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Delivery service owes restaurants up to $400,000, says industry organization

B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association says several restaurants came forward after the organization’s callout this month to businesses owed money by Tutti, which launched in Victoria in 2017.
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Cliff Leir at his Yates Street restaurant: We are barely keeping our head above water.” DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The head of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association estimates Victoria-based delivery service Tutti owes $300,000 to $400,000 to food and drink outlets in the province.

The association continues to gather information from members, but chief executive Ian Tostenson said Monday that several restaurants came forward after the organization’s callout this month to businesses owed money by Tutti, which launched in Victoria in 2017.

Tostenson said it’s likely that more businesses are affected

The association plans to speak to a lawyer about the situation.

Many businesses signed up for Tutti because it cost less than more well-known larger delivery companies. Under its business model, it collected payment on behalf of restaurants and then was supposed to send them the funds, minus its percentage share.

But several restaurants in Victoria and other B.C. cities say the money stopped coming in earlier this year. One Victoria restaurant has gone to B.C. Supreme Court claiming it is owed more than $200,000.

Tutti’s website remains active and it says it operates in eight communities in the province, including Victoria and Nanaimo.

The B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association has been unsuccessful in its attempts to reach Tutti, ­Tostenson said. “We’re just getting a bunch of crickets everywhere.”

Tutti is part of Kavl Technology Ltd., which according to its website provides food-delivery-platform development, web development and data analysis. There was no reply to a phone message or an email from the Times Colonist on Monday.

Ben Fraser, owner of Twin Rivers Delivery in Kamloops, worked for Tutti until recently, and says he was paid regularly until April 16, but no money has come in since then.

Regular calls to Tutti and Kavl Technology made no difference, Fraser said. “Nobody has called me back.”

He did one delivery this month for Tutti, but that’s it. “I’m not doing any more until I get to the bottom of this.”

Maryanne Carmack, owner of three restaurants in the Victoria Public Market in the Hudson building on Douglas Street in Victoria, said she is owed $6,000 by Tutti.

She was promised money earlier this month, but it did not arrive, she said.

Carmack continues to email the company and said she receives the same response. A Monday email from the “Tutti Billing Team” said the billing department is receiving many inquiries about the business and that it had “forwarded all the information to the right ­person.”

“However, at this point, we do not have any further ­information. We will give you more updates once we receive any.

“We all want these things to be dealt with as soon as possible, we apologize for the issue caused.”

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

>>> To comment on this article, write a letter to the editor: letters@timescolonist.com

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