City leaders propose legislation to cap third-party food delivery fees, amid restaurant shutdown

Brandon Scott sworn in as 52nd mayor of Baltimore City
Posted at 9:38 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2021-03-18 17:48:47-04

BALTIMORE — Last Friday less than 24 hours after being sworn in as Baltimore Mayor, Brandon Scott ordered all restaurants to shut down indoor and outdoor dining.

The order allows restaurants to remain open for pick-up and delivery only.

RELATED: 24 hours into Mayorship Scott closes down Baltimore restaurants, entertainment venues

One complaint many establishments have had are rate hikes by third-party delivery service companies.

On Wednesday Scott, newly elected City Council President Nick Mosby and Councilman Eric Costello proposed temporary legislation that would cap fees those companies could charge restaurants.

Officials say third-party companies typically charge restaurants about 30 percent of the total bill to deliver food to customers.

The proposed legislation would cut that in half to about 15 percent, and also bar the delivery companies from passing those extra charges onto customers.

“This cap on fees puts our restaurant community in a better position to be successful at a time when these small business owners really need our support,” Councilman Costello said.

Mosby and Costello also added a provision in the bill that prohibits the delivery service companies from reducing the compensation of their delivery drivers, over lost profit the company may endure.

“The cap on third-party delivery services puts money directly back in the pockets of Baltimore business owners who provide the jobs that are the lifeblood of this city,” said Mosby.

Even if it passes, the legislation wouldn't go into effect until February at the earliest.

The bill is expected to be considered at the next city council meeting on January 11.

It would expire 90 days after the governor lifts the state of emergency.

Scott, Mosby and Costello explained the bill during a Wednesday morning new conference that can be watched below.