The Indianapolis City-County Council has passed an ordinance to temporarily limit charges and fees imposed by third-party delivery services on restaurants anytime dining capacity is limited by a Marion County Health Department order or a similar order from the state. The city says fee limits would remain in place for 90 days after such an order expires.
The ordinance is an amended version of Proposal 106, which modifies the municipal code. According to the city, Proposal 106 limits total fees to no more than 20% of a meal’s price, in line with caps other cities around the country have imposed.
Proposal 106 cosponsors Councillor John Barth (District 7) said he and Councillor Keith Potts (District 2) had been “very pleased to work with local restaurant owners, delivery drivers, industry representatives, and customers to support Indy’s small businesses and make sure they’re around long after the pandemic subsides.”
Local restaurant owners told the council the big third-party delivery service companies charge as much as 30-40% in fees, which they say means they will lose money in the process. At the same time, customers have come to rely on those delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Councillor Potts noted that small and locally owned businesses “will be key to our city’s economic recovery from COVID-19.” She says the ordinance “puts basic, temporary protections in place to ensure local restaurateurs, workers, and drivers keep more of their earnings while making sure customers keep getting the same value they’ve always received from Indy businesses.”
The measure also prohibits third-party delivery service companies from attempting to make up lost fees by passing costs on to drivers or customers.