Council Could Further Regulate Delivery Apps With New Fee Cap

Bill Mount

The D.C. Council could further regulate third-party delivery companies should it adopt new emergency legislation capping fees on pick up-orders introduced by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh. Earlier in the pandemic, the District limited the commission fee companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats can charge for delivery services to 15 […]


The D.C. Council could further regulate third-party delivery companies should it adopt new emergency legislation capping fees on pick up-orders introduced by Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh. Earlier in the pandemic, the District limited the commission fee companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats can charge for delivery services to 15 percent. Now Cheh is proposing a 5 percent fee cap on pick-up orders placed using the same apps.

Those who violate the new fee cap, which also applies to orders placed through the apps that restaurants deliver themselves, would be subject to the same penalties as those already in place for the 15 percent fee cap on delivery orders. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs can levy fines between $250 and $1,000. Postmates wasn’t quick to comply to the 15 percent fee cap and DoorDash tried to find a way around it until D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine stepped in.

“Every percentage helps on every single order,” says Sprig and Sprout chef and owner Jennifer Hoang. “Even though pick-up isn’t as popular, if it’s a couple more dollars a day, that’s more money in our pockets.” 

Before the pandemic spurred emergency legislation regulating commission fees, Hoang says third-party apps charged roughly 30 percent for delivery orders and between 8 and 15 percent for pick-up orders. Representatives from Grubhub and Uber Eats confirm these percentages to be accurate, though Uber says there was room for restaurants to negotiate their pick-up commissions.

“A 10 percent drop in fees might not sound like much, but it’s huge,” says Pie Shop owner Sandra Basanti. “People are under the impression that pick-up orders don’t come with a fee. This is great, great news. We’ve been getting gouged for so long that any kind of help or reduction that we can get [is welcome].”

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