13cabs is branching into food delivery – and it took a potshot at competitors, like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, which charge restaurants commission

13 things is going into food delivery. Image: Getty
  • In March, 13cabs launched a delivery service called 13things to transport your parcels where they need to go.
  • Now 13things is branching into food delivery for restaurants and cafes.
  • 13things isn’t charging restaurants a commission fee for its service – and it took at swipe at delivery platforms that do.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

13cabs is making its way into food delivery to support restaurants.

The taxi operator launched a delivery service called 13things back in March, redeploying many of its 40,000 drivers as delivery drivers to transport goods like medicine or groceries in Aussie cities. It promises 24/7 availability, pickup in under 10 minutes and contactless payments, with users able to order it in much the same way as they would a cab” through the website or app.

Now, 13things is branching into food delivery – but it won’t be charging restaurants any commission fees. In announcing the new offering, the company took a dig at delivery platforms, like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, which charge cafes and restaurants around 30% commission.

“Putting it frankly, we don’t believe there are many Australian businesses that have 30% up their sleeve to begin with,” Andrew Skelton CEO of A2B Australia, the parent company of 13cabs, said in a statement.

13things’ delivery fee is based on the distance travelled, with no other costs or commission fee on top of the meal. And restaurant owners can choose whether to absorb the delivery cost or share it with the customer.

13cabs takes a hard line against commission fees

Delivery platforms such as Uber Eats and Deliveroo have come under fire from restaurant owners over the commission fees they charge. The constant pressure eventually led to Uber Eats relenting and reducing its commission fee from 35% to 30%.

At the time, Uber Eats Regional General Manager APAC Jodie Auster said in a statement that while many restaurant owners want the company to halve its fees, “the issue isn’t as simple” as that.

Instead, she explained that the fees are used to cover costs associated with drivers, generating demand for restaurants and revenue for the Uber Eats business.

“Many people don’t realise that much of the commission fee paid by restaurants is reduced to cover the actual cost of food delivery,” Auster said.

But 13things has taken a hardline stance.

“We think enough is enough with big global platforms taking 30% from restaurant and café owners on every meal ordered, contributing to over the top marketing programs and celebrity endorsements, gouging away profits from our local Aussie businesses,” Skelton said.

“For too long now these overseas companies have diverted away a greedy portion from restaurant owners and used it to promote their own brand rather than promoting the restaurant doing the actual work, wedging themselves between the restaurant and its customers along the way.”

Without commission fees, 13things says it wants to puts local restaurants and cafes “back in control of their costs and their customers.”

“With a 10,000 strong fleet eager for more work and keen to help the community get back on its feet 13cabs is in a perfect position to lead on-demand takeaway deliveries and provide a genuinely important service, especially as local community businesses rebuild,” Skelton added.

13things’ foray into food delivery comes after 13cabs led a successful trial with Woolworths to conduct online delivery.

“We are all keen to support Australian companies in these times and we are excited to continue to build 13things,” Skelton said. “There are many opportunities across several product categories, food and alcohol are just the beginning, as consumers appetite for instant delivery continues to grow.”

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