BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In a win for struggling city restaurants, the Baltimore City Council unanimously approved a bill Monday night that would temporarily cap the fees food delivery apps can charge.
Services including DoorDash and GrubHub take commission from restaurants that can be as high as 30%. Under the bill, apps would not be allowed to collect more than 15% in fees.READ MORE: Baltimore Community Leaders Demand Justice For George Floyd
It will last until 90 days after Gov. Larry Hogan’s state of emergency declaration ends.
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Restaurant owners said the fees amid the pandemic were a major challenge on top of dining restrictions.
“It’s just been hard on restaurants, all types of businesses, and this will definitely be beneficial temporarily so people can get back up on their feet,” said Naijha Wright-Brown from Land of Kush.
Wright-Brown said she’s thankful for the move.
“We’re definitely going to put that money to use,” she said.
City Councilman Eric Costello said the goal is to provide temporary relief.
“We want them all to make it all through this, and the only way we can do that is by working together as a community, coming together to support these restaurants,” he said.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: Over 1 Million First Doses Administered
In a statement to WJZ, GrubHub said the move could do more damage to restaurants.
“Fee caps are well-intended but counterproductive,” the company said, adding it will impact the number of orders restaurants get while reducing driver pay.
Representatives from Uber Eats said regulating delivery apps could potentially hurt the businesses the city is trying to help.
Tuesday night, Uber Eats confirmed it is implementing a $1.50 “temporary local fee” on orders “in order to maintain a reliable delivery marketplace in Baltimore City.”
Mayor Brandon Scott tweeted Tuesday he has signed the bill, adding it will take effect immediately.
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I want to thank the sponsor of this bill, @CouncilmanETC, Council President @Nick_Mosby, and the entire city council. I look forward to continuing to work together on solutions that benefit the residents of Baltimore during this pandemic and beyond.
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) January 26, 2021