ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Some restaurants are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now an Albuquerque restaurant owner is saying she is fed up with third-party delivery companies that she claims are taking advantage of local businesses during tough times.  

Erin Wade who owns Vinaigrette and other restaurants in west downtown Albuquerque said she just recently published an open letter to the CEO of Grubhub. Her business doesn’t use the service, but she’s voicing her frustrations with how the company is operating. 

“In the industry, we think of them as a bunch of thugs and bullies to be frank and it just felt so unfair to have them in their recent marketing kind of casting themselves as our savior when the opposite is true,” said Wade.

Wade said she felt compelled to write the letter after watching Grubhub’s recent ad campaign stating “Restaurants Are Our Family.” She believes it’s misleading and said since opening Vinaigrette in 2008 and a couple of other restaurants throughout the metro they have never used third party delivery.

Erin Wade is concerned that Grubhub has not changed its 30% commission fee structure during the pandemic, claiming that further hurts many restaurants’ thinning profit margins. “The business model of these third-party delivery apps is set up more to be like a parasite to charge restaurants three and four times more than they make on the meal,” said Wade.

Wade said the best way for people to support local business is to order take-out from the restaurants directly. 

A spokesperson with Grubhub sent KRQE News 13 this statement below in response to Wade’s open letter: 

“Our mission since we were founded in 2004 has been to connect hungry diners with great, local restaurants. We’ve built a marketplace that enables restaurant owners to reach a network of more than 22 million diners across the country, and we handle delivery logistics so that restaurateurs can focus on making the food diners love. We know these are tough times for independent restaurants, and we deeply value the feedback we hear from owners.

During these challenging times, we’re investing in programs that directly drive business to our restaurant partners and organizing community support through orders and donations. That’s why we created the Grubhub Community Relief Fund to provide financial relief for our restaurants and drivers, in addition to our efforts to ensure diners are aware they can still enjoy food from restaurants through pickup and delivery. With this fund, all contributions through our Donate the Change program – amounting to more than $1 million per month on average – go to charitable organizations that support restaurants and drivers.”