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B.C. restaurant industry praises election promises to cap food delivery fees

Click to play video '‘Our Restaurant’ campaign' ‘Our Restaurant’ campaign
(Aug. 30) 'Our Restaurant' campaign

B.C.’s restaurant sector is hailing election promises by the province’s two largest political parties to put a 15 per cent cap on food delivery commission fees as a crucial lifeline for a struggling industry.

Platforms such as Skip the Dishes, Door Dash and Uber Eats currently charge restaurants as much as 30 per cent in commission on the total price of a food order.

Read more: B.C. election 2020 promise tracker: What the major parties are pledging

“There’s no way that any restaurant can make any money at that,” said B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association president Ian Tostenson.

Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York have already implemented similar caps, Tostenson said, and haven’t seen the major players pack up and leave.

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If they did stop operating, Tostenson believes local entrepreneurs would fill the gap.

Click to play video 'Vancouver mayor calls for online food delivery apps to lower fees' Vancouver mayor calls for online food delivery apps to lower fees
Vancouver mayor calls for online food delivery apps to lower fees

With COVID-19 restricting how many people can dine inside restaurants, and patio season drawing to a close, Tostenson said protecting restaurants’ margins will be crucial to ensuring they’re able to survive the pandemic.

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“We cant have our restaurants at 60 per cent capacity selling food and not making any money,” he said.

READ MORE: B.C. election 2020: Find your riding and candidates

A year ago, it didn’t make a lot of difference because it was more of a marketing thing … now its an essential part of your sales mix and margin mix.”

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The BC NDP say they’ll ask delivery services to comply voluntarily, and if they don’t will impose the 15 per cent cap for six months.

The BC Liberals have said they will impose a 15 per cent cap on delivery charges.