Thursday, August 21, 2014

That post about Rizzo's

We posted this item about Rizzo's on Clinton Street no longer taking orders via Seamless, GrubHub, etc.

It prompted a lot of comments. Then, seriously, the post just vanished. We didn't remove it … we couldn't even find it in the Blogger drafts.

Um, anyway, we have the original photo … and the 41 comments. Maybe we'll just got back to bed now.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to be cynical but I suspect there is another ($) reason for this change in policy besides losing touch with customers. Does anyone know what the commission is on these online websites for the average order?

dmbream said...

Good for them.

I'll wager the 17-20% service fee per transaction also contributed to this decision.

Anonymous said...

will you still be able to walk up to the window and order in person?


randall said...

That is what integrity looks like.

Anonymous said...

You pay something for each order, but you also get more orders, and you don't have the register person taking orders over the phone. Also, the order comes in complete, with no errors.

They probably got dropped by these services.

Anonymous said...

I got Rizzos last night and received this notice. Not a big deal, especially if Seamless Grubhub etc are charging that sort of %. I have to say Rizzo's employees have been super nice, some of the best in the area actually. Great people and the pizza is right on...I have no issue ordering direct from them.

Giovanni said...

I won't be using Grubhub or Seamless now that I know how they are gouging small businesses with these high rates. There are way too many middlemen taking a big cut from small businesses for doing what they used to just do over the phone, taking customer orders. Plus when you order online you never get to know the people running the business, which I guess is the whole point for BroHos who want to do everything in life on their iPhone including marriages, divorces and funerals.

Most of these small restaurants don't have dozens of delivery orders coming in every minute, if there are extra calls that's what the hold button is for. They don't need to hand over more money than they pay in taxes to Seamless or Grubhub, which it looks like costs an average of 13% and up to 20% for premium listings and higher rankings in their search results. That's a lot of money on every order, maybe it's a good tool for a new business to get customers but not so good for one that's well established.

Makeout said...

Better dust off my rotary cellphone!

Anonymous said...

I only order from places that use Seamless. A lot of restaurants don't accept credit cards on phone orders. Odessa, for example.

If Rizzo's is not making enough money from these orders, then it makes sense to drop it, but they're not going to gain touch with their customers by doing so. Speaking to faceless voices over the phone is not being in touch.

Anonymous said...

Wow I never once considered the notion that ordering food by phone is somehow more virtuous than doing it by internet. EVG readers certainly bring some interesting viewpoints to the table.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be so quick to knock seamless, the service charge more than pays for itself in volume of orders. I can take 5-6 seamless orders in the time that it takes me to take one phone order. The trick is having a kitchen that is capable of handling the high volume. Occasionally, I get orders I have to call and clarify, but by and large, people tend to take the time to study the menu more carefully and order exactly what they want when doing it digitally. I can't speak for these guys, but for my business, seamless has been phenomenal and well worth the money. (my business is not located in the EV, so not broho applicable)

Anonymous said...

Not only does Seamless take over 14% on each sale, they hold the restaurant money from credit card orders for up to 40 days. I'm done with Seamless.

Business week: Seamless and the Online-Takeout Trend Are Making Restaurants Queasy

For customers, there is little not to like about Seamless. You pull up a website or an app, find a restaurant nearby, and pick out a few dishes to have delivered. Your credit card gets charged and you don’t have to speak a single word into the phone.

Pedro Muñoz sees things different. The founder and owner of Luz, a trendy Latin American restaurant serving lobster guacamole, pupusas, and Peruvian-style chicken in Brooklyn, decided to cut ties with Seamless starting on Aug. 10. He’s been including a letter in all delivery orders explaining the decision and directing customers to the restaurant’s website for online orders. For Luz, Muñoz says, the extra business brought in by inclusion in online-ordering services wasn’t worth the high fees and other expensive strings that came with it. “It’s awesome if you’re a customer. It’s great,” he says. “But in all aspects it’s killing the restaurants. It’s a model that cannot be sustained.”

