INDIANAPOLIS — As gas prices continue to climb, the pain at the pump is taking a toll on Indiana’s restaurant and delivery services.
“Gas prices are absolutely crushing households, and absolutely crushing businesses too,” said Patrick Tamm, president and CEO of the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (InRLA). “All of our costs, all of our goods, transportation, trucking, also energy costs overall, are up.”
Tamm says most dining establishments do a quarter of their business through carry out and delivery. DoorDash launched a 10% cash back program to help drivers. Grubhub increased driver pay and began partnering with GasBuddy and CarAdvise to offer drivers discounted gas.
“Restaurants are competing for that dollar, that share of your pocket book, where you are going to spend money for food?” added Tamm.
Indiana-based Market Wagon is also being hit. The online farmers market brings local produce to homes. The farmers bring the goods to their distribution centers, who then deliver the items right to your door. They have already increased their mileage allowance for drivers and delivery cost for customers.
“One thing we have been seeing is farmers who are further away from the big city are having a harder and harder time justifying to that inbound transit,” explained Market Wagon co-founder Nick Carter. “They are getting creative. They are sharing rides. Farmers now are putting all their stuff on one truck in Henry County and sending one driver in.”
On the other hand, the rising costs are eliminating the price gap that once existed between farmers market food and produce from the traditional grocery store. It’s working to Market Wagon’s advantage.
“Suddenly the price differential between farmers market food and the price at a supermarket, that gap is closing because some of these global supply chain issues aren’t impacting local farmers,” said Carter. “If I spent $4 on a dozen eggs, you may as well spend that with a local farmer now.”