Ravi DeRossi Turns an Empire Vegan

18712231573_877fb3734a_o.0.0.jpgRavi DeRossi, the restaurateur behind Death and Co, Avant Garden, Mother of Pearl and 12 other bars and restaurants around the city, is making a serious push to turn all of his operations fully animal-free. He’ll be starting by expanding the already vegan Avant Garden into multiple spinoff concepts, as well as closing the charcuterie-focused The Bourgeois Pig and reopening it as vegan wine and tapas bar LadyBird. All of his restaurants are in for some sort of shake-up, and it seems his mixologists won’t be safe either, as cocktail and beer lists will be purged of the often ignored animal ingredients that are sometimes used in drinks.

DeRossi himself has a long history with veganism, and feels passionately about the environmental and animal welfare impacts of factory farming. Before becoming involved in the hospitality industry, he spent many years living completely meat-free. As he describes to Eater, “You don’t realize that the average restaurateur does three times more destruction [to the environment] than the average person,” and, “If we’re going to do something to help this planet, it needs to start. It needs to be me not just preaching, but me just doing it. I’m in the position to do it.”

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Uber Eats has Steep Costs for Restaurants

The food delivery market, once handled primarily by restaurants themselves, has gotten more and more crowded lately as both start-ups and established companies muscle their way into the fray. As the field grows, the importance of differentiating oneself is obvious – whether it’s by offering more options or fewer, a shorter delivery time or a cheaper surcharge. But one factor that’s largely invisible to the end user is the percentage these companies charge to the restaurant themselves.

A typical rate for standbys like GrubHub and Seamless falls in between 10 and 15 percent, while others (like Caviar), charge nothing to the restaurant and make their profit entirely from delivery fees paid by the customer. Uber Eats, on the other hand, will be rolling out services in major cities this month at a 30% rate – even worse than the current high of 25% charged by Amazon.

It’s worth noting that, unlike GrubHub and Seamless (who do not supply their own delivery people), Uber and Amazon offer a more complete service to restaurants. Beyond the interface they offer, the delivery itself is taken care of, not to mention promotional assistance and photographers. To some, these services and the exposure they provide more than justify the cost. But to others – particularly those with lower profit margins per-item to begin with – Uber Eats is simply out of reach.

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