metroactive.com | sanjose.com | metrosiliconvalley.com | OCTOBER 12-18, 2016
22 FALL DINING GUIDE
HEEL-TOE EXPRESS DoorDash delivery people have become as ubiquitous in the South Bay as Uber and Lyft drivers.
and ask them to make a different selection.” Konjoe Burger can relate to this challenge. Norman, the kitchen manager, calls it “order at will” when online orders pop up and add to the wait time for walk-in orders. Adding to the frustration, drivers can arrive late for pick-up orders, leaving food to go cold. Mohammad Kabirjuyan, manager at Grab-A-Pita, says he has had this problem with Grubhub. “I prefer DoorDash, because they are faster and more effective,” Kabirjuyan says.
He hopes the on-demand delivery services hire more drivers, but he has no plans to opt out. Much like the slight advantages of using one app over another, many restaurants feel the benefits outweigh the cost of going it alone. While the online delivery market has experienced explosive growth, how much it’s grown is unclear. Most of the merchants interviewed for this story say the delivery business is a small portion of their sales, and walk-ins still pay most of the bills. For this reason, most use
multiple delivery partners since there is no cost to on-board and a small effect to sales. Morgan, who spent his career with the national burger chain Smashburger before opening Tava Kitchen, thinks whoever is going to win will need to partner with large chains that aren’t using multiple apps. “These services are not expanding the pie,” he says. “The market for dining out is affected by the economy. Online delivery needs to take away from in-store dining in order to grow. I expect to see
restaurants change their business models in the future.” This could mean restaurants will stop offering as much seating, or go to smaller dining rooms. Apps that integrate with existing point-of-sale systems will help owners better manage their bookkeeping. Even though customers and merchants alike have their favorite apps, the battlefield remains crowded and the food fight has just begun.
FALL DINING GUIDE 26
October 12-18, 2016