Protect your business from third-party service providers from diverting traffic from your website to their website to collect a percentage of your sales.
ST LOUIS, MO (StLouisWeb.Design) The COVID-19 pandemic has created a huge demand for delivering goods and services. Restaurants were impacted the most as many areas in the country required that the restaurants close their doors to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Most areas still have restrictions reducing restaurant capacity to 50% or more.
Several publicly traded companies were well position to help, or some would call it to strip the restaurants of their already low-profit margins. Well-operated restaurants before the pandemic would have profit margins at a maximum of 15% to 20% one to two decades ago. However, a recent article published on LightSppedHQ.com article titled “The Complete Guide to Restaurant Profit Margins,” dated March 23, 2021, states that profit margins now are in the 4-7%.
Our experience is that most restaurants would love to have a positive profit margin during this pandemic. Additionally, pre-pandemic, we did not see any local, family-owned restaurants with profit margins in the double-digit area. Most operate at a loss.
The reason for this information is to express how important it is for any establishment, but especially restaurants, due to them being target by large companies to protect their names. These small margins that restaurants operate on are being damaged further by third-party online delivery companies that are selling their food and making deliveries and charging as much as 30%, which according to the studies, make these relationships damaging to the restaurants. It puts them into a negative profit margin, meaning that they are spending more money to do this type of business that they are making on the transactions.
These third-party companies are doing this with many restaurants’ permission, but in some cases are doing it without the restaurant’s permission. The question is, how do you prevent this from occurring?
- If you have executed an agreement to engage in this activity, you need to terminate it in writing.
- It would be best to trademark your business name with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to prevent it from happening in the future.
- Create your own delivery and online ordering platform or work with a company that charges a reasonable fee and provides sufficient services to justify the fees charged.
- Buy Google Ads to protect against unauthorized use of your name. Google will help you protect your Trademark.
We recommend the following:
- Make sure you have a good accounting process in place to know your numbers. Before entering into such arrangements, know your numbers to make certain that you can afford to engage in these types of relationships.
- Protect your name for unauthorized use.
- Defend violations relating to unauthorized name use.
- Work with a well-informed web design firm that can help protect you from online abuses.
Many establishments are taking action against these abuses. Use the following links to learn more:
- Southern CA Eatery Sue Delivery Company for Trademark Infringements and Unfair Competition – dated February 25, 2021
- New Hampshire Restaurant Conglomerate – dated, March 10, 2020
- Great NH Restaurants filed suit against digital food delivery companies – dated March 3, 2020
DISCLOSURE: We are not offering legal advice. If these types of relationships have affected you, we encourage you to seek the services of a qualified, lawfully licensed attorney in your state that specializes in Trademark law to protect yourself.