Norwich restaurants go it alone after ditching delivery giants

Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar in Prince of Wales Road in Norwich is now offering food as owner Andrew

Andrew Skalli, owner of Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar in Norwich, has launched his own delivery app. - Credit: Archant

Restaurants across Norwich have decided to drop the likes of Deliveroo and Just Eat to launch their own delivery platforms in the fight back against high commission rates.  

With the national platforms charging up to 30pc in commission, for many independent restaurants this takes away a large chunk of their profits.

Andrew Skalli runs Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar in Prince of Wales Road and is launching his own app for mobile catering arm Gringos Nacho Factory on January 8. 

He previously used Just Eat but decided to ditch them after an evening when three orders weren't delivered - two where no driver showed up and the other was picked up but never reached the customer.

Mr Skalli said: "I'm happy to pay the fees to take away the stress of delivery but if it isn't then I might as well have my own drivers." 

Inside Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar which now offers food. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Inside Gringos Mexican Tequila Bar. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

A Just Eat spokesman said: "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."

It also apologised for Mr Skalli's experience and is currently looking into the issue. 

Elsewhere in the city, Mike Baxter has launched a takeaway app for pizza joint Voodoo Daddy's Showroom, based in Timber Hill, after issues with Deliveroo. 

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Mr Baxter, who runs Voodoo Daddy's Showroom, Brix and Bones and Gonzo's Tea Room with brother Brad, said: "With the delivery platforms, we're disconnected from our customers and that is not what we're about.

There is also a large wine list, which has been curated alongside the former sommelier at Morston Ha

Mike Baxter (pictured), who runs Gonzo's Tea Room, Brix and Bones and Voodoo Daddy's Showroom with brother Brad. - Credit: Archant

"There is definitely still some polishing to do, a lot in fact, however it works and hopefully we can steadily see more independents move away from the big platforms and on to their own app."

A Deliveroo spokesman said: "Commission is reinvested back into our business, paying for riders’ fees, customer services and upgrading our services for restaurants."

Both Deliveroo and Just Eat said they have introduced support packages during the Covid-19 crisis, including discounts and waiving joining fees.

Norwich Urban Collective is aiming to net zero emissions by the end of 2021. Pictured is Maryanne Mo

Norwich Urban Collective is aiming to net zero emissions by the end of 2021. Pictured is Maryanne Moles. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

There are also 13 businesses in the city that have signed up to Norwich Urban Collective, which launched in May and gives 100pc of the food bill to restaurants and takes a £5 flat delivery fee.

In its first six months it saved Norwich restaurants £33,000 in total by not charging commission.