Tampa servers say they're struggling to make money in light of popular food-delivery apps

Posted at 6:54 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 18:54:22-04

Bartenders and servers across Tampa Bay are now saying they're getting more orders than ever but in some cases are making less money.

Some are now pointing the finger at popular food delivery apps such as UberEATS and GrubHub.

"We're getting calls off the chain," said Samantha LaFluer-Sisanh, a Bay Area server.

She said while the restaurant chain she works for is getting more orders through these food delivery apps, they are not getting tipped on those orders.

"It's a pain in the butt because I'm putting my time, my money into putting the food together for them and I'm not getting anything back," she said.

Many servers posted on a local bartenders social media group about the struggles they face trying to attend to their dine-in customers while putting together delivery orders. Often, they are never tipped on delivery or to-go orders from apps.

Hundreds of restaurants around the Tampa Bay area have signed on to offer this delivery service.

"Convenience for customers,' said Chef Andrew Ashmead, owner of Jerk Hut in Downtown Tampa.

But Ashmead said these constant delivery orders can become a major burden on swamped servers. The concern is that it can cause servers to have to neglect their dine-in customers, ultimately leading to fewer tips.

"It really adds a lot more work to the work of a daily server," Ashmead said.

He said the only real solution is for restaurants with a busy to-go or delivery service is to hire additional people to handle that.

In the meantime, LaFluer-Sisanh said she is working to pay her way through college and eventually law school through serving. She remains hopeful more servers will eventually be hired at her restaurant to assist with these orders so she and her other co-workers can support themselves.