Food delivery app order with phone. Online mobile service for take away burger and pizza. Hungry man reading restaurant menu, website and reviews with smartphone.

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Want to order from a fast-food joint or quick-service restaurant using a third-party delivery app? Go ahead — just know that the convenience will cost you big compared with other ordering methods.

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These restaurants are marking up menu prices by an average of 24% on third-party apps, according to a report by Paytronix and PYMNTS. Fast-food restaurants are the biggest price-hike culprit, with 27% of restaurants reporting they raise prices for delivery, while only 14% of full-service restaurants do. 

Why the huge price hikes? It's the restaurant industry's way of trying to convince customers to finally delete apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats permanently. Those third-party delivery services operate as middlemen, skimming exorbitant fees of up to 40% from both restaurants and customers, leaving restaurants that are already saddled with pandemic-related logistics and labor issues barely profitable.

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Using direct ordering channels like the restaurant's own app or website — or even a good old-fashioned phone call — can be a win-win, restaurants say, often resulting in lower prices for the customer and a better profit margin for the business. Plus, restaurants' apps often include exclusive deals and rewards programs, resulting in even more savings when you use them.

Customers may be catching on. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed in the report said they have not used a third-party delivery app since early 2020, when pandemic lockdowns began. Four in 10 report that this is because of delivery fees, and more than a quarter say it's simply too expensive in general. 

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