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Mayor and council approve 15% cap on third-party restaurant delivery services

Posted at 8:12 AM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 11:12:06-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A new City of Tucson ordinance will help local and small restaurants stay afloat during the pandemic.

Mayor and council approved a 15-percent cap on third-party delivery services, such as DoorDash and UberEats. Those companies now cannot charge higher than 15-percent commission to local and smaller restaurants, without contracts, as long as dine-in limitations are still in place under the mayor’s emergency declaration

“The smaller mom and pops have less leveraging power than food chains. We saw that the smaller locally owned restaurants were the ones that were seeing those 30% charges. And it really started to dent into the profits of our local restaurants,” said Tucson Mayor Regina Romero.

Prior to this newly approved cap, local restaurants could be charged up to 30-percent of the purchase price of the order to have their food delivered by third parties. A big chunk of change, that could add up and keep a business afloat a bit longer.

“Well, now more and more than ever during this pandemic, we have seen firsthand and throughout the country, really, um, how small, unique mom and pop, you know, family own businesses, restaurants are being affected because of the pandemic. And so what I have been trained to do as the mayor of Tucson is help alleviate that strain,” said Romero.

The ordinance covers small locally owned restaurants that have not sign a partnership with the food delivery services. The eatery must also have five, or less than five, locations within Tucson city limits.

“And we want to make sure that the restaurants, survive and thrive and continue to be able to offer their delicious food to our community. We saw that Seattle and San Francisco and other cities across America were doing similar caps. And I thought that it was important for the city of Tucson to take that step,” said Romero.

The ordinance goes into effect Oct. 15 until the end of the declared emergency. It also mandates the delivery companies notify a restaurant before advertising on its website or app.