NYC Officials Are Looking Into Grubhub’s Reviled Restaurant Fees

New York City government officials are now diving into the Grubhub debacle, in which several restaurants have accused the food delivery app of slyly charging fees for customer phone calls that never resulted in actual delivery orders.

City Council’s Committee on Small Business will hold an oversight hearing to investigate those fees, as well as others charged by similar apps like like DoorDash and Uber Eats — an act that could eventually lead to more government regulation.

The hearing will go down on June 27, giving local restaurateurs a chance to voice their concerns. City officials will specifically focus on how these fees and other policies are affecting NYC restaurants, especially small mom and pop shops, the Post reports.

“If we see there is abuse, or if there is a manipulation here, then it could certainly be referred to the legal authorities,” Bronx Councilman Mark Gjonaj tells the Post. The hearing’s findings could eventually lead to the involvement of the Public Advocate, the city Comptroller, or the state Attorney General, he says.

Read more here.

New York City Bill Proposes Eliminating Cashless Stores and Restaurants

New York City Bill Proposes Eliminating Cashless Stores and Restaurants

“Supporters of a new bill want to make sure New Yorkers are able to keep paying cash at their local stores.

The New York City Council held a hearing last week on the bill that proposes to ban stores and restaurants from refusing cash. The legislation is in response to a push for cashlessness across the city and the nation. Backers of the bill argue that by refusing cash, these establishments discriminate against the poor, victims of domestic violence, homeless people and undocumented immigrants—all of whom are more likely to be unbanked.

“Given the sheer prevalence of unbanked people, I worry deeply about the cashless economy,” said New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres, who introduced the bill. “Not everyone has access to debit or credit, but everyone has access to cash.”

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Hy-Vee App Aims to Reduce Food Waste and Save Money

“Hy-Vee Inc. has begun piloting a mobile shopping app that helps grocery retailers cut back on food waste. Called Flashfood, and developed by a Toronto company of the same name, the app enables consumers to browse and buy food items nearing their “best before” date at “significantly reduced” prices, Hy-Vee said Friday.

To use Flashfood, customers download the free app (available in iOS and Android versions) and then start shopping deals on items such as meat, dairy, bread and snacks. Purchases are then made directly from their smartphone and picked up at any time from the Flashfood Zone shelves or refrigerators in the store.

The program gives consumers a way to lower their grocery bill and help the environment by reducing unnecessary food waste, according to Flashfood.”

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https://paigepapers.com/2018/12/05/17317/

Ford teaming up with Walmart and Postmates on robot deliveries

“Ford is joining forces with Walmart and Postmates to create a grocery delivery service using self-driving vehicles in Miami, the companies announced Wednesday.

Ford has been using Miami as a test bed for its self-driving vehicles since earlier this year. And more recently, the auto giant joined with Postmates to see how people ordering takeout food would interact with an autonomous delivery van.

Now Ford is moving to the next stage: grocery delivery. The company says it will experiment with different vehicle types, as well as modifications to those vehicles needed to keep perishable food items fresh. It will also experiment with a variety of scenarios, such as multiple deliveries on one trip and the user experience of retrieving delivery items from a fully driverless vehicle.”

See more here.

NYC Food Trucks To Soon Get Letter Grades Like Restaurants

Food Carts, Trucks to Get Letter Grades Just Like NYC Restaurants

“Every cart or truck will be getting (a) newly designed decal, and when the inspector finishes the inspection, an ‘A’ looks just like the restaurant A,” says Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Health Corrine Schiff.

Beginning in December, all of the city’s 5,500 mobile food vendors will be graded on their food safety and will receive a corresponding alphabet score. A tracking device will also be attached to every unit so inspectors can keep track of each business.”

Read more here.

Chipotle Is Tired of Being Behind on Digital Strategy

“Chipotle’s new CEO Brain Niccol pulled no punches when he sat down for his first earnings call in April and candidly described Chipotle as an invisible brand. “This brand needs to be leading culture, not reacting to it,” Niccol said at the time.

In day-to-day operations, that’s led to a significant shift in the way that the company thinks about growth. Niccol said that he encourages more of a “test-and-see approach” on new initiatives under his watch, and in practice, the team has been freed up to move much more quickly on making decisions and testing new innovations. Niccol himself practices what he preaches — three months after he officially started as CEO, Niccol announced that Chipotle would be relocating its headquarters from Denver to southern California and closing down the New York City office.”

Read more here.