Restaurants Call for Delivery Companies to Lower Commission Fees

Some fear lower fees might mean lower pay for delivery drivers

NBC Universal, Inc.

Like many chefs in the D.C. area, Ashish Alfred, the talent behind Duck Duck Goose and Gregory’s Chophouse in Bethesda, Maryland, never thought he’d be operating what is essentially glorified takeout.

Changing to carryout and delivery was a matter of survival — a way to keep some employees paid while following executive orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

A recent Instagram post from Alfred sparked comment when he suggested that delivery services like Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats should lower their commission fee from every customer’s order. Fees are typically about 30 percent.

Yes, he and other restaurateurs agreed to that commission when they signed up with those companies, but, he says, times have changed.

In a joint letter sent to the D.C. Council before it passed legislation capping delivery service commission at 15 percent, representatives of four major delivery services said: “A proposed cap on these fees would result in fees for consumers rising and service areas shrinking, cutting off consumers from the services they rely upon in this crisis.”

A delivery service driver told News4 he worries changes might reduce his ability to make a living.

The D.C. bill, which is awaiting Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature, says that third-party delivery apps that violate the temporary law are subject to a fine between $250 and $1,000.

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