In hopes of helping restaurants survive the pandemic, NYC will impose limits on food delivery app fees
New York City — On Thursday, City Council overwhelmingly approved a series of bills designed to limit the power of third-party delivery apps. So powerful have these apps become, in fact, most restaurants depend heavily on their services to keep business afloat.
Unsurprisingly over the past few weeks, there's been growing concern that these third-party delivery apps have capitalized on restaurants hit hard by the pandemic. Of course, for the sake of fairness — our economic system happens to be capitalist. And so, owners of delivery apps have merely, well, capitalized.
Despite owners of delivery apps merely excelling in a free market system, City Council appears unconcerned with honoring the slogan — "don't hate the players, hate the game." And for the time being, our nation's game of "capitalism" has to somewhat take a backseat, as councilmembers set their sights on preserving NYC's struggling restaurant industry.
“Small businesses should not be pressured into accepting these fees in order to remain viable and competitive,” said councilmember Francisco Moya, who sponsored the bill. “To allow the temporary cap to expire would completely handicap the recovery of so many businesses that are just starting to get back on their feet.”
The executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, Andrew Rigie, went so far as to have praised the council for taking a bold stand against “the exploitative business practices of certain, mega-size third-party delivery companies” despite “misleading statements” from the industry.
Clearly, the line's been drawn in the sand. Understandably so, delivery app companies are fighting against the city's extension of restrictions on app fees until February 2022.
According to GrubHub spokesman Grant Klinzman, the fee caps are “arbitrary price controls.” He even predicts they’d “result in damaging and long-term consequences for locally-owned businesses, delivery workers, diners, and the local economy."
City Council, in response to pushback from delivery companies, appears already gearing up for what could be a lengthy tug of war. Councilmember Mark Gjonaj says the latest temporary extension should “withstand any challenge” by the apps, at least for the time being.
Perhaps only time will tell. ...
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