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Restaurant owners angry about online ordering craze

Some restaurants and customers find online food-delivery services frustrating and can’t stand how pervasive they’ve become in New York.

The next time you’re craving some General Tso’s, you’ll likely use a website like GrubHub or SeamlessWeb to place your order.

But some restaurants and customers find the online food-delivery services frustrating and can’t stand how pervasive they’ve become in New York.

“SeamlessWeb charges [restaurants] a hefty 15 percent,” said Farid Ali, owner of popular Bogota restaurant in Park Slope. Ali estimates his restaurant does about $6,000 to $8,000 worth of business a month in delivery orders. In fact, he said, “I’ve been steering people toward Delivery and GrubHub because Seamless charges such a hefty fee.”

Other restaurant owners allege SeamlessWeb includes a mandatory marketing charge in its contracts, billing some restaurants up to $250 a month.

A spokesperson for SeamlessWeb said many of their restaurant partners pay significantly less than 15 percent.

And as for marketing, there are perks for eateries to be included on a delivery site, said Ryan Scott, SeamlessWeb’s chief marketing officer.

“Partners receive professional photography, video, Facebook and Twitter call-outs and daily specials,” he said.

But not all deliveries go as planned.

“They forgot my breakfast one time. They gave me bacon and no eggs,” said Queens resident John Quinten Rodriguez, 32, who uses a range of delivery services. “They get it right four out of five times.”


Follow Emily Anne Epstein on Twitter at @EmilyatMetro.

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