Around 4 million orders brokered commission-free

Deliveryando driver with mask: During Corona, new restaurants can use the service commission-free for 4 weeks.
Just Eat
Deliveryando driver with mask: During Corona, new restaurants can use the service commission-free for 4 weeks.

The Just Eat subsidiary Lieferando is undoubtedly one of the winners of the Corona pandemic. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, orders were up more than 75 percent year-over-year. To help restaurateurs, the delivery service waived commission for certain services during the Corona pandemic. As a result, about 4 million orders have been referred commission-free since March 2020, the company told FOOD SERVICE exclusively.

Since March 2020, restaurateurs have not paid commission if orders are placed for self-collection. According to Lieferando, restaurateurs would have saved 3.5 million euros in commission through this channel alone. In pre-pandemic times, the commission for self-pickup orders was 13 percent, equal to that for orders for delivery without Lieferando couriers.

The company announced a second level of support in November 2020, with all existing restaurant partners paying a quarter lower fee during the first month of the second lockdown. Newly listed restaurants will pay Four weeks no commission. This also applies when restaurants use Lieferando drivers - and is particularly lucrative in this case. That's because here, on average, around 30 percent of referred sales are charged as a fee. At the moment, this service is available in 50 cities, and is expected to reach 80 by the end of 2021.

Since November 2020, around 6,000 restaurants have used Lieferando for the first time. Lieferando puts the number of orders referred for free in the first month at 300 per restaurant, with monthly sales of almost 8,000 euros.

Corona aid to continue for now

Despite partial opening of the gastronomy in first federal states, Lieferando wants to continue its Corona special conditions for restaurant partners unchanged for the time being. "Until the end of June, we will definitely continue our Corona help unchanged. However, our four-week Corona start-up aid will apply from listing, so longer in any case," said Katharina Hauke, Managing Director of Lieferando . Although the situation is easing, it will be closely monitored, she added. "At the end of the day, Lieferando is only doing as well as its restaurant partners," Hauke said. Lieferando puts the support for the restaurants through the price discounts at more than 12 million euros since the start of the pandemic.

"We see ourselves as a marketplace and digital advisor for restaurateurs who want to expand their business to online ordering," Hauke explains the intention. "The pandemic is a historic challenge especially for on-site hospitality. With our service and our Corona aids, we make it easier for restaurants to get started in the ordering business and have recently brokered an average of 100,000 euros in annual sales per restaurant, after deducting commission."

Calculator to help with trade-offs

Especially in the lockdown, the total volume of orders for delivery food has risen sharply overall. In Q1 2021, Lieferando brokered 39.2 million orders in Germany (Q1 2020: 22.2 million) with gross sales of more than €0.9 billion.

For restaurateurs, listing on a delivery platform is always a trade-off. While the restaurateur benefits from visibility, marketing and greater reach via such a platform, they can also use features such as delivery service logistics or contactless payment. At the same time, commissions have to be taken into account: With Lieferando, they average 13 percent per order for self-delivered orders, and about 30 percent when relying on the provider's drivers.

As an orientation aid, Lieferando offers a calculator in its consulting service, which will soon be available to all restaurateurs. "Our calculator shows the extent to which online ordering is worthwhile for individual restaurateurs, whether using one of Lieferando's models or running their own business. The demand for online ordering and delivery is there, and it is likely to continue to grow. But this business also requires investments and operating costs, which restaurateurs should calculate individually," says Hauke. These can be worked out in advance with the calculator.