Not UberEats site lists Toronto restaurants doing their own delivery

Similar to Not-Amazon, the site aims to circumvent the big tech companies eating into the profits of local businesses


You might think you’re supporting local when you order from your favourite restaurant for delivery, but if you’re getting food from a third-party delivery app like Uber Eats, Skip The Dishes or DoorDash, there’s a good chance the tech companies are taking a big cut of the sale

To get around those fees, which can top out at 30 per cent for Uber Eats (possibly soon to be capped at 20 per cent), some Toronto restaurants have set up their own in-house delivery. And now a new website has launched to collect them all – not-ubereats.com.

Not UberEats is a catalogue of local restaurants doing their own delivery. 

Randy Singh, a software developer and team lead at Scotiabank, decided to build the site over the Christmas holidays, a time when many local businesses were struggling. He quickly brought on his colleague Gamaliel Obinyan and sent it out to his friends just after Christmas. 

It’s been spreading from there, quickly going viral as an alternative to Uber Eats similar to the groundswell of support that met the site’s inspiration, Not-Amazon

There are now 60 restaurants in the database and more submissions than they can keep up with. People have also been reaching out to show appreciation. 

“There’s been a lot of traction, which made me realize we’re really onto something,” says Singh. “People want to support restaurants during this critical time.”

Neither Singh nor Obinyan are in the restaurant business, they just both like to eat from Toronto’s many excellent restaurants. Singh says he was ordering food about once a month, often from Uber Eats, when he came across an article about local restaurants’ frustration with the large commissions on sales through delivery apps

“When Randy first reached out to ask if I wanted to work on Not UberEats, I didn’t know the whole context either,” says Obinyan. “There’s so much publicity from Uber, Skip The Dishes and DoorDash telling you to support local by ordering from local restaurants, but you don’t know the reality of what it costs them to be on those platforms.”

Not every spot is equipped to do their own delivery, in which case ordering directly for pick-up is the best way to support them. Some are only on the apps, so they shouldn’t be avoided entirely. But there are at least 60 that do their own, and you can find them on Not UberEats. They also include a link to localeats.to – the delivery collective launched by Avelo restaurateur Roger Yang – for restaurants looking to set up their own delivery

Singh and Obinyan did the initial research to find out who to include, but now they’re open for submissions from either restaurants themselves or people who order from them. They say they’ve discovered a lot of restaurants they didn’t even know existed through their own database. (Singh says he just ordered Ramen Isshin, while Obinyan tried Tokyo Hot Fried Chicken – “one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had.”) 

No one is making any money off the site. Instead, they want to increase the profits for local restaurants. It’s a side project for both men, both of whom work full-time day jobs.

Not UberEats’ code is open source and Singh put it up on Git Hub for anyone to take or contribute to. People have reached out from Quebec and California, and he says he hopes they just grab his code and set up something similar in other cities.

And if Uber decides to come at them about the name?

“We’re not making any money off this anyway, but if they did have an issue with the domain then we could always just rebrand,” Singh says.

“We’re hoping Uber would be supportive of us supporting local restaurants,” Obinyan adds. “That is their motto. I hope they follow through with it.”

@trapunski

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One response to “Not UberEats site lists Toronto restaurants doing their own delivery”

  1. With the way the delivery system is structured Uber really isn’t making as much on regular deliveries then people like to think they do. The most they will make comes off of big expensive orders and when the app combines more then one delivery because they don’t pay the driver the full fare of the second order just the amount from the first drop off to the second however they still take the same amount from the restaurant which means they pocket a small amount. The way the system works is absolutely necessary for the drivers to be paid properly. They already undercut the drivers and it won’t be worth the milage if they undercut the drivers anymore then they already do. The way the system works isn’t a good one but it allows the service to seem more appealing to customers then paying full price deliveries. On the Uber Eats app it sets a minimum delivery fee which is never anything even close to being enough to pay the driver properly but that price needs to be kept low for the customer. A large chunk of that 30 percent is often going to the driver in order to make up the rest of the amount to pay them fully. For a 5.99 delivery that the customer pays you could be sent from downtown Toronto to the beaches or further. Then Uber has to pay out the rest from that 30 percent. Now here’s where the system falls flat on it’s face. How many deliveries are less then 20 dollars?? What is 30 percent from 20 dollars and how far are the deliveries going?? If you have to pay the driver a big amount on the distance for a small food order then you have no choice but to undercut the driver’s pay. This is where Uber drivers are really ripped of the most. On Uber Eats deliveries. Often the amount isn’t a good sum for the amount of distance you have to go. Uber drivers are not making a fortune in the times of Covid it’s becoming more tough just like everywhere else and what’s going to happen is if they force a cap on delivery fees it’s going to come out of the driver’s pockets not Ubers.

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