The challenges of operating a restaurant in the current climate have been exceedingly well documented, but according to several Victoria-based food and beverage businesses, a local delivery service is making the struggle significantly more strenuous by refusing to pay its partners.
According to the businesses, Tutti— an online delivery platform that has been in operation since 2017 and had been offering lower prices during the pandemic—have owed restaurants thousands of dollars in overdue payments for multiple months, and have now made it clear that they have no plans to make any of the payments it owes.
“I've been wrestling with Tutti for the last couple months trying to get our overdue payments and now they're saying they're not going to pay and won't make any arrangements for payment,” Fol Epi owner Clif Lier said via Instagram. “They still owe us $4,000, which might not seem like a lot but that's money that has to come off the top from labour, ingredients and overhead which we paid for long ago and have to work extremely hard to get back these days.”
As of today, the businesses affected by Tutti’s malfeasance include Fol Epi, Agrius, J & J Wonton Noodle House and Cold Comfort Ice Cream, but Tutti still has several other businesses listed as active partners on its website, so its highly likely that more will follow in the coming days as the story spreads.
Tutti has since released a statement that they have “every intention to pay all the local merchants [they] are working with,” however, the restaurants have expressed skepticism about whether or not those intentions are genuine.