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After a big bite: Delivereasy director Nick Foster outside Love Chicken The Pop Up, the first restaurant in Queenstown the Wellington-based company signed up

By PHILIP CHANDLER

Food delivery competition’s heating up in Queenstown with a third operator vying
for a slice of the pie.

Controversial United States-owned Uber Eats two weeks ago announced it’s entering the market early next month.

In response, fired-up Flame Bar & Grill co-owner Lou McDowell asked her colleagues to boycott the app-based company, which traditionally charges restaurants up to 35% in commission.

She said restaurants should ‘‘support local’’, citing Food On Q which charges 20 to 25%.

Now Wellington-based Delivereasy, which operates in 14 New Zealand centres, is launching in Queenstown next week.

It will mostly charge restaurants 20% and, as a carrot for diners, is promising free deliveries for the first two months for orders over $25.

Asked if they’ve timed their Queenstown launch to try to head off Uber Eats, Delivereasy director Nick Foster says, ‘‘let’s just say it might have been brought forward slightly’’.

‘‘We’re keen to make it as hard as possible for them anywhere they go in NZ.’’

Foster hopes to launch with ‘‘roughly 30 to 40 restaurants’’.

He also aims to contract 30 to 40 drivers who’d be paid commission.

‘‘Our plan is just to get as big as we can as fast as we can.

‘‘We respect the local guys, we’re not here to try to push them out of business, but we’re here to do what we do well.’’

Food On Q owner Danny Sykes thinks Delivereasy ‘‘could make a slightly better impression than Uber’’, based on the bad rap it got during lockdown, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern even suggesting people support local businesses instead.

He hopes his company’s support for both restaurants and consumers over the same period will serve it well.

Delivereasy, Sykes says, ‘‘will come here with their brash attitude and a sense of arrogance and just think they can take over the town, like we haven’t even been here, and it will be their downfall’’.

As far as the increased competition goes, he says, ‘‘bring it on’’.

scoop@scene.co.nz