TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced a new executive order Tuesday that will cap the fees delivery service apps can charge restaurants already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The order will affect third-party delivery services like DoorDash and GrubHub who normally charge restaurants 30% or more from every order amount.
“Delivery service has been a critical component in helping our restaurant survive this year,” Olszewski said. “But often, when you order from a local restaurant through a third-party delivery app, the restaurant can be charged as much as 30% or more from every order. That’s 30% lost to our local businesses from every purchase.”
The cap ensures restaurants can keep more of their money.
“Through our executive order those fees will be capped at 15%, ensuring that more of the money you pay for food from a local restaurant ends up in the pockets of restaurant owners, and their staff,” he said. “It’s our hope that this action will provide a little bit of support to a sector of our economy that has been battered and bruised by this pandemic.”
Olszewski encouraged residents to do takeout if possible so the restaurant gets 100% of the profits from your food order. He also encouraged customers to buy gift cards.
Anne Arundel County’s executive also said he wanted to pass a similar order there. Chicago’s city council voted to cap deliver service fees there to 15% and Minneapolis’ mayor also signed a similar order there.
Through its grant programs, the county has already made millions available to:
Support small business payroll, operating, and rent expenses;
Reimburse improvements to help prevent the spread of COVID-19;
Assist chambers of commerce and business associations to support businesses;
Provide direct funding to assist professional artists, musicians and performers.
Patrick Russell owns restaurants in the city and the county. He said he briefly tried the apps but abandoned them because it didn’t make financial sense.
“Fifteen percent, 30 percent, unless someone delivers the food for free, then I wouldn’t get into those apps,” he said.
Watch the full news conference below:
For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.