Not Uber Eats
Tired of paying an extra 30% for food you order in? During a lockdown with a stay-at-home order, in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, those Skip The Dishes, Uber Eats and Door Dash charges can start to add up. Those extra dollars could be better spent saving for an Air Fryer (it’s all the rage on Facebook), or how about those funds going directly to the restaurant in order to survive the economic shattering caused by countless lockdowns as a result of the virus that continues to wreak havoc with all aspects of our lives — COVID-19.
Recently, Randy Singh and his friend, Gamaliel, found themselves somewhat bored during the holiday season. With all of Ontario locked down, they decided to immerse themselves in creating a website that could potentially save the restaurant industry — not-ubereats.com — a way to order food without giving the tech industry up to 35% of every meal you order. Singh says, “I used GatsbyJS, Netlify and Contentful to create the website.” Singh is also of the belief that he could utilize the same type of programming to catalogue other small businesses and help them during COVID.
“When Singh first reached out to ask if I wanted to work on not-ubereats.com, I didn’t know the whole context, either,” says Gamaliel. “There’s so much publicity from Uber, Skip The Dishes and Door Dash telling you to support local by ordering from local restaurants, but you don’t know the reality of what it costs them to be on those platforms.”
Originally, they researched the restaurants in Toronto by checking out BlogTo, Reddit, and Facebook. Singh acknowledges, “My idea was to build a site where all the restaurants that were offering independent delivery could be listed in one place.” Singh had no inkling the business would become so successful. “I think the majority of people would rather have their funds go directly to the restaurants.” Not-ubereats.com recently had 35,000 visitors, and 26,000 of them clicked directly to independent restaurants. “We have 100 restaurants online, and 70 in our back catalogue.”
If a restaurant doesn’t have the means to deliver, Singh said people should click on the following sites: “There is the city of Toronto partnership with Ritual — ritual.co or localeats.to . I’ve heard good things about it, too.”
Within the last few weeks, Ford’s conservative Ontario government capped the amount tech companies, such as Door Dash, could charge at 20%, where indoor dining is prevented because of COVID-19. Previously, these monster tech giants were charging up to 30% not counting delivery and service fees
Singh isn’t collecting any money from his website. He has a full-time gig as team leader at the Bank of Nova Scotia, “This is something I wanted to do to make a difference for struggling businesses.”
Singh mentioned that if it wasn’t for COVID, he would have never came up with the business, and it wouldn’t have become the success it is. “Luckily no one close to me has gotten sick, and I’m hopeful we can keep it up until we’re able to get the vaccine. Obviously I’m working from home and doing a lot more indoor things now due to COVID (more reading, video game, puzzles, website development!). I do miss travel, playing volleyball and so many people I haven’t seen in a while.”
Restaurants have been calling and emailing not-ubereats.com from California and Quebec. It seems independent restaurants from all over the continent are interested in being part of Singh’s website. He contemplated how he could add cities around the world to his platform, “I’d hope to create a version for every major city where there is demand. Ideally, if we can catalogue at least 50 restaurants we can work on spinning up the site.”