Restaurant owners slam Just Eat after being taken offline
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:43 06 May 2020
Copper Kettle Cafe
Independent restaurants in Norwich claim delivery app Just Eat blocked their services without their knowledge.
A handful of eateries said they received no orders through the app on Wednesday and Thursday last week – and when they logged on their business was shown as ‘not taking orders’.
When this was queried, Just Eat told the owners that they did not have enough drivers to keep up with demand.
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Paolo’s Restaurant in St Giles’ Street was one of the businesses impacted.
Owner Paolo Duraj said: “They don’t even tell you. You’re just sitting there for hours waiting for the orders to come in and they never do. I had to call them and ask what was happening and that was when they told me it was due to a lack of drivers.”
Mr Duraj added: “I don’t have my own drivers so delivery services are a lifeline for my business at the moment – but they take about half the profits from your orders, and then block you anyway.”
A spokeswoman for Just Eat said that the restaurants were only offline “briefly”.
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She added: “Our focus through the crisis has been to support the independent partners we work with. We can confirm, restaurants in the Norwich delivery zone were offline briefly due to courier availability to meet the high volumes of orders last Wednesday and Thursday. On both days, this was resolved within the hour.”
The Copper Kettle in Lower Goat Lane also had problems with the site - with owner Farida Valnitskene saying she was on the phone to the company for hours trying to find out what the problem was.
She said: “It’s really disappointing – it’s a difficult site to use anyway. On Just Eat we see an order come in to be picked up in 12 minutes. Then it goes up to 127 minutes, then to 48. By this time the food’s gone bad and you have to throw it away – it’s not good for me or the customer.”
She added: “Deliveroo is always perfect – I never have a problem with them. However customers do still get charged more for ordering through Deliveroo, and so do I, even if they collect it themselves. People can just call us directly and I put through the order – without the customer paying the increased price delivery services put on.”
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