SF Reporter: Commission Schomission!

SF Reporter / April 23, 2020

Anson Stevens-Bollen

Hey, everyone—did you catch that one piece of food reporting in SFR this week…the one about how Vinaigrette owner Erin Wade wrote a magnum opus of a letter for Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney about how she thinks he's full of bologna? Well, it was kinda awesome. Did you miss the article and Wade's letter? It’s right here if so.

But what's the gist, you ask? Well, Wade points out that food delivery services often come with a pretty high commission for restaurants which, in case you didn't know, are often operating on a thin margin anyway. It also appears that despite Wade's never having partnered with the app/service, they’ve still uploaded her menu to their site and still have drivers picking up and delivering food. Look, whatever—she raises some good points and, weirdly, it’s become one of the highest-read pieces in SFR history. We’re a little jealous because we didn't write it, but we know you think we're cooler than the regular SFR staff anyway, so that's keeping us warm.


We thought it could be fun here to run down some of the reader reactions to Wade's letter that we found on Facebook. We’ve abridged them for clarity (and we're not out to make anyone look weird, just know that).

People have feelings, that's for sure…and here are some of them.

Debi Harrington  "This is EXACTLY the reason that I NEVER use a food delivery service. During this time of Covid19, it's just one more person handling my meal!" Debi raises a pretty good point and, as Wade told SFR when they spoke to her, she can guarantee her staff is taking proper precautions, someone who works for a different company, however, is not within her control.

Debbie Ramirez Go, Erin! Restaurants are offering curbside delivery. Get your butts in your cars or on your bikes and pick it up. AND TIP GENEROUSLY! Other Debbie raises a good point, too, and it's one you should be thinking about at all times right now—tip well!

Emily Ashby  Also, the tips don’t go to the restaurant workers, who are working hard to place the orders, cook the food, organize the meals and bag them. It goes to the drivers who simply come to pick up the food and take it to the destination Another good point from our new best friend Emily. Look, we know these drivers are also just people trying to get by who are probably also pretty reliant on tips, but the point is that Grubhub has created a bit of a vacuum wherein everybody who isn't them is paying for them to spirit a middle-man into existence. 

James Meehan No masters… No slaves Word. Is this, like, an Ayn Rand thing? 

Michele D Verdeckberg Then don’t allow GrubHub to deliver your food. Case closed. See, though, the point is that even though Wade has never partnered with Grubhub, they've still put her menu on their site and there’s not much to be done from a driver placing an order and delivering it of their own volition. If that sounds weird, it's because its weird.

There are lots more where that came from, too, but we're wondering about your thoughts. If we’re being honest, it’s easy for people who aren’t immunocompromised to say stuff about going out right now (do note that Wade has kicked off her own delivery service through vaigretteonline.comin), but plenty of people are stuck in precarious situations.

As always, we should check our privilege. For example, we’re privileged that we get to write this newsletter still, and we're privileged that much of what we do is eat food and lie on the floor groaning.

Either way, all we're asking is that if you can take the extra steps to pick something up, maybe do that…if, however, you’re stuck in a less-than-ideal situation, maybe take a moment to think before committing to the whims of some company in another state who pretty much acts as the world's most expensive menu compilation. As always, too, tip well.

Oh, and send us your thoughts, seriously!

If there's one band in the world that knows how to order food, it’s Ween.