Ronan begging customers not to use third party delivery services

Feeling guilty because the few times I ordered Ronan was through delivery services. New Year’s resolution – stop using delivery services.


What happened to the 15% cap?

And why beg customers rather than just not use those services?

That’s a good question, although the cap didn’t go into effect until mid-May. At first, I though Ronan might be in the City of West Hollywood, which I don’t think has a similar cap, but I think it is in L.A., not West Hollywood.

I think it is just too hard for most restaurants to completely say no to third-party delivery, although they would vastly prefer that you not use the service.

Yeah I think in a way restaurants need the delivery services because that’s what the general public uses and knows but places like Ronan hope they can educate further after the fact

Much like how people who use Wag will sometimes wind up abandoning the app and hire their preferred dog walkers on the side

Knowing this, I will first call restaurants to see if I can order from them directly. But also have had a few that will refuse to take orders over the phone and direct me to online ordering–and usually it’s with a third party.

There are also restaurants (like Lunasia?) that seem to have their own online system. I wonder if they just paid for and are managing the site/app? Or are they working with a 3rd party vendor with more palatable charges?

EDIT: Read DM article (hate DM site so I try to avoid it) and it mentions ChowNow, which answers my question. I recall reading about 3rd party apps that list restaurants that are not officially on board? The 3rd party app will order from the restaurant on your behalf? Anyone recall hearing about this? Restaurants complained and maybe this practice has stopped?

this is the real question. these restaurants are paying the 20% by SIGNING UP WITH THESE SERVICES.

I recall reading about 3rd party apps that list restaurants that are not officially on board? The 3rd party app will order from the restaurant on your behalf? Anyone recall hearing about this? Restaurants complained and maybe this practice has stopped?

that was the old door dash model, but in the old door dash model the business doesn’t have to pay DD 20% because they never signed up with DD in the first place. DD just acts like any other paying customer and pays full retail to the store.

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Chownow has very few restaurants in my neighborhood and most of them are pickup only - not delivery. My dilemma is always that I am usually so enmeshed in work (which I feel lucky to have) that I don’t have time to go pickup, so the choice is delivery service for lunch or dinner versus crack open a can of tuna. Obviously cracking open a can of tuna doesn’t help restaurants either. No good solution for the time-pressed. Even pre-pandemic, I was a huge user of delivery services, although I think it was less of an issue pre-pandemic for restaurants because to go was just a small fraction of their revenue.

Recently banned in California. Still ostensibly legal in New York.

Oh, I see that Ronan asked people to order from ChowNow, which charges them a relatively modest flat fee and charges no commission.

Even if the delivery companies pay full price it can make trouble for the restaurant if they’re listed without permission. My usual wine bar is just selling wine and packaged snacks like cheeses and tinned fish to go, but they were getting delivery people showing up with orders from the pre-lockdown kitchen menu.

It’s still in effect, along with some other limitations.

The delivery services grabbed the general public with convenience and slowly began siphoning more and more money from restaurants as they needed it.

In normal times when orders through delivery services were generally a small fraction of their daily/weekly/monthly sales the 20% didn’t hit as hard.

But now the general public is using delivery services more and more. 20% of 5% of sales isn’t a big deal but 20% of 75% of sales is a huge deal.

If the restaurants leave the delivery service they lose an unavoidably necessary lifeline of outreach to new guests. So in Ronans case chef is hoping that maybe a guests who used doordash begins following Ronan on IG and sees oh, if I use chownow or call directly I can still get what I need and better support the restaurant


It seems logical to me that it would be to a restaurant’s benefit to entice returning customers to order directly from them, and the 3rd party delivery apps can serve as advertising vehicles where a 20% fee for a new customer might not be a bad deal.

3rd party apps will stay in the rotation because

  1. they give me coupons with their sweet sweet VC money
  2. it’s super convenient
  3. they offer delivery where the restaurant may not
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Ronan was offering either 10 or 20% off all phone pickup orders at the start of the pandemic. Don’t know about now. I noticed that at other places as well. And they specifically mentioned to hopefully entice people not to use delivery apps.

But also most restaurants cant afford to give any discounts. And I dont think they should need to. They’re basically saying please, we see no other way of survival.

The restaurant industry was a mess to begin with, don’t get me wrong, and the bubble was going to burst at some point. But the tech industry has been pretty callous in their introduction and positioning.

Restaurants generally get screwed on those coupons fyi and any savings you see are not eaten by the delivery service but the restaurants themselves, even when its a general $10 off any order from wherever kinda coupon


But how do the restaurants do that? My partner will Google thee name of the restaurant, and, many times, it’s the 3rd part delivery that shows up as the top hit (!). He knows to check to see if it’s direct from the restaurant b/c I read about these things on FTC and tell him how the 3rd parties can be damaging. But how does the general public learn about this (or care)? Genuine question.


Delivery company charges 20%? Add a 10% coupon for phone orders in every bag. Do something creative. Innovate. Raise prices. There are a plethora of options.

Granted most of them will result in failure but that’s the restaurant business in general is it not?


If you want it delivered, you can use one of the private pickup services rather than the apps…transferring the cost to you rather than the restaurant

I try to order directly, by phone or from the resto’s website, and pick it up, whenever I can.
Unfortunately, many places don’t have a decent website/online menu (other than Dooordash, Grubhub, Postmate) so I am stuck using those platforms JUST TO ORDER CORRECTLY even though I pick it up. I have (perhaps incorrectly) assumed - in that scenario - they still charge the restaurant but it must be less than for a delivery? Maybe not?


recent pictures of the menu on yelp can be helpful too.

I think the hope is the general public reads an article like this, hears by word of mouth or learns from the chef/restaurant the effects of relying on these services when/if there are other options available.

I know there are plenty of restaurants that rely on these services and for them I hope it genuinely works rather than they don’t have the technical knowhow or resources to come up with an alternative.

Whether or not a guest cares after they learn says more about them than anything else.