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Contra Costa County caps food delivery fees for duration of pandemic

Food delivery apps can now charge no more than 15% of an order's cost

Lending a hand to local restaurants suffering economically under COVID-19 restrictions, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday capped what third parties can charge for food delivery.

DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and other services now can only charge up to 15 percent of the total cost of an order, and 10 percent of third-party orders picked up by the customer at a restaurant. Typically, delivery providers charge up to 30 percent.

The cap would be lifted once the state allows restaurants to open indoor seating at 100% capacity, though the board can revisit that at any time.

Restaurants have seen income plunge more than 20% since February 2020, according to a county staff report. Overall, total restaurant and food service income has declined $240 billion from expected revenue.

DoorDash representative Chad Horrell asked the board, if passing the ordinance, to cap the amount at 20 percent and lift it once restaurants open to either 50 or 75% of indoor capacity. He also asked to exclude chains of 10 locations or more in the state.

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Supervisor John Gioia pointed out that Walnut Creek's similar cap -- at 15 percent and lasting beyond the time restaurants hit 100% indoor capacity --- is slightly more restrictive.

"DoorDash is still doing a pretty robust business in Walnut Creek," Gioia said.

While the state recently allowed county restaurants to reopen outdoor dining areas, indoor dining is still prohibited while the county remains in the most restrictive tier of California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Dozens of Contra Costa restaurants have closed in the past year as the spread of COVID-19 continues to keep people home.

Many local restaurants have survived the past year through delivery. Some establishments estimated, even when indoor dining resumed last year before the latest shutdown, that delivery made up about 70 percent of business.

Contra Costa joins other Bay Area jurisdictions enacting similar ordinances, including Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Marin County, Oakland, San Jose, and Santa Cruz County. Beside Walnut Creek, the Contra Costa cities of Lafayette and Danville already have similar caps in place, which take precedence over the county cap.

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Contra Costa County caps food delivery fees for duration of pandemic

Food delivery apps can now charge no more than 15% of an order's cost

Uploaded: Wed, Feb 3, 2021, 7:46 pm

Lending a hand to local restaurants suffering economically under COVID-19 restrictions, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday capped what third parties can charge for food delivery.

DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, and other services now can only charge up to 15 percent of the total cost of an order, and 10 percent of third-party orders picked up by the customer at a restaurant. Typically, delivery providers charge up to 30 percent.

The cap would be lifted once the state allows restaurants to open indoor seating at 100% capacity, though the board can revisit that at any time.

Restaurants have seen income plunge more than 20% since February 2020, according to a county staff report. Overall, total restaurant and food service income has declined $240 billion from expected revenue.

DoorDash representative Chad Horrell asked the board, if passing the ordinance, to cap the amount at 20 percent and lift it once restaurants open to either 50 or 75% of indoor capacity. He also asked to exclude chains of 10 locations or more in the state.

Supervisor John Gioia pointed out that Walnut Creek's similar cap -- at 15 percent and lasting beyond the time restaurants hit 100% indoor capacity --- is slightly more restrictive.

"DoorDash is still doing a pretty robust business in Walnut Creek," Gioia said.

While the state recently allowed county restaurants to reopen outdoor dining areas, indoor dining is still prohibited while the county remains in the most restrictive tier of California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Dozens of Contra Costa restaurants have closed in the past year as the spread of COVID-19 continues to keep people home.

Many local restaurants have survived the past year through delivery. Some establishments estimated, even when indoor dining resumed last year before the latest shutdown, that delivery made up about 70 percent of business.

Contra Costa joins other Bay Area jurisdictions enacting similar ordinances, including Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Marin County, Oakland, San Jose, and Santa Cruz County. Beside Walnut Creek, the Contra Costa cities of Lafayette and Danville already have similar caps in place, which take precedence over the county cap.

— Bay City News Service

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