Restaurant delivery service Fare, which calls itself “an ethical and fair alternative” to third-party delivery, today announced its official launch in NYC. The company’s number one claim to fame right now is that it charges restaurants zero commission fees on orders because of its more local approach to food delivery.
Fare works with local restaurants around NYC, curating a menu of available options for customers to choose from based on their neighborhood. Given that, customers get a much more limited number of options to pick from each day compared to, say, Grubhub or Uber Eats. The company claims to taste-test every single menu that goes onto its site. It also says, via its FAQs, that if a restaurant’s food quality starts to slip, Fare will remove their menus from its site.
The service differs from third-party delivery apps in that orders need to be placed in advance, usually on the day before, through the Fare website. There is no minimum for orders. Fare then groups orders together by neighborhood, block, or building, and the restaurant drops the order off at each customer’s door within a designated 1-hour timeframe.
Having the restaurant drop the order off itself is how Fare gets around charging businesses commission fees — which, as we’ve documented ad nauseam, can be as high as 30 percent per transaction with the major third-party delivery services. To make money on orders, the company says it charges customers a small service fee.
Fare’s localized approach to delivery is definitely an attractive option for smaller restaurants that primarily serve customers in their immediate vicinity and may not have the money to ink a deal with Grubhub. For customers, it might not be as convenient as using a major third-party delivery service, since orders have to be placed ahead of time and food choices are limited. The real acid test will probably be the convenience factor, which seems to drive everything in the restaurant industry nowadays. Will consumers be willing to sacrifice some of the “on-demand” aspects of food delivery to get a cheaper meal and ensure restaurants aren’t getting gauged with commission fees? The jury, as they say, is still out.
Fare is currently operating in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.