The Real Cost of Uber Eats - Chef Mark Jensen on ABC's Four Corners

Did you catch our very own, Chef Mark Jensen, on Monday night's episode of ABC's Four Corners discussing the impact of Uber Eats on restaurants?

"Customers pay a $5 delivery fee to Uber, and Uber also takes a big cut of the sales from the restaurant.

'Well that’s the big thing with Uber and customers’ expectations. They actually think that they are supporting the restaurant industry by using Uber, but I don’t appreciate that the restaurant pays 35 cents in the dollar straight to Uber for their convenience. And the thing is we already work in a pretty tight environment, they’re really putting the squeeze on the restaurants…

It’s essentially eliminating bums on seats. Given recent times, there’s been very little growth in the business. I’d actually say that there’s been no growth in the business, so then now that you’re taxed 35 per cent, or essentially 35 cents in the dollar, that’s eating into your bottom line…' - Chef Mark Jensen

Uber Eats and similar delivery services have even spawned what is called ‘dark kitchens’ that have no shop front.

'It’s not a bricks and mortar restaurant, there’s no tables, there’s no waiters, there’s no food in-house delivery service, so a restaurant, it just appears on an app. So that dark kitchen could be producing food for five, six, seven or ten, the sky’s the limit, different cuisines under the one kitchen.'

Mark Jensen fears the rise of dark kitchens could force traditional restaurants like his out of business.

'If I don’t have to then employ people - front-of-house people. If I don’t need to spend money on lavishing the restaurant and making a really holistic dining experience, all that money I can then save and just concentrate on food costs; essentially food costs, packaging, refrigeration and production, that’s all I have to consider.'

So that’s a real threat to the future of your industry.

'It’s a real threat to the future of restaurants full stop.'"

Click on the link below to view the full episode.

Phuong Nguyen