Ordering food during coronavirus? Md. chef urges customers to delete food delivery apps

A Via Emilia 9 restaurant employee carries freshly made meals for delivery to medical workers as part of the Frontline Foods Miami initiative in partnership with Chef Jose Andres' non-profit organization World Central Kitchen, during the new coronavirus pandemic, Monday, April 13, 2020, in Miami Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)(AP/Lynne Sladky)

A Maryland chef is urging customers to call restaurants instead of using delivery apps that take a commission while local businesses struggle during the coronavirus outbreak.

“Delete every food delivery app that you have on your phone whether it’s Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, whatever it is, they’re killing restaurants,” said chef Ashish Alfred, owner of Duck Duck Goose and George’s Chophouse in Bethesda and Duck Duck Goose in Baltimore.

He said those services take a commission of about 30%, so he’s asking people to order directly from restaurants.

“This is a huge way that you can help restaurants out right now. The tip goes directly to the restaurant. All of the money goes directly to the restaurant,” Alfred said.

More Coronavirus News

In a statement to WTOP, an Uber spokesperson said: “We support efforts to help the hospitality industry, which is why we focus the majority of our efforts on driving demand to independent local restaurants … regulating the commissions that fund our marketplace — particularly during these unprecedented times — would cause us to radically alter the way we do business, set a far-reaching precedent in a highly competitive market, and could ultimately hurt those that we’re trying to help the most: customers, small businesses and delivery people.”

Alfred posted his call for customers to delete their food delivery apps on Instagram, asking people to call restaurants directly instead.

“As the owner, restaurants are suffering. We’re all really, really struggling to stay afloat,” Alfred said.

“Every time you call Uber Eats or Postmates or whatever it is, they’re hitting the restaurants that are already hurting for 30%. We’ve all reached out and asked them to lower their commissions they’ve all said no.”


Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up