City Council Unanimously Adopts Ordinance Limiting Third-Party Food Delivery Fees

Press release

Published

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Margaux Weeke, margaux.weeke@portlandoregon.gov

CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS ORDINANCE LIMITING THIRD-PARTY FOOD DELIVERY FEES

Developed with APANO and the Portland Independent Restaurant Alliance, the ordinance protects Portland’s restaurants from third-party profiteering during the COVID-19 crisis

Wednesday, July 8, 2020, City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance—introduced by Commissioner Eudaly and co-sponsored by Mayor Wheeler—placing temporary emergency limitations on the fees third-party delivery services may charge restaurants during the COVID-19 emergency. This ordinance will create a 5% cap for restaurant fees when a company does not include delivery or a 10% cap for restaurant fees when a company does include delivery. There will be a $500 penalty for third-party companies that violate these caps, and companies are not allowed to reduce the compensation rates paid to the person making deliveries.

“In response to calls from our Asian Pacific Islander communities and the restaurant industry, we are passing the strongest COVID protections for restaurants in the country by adopting this ordinance today,” said Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. “Local restaurants are a vital community asset that provide food and jobs and contribute to the culture of Portland. This ordinance protects restaurants from price-gouging during a declared emergency while protecting workers from reductions to their compensation.”

This ordinance was developed with the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and the Portland Independent Restaurant Alliance. These organizations work directly with restaurants struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.

“Restaurants owned by Black, Indigenous, people of color, and immigrants are anchors of their communities,” said Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director at APANO. “They are also some of those most at risk of closure—and if they do, they are the most unlikely to return after the pandemic. By passing this ordinance, our city has helped create a viable lifeline for these businesses. These reasonable regulations level the playing field so that restaurants can stay afloat, and we can keep these cultural assets in our community."

“To local, small restaurants in this city, this ordinance represents a potential path of survival,” said Katy Connors from the Portland Independent Restaurant Alliance. “By acting now and delivering this fee cap, City Council is not only supporting the restaurants of this city—they are supporting our teams, our landlords, and our suppliers. This ordinance is about the perseverance and vitality of the local Portland economy during this crisis.”

Restaurants are currently relying much more on pick-up and delivery options, and third-party delivery services have been charging up to 30% or more per order—an unmanageable amount for restaurants operating on already razor-thin margins during our public health crisis.

"COVID-19 has devastated Portland's restaurant industry,” said Mayor Wheeler. “Adding insult to injury, I have heard from countless restaurant owners that third-party delivery apps are profiting at the expense of the restaurant, their employees, and especially drivers. It’s an obvious step to limit delivery fees during a public health crisis, and I want to thank Commissioner Eudaly for partnering together on this."

This ordinance will remain in effect throughout the COVID-19 State of Emergency and 90 days after the State of Emergency has ended.

###