B.C. extends order capping fees charged by food delivery services

RESTAURANTS facing unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be supported through the extension of the food delivery fee cap, which limits the total fees food delivery companies can charge.

“The restaurant industry has shown incredible strength and resiliency throughout the pandemic,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, on Sunday. “In tough times like these, people look to each other to find support and guidance, and that includes government. This extension helps one of the hardest-hit sectors stay open as we slowly and safely emerge from the pandemic.”

The food delivery service fee cap is being extended under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act and will immediately follow the expiry of the current temporary order put in place on Dec. 22, 2020, under the Emergency Program Act. The current order was set to expire at midnight (Pacific time) on September 28.

The order will continue to cap fees charged to restaurants from food delivery companies to 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 pandemic has impacted all sectors of our economy,” said Adam Walker, Parliamentary Secretary for the New Economy. “The cap on food delivery fees has provided stability for local restaurants while ensuring that delivery drivers are fairly compensated for their work.”

Along with extending the food delivery service fee cap, government continues to work with the restaurant industry to ensure a safe dine-in experience with the launch of the BC Vaccine Card. More than three million people have signed up for the card since the requirement to show proof of vaccination at restaurants and other events and services went into place this month.

“This is welcome news for B.C. restaurateurs,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President Western Canada, Restaurants Canada. “During the past 18 months, takeout and delivery sales has become a lifeline for restaurants and will continue to provide a critical revenue stream on our road to recovery. We appreciate the B.C. government listening to our hard-hit industry and extending this measure.”

Small-delivery service businesses that serve less than 500 restaurants will continue to be exempt from the order. The order also prohibits delivery companies from reducing compensation for their drivers, allowing employees to continue to be paid their regular wages.

“The extension of the food delivery service cap will have a significant positive impact on restaurants like ours that use delivery companies to service their customers,” said Warren Erhart, President, White Spot Hospitality. “We appreciate the collaboration on this initiative as we work together to find solutions in these challenging times.”

The revised order is set to expire on December. 31, at which point it will be reviewed, taking into account the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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