How Izz Cafe increased revenue from takeaway orders using Gigable

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Izzeddeen Alkarajeh, the proprietor and restaurateur of Izz Cafe walked away from Deliveroo and Uber Eats delivery platforms citing the significant margins they take each time an order is processed and delivered as part of a recent interview with JJ O'Donoghue.

Izzeddeen Alkarajeh and his family spent a year and a half in Direct Provision in Cork. The reason for setting up a food business was partly because their kids deeply missed the food they ate growing up in Palestine and were having a hard time adjusting to food in Ireland. In 2019, Izz Cafe opened on George's Quay in Cork city. They serve Palestinian food such as flatbreads, hummus and stuffed vine leaves. Initially, Izz Cafe signed on with aggregators Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

High-cost commission on order value meant rising business costs 

Izz cafe was charged up to 30 per cent for processing and food service delivery for an order—hugely impacting the bottom line for Izz Cafe. All of this was happening amid the COVID pandemic. It created the perfect storm for Izz Cafe—the demand for meal delivery services was way up, collections were down, and the aggregator fees were up to 30 per cent for processing and delivering an order. These charges were regardless of the delivery distance. Izzeddeen Alkarajeh said "suppose we get an order for €100 from 200 meters up the road. The platform takes €30." These high commissions were quickly eating into the cost of doing business and forced Izz Cafe to take action to ensure business continuity. 

Crunch time for Izz Cafe

To improve operations, Izz Cafe hired an in-house food delivery driver and set up a makeshift model bringing in supplementary drivers at busier times. Crunch time came when their driver retired and the cafe closed for renovations. When they opened up again, they couldn't find a replacement food delivery driver. Izzeddeen went back to Deliveroo to try and negotiate a better rate than the flat fee of 30 per cent. They told him it was non-negotiable. At that point, Izz Cafe cut ties with the aggregators.

Izz Cafe turned to run delivery in-house with direct ordering and to leverage the gig economy via Gigable

Izz Cafe needed to get its customers to order directly from the website. To do this, they started telling their story on social media. Customers came back and ordered via the website from the aggregators. Izz Cafe then found Gigable as their partner to access, manage and pay independent food delivery drivers to do their deliveries. The real benefit for Izz cafe is that Gigable does not take anything off the order value. Izz cafe can now save that 30 percent previously taken off customer orders by the aggregators

Izzeddeen Alkarajeh uses Gigable to post the jobs he needs to be done on the Gigable platform and the price for the gig. It's up to the market, essentially the drivers, to decide if they are worth doing. "Sometimes 10 drivers would apply for the same job and I select one of them based on rating and the reputation of the driver," said Izzeddeen. What Gigable offers instead is a platform for businesses such as Izz Cafe to hire a driver or drivers over an entire shift. Couriers commit to a set shift with a business. Which typically is approximately five hours, but they're also free to work with other businesses.

According to Izzeddeen, it's fair and manageable, especially as Gigable isn't taking a percentage of the basket order.

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