Restaurants pay more for higher ranking; warning for limited consumer's choice

Restaurants pay more for higher ranking; warning for limited consumer’s choice

by Arianna Ardia-Wenink
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More restaurants are paying extra to appear higher up on the list of meal delivery service Just Eat Takeway’s food ordering app. This is what the company’s annual report shows.

Meal delivery company Just Eat Takeaway, the parent company of Thuisbezorgd, is making more and more money from restaurants that contribute extra money in addition to the usual commission to get higher in the ordering app.

The company was busier than ever in 2020 and achieved 54 percent more turnover. Affiliated restaurants must pay an amount to the company per order. They can also choose to pay more to move up the list in the consumer app. This concerns an amount of a few euros per order.

Just Eat Takeaway earned 157 million euros more last year from restaurants that pay extra for a higher place on the list.

‘People who use the app don’t usually scroll down very far down the list,’ the owner of Bistro Manzo in Zaandam told broadcaster NOS. ‘If you are lower down than fifth place people don’t see you.’ The restaurant pays between one and three euros extra for every meal ordered. The result is that it hardly makes any money from a meal. Restaurants that don’t pay drop further down the list.

Consumer and market watcher ACM (Autoriteit Consument & Markt) warned earlier this month that paid ranking can limit consumer choice and up prices: ‘it should be clear to consumers that restaurants have paid to be in the top spot’. At the moment restaurants that pay are only labelled ‘sponsored’. The ACM is also looking at other sites which promote paid ranking, such as Bol.com. Booking.com and Beslist.nl. Just Eat Takeway claims the ranking reflects price and quality among other things but, the ACM said, competition on these elements takes a backseat if restaurants pay for a higher place.

[Sources: Just Eat Takeaway , NOS and ACM]

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