Seamless takes a 14 percent commission from every order at Luz, according to Munoz, and requires his restaurant to pay additional fees for advertising and credit-card transactions. Those rates rose along with the restaurant’s volume of orders. Seamless also holds funds for 40 days before distributing them, the restaurateur explains, meaning an increase in business through Seamless led to Luz having less cash on hand to keep running. At times, Muñoz says, he has been waiting for up to $20,000 from Seamless, an untenable situation for a business making its living on the thin margins of the restaurant industry. (A representative for Seamless says fees vary depending on the restaurant and payments are made every 30 days, but doesn’t otherwise dispute Muñoz’s claims.)

Anonymous said...

It is indeed more personal to order directly over the phone... the guys that answer the phone at Iggy's, for instance know my voice, ask me how my dog is, etc... because I also go into the store... I never use the online services, because I find their menus are often lacking in all the items the restaurants stock...

Anonymous said...

If people love using seamless so much they need to ask themselves if the convenience us worth adding a 20% premium to THEIR total. Seamless has done a great job convincing users that the app is free. Nothing in life is free. 20% is a huge price to any business owner. Add that to the rent, payroll food costs health dept fines, and it's no wonder only the chain restaurants can afford to stay in business.

2:40 pm said...

People move to the new New York nowadays so that they can stay in their $4000/mo apts. or million dollar condos and almost never leave their precious abode; they order from Seamless. GrubHub, Fresh Direct, watch movies online, date via apps, etc., instead of integrating, participating, and assimilating themselves into a real community not in the matrix.

Grubhub, Seamless, etc. are for the "culture of numbness" to give them a "self-illusion of selectivity", to quote Jack Sal. And as he said, back then people went out and walked around and "you used to be able to discover a place, a restaurant or a store, and it would be interesting because someone was trying something, but now it feels like someone is just trying to find a formula." But I don't blame them, with the constant flow of tourists and the WOOOOO bros and brohos, why would anyone venture out there?

Anonymous said...

Sorry but if I start sweating the bottom lines of every business I patronize, how the hell am I supposed to sleep at night? I use Seamless and therefore I guess I'm ripping people off, but what about my bottom line FFS? Gad I miss when I could just be a simple consumer trying to maximize my own utility. There's so much to sweat these days.

Anonymous said...

I have no problem ordering by phone. I don't need a third party app to help me decide what to eat or how to order it.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I order from Odessa about 2-3 times a month. After just a few calls they know who we are when we start speaking. They know we don't want the bread/butter/plastic, just the food. It's nice!

Giovanni said...

Maybe when people start using the phone again and find out how much better the service is and how much better it is to connect with real human beings than just with a tiny little screen, mayben just maybe, this culture of numbness and dumbness will end.

My regular Chinese place knows what I like, they tell me about dishes I might be interested in, other places throw in free things or fix an order with no hassles, etc. Rather than being inconvenient it is actually more efficient and if it costs them less we are all better off.

I think I can survive quite well without 20% of the cost of every one of my deliveries going to some dot com or their venture capitalists on Wall Street, and I can get more value and save my favorite places tons of money at the same time. That's just good economics all around.

nygrump said...

The best part of ordering online with your credit card is you provide the NSA with a record of what you are eating and when! Its important to actively support the surveillance state.

Anonymous said...

All these places do is mark up their prices by 13.5% on seamless and maintain the same profit margin. If people want to use seamless, they pay up (myself included). If they want to order on the phone and have their order completely mishandled, they can do that too.

As for anonymous @ 2:40, you make these comment sections so intriguing to read sometimes with these beautifully non-sensical comments like this gem...

"People move to the new New York nowadays so that they can stay in their $4000/mo apts. or million dollar condos and almost never leave their precious abode; they order from Seamless. GrubHub, Fresh Direct, watch movies online, date via apps, etc., instead of integrating, participating, and assimilating themselves into a real community not in the matrix."

