A petition launched recently by independent restaurateur James Chiavarini, who owns Pizzicotto on Kensington High Street in London, accuses the delivery platform of 'discriminating against small restaurants' by charging them double commission.
Chiavarini claims that alongside charging for delivery, Deliveroo 'slaps independent restaurants with an eye-watering commission rate of 35%, while only charging chain restaurants 18%'.
He says that during the lockdown his business could only trade through delivery, but eventually chose to stop doing so as 'all profits were being sucked up by Deliveroo'.
The petition, which at the time of writing has received 860 signatures, demands that Deliveroo move to charge 'a fair rate of 18% across the board'.
Responding to the petition, Deliveroo tells BigHospitality that it is 'committed to supporting small, independent restaurants'.
"We have been there for them throughout the crisis and we will be there during the recovery," a Deliveroo spokesperson says.
"From campaigning for a change to Government policy to support restaurants (such as the cut in VAT), to introducing new tech tools to help customers dine-in safely, we have a positive track record of responding to the needs of our small restaurant partners during this challenging time and this will continue to be our absolute priority.”
The spokesperson adds that Deliveroo has reached out to Chiavarini personally to address his issues and discuss how it can support Pizzicotto.
According to Deliveroo, 7,000 new restaurants have joined the platform since March, and of those 4,000 are small restaurants that it says it is 'helping to reach new customers and ensure sustainable growth through the Covid crisis'.
It also says it has launched a campaign called ‘Love Your Local’, which 'has the explicit aim of driving more orders to local restaurants, giving them more visibility on the platform and enabling customers to add a tip when paying for their order'.