B.C. extends cap on food delivery fees

RESTAURANTS and bars facing ongoing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to receive support from the Province through extension of the food delivery cap, the province announced on Monday..

The cap limits the total fees delivery companies can charge food establishments, helping restaurants to continue to operate and build their own recovery while serving their communities.

“Over the last two years, the restaurant industry has shown such resilience and tenacity as it has adapted to overcome immense challenges from this pandemic,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. “We know food delivery charges were hurting hard-working businesses and their bottom line. That’s why we are here: to provide a helping hand by extending the cap to put more hard-earned money back into the pockets of people working in the restaurant industry.”

The temporary cap, which was set to expire at midnight on December 31, is being extended until December 31, 2022.

The cap limits fees charged to restaurants from food delivery companies at 15%. An additional cap of 5% will also be extended for other related fees associated with use of the service, such as online ordering and processing fees. This will ensure companies cannot shift their delivery costs to other fees.

The measure also prohibits delivery companies from reducing compensation for their drivers or retaining staff gratuity, making sure employees will continue to be paid their regular wages.

“The food delivery fee cap extension is like unwrapping a new gift just days before Christmas,” Ian Tostenson, President and CEO, BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association. “This is great news for the industry and allows so many restaurants from across our province to continue to provide take-out options to their customers. We want to thank government for listening to our concerns over these fees and continuing to take action to support our industry through these incredibly challenging times.”

The food delivery service fee cap is being extended under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act. The original order was put in place on December 22, 2020, under the Emergency Program Act and extended in September 2021.

Small-delivery service businesses that serve less than 500 restaurants will continue to be exempt from the order.

“The extension of the food delivery fee cap is great news for the restaurant industry,” said Warren Erhart, President and CEO, White Spot and Triple O’s restaurants. “This cap allows us to deliver meals to people on a more financially viable basis and continue to support our staff. We appreciate the extension of the cap as we continue to navigate these unique and challenging times.”

The food delivery fee cap extension is part of government’s ongoing support for the industry to allow restaurants to stay open and serve their communities during the pandemic. Earlier this year, the Province announced restaurants, bars and tourism operators with liquor licences were able to purchase beer, wine and spirits at wholesale prices permanently.

“Throughout the pandemic, our industry has faced a number of challenges – including high delivery fees,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President, Restaurants Canada. “The cap brought in by the Province has helped bring down the costs associated with delivering meals to people. We are thrilled that this cap is being extended as we work to continue to adapt and recover from the pandemic.”

In 2021, the Province also amended B.C.’s liquor- and food-primary liquor licence to allow restaurants to sell and deliver sealed, packaged liquor products alongside the purchase of a meal for off-site consumption.

The Province has taken action to allow more than 2,000 temporary patios to become permanent under amended provincial liquor regulations.