Waitr increases rates for participating businesses

Updated: Jul. 5, 2019 at 11:02 PM CDT
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SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -Soon, you may see less options when ordering on Waitr. Why? Some local restaurants aren’t willing to pay a new, higher “performance based rate” to be on the app.

“We’ve been with Waitr for several years now, and they started off at about 3.5%, then they bumped to 7%, and now it’s going to 22.5% for us," James Bittner, MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub owner, said.

The new rates are based on a business’ monthly Waitr sales. The company’s commission ranging from 15% to 25%.

If a restaurant makes $0 to $1,000 per month on Waitr, they’ll owe the company 25%.

In the highest bracket, if a business makes over $20,000 through the food delivery service, they’ll be charged 15%.

Brackets in between are:

SalesCommission Rate
$20,000.01 and above15%

Christy Lepretre, owner of Java Joltz in Jennings, falls in the group having to turn over the highest percentage of their sales.

“Usually under $1,000, so around or under that. Which means that if it was $1,000, we would have to pay Waitr $250," Lepretre said.

It’s why she’s decided to not resign a contract with the delivery service company.

In a statement sent to 7News regarding the performance-based rates, Waitr said:

“To stand out in the competitive food delivery landscape, Waitr has adopted a performance based rate model where the more our restaurant partners deliver, the lower their rate will be. Our partners will discover this is a far more attractive option than those offered by our competitors. Waitr constantly strives to be the most valuable partner to our restaurants and this structure is reflective of the quality and service we provide.”

“A company has to make money, so I understand them needing to make the money, but, for a small place like me, $250 is a lot. It’s a lot, and I just can’t afford that," Lepretre said.

MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub owner, James Bittner, also plans to drop the service— one reason, he said, is he doesn’t want customers to have to pay the difference.

“I can’t pass that price onto my customers with a good conscience. It just takes all the money out of the bottom line, I can’t put food out that you’re not going to make any profit on. So, by the time you pay labor, food cost, and then their fee and utilities and insurance and stuff, it makes it unprofitable," Bittner said.

Bittner’s even considering hiring his own delivery drivers.

“We’re looking at other options right now, possibly getting a couple of cars to deliver with ourselves, just like all pizza places do. Just end up doing it ourselves rather than going through another company,” Bittner said.

Lepretre said she’s also considering teaming up with Jennings businesses to create their own delivery service within the community.

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