The owners of popular potato fast food restaurant SPUDZ will no longer offer Menulog's delivery service, following negative experiences with the company's local couriers.
Amy O'Donnell opened SPUDZ in July 2021 with her partner Danniel Burton.
She said the store quickly became well-known for its customer service, something the co-owners pride themselves on.
But deciding to start offering Menulog services was the "worst decision" the couple made, Ms O'Donnell said.
Menulog is a food and drink ordering app and delivery platform founded in 2006 under European parent company Just Eat.
Similar to Uber Eats, customers place orders through the Menulog app or website, which are then picked up by Menulog couriers.
While the service is easy enough to operate, Ms O'Donnell said the couriers, who have no affiliation with the store, are often rude, pushy and argumentative.
"There's a lot of female, younger female staff members in our shop and the way that they were spoken to by Menulog drivers, and the way that they composed themselves in our shop was just not okay," she said.
Ms O'Donnell said tensions reached a boiling point one afternoon when a courier turned up to collect an order, however he didn't bring a thermal delivery bag used to keep the food warm.
[One day] there was a 15 year old and a 19 year old girl in here working, and my partner and I pulled up and we could hear the argument from outside in the car," Ms O'Donnell said.
"So we come in and the Menulog driver was refusing to get his bag. The way he was speaking to the girls was just ridiculous, it wasn't okay."
Ms O'Donnell said the store was experiencing an increase in negative reviews, ranging from poor food presentation to food being cold or in some cases not being delivered.
"We can't control that once the food leaves our shop."- SPUDZ co-owner Amy O'Donnell
"Our reviews were great," Ms O'Donnell said.
"And then our only bad reviews now are through Menulog and they're about food not turning up food, turning up cold, all that stuff.
"Unfortunately we don't have a say in that. We can't control that once the food leaves our shop."
According to a Menulog spokesperson, couriers must have proof of a quality, commercial-grade insulated delivery bag before commencing work, and must follow health and safety guidelines for the safe delivery of food.
"Our Restaurant Support team is in the process of contacting SPUDZ to further understand their concerns and provide the necessary support to resolve any issues," the spokesperson said.
"The feedback from our restaurant partners is invaluable and helps us maintain the best possible food delivery experience for our restaurant partners and customers.
"We have a local dedicated team to support restaurant partners and work through any issues they may have."
Mr Burton said Menulog was also negatively impacting store sales.
"On signing to Menulog the sales data states that restaurants see a 30 per cent sales increase," he said. "We did see an instant increase in sales, [but] we've also seen a decline in our over the counter sales.
"Over time what we received through Menulog we lost in store sales. Thirty per cent of sales is through Menulog, but direct instore revenue is down by the same amount."
Mr Burton said using the delivering service led to an increase in store costs, including a 33 per cent commission on all Menulog orders.
He also said the store was also covering the costs for "the constant refund of orders that are not delivered, cold or missing items".
"First week of turning [Menulog] off and we have seen an instant increase in over the counter sales, the environment is a lot more relaxed," he said.
"Staff always felt intimidated with the way drivers would talk to them. Not all drivers are like that, some drivers we were always glad to see because you knew they were reliable but unfortunately the majority we weren't glad to see."
For now, SPUDZ offers lunchtime delivery with Mr Burton delivering orders himself.
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