One of the big name food delivery services is responding to British Columbia’s cap on restaurant fees by shifting some of the burden to the consumer.
The B.C. government capped the amount delivery services can charge restaurants at 15 per cent for three months starting Dec. 27, in a bid to help restaurants hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food courier company Skip The Dishes says it is now adding a temporary $0.99 cent “B.C. Fee” onto all orders within the province.
In an email, a spokesperson for the company said the fee was a direct result of the province’s regulation “to ensure that there is no impact to the service and support we’re able to provide all our stakeholders while the order is in effect.”
“We want to be transparent with our customers and make it clear why they are seeing this fee while the order is in place.”
Delivery competitors Uber Eats and Door Dash have both long charged service fees, but neither has yet made a move to tie an increase in those fees to the provincial order.
The company says it has supported restaurants throughout the pandemic with $43 million in commission rebates and “order-driving initiatives.”
In an email to restaurant clients, the company said the provincial measures would “limit our ability to help the restaurants who need it.”
“While we agree that government support for restaurants is needed, we feel the way this legislation is arranged–imposing commission caps across the province to all restaurants, regardless of size or the impact restrictions have had on their business–is no the most effective way to support the industry,” it said.
The delivery fee cap was an election promise from both the governing BC NDP and opposition BC Liberals in the 2020 provincial election.
The restaurants industry had complained that delivery fees of up to 30 per cent on the total of an order were prohibitively expensive amid a downturn in dine-in eating.
U.S. cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York have also implemented similar caps.