Some fast food restaurants including McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Starbucks have been shown selling their products for slightly higher prices on third-party delivery apps, Business Insider reports.
A Gordon Haskett analysis obtained by the outlet showed that, for example, a Chick-fil-A sandwich from the same location in Atlanta, GA, would be sold for $4.85 through its delivery partner DoorDash and $3.75 when you order directly at the drive-thru. When I looked at my nearest location, just outside Pittsburgh, PA, a classic Chick-fil-A sandwich would cost $5.05 on both DoorDash and Uber Eats, while it's listed for $3.89 on its in-restaurant menu at the same location. Business Insider found similar figures in Brooklyn, NY.
By the way, this is a good excuse to note that restaurant prices can vary wildly by locations, franchisee, etc. so you should always do your own specific research at your own specific locations.
The analysis also found that Chick-fil-A had the highest delivery markup of the chains it looked at, coming in at 29.8 percent more than in-store. Starbucks was just behind it at 20.3 percent and McDonald's fell at 19.6 percent. In addition to these menu markups, customers will also likely end up paying even more with third-party apps because they could pay delivery surcharges and should be leaving tips.
However, the reason for the raise in prices makes sense: Restaurants pay for their partnerships with third-party delivery apps so they'll end up making less than they would on a typical sale. Not only that, businesses are having to be more proactive about costs because the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing regulations are causing a slow-down in sales for many, and they're seeing an unprecedented demand for things like delivery and online orders. For example, McDonald's saw its lowest quarterly profit in over a decade last quarter.
Part of the reason for the analysis was to see if it's recommended that Chipotle be the next to follow suit and increase prices for its delivery orders. This comes after reports that the chain would "experiment" with raising prices on third-party apps. According to Business Insider's report, analyst Jeff Farmer said he expects the chain to do so in the fourth quarter.
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