In response to the financial strain restaurants around the country are under as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, food-delivery service Doordash has announced it’ll be reducing its commission fees by 50 per cent. It’s the first delivery service to offer relief of this magnitude to our ailing hospitality industry.

The new reductions apply to restaurants with five locations or fewer across Melbourne and Sydney. “We have been actively engaging with our restaurant partners to understand the best way we can support that community through this pandemic,” Doordash general manager Thomas Stephens said in a statement.

“By providing over 80 per cent of restaurants on the Doordash platform in Australia with a 50 per cent commission reduction, we’re focusing this most recent relief effort on those most vulnerable – local businesses.”

The news comes as the biggest players in Australia’s food-delivery-service game, Uber Eats and Deliveroo, find themselves under increased pressure to reduce fees. Both companies reportedly take cuts of up to 35 per cent in an industry where profit margins are already razor thin.

At the time of publishing, neither service had reduced its restaurant commission fees.

After a petition demanding both services reduce their commission fees was started by Melbourne-based food writer Dani Valent, Uber Eats waived sign-up fees for new venues, added incentives for restaurants to offer promotions to customers, and announced it would deliver 25,000 free meals to healthcare workers during the pandemic.

And on April 9, Deliveroo announced it will add a tipping function to the app, promising to match the first 10,000 customer tips. It has also released a free guide to restaurants that have switched to delivery or takeout.