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City Council Announces Fee Cap for Third-Party Delivery Services

Susan Post Susan Post City Council Announces Fee Cap for Third-Party Delivery Services
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Already hard-hit by the pandemic, the last week has brought more unwelcome news for the restaurant industry. Franklin County has reached a Level 4 Public Health Advisory, Governor Mike DeWine has issued a statewide curfew, and Columbus and Franklin County are about to enter a stay-at-home advisory.

Likely facing a further decrease in in-person dining, City Council is stepping in to help give local restaurants some relief. Council announced today a program to cap fees on third-party restaurant delivery servicers, like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, etc., within the City of Columbus.

“High delivery fees make already difficult circumstances even more challenging,” says President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown. “The ordinance that Council will consider on Monday will limit the fee that third-party delivery services can charge to restaurants…it will cap it at 15% of the purchase price on delivery or pickup orders,” Brown says.

Brown says she has heard from local restaurants that the current standard rate is nearly double, or 30%.

“When someone orders Uber, DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, or any other delivery service that’s available in town, those third-party delivery services take a cut off of the top,” says Matt Rootes, owner of Pat & Gracie’s. “So for an example, if I’m selling a hamburger for $10 and it gets delivered to your home, those delivery services in return only pay me $7 back.”

So even if a restaurant is doing well with delivery, revenues compared to dine-in are greatly reduced.

Once passed, the cap will go into effect immediately and remain in place until 120 days after restaurants are permitted to operate at 100% capacity with no restrictions.

“Any violation of this will be a misdemeanor of the first degree,” Brown says.

The ordinance will also protect workers by establishing that delivery services are not permitted to not reduce pay or garnish tips from delivery drivers in response to the cap.

For more information, visit columbus.gov/council.

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