COVINGTON, KY —
NOTE: For a follow-up to this report, where we speak with DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub drivers for the driver's perspective, CLICK HERE.
Restaurant delivery services are more popular than ever during this pandemic and are doing record-breaking business.
But with that popularity have come more problems, especially late orders.
Business has been bouncing back at KungFood Chu's AmerAsia in Covington, thanks to delivery apps, and a stream of takeout orders, but co-owner Hana Chu is getting frustrated by a simmering problem in recent weeks: late pickups.
"We noticed a lot of third-party delivery drivers weren't coming to pick up the food for a long time," Chu said.
She now is getting more and more upset calls from longtime patrons.
"Some customers are saying it's over two hours," she said. "We will make the food within 15 minutes, and it is just sitting there cold."
Soaring demand leads to issues in some areas
Delivery apps Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash have been life savers during this pandemic for restaurants like barbecue joint McK's Chicks, a few blocks away in Covington.
"They have picked up our business," manager Howard Blakely told us a few months ago.
But Chu worries that fewer people will be chowing down on chow mein if her food takes forever to arrive.
"It really has been making our customers pretty frustrated," she said.
Chu says she is seeing two reasons for the delays: One is late drivers who take up to an hour to show up at the restaurant; the second, drivers who take too many food orders with them.
"They will be just watching the app as their driver drives around, watching their driver drop off other food, and it takes an hour to come to them," she said.
DoorDash says it is aware of late orders in some areas due to an unprecedented surge in demand, and is tackling this problem.
"We work to ensure that we are always offering the highest quality of service," said a DoorDash spokesperson. "We encourage both merchants and customers to report late orders and we will make every effort to resolve those issues as quickly as possible."
But Chu has a suggestion for frustrated customers:
"If you are able to at all, I definitely suggest just picking up your food in person," she said.
Uber Eats, meantime, says the vast majority of their 450,000 orders each day go out without problems, but it also urges customers to file complaints for late food.
To hear the drivers' perspective, CLICK HERE for our follow up report.
With any service, you may get a credit if you file a complaint, so you don't waste your money.
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