An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Bay-area based startup Profitboss is pitching itself as the “easiest, fastest, and most convenient system to get back your customers from third party [services].” Free to restaurants, the service (which launched in 2018) lets restaurants open their own digital storefront. Profitboss CEO Adam Guild likes to compare his service to Shopify and the terms of agreement thread the same point: Profitboss, or “Placebull” deems itself a “virtual marketplace” that connects users to local restaurants. The way it breaks down is this: The service is free for restaurants for pickup orders, and users are charged a $1.50 fee which Profitboss takes as a cut. For delivery orders, Profitboss sends orders to the API of apps such as DoorDash and charges restaurants a $7 fee, which works out to be cheaper than delivery apps’ usual fee and can be split with the customer. The idea is that both the restaurant and the customer end up saving money in fees. Uber Eats, for example, charges users at least $5 in fees (and sometimes more) on top of the food itself being charged at a premium to cover Uber’s 30 percent commission. Profitboss isn’t a panacea for all the gig economy’s ills, however. While it seeks to cut gig companies out of one part of the equation and help restaurants, it also uses gig workers from Postmates and Doordash to actually deliver orders, Guild said. “In the world of e-commerce, Shopify has millions of merchants but most orders are actually fulfilled by Amazon fulfillment centers,” Guild told Motherboard. “In the same sense that Amazon fulfills Shopify orders, DoorDash fulfills our orders but it’s just a flat fee so there’s a higher profit margin there.” Guild said Profitboss can reduce the amount of time drivers spend waiting for orders while increasing their tips and overall earnings because, he claims, “customers are more willing to be generous with a gratuity and we’re able to pass that entire tip to the driver.”

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