Why legislators need to crack down on predatory food delivery fees

Photo (cc) 2020 by Thomas Cizauskas

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It’s time to regulate food delivery services, which are bleeding restaurants dry in the midst of the pandemic. Northeastern journalism alum and restaurateur Bessie King co-authors an important op-ed in The Boston Globe:

By acting on fee caps, the state can make it a little easier for restaurants to survive the winter on takeout and delivery. Together with the additional round of Paycheck Protection Program loans included in the federal pandemic relief bill signed over the weekend by President Trump as well as Governor Baker’s new relief fund, these measures can be a lifeline to help pay wages and keep businesses alive.

What can you do? When you order takeout, try to pick it up yourself. If you can’t, try ordering from the restaurant directly and asking if they have their own delivery service — many do.

Many of us have been ordering takeout as often as we can to try to keep our favorite restaurants alive until after the pandemic. Don’t undermine your own good intentions by using services that, as King and her co-authors point out, sometimes result in restaurants losing money on every order.