GrabFood has responded officially to the allegations that they are turning off restaurant availability according to commission rates.
We also asked them some questions of our own, and will update the article with their replies when we get them!
GrabFood Restaurant Availability Controversy : What Happened?
In case you missed the recent kerfuffle, Burgertory – a gourmet burger restaurant – recently accused GrabFood of quietly switching off their restaurant’s availability because of their lower commission rate and sales bucket.
You can read more about their allegations in our earlier story – GrabFood : How Burgertory Exposed Potential Discrimination!
GrabFood Clarifies Restaurant Availability Controversy!
Sean Goh, the Managing Director of Grab Malaysia, issued this press release to address those allegations.
First and foremost, we would like to address the misconception: we do not turn off any of our stores / restaurants based on commissions.
Secondly, during rainy days, or when there is a lack of delivery riders in a specific area, we automatically reduce the service distance to ensure that we can maintain our service levels. Once the availability of delivery riders has recovered, our service distance would resume to normal levels. Occasionally, this may result in stores being unavailable in a nearby location, but available in a further location. For example, Customer A may reside in Bangsar but only see restaurants available in PJ, because we have insufficient delivery partners within the Bangsar area at that specific time.
Thirdly, during festive seasons where some of our restaurant partners may be closed, we practice a precautionary ‘temporary pause’ based on feedback from delivery riders who cite that a restaurant is closed despite being available in our app. This is done to ensure we do not disappoint customers who may continue to order from restaurants who have not updated their operating hours especially during the festive season. Such was the case experienced by this specific restaurant partner.
Prior to Raya holiday period, we sent out multiple communications (emails and SMS) to remind our restaurant partners to update operating hours and how to easily reactivate their restaurants in case of a ‘temporary pause’. In this case, we apologise that we were not attentive enough to ensure our partner received and acknowledged our communications.
We also note that information that was provided by our support staff was inaccurate, and apologise for the heartache and impact to our restaurant partner.
In view of the pandemic, we empathise with our merchant partners whose income has been affected due to the lockdown and restricted operating hours, and have had to rely only on delivery services to generate income. We are continuously looking at different initiatives to help drive demand for them, such as our Local Heroes and Grab Small-Biz Relief fund which this specific partner was also a part of, but will strive to balance this with the need to ensure we continue to uphold our highest service level.
We welcome any partner who has any queries on this to reach out to us directly so we can address your concerns.
Our Questions To GrabFood On This Controversy
We took the opportunity to ask GrabFood to clarify some points not covered in their press release. We will update this article with their answers when we get them.
- If bad weather or a lack of riders is an issue for a particular area, why was XXX restaurant marked as Unavailable, while other restaurants in the same vicinity are still Available?
- Is there a verification protocol for your rider reports? Does GrabFood call the merchant to verify that they are closed, after a rider reports it?
- The press release mentioned that GrabFood requested that restaurant partners update their operating hours. Did Burgertory or the other affected partners change their operating hours? If not, wouldn’t the operating hours remain the same?
- What is this Temporary Pause you refer to? Why is there a need for it, and what exactly was the procedure to reactivate their restaurant?
- The Raya holidays ended on 26 May 2020, but why are they still experiencing these issues?
- Is there any reason why GrabFood support staff would claim that availability of a restaurant is based on the commission level, if that was never the case?
- If the percentage of commission does not determine availability of the restaurant, does it affect prioritisation or visibility on GrabFood?
- Can GrabFood explain to our readers the difference in commission paid by the various restaurants, and what advantage they would have for paying GrabFood more commission, as opposed to less?
- Does sales bucket affect store availability? Does it also affect prioritisation or visibility on GrabFood?
- There are concerns that the commission levels are too high – some 25% to 35%? Can you tell us the exact commissions, and breakdown of what goes to the riders, and what goes to GrabFood?
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