Picente order puts cap on third-party food delivery fees

Will Kreznick

UTICA — In an effort to keep a lid on the costs of third-party food delivery services, Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. has signed an executive order to limit the amount that vendors of such services can charge food service establishments. The move comes as food delivery services […]

UTICA — In an effort to keep a lid on the costs of third-party food delivery services, Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. has signed an executive order to limit the amount that vendors of such services can charge food service establishments.

The move comes as food delivery services have skyrocketed as a result of indoor dining capacity limits imposed by the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting New York State capacity and indoor dining restrictions had a devastating impact on local food service establishments,” Picente’s order states. Additionally, the executive order continues, this is “causing them to rely on takeout and third-party food delivery services to survive.”

According to Executive Order 2021-001, Picente has “ordered that subject to federal and state laws, rules and regulations, third-party food delivery services are prohibited from charging food service establishments a delivery fee of more than 15% of the purchase price of an order for food and beverages exclusive of tax and gratuity.”

It is also “ordered that third-party food delivery services are prohibited from charging food service establishments any fee greater than 5% of the purchase price of each order for food and beverages exclusive of tax and gratuity, other than a delivery fee.”

“Such cap does not apply to credit card fees charged to the third party food delivery service and is charged in the same amount by the third-party food delivery services to a food service establishment,” according to Tuesday’s executive order.

The measure, third-party food delivery services defines as “any service that uses mobile, internet or phone ordering that offers or arranges for the sale of good and/or beverages prepared by, and the same-day deliver or same-day pickup of food and/or beverages from, food service establishments.”

Third-party food delivery service has grown tremendously since the start of the pandemic, with companies such as Uber Eats, DoorDash and GrubHub becoming not just household words but popular options for people who remain leery of dining out amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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