Restaurant owners have for years pushed back against third-party food delivery app fees, and now the NYC Council is poised vote on legislation on Wednesday to limit such apps in response to the financial strain put on small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday Mayor de Blasio said that he supports a proposed NYC Council bill regualting delivery app fees, which will likely be capped at 20%, the NY Post reports.
Owner of Italian restaurant Adelina’s (159 Greenpoint Ave.) Toby Buggiani says that certain apps can charge restaurants over 30% per order. “There have been some partners of restaurants that have lowered their fees, and some restaurants have lowered their prices to survive and make it through this. We’re all operating on a different scale then we used to be,” Buggiani said.
“The problem with platforms like Seamless is that they have not lowered their fees,” he said. “Right now my margin for Grubhub is 32% and if I’m marking up a bottle of wine for 30%, then I’m loosing on the sale.”
Buggiani says that to help his business survive after shutting down for two months, the restaurant now offers customers the option to place orders directly through the Adelina’s website, and Buggiani is working on a written plan to share with other restaurant owners demonstrating how to curtail delivery app fees.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance is calling for NYC protections to include a limit on fees charged by restaurant delivery apps for phone calls that result in no sales, and a waiver for rent charged for sidewalk seating, among other measures.