Akron considers cap on fees delivery services charge restaurants

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AKRON, Ohio (WJW)– Another Northeast Ohio city is considering a cap on food delivery fees to help keep local restaurants afloat during the pandemic.

Akron’s deputy mayor James Hardy introduced legislation to council Monday that would limit how much third-party food delivery services can charge restaurants in the city.

“We knew hearing directly from our restaurant owners that the 30 percent commission fees were hurting them, especially in an era where you don’t have a choice,” Hardy said.

According to Hardy, the proposal would cap the commission rate at 15 percent. In turn, that would save local restaurants tens of thousands of dollars.

“A lot of consumers don’t realize what restaurants are paying every time they order to have it delivered,” Hardy said.

(FOX 8 photo)

Hardy said similar legislation passed in Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. He added the cap would go away once the city lifts the emergency health order

“It doesn’t impact the local restaurant’s ability to have their own delivery service. It doesn’t impact the drivers of these particular companies.  We have provisions in our legislation that prohibit companies from penalizing drivers to make up lost revenue,” Hardy said.

FOX 8 reached out to three major food delivery service providers. GrubHub said a in statement that reads in part:

“Fee caps are well-intended but counterproductive at a time when restaurants need more support, visibility and order volume than ever. They impact how many orders restaurants receive, which drives down pay for drivers by reducing the number of deliveries available.

An email to UberEats was not returned.

“Pricing regulations could cause us to increase costs for customers, which could lead to fewer orders for local restaurants and fewer earning opportunities for Dashers,” DoorDash said.

Hardy said city council will take the week to review the legislation and then he expects them to vote on it Monday night.

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