Grubhub suspends commission payments to help restaurants

Move comes amid Coronavirus pandemic; third-party delivery provider also raises funds via Donate the Change

Grubhub temporarily suspended commission payments from COVID-19-impacted independent restaurants to the tune of $100M in an effort to assist independent restaurants that are seeing a substantial drop in business. Working collaboratively with mayors in major cities, including New York City, San Francisco, Boston, and Portland, the Chicago-based delivery provider is ramping up efforts to help provide what it describes as “immediate and substantial cash-flow relief.”

The program will affect the majority of Grub Hub’s 350,000 partner restaurants. In addition, its Donate the Change program will direct proceeds to charitable organizations that support restaurants and drivers impacted by COVID-19. Grubhub+ and Seamless+ customers are able to round up orders and raise money through the Grubhub Community Fund. With Grubhub’s matching +members, more than $1M per month has been raised in the recent past.

Grubhub will work with local mayors to select the charitable organizations that can use these funds. Furthermore, the company will consider identifying additional support programs. “Banding together during hard times, putting people over profit, and supporting our local businesses is a model we should all follow, and I thank Grubhub for leading the way,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The hospitality industry, including restaurants, is one of the economic sectors that has been hardest hit. Data from Black Box Intelligence suggests that sales at restaurants drop in double-digit percentages in communities limiting gatherings and embracing social distancing. Also, dine-in sales have been shifting due to consumer fees of being exposed to COVID-19.


“Independent restaurants are the lifeblood of our cities and feed our communities,” said Matt Maloney, Grubhub founder and chief executive. “They have been amazing long-term partners for us, and we wanted to help them in their time of need. Our business is their business—so this was an easy decision for us to make.”

Grubhub has also deployed initiatives to keep restaurants, diners, and drivers safe during the outbreak, it announced. These include contact-free delivery and guidance to drivers, restaurants and diners on health and safety measures.


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