Still work with commission-charging providers? Here are 5 reasons it’s time to stick a fork in them.

By Shea Irwin
August 3, 2022

Key Takeaways

You’re being sold the dream, but when it comes to reservation/ordering providers who charge you a commission, you’re getting the raw end of the deal.

  • They profit from your customer data.
  • They make you pay for your regulars.
  • They take Aussie money away from the local scene.
  • They only show up when it’s time to get paid.
  • They leave you no choice but to charge customers more.

You’re being sold the dream, but when it comes to reservation/ordering providers who charge you a commission, you’re getting the raw end of the deal.

These money-hungry aggregators entice you through the promise of more orders, more bookings, more exposure and more revenue for your restaurant. They use buzzwords to mask the fact they are flat-out ripping your business off.

Why are you letting a third party take a slice of your hard work?  

The vast majority of commission-charging providers are greedy overseas companies which gouge Aussie restaurants into submission. They’ve never set foot on Australian shores, let alone worked a 14-hour shift in one of our kitchens.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has forced restaurant owners to adapt digitally in whatever way they can; working with these aggregators means connecting with some new customers and new revenue, you have to ask yourself…what’s the cost?

Here are 5 ways commission-based providers are profiting from your hard work:

1 - They profit from your customer data.

Many of the popular commission-based providers will actually use your customer data to market competitor venues. How?

When a customer books/order at your restaurant, the third-party provider will suggest a similar venue based on the customer’s interest. Sure, this might be helpful for the customer - but it sure isn’t helpful for you!

Whether you like it or not, you agreed to this in the terms and conditions – so while these platforms are driving customers to your business, their intentions are misguided when it comes to customer retention.

You’re essentially paying a third party to take customers away from your restaurant – say that out loud and you’ll realise how CRAZY it is!

Take a step back and ask yourself…is this really providing value to your business in both revenue and brand loyalty?

2 - They make you pay for your regulars.

Every restaurant has regulars – those who come every Friday night without fail, sunshine or rain.

If these regulars like to book or order through your existing platforms that are controlled by third-party providers, then you might be paying commissions on your most loyal customers.

Think about it – every time your regulars come you have to pay a third party a commission simply because they love your restaurant. You shouldn’t have to pay anybody anything for doing your job and making killer food!

3 - They take Aussie money away from the local scene.

Many of these commission-based reservation/ordering platforms are owned by large multi-national conglomerates, so the commissions you pay are taken offshore. Your hard work ends up lining the pockets of those with ZERO interest in the hospitality scene of this great country.

After the decimation COVID brought to the hospitality industry, the Australian economy needs all the stimulation possible. Why not support local businesses and say ‘no’ to foreign interests in our restaurants? Australians know Australia, after all!

4 - They only show up when it’s time to get paid.

Your restaurant is the result of years of hard work - whether that means planning and preparing to open the doors, or years cultivating a loyal following and fine tuning the perfect menu.

Commission-hungry third parties come in at the last minute and put their hand out for a share. Why? It’s like you’ve run the first 41 km of a marathon…then they come in to jog the last few hundred metres, take the victory lap and stand on the podium in your place.

They owe you for the years of blood, sweat and tears you put in - not just the last 20 minutes you spent preparing the order.

5 - They leave you no choice but to charge customers more.

Commissions and per-booking/order sounds like a good deal up front; if you don’t sell anything, no charge. Unfortunately, their value diminishes over time - and that can happen quickly.

The more successful you become, the more you pay and the longer you’re trapped in their greedy paws.

That’s when you find yourself in a difficult position - do you raise your prices to cover the extra costs? Discount menu items to retain customers? Or spend less on staff and your venue to preserve your already thin margins?

The longer you leave this toxic relationship in the oven, the more it will burn you. It’s time to stick a fork in it. It’s done.

Here’s how to escape commission-charging providers - without sacrificing booking and orders.

Did any of the points above resonate with you? Is your blood starting to boil? Take a moment to look back at your reservations platform and see how it’s slowly diminishing the value of what you do.

Ask yourself:

  • Would you let a company use your customer and sales data to promote competitor venues?
  • Would you actively choose to live off specials and promo deals just to retain your regular customers?
  • Would you like to line the pockets of overseas tech moguls who’ve never worked a day in hospitality?
  • Would you enjoy paying more for the success you’ve built?

If the answer is ‘no’, reach out to the team at WOWAPPS now. We’re the antidote to foreign commission-charging corporations.

As an official Google Reserve and Google Order partner, we can provide a commission-free suite of hospitality management products to keep your orders and bookings coming in hot.

Whether that’s through Google, your social media, or on your website, you’ll attract more customers than you can handle - and keep every cent of the profits in your till where it belongs.

Ready to say NO to commissions?

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