Apr 10, 2020 - Economy & Business

San Francisco to cap delivery fees charged to restaurants

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

San Francisco on Friday announced a temporary 15% cap on fees delivery companies can charge restaurants during the coronavirus crisis.

Why it matters: Food delivery has skyrocketed as residents remain confined in their homes except for essential trips. The service has become the primary source of revenue for restaurants as they can no longer serve on-site patrons.

  • Typically, third-party delivery companies charge fees to the customer and also take a commission from the restaurants.

Between the lines: While some companies have slashed fees for customers during the COVID-19 outbreak to incentivize them to order more, restaurants have complained that high fees eat into their already-reduced revenues.

Yes, but: Critics of such fee caps argue this leads to unintended consequences like lower incentives for the delivery companies to work with specific restaurants or in certain areas, change how they pay drivers, or shift fees to customers to make up for lost money (and potentially decreasing demand for delivery).

  • "In the face of this new policy shift, we are going to give restaurants the ability to pass some of these optional costs onto consumers," a GrubHub spokesperson said of the additional fees it charges restaurants for services beyond delivery, which add up to more than 15%.
  • Uber Eats said that "regulating the commissions that fund our marketplace—particularly during these unprecedented times—would force us to radically alter the way we do business, set a far-reaching precedent in a highly competitive market, and could ultimately hurt those that we’re trying to help the most: customers, small businesses and delivery people."
  • Pointing to an announcement the day before of cutting its restaurant fees by half, DoorDash added: "We are reviewing the Mayor’s order, including the legal basis for such an extraordinary unilateral action, and will respond accordingly."

Editor's note: The story has been updated with comments from delivery companies.

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 6,226,408 — Total deaths: 373,973 — Total recoveries — 2,672,161Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,799,747 — Total deaths: 104,702 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Nearly 26,000 coronavirus deaths in nursing homes have been reported to federal health officials —Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Federal government: Trump lashes out at governors, calls for National Guard to "dominate" streets.
  5. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The virus didn't go away.

New York City to impose curfew amid ongoing protests

Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York City will be placed under curfew on Monday from 11pm until 5am Tuesday morning following days of protests over the death of George Floyd, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.

The big picture: Demonstrations in New York, like in cities across the country, turned violent over the weekend as protesters clashed with police late into the night. The number of police officers on the streets of New York will double from 4,000 to 8,000.

Family-commissioned autopsy says George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

Why it matters: The autopsy contradicts preliminary findings from the Hennepin County medical examiner, who found “no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation,” according to charging documents against Chauvin. The official examination is still ongoing.