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Newly launched website helping restaurants cut third-party delivery

Lunchbox, a digital ordering platform, has launched a non-profit website called Help Main Street to help local business owners provide delivery service without using third-party delivery companies.

"Grubhub and other marketplaces were never really restaurant-friendly to begin with. But you would think they would or curb their egregious practices during COVID-19. We are here to give voice to restaurants in any way we can," Lunchbox co-founder and CEO Nabeel Alamgir said in a company press release.

The website includes links to direct, first-party online ordering from restaurants making it easier for customers to support their local economies without relying on third-party delivery services that often take large cuts of each transaction, according to the release. Visitors can also purchase online gift cards and donate to the businesses of their choice. 

The initiative features a crowdsourced map directory of more than 121,000 businesses across 16 countries.

Help Main Street also partnered with Stella Artois for Stella Sessions@Home, an Instagram home-cooking platform hosted by actress Eva Longoria, chef Marcus Samuelsson and others. 

To date, the project has attracted 73,000 visitors and raised nearly $400,000 for local businesses across the U.S. and the rest of the world by previously selling gift cards. Lunchbox accepts no money for the project, including that from merchants or their customers.