Arts & Entertainment

Love Local, Eat Local

As the hospitality industry is progressively relying on big delivery platforms, restaurants are becoming less busy as there’s a huge selection of local restaurants to choose from on the platforms. Restaurants that were originally dine-in only began to transition to include takeaway services to adapt to the changing consumer trends.

This trend inspired Hamilton Kings, the owner of Potts Point’s pan-asian restaurant Honkas, to create a localised delivery platform, Love Local. Since launching six weeks ago the online platform now hosts over 20 local restaurants from a broad range of cuisines delivering to various locations in Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay and Woolloomooloo.

Australians spending approximately $2.6 million a year on food delivery services, according to news.com, mostly due to the convenience of food being delivering to our front door. One of the most popular delivery platform is UberEats, which is great for consumers, but not too great for restaurant owners, as with each order the platform charges a commission of 30%.

Unfortunately many small businesses, who cannot afford to partner with a big delivery platform under this 30% commission model, have been forced to close. A difficulty which has been exacerbated by the pandemic as patrons are further encouraged to stay at home to limit the chances of catching COVID-19.

The Love Local food delivery platform was designed to support the local businesses in this difficult time, charging commission of a much reduced rate of 12% compared to UberEats and Deliveroo who charge 30-35%. Kings told City Hub, “we’re returning more money to restaurants, getting big players to lower their fees and helping businesses survive COVID-19 social distancing.” The Sydney food entrepreneur adds, “people are very community focussed and are very open to the idea of using a new service that charges less commission.”

One of the first restaurants on the platform, Melo’s Italian from Potts Point said, “we love being part of Love Local, and look forward to the platform continuing to grow and deliver our food to more people.”

Besides Honkas restaurant, many local restaurants are beginning to do their own deliveries to keep their staff employed. Chin Chin from Surry Hills have implemented a takeaway service since the forced closure of its dining room and have also started to take orders online and over the phone. With this growing trend of delivery and pick-ups restaurants are beginning to encouraging the customers to directly engage with the restaurant and boycotting UberEats as that is not viable income stream for them.

Some other local restaurants, that are still listed on the UberEats delivery app, are beginning to bypassing them by offering a 30% discount to encourage customers to pick-up in house or to have a staff member do delivery.

As delivery platforms that hosts a huge selection of local restaurants don’t provide customer feedback to the restaurants, the local businesses are not able to better understand their customers needs or know whether to adapt their menu items or prices.

You can help support a local business and keep your favourite restaurants open by ordering takeaway or delivery options directly from the business themselves rather than pouring money into the coffers of chain food delivery services.

For more information about Love Local head to www.lovelocal.com.au

By Kirsta Cheung