Bello signs emergency order to cap third-party delivery service fees for restaurants

Food and Drink

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello issued an emergency order Monday to limit the fees third-party delivery services may charge local restaurants.

“Third-party delivery services offer valuable accessibility to restaurants and our community, but excessive fees threaten the economic health of vital local businesses, their ability to maintain employment and their continued ability to offer food for delivery,” said Bello in a Monday press release.  “Being able to order restaurant food for home delivery is an important part of our COVID-19 response, protects our public health and is an essential alternative to dining out. Capping these fees helps safeguard the survival of local restaurants, provides much-needed financial relief and helps our small business owners make ends meet.”

With COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining throughout Monroe County, residents and businesses have relied on takeout and delivery services for most of the year.

This emergency order only impacts restaurants within the county and does not apply to businesses with 10 or more locations throughout New York state.

Under Bello’s emergency order, third-party delivery services such as GrubHub, DoorDash and UberEats are prohibited from charging any restaurant in Monroe County a delivery fee of more than 15% of the purchase price of any order, regardless of whether that order is placed through a mobile app, an online portal or other means.

Officials from Bello’s office say this emergency order takes effect immediately.

“It is not uncommon for these services to charge restaurants as much as 30% of the purchase price of an order,” Bello’s office said in a press release. “The exorbitant charge to restaurants eats in to their already tight profit margins, jeopardizing their survival when eat-in dining is limited and their reliance on delivery and takeout orders sustains their business. Reducing the service fee charged to restaurants would help owners compensate for lost revenue from limited indoor and outdoor dining.”

A proposal to cap delivery fees was submitted to the Monroe County Legislator Rachel Barnhart (D-21), but was ultimately tabled in the legislature.

“I’m grateful to the county executive for helping our restaurants at a time they are struggling to stay open,” Barnhart said in a press release. This order protects restaurants from high fees and offers transparency to customers.”

“These third party delivery fees unfairly impact our local and independently owned restaurants,” said said Don Jeffries, President & CEO, Visit Rochester, in a press release. “This emergency order will help support our local restaurants at a crucial time for the hospitality industry. Supporting the vitality of local restaurants is critical, as they contribute to the overall vibrancy of our community, making Rochester and Monroe County an attractive destination for visitors.”

“This is amazing news and area restaurants truly appreciate the work being done on our behalf,” said Marjorie Fitzgerald-Dowlatt, Owner/Operator of Davinci of Greece, in a press release. “We are being hit at every angle, with Davinci’s being shut down again, we solely rely on takeout and delivery service to keep our business going. We have found a way to cutback those fees and operate under the self-delivery option, which has allowed us to keep more of our employees working.”

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