Absolutely hysterical. So bitter towards anyone and anything.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:00 PM That is completely false, the restaurants pay the fees out of their own pockets, as many owners have already told the media. In fact, the more a volume restaurant sells through Seamless, the higher their fees on every sale goes! Usually the more business you give someone, the less you pay per unit, but Seamless wants to get businesses hooked on the service and then they start jacking up the fees. When a business owner says they want to re-negotiate the fees, they say no and that they can just drop you and you're on your own. Plus they charge a monthly fee, then hold onto the money for 30 days. It's heads they win, tails you lose.

Anonymous said...

I think it's sad there are people so deprived of human contact that ordering food by phone brings them such joy.

Anonymous said...

Self-illusion of 6:00 pm, so much truth she can't handle.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy Tinder, 6:00 pm.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:28-You say that Seamless is bad for a restaurant, but then say if the owner wants to renegotiate: "... they say no and they can just drop you and you're on your own."

So which is it? Is it bad to be with Seamless, or bad to be off?

Anonymous said...


Rizzo's Pizza (R): Hello?
Customer (C): Hi I'd like to order a pizza?
R: Ok, what kind?
C: A plain pie. Hey can I order online?
R: No more sir. Phone only.
C: Really? Wow, it's 2014 dude.
R: Yes it is.
C: Dude are you being smartass?
R: No, but you are. Now do you want to order the pizza or not?
C: Nah, bye.


R: Hello?
C: Dude it's me again look I'm sorry I'm just Jonesin for pizza after all this weed I took. Shit's strong yo.
R: It's all good. What is your address?
C: 205 Avenue A.
R: Apartment?
C: 3X.
R: Ok 20-25 minutes. That ok with you?
C: Yeah perfect thanks!

^ Expect alot that above bullshit, Rizzo's.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy tinder? What are you saying?

nygrump said...

Actually, I decided last night while walking to see a fantastic Connie Crothers set at The STone, there is no advantage to direct dial in avoiding the surveillance state - they will just as likely be recording your metadata and your phone call, and then using recognition software to transcribe your call looking for keywords or voice recognition. The best way is to order in person with cash wearing sunglasses and a hat, with a pebble in your shoe to make you walk awkwardly (they track people's walk signatures now). Of course, most of us will not do this and allow the surveillance state to continue their illegal seizure of your image/data.

Anonymous said...

Don't tell the yunnies that little magic box in their pockets with all the cool little apps with the shiny little icons also doubles as a telephone. Luckily they are too busy using Tinder to notice.

Giovanni said...

This might be a good time to remind everyone on how to spot these Yunnies, or Young Urban Narcissists, who are wreaking mass destruction on our beloved neighborhoods and especially on our Mom & Pop stores. These traits will be obvious from many of the crass and narcissistic comments seen on posts about the problems small businesses are facing these days, from high rent to high fees from services like Seamless:

via Jeremiah's Vanishing New York:

New York City is being destroyed, block by block, building by building. Who are the people responsible for this? What do they want and what do they fear?

They are terrified of the unfamiliar and cling to the known. When in unfamiliar settings, separated from their soothing cellular phones and forced to stand in line with nothing to do but think, they become extremely anxious. This anxiety, an irrational fear of annihilation, sends them into a primitive, infantile rage.

These people are Young Urban Narcissists, or Yunnies. A narcissistic personality is essentially created by inconsistent, frustrating parents. It makes sense that Yunnies would be attracted to the consistent and the gratifying. Chain stores like Starbucks and Walgreens promise both--the Yunnies always know what to expect and are rarely disappointed. The giant condo complexes they live in offer round-the-clock services and gratify their infantile needs.

Yunnies are the perfect neighborhood destruction machines due to their lack of empathy, sense of entitlement, and contempt for those "beneath" them. Their rage against mom-&-pop shops, I believe, comes in part from the very name "mom & pop," which arouses their envy, reminding them of the "bad object" parents of their infancy. The fallible humanity of these shops inevitably disappoints and frustrates the Yunnies. "What do you mean you're out of skim milk?" they tantrum, and "I can take my dog wherever I want!"

