple of double cheeseburgers, fries and a soda from McDonald’s.

Now, I don’t know off the top of my head how much the meal would have been if I had picked up the food myself or ordered from McDonald’s directly. But what I do know is that if I used either of those two alternative options, it would’ve cost me less. A lot less. I could’ve taken advantage of special promotions, I could’ve avoided Postmates’ taxes and fees, and if I picked the food up myself, I also could’ve avoided adding a tip.

I used third-party restaurant services a ton during the pandemic. But now that I’m vaccinated, boosted and can leave the house with less worry about getting sick, I’m seriously considering stopping use of the services altogether because of the higher costs. And a recent study says I’m not the only one.

According to a Paytronix study on food delivery aggregators, 58% of U.S. consumers are skipping aggregators when ordering from restaurants because – while the service is very convenient – more and more people are avoiding it due to perceived high costs.

"Brands today must own their digital ordering channel from start to finish," said Paytronix CEO Andrew Robbin. "Guests clearly want to work directly with the brands they love, and the more control brands have over the full ordering process, the better and more personalized they can make it. Aggregators play a key role in this ecosystem, but brands need the tools and technologies in place to keep their guests happy and coming back."

Additional findings from the report include:

---Less than one-fifth of restaurant customers used an aggregator to order from their favorite eateries in the last three months. Ordering directly from the restaurant by phone or online remain much more popular options.

---DoorDash and Uber Eats are the most popular aggregators. DoorDash is the most popular, with 58% of aggregator users ordering through the platform at least once in the past 15 months. Uber Eats (46%), Grubhub (37%) and Postmates (20%) round out the top four, with less than 10% for other players.

---Approximately two-thirds of aggregator users select aggregators for convenience. More than one-third believe it is the only way to order delivery from their desired restaurant. Other top reasons also center around convenience; 34% of aggregator users said these platforms are the only way to get delivery from the restaurants of their choice, and 32% said ordering this way is faster.

---More than half of restaurant customers who do not use aggregators point to the fees and menu markups added by aggregators as a reason they go directly to restaurants. Those who use aggregators are less concerned about the cost factor.

Nevin Barich is the Consumer Products Analyst for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. To arm yourself with the latest market intelligence, contact Ask us about our interactive intelligence map and search bot on Microsoft Teams.

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