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Columbus City Council considering third-party delivery fee cap to protect restaurants

Columbus City Council considering third-party delivery fee cap to protect restaurants

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For the first time in what feels like a long time, Columbus restaurants may be getting a break.

At their 5:00 p.m. meeting tonight, the Columbus City Council will vote on an ordinance that would limit the fees third-party delivery services–such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates–can charge Columbus restaurants to 15% percent of an order’s purchase price.

“Exorbitant delivery fees being sent to out-of-state corporations just make no sense when our local businesses are fighting so hard to keep up during this pandemic,” said President Pro Tem Elizabeth Brown in a press statement. “Capping those fees protects not only the restaurants who feed our residents but also the workers who make them run, by also ensuring delivery driver pay and gratuity is protected under the new fee cap.”

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According to Brown, the standard service for many delivery services is currently nearly double, at 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, in a press statement. “So for 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.”

With an influx of new COVID-19 restrictions and Franklin County reaching the first-ever purple (level 4) classification through the state’s Public Health Advisory Alert System, it’s likely that Columbus restaurants will be depending even more on delivery orders in the coming weeks. 

“With Franklin County’s rising COVID-19 rates and the stay-at-home advisory, we’re going to see even more small businesses relying on third-party delivery services. This legislation is critical to keep our small and independent restaurants afloat,” said Council President Shannon G. Hardin in a statement.

Should the ordinance be passed, it will go into effect immediately and will remain in place for 120 days. The ordinance also states delivery services will not be permitted to garnish tips or reduce pay from delivery drivers in response to the fee cap.

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