Watch out. Arm yourself with the facts about Yunnies:
- They feel cut off from real human connection so they create constant pseudo-connections via cell phones or Blackberries.
- They feel empty and express their aggression through oral rage, shopping compulsively and consuming aggressively.
- They are grandiose and believe the world revolves around them.
- They demand constant attention--shouting into cell phones and making dramatic scenes is a favorite way to draw attention to themselves.
- Their hidden, deep belief in their own worthlessness makes them strive for high-status jobs and condo lifestyles, where a false sense of power temporarily lifts them up.
- At the extreme end, Yunnies are sociopathic, without conscience and without remorse--these are the most dangerous and, I believe, the fastest growing subgroup.

Jeremiah's Yunnies 101

weigone said...

I just don't understand how anyone can think of anything negative to say about a restaurant's decision to take orders by phone only. What does that even have to do with you? Have you really got no self-esteem that you have to disparage some random small business's insignificant little decision (which apparently will have a GREAT impact on your life) in order to gain a sense of worth?

I have never placed a delivery order online. It doesn't make sense. The menus are never complete. There are hardly any descriptions regarding a dish. You can't ask any questions or make additions or substitutions. It is completely inefficient and a wholly unsatisfactory experience.

I don't know anymore. I just don't know why people come onto this blog just to troll. If you disagree at least engage in meaningful discussion rather than spew out all of this utter and total CRAP.

To Anon 6:00pm & Anon 10:38am (and all your friends and defenders) - are you stupid? You must be stupid. You can't even understand a reference to the matrix or a joke about Tinder? I can come to no other conclusion. This neighborhood is starting to be overrun by idiots.

Anonymous said...

@weigone, I'm anon 6:00.... A bit about what I said.

I was explaining to people who clearly didn't understand - that there's an easy go-around for these small business regarding seamless. If you charge $1 for a soda, either over the phone or in person, list it on seamless for $1.13. You'll make the same amount of money, no? This isn't Fed policy. And if you're worried about the 30-day float, charge another 2%. Not a big deal. I've heard this and seen it done by many local business that stayed on seamless doing this exact thing (Xe May, Frank, Spice, etc.)

I clearly couldn't give a shit if people don't like seamless. Blatantly missing the point.

Here's the other major issue that's infuriating in all these blogs. And it's common in every single blog that has anything to do with patronizing stores/restaurants. What's with the war on success in the east village? And the war on young people? So many commenters are comically bitter. I am young(ish) and successful. I go to all the same Mom & Pops everyone else does. I miss the CBGB's and the Viva Herbals of EV past. I root against the TGI Friday's in USQ and the 7-11 on St. Marks. So everyone take it easy with the vitriol towards younger people who work hard and support the economy of all EV institutions. Everyone calm down with the 'starving artist, woe is me, sense of entitlement bullshit. And please, for the love of god, order your pizzas however the fuck you want.

Dave aka 6:00

Anonymous said...

What you are missing is.that ev grieve and Jeremiah's are populated by bitter single angry 50 year holds who have realized that the ev and NYC have moved on. They brood in their rent.stabilized apts confused and angry and bitter. Their vitriol is directed at the young and the successful. How dare you have a washer and dryer in your apt. They pine for books and records and have disdain for technology. At least they know to grieve. Anyone who lives differently is to be scorned. Patronizing clean well lit stores that are open 24/7 and carry a.selection of well priced goods is.somehow a crime. Go look up pics.of TSP in the 80s. That is.the era.they wish for. Freeze NYC at its worst. Its sad and pathetic.

Anonymous said...

@Dave if these places could just raise their prices 20% online don't you think they would? Unfortunately thats not how it works, and restaurant lose business when they raise prices which is why they are reluctant to do so.

They have to eat the cost which is significant. You keep ignoring the fact that the charges escalate as orders increase, making Seamless even more expensive over time, and they refuse to keep their rates down, which is forcing some now to drop it.

These kinds of services market their wares like the local drug dealer, who gives you a few free hits until you are hooked, then he starts charging you full retail price.

You sound like you are taking the criticisms of the young narcissists very personally which means they must have a ring of truth.

