Alameda County may cap food delivery fees

OAKLAND — Alameda County could become the latest government agency to jump on the bandwagon to cap food delivery fees at 15 percent.

Several Bay Area cities have set a maximum fee that delivery services can charge restaurants, which are struggling during the pandemic.

On Tuesday, a county supervisors’ committee recommended the 15% cap. The full board will take up the idea Sept. 22.

The fee limit would apply to companies such as DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates and UberEats. The cap, however, would just be temporary.

If approved by the board, the limit would stay in effect until 60 days after Alameda County health authorities lift the shelter-in-place order or declare the COVID-19 crisis over.

“This would not apply to every city in Alameda County, only those in unincorporated Alameda County,” Shawn Wilson, a legislative aide to Supervisor Scott Haggerty, told the committee during Tuesday’s online meeting.

Along with Haggerty, the board’s transportation and planning committee includes Supervisor Nate Miley.

Both Haggerty and Miley said they supported the cap and rejected a proposal — floated between them during talks about the proposal — of extending it up to 90 days after the shelter-in-place order is lifted.

If given the green light, the county will be the latest to adopt a policy on restricting what outside delivery companies can charge amid the economic crisis that the coronavirus pandemic has caused for the food industry.

In April, San Francisco capped the fee at 15 percent. Other cities have followed suit, including Berkeley, Fremont, Oakland, Livermore, Santa Clara and San Leandro.

San Leandro adopted the same amount after city officials learned some restaurants were facing up to a 30% fee for providing home delivery.

That delivery bill, moreover, does not include a tip for the driver, pushing the cost of ordering take-out even higher.

“We are just trying to be very supportive of local businesses, local restaurants, that are trying to provide the meals and services so that people who are sheltered in place do not expose themselves (to the virus),” San Leandro City Councilman Ed Hernandez said during the April meeting where the cap was approved.

Source: mercurynews
Alameda County may cap food delivery fees