Ontario wants to cap delivery app fees in Toronto during lockdown
Premier Doug Ford has repeatedly criticized food delivery apps for charging exorbitant fees at a time when restaurants are struggling more than ever, and now it seems the province is planning to actually do something about it.
The provincial government announced today that it will be introducing the new Supporting Local Restaurants Act, 2020 — legislation that would give Ontario the power to cap fees on third-party delivery apps in regions that are in lockdown, including Toronto and Peel Region.
Restaurants in both regions have been forced to close for indoor and outdoor dining and are relying solely on revenue from takeout and delivery, so fees charged by delivery apps such as UberEats and DoorDash — which are often as high as 30 per cent — are even more detrimental to their survival.
"Ontario's small and independent restaurants have shouldered an outsized share of COVID-19's economic burdens," said Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Prabmeet Sarkaria in a statement.
"But through it all, they've continued to serve our communities, our families and have lifted our spirits. With this legislation, our government is helping local businesses stay in business, and providing a solution that will help our local restaurants when every little bit helps."
Ontario is helping small and independent restaurants stay in business by temporarily reducing fees charged by food delivery companies in areas where indoor dining is prohibited. Learn more https://t.co/xkHL3Q8N3R pic.twitter.com/ShhUyiGxFm— Ontario Economy (@ONeconomy) November 26, 2020
The government is aiming to introduce a 15 per cent cap on delivery fees and an overall cap of 20 per cent inclusive of all fees, similarly to what was recently done in New York.
Any company caught breaking the proposed law could be fined up to $10 million, according to the province, and the bill would also protect delivery drivers' pay and prevent them from being restricted to certain delivery zones.
Roughly one month ago, Ford pleaded with delivery app owners to stop charging restaurants ridiculous fees and pledged to take regulatory action against them if they didn't comply.
Now, it seems he's following through on that promise.
"All I'm asking is be part of the team. Don't be greedy, because I can't stand when people are greedy," said Ford to delivery app owners during a press conference at Queen's Park in October, noting that they were making "an absolute fortune."
"Don't charge these restaurants 30 per cent, and then on top of it the delivery charge, the service charge... they keep tacking it on, and the poor restaurant owners, they're the ones holding the bag."
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