A WOKINGHAM restaurant owner is encouraging residents to order food directly, in a bid to support local businesses.
Raja Majid, owner of Sultan Balti Palace, said takeaway orders have been a lifeline for the borough’s eateries over the past year.
Now, he is calling on customers to try and contact restaurants directly, rather than use third-party delivery services which he said can claim up to 30% of businesses’ profits.
Sultan Balti Palace has a contract with Just Eat, which receives 14% commission per order.
“The use of these platforms has grown so much in recent years,” Mr Majid said. “Our customers can order via telephone, through our website or on our own app, but the majority of our takeaway and collection orders right now are coming through these platforms.
“It’s also easy to build a personal relationship via telephone, and to make any special requests,” he added.
Mr Majid said he understands that online ordering platforms do offer “a huge degree of convenience”.
“They’re easy to use and offer a massive choice of cuisines in one place,” he said. “They also have massive exposure and large marketing budgets, and some restaurants are not experienced or equipped to handle significant levels of deliveries.
“But, there is a price to be paid.”
A spokesperson for Just Eat, which works with Sultan Balti Palace, said: “Just Eat is only successful if our restaurant partners are successful. We believe our commission rates are aligned with the value we provide to our partners and we have a track record of helping restaurants prosper.”
They said since the beginning of the pandemic, the delivery service has given more than £11 million worth of support to thousands of independent restaurants through its emergency covid support package.
“We’re committed to adding value to our partners’ businesses on a daily basis, and many grow and flourish through working with Just Eat,” they added.
In October, Just Eat launched a range of measures, including removing commission on collection orders for independent restaurants in areas significantly impacted by the pandemic.