San Mateo County caps third-party delivery fees to help restaurants

in Community

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday placed a temporary cap on the commissions and fees that third-party food delivery services charge local restaurants.

Until the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer declared an emergency, third-party food delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub and DoorDash can charge San Mateo County restaurants no more than 15 percent of the order amount for any order delivery. Third-party delivery service companies regularly charge restaurants up to 30 percent per order to use their online services, County officials said.

San Mateo County is the latest California jurisdiction to limit such fees as a surge in COVID-19 cases prompts increased restrictions on indoor dining, which means restaurants must rely more on takeout services to survive. The new regulation applies countywide, including incorporated and unincorporated areas.

“Limitations on indoor dining have forced many restaurants to rely to an increased extent on takeout and delivery for much of their business, and fees charged by third party delivery services have cut significantly into many restaurants’ revenue during a time when many restaurants struggle to remain viable,” County officials said. “Keeping restaurants in business is important for the local economy, and robust restaurant delivery options ensure that people who are homebound during this pandemic can get fresh meals brought to their doors.”

The supervisors’ action occurred as a surge in COVID-19 cases prompted the state to tighten restrictions on businesses. In the state’s Blueprint for Reopening, San Mateo County this week was bounced back from the orange tier, or “moderate” risk level, to the more restrictive red tier, or “substantial” risk level.

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