By Bob Katzen
The Senate 12-27, rejected an amendment that would cap delivery fees charged by third parties like GrubHub, DoorDash and Uber Eats at 15 percent of the order price until 45 days after the COVID-19 state of emergency ends. When the pandemic struck, many restaurants were not equipped to offer online ordering or delivery and are forced to rely heavily on these delivery companies.
“Hundreds of thousands of restaurants have closed across America,” said amendment sponsor Sen. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen). “For the restaurants that have reopened, delivery has increased. Delivery companies charge a minimum 25 to 30 percent to restaurants. Delivery companies took 2 to 3 percent of restaurant revenue before and now they take 18 to 20 percent. This is not sustainable or acceptable. Delivery is proving to be a money-losing proposition for restaurants.”
Amendment opponents said a cap is already being considered as part of an economic development bill that is being drafted by a conference committee after the House and Senate approved different versions of the bill. They noted the issue should be left up to that committee.
Amendment supporters said that conference committee has been deliberating since July 30 and no one knows whether they will reach an agreement before the end of the session. They said putting the cap in the budget gives it an additional chance for passage.