Social distancing is now the new norm. And with restaurants and bars having seating areas closed and overcrowded supermarkets out of stock in major cities across the United States including LA, Chicago and New York, take out and food delivery is norm as well.
Chicago-based Grubhub has now announced a collaboration with the mayors of large cities across the United States who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 response efforts. The food delivery service will temporarily suspend collection of up to $100 million in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants nationwide.
Grubhub’s initiative will provide immediate and substantial cash flow relief to qualified independent restaurants — restaurants that make up the majority of Grubhub’s 350,000+ restaurant community and drive more than 80 percent of the company’s orders.
Matt Maloney, Grubhub Founder and CEO said: “Independent restaurants are the lifeblood of our cities and feed our communities. They have been amazing long-term partners for us, and we wanted to help them in their time of need. Our business is their business — so this was an easy decision for us to make.”
Grubhub has also created a fund that will enable proceeds from its Donate the Change program to go toward charitable organizations that support restaurants and drivers impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis.
The program will allow diners to round up the change from every order and donate it to the Grubhub Community Relief Fund — with donations from Grubhub+ (and Seamless+) members matched by the company. Grubhub has been raising more than $1 million dollars per month through Donate the Change.
Grubhub will work with local city officials to identify the organizations that can utilize the funds and to consider other support programs during the pandemic.
“The City of Chicago is deeply concerned about the risk COVID-19 is placing on the health of our residents and communities, as well as the impact it’s having on our working families and neighborhood economies and restaurants,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “That is why we applaud corporate leaders like Grubhub who are stepping up with practical measures to support small businesses and their employees. Now more than ever, we must work together to ensure hardworking Chicagoans receive the support they need to thrive while also staying safe, secure, and healthy.”
In Chicago, where Grubhub was founded in 2004 and is headquartered today, there are more than 10,000 restaurants on the platform, and thousands of drivers bringing delicious food from these restaurants to hungry diners.
This relief fund will provide support for food industry workers, which are anticipated to become among some of the most impacted by the economic losses due to coronavirus and social distancing practices. This includes residents at small, neighborhood-based businesses like Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles, based in Bronzeville.
As dine-in traffic is expected to slow up to 75 percent over the next few weeks, restaurants will rely on pickup and delivery orders to stay in business.
“We have seen revenue decrease in the past week as a direct result of our customers staying home,” said Darnell Johnson, owner of Chicago’s Home of Chicken & Waffles. “Grubhub has helped us generate more delivery and takeout orders as our customers’ dining habits have changed. This has helped us continue serving our loyal customers and our employees can continue living a sustainable lifestyle.”
“Banding together during hard times, putting people over profit, and supporting our local businesses is a model we should all follow, and I thank Grubhub for leading the way,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Restaurants are a pillar of the San Francisco small business economy and so important to the culture of this city,” said Joaquin Torres, Director of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. “We are committed to doing everything in our power to support them in this time of crisis, but if we want to come through this public health emergency intact, we’ll need more private sector partners to follow Grubhub’s lead, do the right thing and invest locally to mitigate this crisis.”
These initiatives follow a series of measures taken by Grubhub to keep restaurants, diners, and drivers safe during the outbreak – including contact-free delivery and health and safety guidance to drivers, restaurants and diners.