Anonymous said...

Culture of numbness, that is why they are attracted to the constant and gratifying like Seamless, Fresh Direct, GrubHub, etc. where they know what to expect and rarely disappointed. It's all about them and for them, regardless if small businesses are suffering or losing money by partnering with these apps. And these giant condo complexes that they inhabit come with state-of-the-art kitchens where they hardly ever use; all just for show to show-off. They don't create, cook, or make anything. Only thing they know how to make are reservations and orders via pushing those app buttons. Everything is about consume, consume, consume. Tinder is just a way of ordering their dates online just like Seamless and Grub Hub. Even dating and sex is consumed. I'd be tolerable of them if they were bourgeois, but most of them are just bourgees.

Anonymous said...

Does Seamless deliver to the gutter or the wall with dog urine dripping from it because that's where these transient bores like to chow down.

Crazy Eddie said...

"So bitter towards anyone and anything."

Note to self. Please add to "Get a grip" and "Get a life".

Dave 6.23. Some good stuff there, will digest.

"What you are missing is.that ev grieve and Jeremiah's are populated by bitter single angry 50 year holds who have realized that the ev and NYC have moved on."

Can you honestly say that the EV is better now than it was in, let's say, 2004, never mind the 80's?

Anonymous said...

anon 7:40, then why are you reading this blog ? seriously , you are so annoying .

weigone said...

Dave, it is this comment which spurred me to respond to you. I was disgusted by your condescending, disrespectful and yet matter-of-course tone:

"As for anonymous @ 2:40, you make these comment sections so intriguing to read sometimes with these beautifully non-sensical comments like this gem...

"People move to the new New York nowadays so that they can stay in their $4000/mo apts. or million dollar condos and almost never leave their precious abode; they order from Seamless. GrubHub, Fresh Direct, watch movies online, date via apps, etc., instead of integrating, participating, and assimilating themselves into a real community not in the matrix."

Absolutely hysterical. So bitter towards anyone and anything."

You sound like an overprivileged brat whose rich parents paid for your expensive and mostly useless liberal arts (dare I say prestigious - i.e., Ivy League) education. You learned a bunch of useless shit and remembered a couple of catch phrases and key concepts without any understanding of context or history, and you find it a tremendously gratifying past-time to regurgitate some half-assed idea you copied off someone else's notebook in order to put down people who you perceive as having less authority to speak than you because they're not as "well educated" as you, even if these individuals have infinitely more meaningful things to say because they actually know, lived and experienced what they are talking about.

It's people like you that make this neighborhood more and more unbearable. You are so unaware of everything other than your own tiny insignificant life - oh, and maybe whatever the trendy political issue of the day is.

Not one original thought. Just jump on some bandwagon, go wooooooooo, go home and feel like you have done something meaningful to change the world because you repeated something Glenn Greenwald said on Twitter. Sorry, doing that doesn't impart value upon you as a human being.

Stop putting people down and thinking that you are better and smarter than everyone else.

If the above doesn't describe you then you should seriously take a good look at how you present yourself in the digital world.

shmnyc said...

weigone, No one is criticizing the restaurant's decision to take orders by phone only. People are responding to the cheerleading of this decision, and some of the arguments being made to defend it. They make a virtue of their decision to live in the past, and proselytize at every opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I tried reading all of the comments but way too long and repetitive. What I understand from skimming them all is
The younger set is bothered by the incessant blanket statements made by people they assume are old and poor.(and probably fat) And the EV older timers are trying to post outraged comments to show their dissatisfaction with the hyper-gentrification.(Jeremiah's term)
Now, what both groups should do:
The younger set should be a little cooler or move uptown.
And the older set should turn off their computer's and do something proactive to save the aspects of our community that we cherish.

Anonymous said...

@weigone... you nailed it. That's the only possible way a person could be successful.

Then you end it with, "Stop putting people down and thinking that you are better and smarter than everyone else."


I love you. You win.

- Dave

dmbream said...

"Boy, that escalated quickly..."