Miami Today: Miami-Dade may bite into food delivery commission that restaurants pay in pandemic

December 15, 2020 Media

After months of reports and cries for help from the restaurant industry, Miami-Dade lawmakers have begun talks of doing something about food delivery app commission fees. 

With apps charging up to 30% per order all but wiping out restaurant profits on deliveries, Miami-Dade has is a big problem on its hands, particularly for local and independent businesses, Commissioner Jean Monestime said Dec. 7. 

“In the best of times, these delivery app commissions can be predatory. During Covid-19, they can even be catastrophic,” he said. “They’re causing restaurants to not be able to reach their bottom line, [and] we will see many restaurant employees – waiters, cooks, chefs – not able to pay their bills. That will be definitely detrimental to this county if we continue to see more people laid off and not being able to make ends meet.” 

Before the pandemic, many small restaurants paid the fees because they believed they had little leverage to do otherwise, wrote Maureen Tkacik in a September report for antitrust research advocacy group American Economic Liberties Project. 

“[Once] the pandemic shut down most dining rooms, wiping out more than $145 billion in restaurant sales between March 1 and June 30, thousands of chefs realized that staying open to feed the delivery apps would bankrupt them,” she wrote.