Alderman proposes to extend cap on delivery charges for third-party restaurants
Two weeks after city council capped fees on third-party food delivery services, DoorDash in December outshone aldermen by imposing a “Chicago fee” of $ 1.50 on all orders placed with restaurants in the city. the city.
Now the main driver behind the cap is opposing it – bringing forward a new proposal that would extend the life of the cap on restaurant delivery charges from July through at least the fall.
The ordinance introduced by Finance Committee Chairman Scott Waguespack (32nd) is identical to that approved by Council last fall.
It prohibits third-party food delivery services operating in Chicago from charging restaurants “any combination of fees, commissions or costs” for delivery “of more than 15 percent of the food distribution establishment’s monthly net sales processed by” the third-party delivery service.
What Waguespack has called the “table-top” order does not include a specific date for the expiration of the new cap.
But the alderman said he hoped to convince his colleagues to keep him in place at least until the fall to help Chicago restaurants fight for survival after being ordered twice to stop. serve dinners indoors and always have to limit the interior capacity to 50%.
“Restaurants still suffer from many different problems. Even those who are starting to reopen are struggling to find staff. There is basically a drought in restaurant workers right now. And I had a few more nearby. We’re just trying to find different ways to help them, ”Waguespack said.
“We are also looking to remove some of the fees for annual licenses. We did not have long discussions on this subject. But this is also on the table.
Waguespack acknowledged that the 15% cap has benefited restaurant customers, but he also argued that it also helps restaurateurs because, if they aren’t ripped off, “they don’t have to trust their customers. own services’ to make deliveries.
The alderman said he was annoyed by the so-called “Chicago fees” imposed by DoorDash.
“They just found an alternative, which is really unfortunate that they are doing it, and would kind of blame it on the city, because they hadn’t done this in other cities and had created a separate charge. that I know. It was just another form of price hikes, ”Waguespack said.
DoorDash could not be reached for comment.
Illinois Restaurant Association president Sam Toia applauded the proposed extension.
“We are still in a pandemic. We’re still only 50% of our capacity in Chicago. More and more people are getting vaccinated. We start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, restaurants, especially in our central business district, will not return to full capacity and see their sales like they did in 2019 until we recover our convention and tourism business. This means they still need help, ”Toia said.
“Capping third-party deliveries helps restaurants. Restaurants in places like Lincoln Square and Brighton Park were paying more than 30% fees to third-party delivery services. The caps cut that in half. It makes a difference in an industry where every penny and nickel counts. ”
Toia said he was also talking to the city about ways to “streamline” permits for another expanded outdoor dining season that includes adjacent streets, sidewalks and parking lots.
The $ 1.50 charge in Chicago is squarely on the customer – not the restaurant.
“During this unprecedented time, providing the best possible service to our community is critically important,” DoorDash said on the day he imposed the Chicago fee.
“In some cities where lawmakers have imposed pricing regulations that limit our ability to work with partner restaurants, DoorDash is considering various measures to compensate for their unintended consequences… In some cases, this means charging customers extra fees when ordering. in restaurants in their city. to make sure we can continue to provide them with convenient delivery while also ensuring that the Dashers are active and winning, and that traders can access the services to help increase the volume as dinner remains limited. “