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The collapse of the ‘riders’ platforms aggravates the damage to the hospitality industry due to restrictions in Catalonia


Part of the Catalan restaurants try to survive the closure decreed by the Generalitat by cooking takeaway dishes. However, hoteliers and entities consulted warn that they have encountered two inconveniences that have increased the loss of customers, extended in itself by the prohibition of serving inside the premises for three weeks due to the second wave of the coronavirus .

On the one hand, Catalonia has limited collecting the menu in establishments until 9:00 p.m., one hour before the start of the curfew in the community; the Generalitat has rectified and, since this week, it is authorized until 22.00. In addition, it is allowed to order dinner through the platforms that transport food to your home and receive them until 23:00. However, small restaurateurs attest that the applications have become saturated and orders have stopped coming in this way, especially on the last weekend nights.

“We are very sorry. Due to high demand, we are currently unable to process new orders.” The message is from Glovo and it has been found Edgar S. Tejada, owner of Tariq, a restaurant near the center of Badalona. “Before it happened on time, but now it always happens shortly after nine on Fridays and Saturdays. Clients do not find us on the application”, says Tejada. “It conditions us, because we do not work as much as we could, but what another company allows us,” he laments.

Glovo speaks of “slight delays” in “very specific cases” due to a 21% increase in orders in Catalonia since the current restrictions were implemented. “It could have caused saturation situations in the application, but the service has been maintained normally”, defends the company, adding that “when demand is very high, the entry of new orders is momentarily paralyzed to ensure arriving in 30 minutes “. Deliveroo also reports sporadic incidents, but only on the first day of overnight confinement. He blames them on uncertainty about schedules.

“We lost a lot of customers because of this problem,” he said Ã??scar Mesa, owner of the La Mare del Tano hamburger shop in Badalona. Their income has fallen by half. A couple of weeks ago, only three orders arrived in one night through one of the three apps the venue is promoted on. “The delivery men took the strip. One of the orders would arrive for lunch, because it took an hour and a half to come,” complains Mesa, who ran into the setback again last weekend: “We were called by clients who wanted to order and They couldn’t. Either it appears on the platform that the restaurant is not available or there are no delivery men. “

The complaints

“We have received many complaints about home delivery,” he says. Daniel Brasà ©, manager of the Intercomarcal Federation of Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism, which brings together 43 local unions: “If the service crashes and no orders come in, you stand idly by and you can’t do anything. riders They take a long time, because they have many orders or they do not arrive due to the distance they have to travel. It happens to small restaurants in large populations, which do not have the same score in the applications as others that already have baggage or chains, which are prioritized “.

“Orders have increased in all time slots,” he says. Carmen Juares, from CCOO. He maintains that the distribution boom is accompanied by a rebound in abuse cases, also in the marketing of accounts to work in a sector that accumulates convictions for employing false self-employed: “There are people in an irregular situation who, In exchange for renting it, the account holder demands 30% to 50% of the profits and that they pay the self-employment fee. In addition, they have a few kilometers to pedal, but they decide if they take an order. Necessity, they take it. If they reject it, they are penalized with fewer orders. Besides, they can spend an hour waiting in the restaurant but they do not charge for the dedication time, but per order “.

It also occurs that the delivery men are delayed, Tejada points out, which adds the damage that diners have been banned from going to the menus after 9:00 pm: “Nobody wants to have dinner at eight. They called from 8.30pm and then you couldn’t take all the orders. There have been people we have had to say that we didn’t have time to serve them. It was absurd that a neighbor could take down the garbage until 10pm but not take food away already made”.

The platforms receive a commission of 30% per order. “In home delivery, it takes first and second, and wine, desserts and coffee are not usually ordered. It involves a significant drop in billing,” adds Brasa. “Besides, you must include packaging, a huge expense. To invoice as before you have to work twice as much,” summarizes Mesa.

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