“I have introduced legislation, bill A.10408, to prohibit delivery companies like GrubHub, Seamless and Door Dash from charging New York restaurants any fee during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“GrubHub, the owner of Seamless, has a market value of nearly $4.5 billion. Postmates was given a $1.85 billion valuation late last year. Door Dash is valued at $12.6 billion and Uber Eats is worth $55 billion. Despite the fact that these companies are collectively worth nearly three quarters of a trillion dollars, they continue to charge New York restaurants commission fees between 30 and 40%, and an average fee of 22% for delivery or service to the customer. As New York’s hardworking restaurant owners scrape together crumbs just to keep the lights on amid the COVID-19 pandemic, these charges amount to usury.
“With its offer to offer to acquire Grubhub Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. stands to control a whopping 55% of the food delivery market in the country. Despite the pandemic, Uber continues to charge restaurants a 30% fee. As Uber expands its reach, its ability to control the market and exploit restaurant also expands. It is vital that we get back to session to pass my legislation; these companies must no longer be permitted to grow their wealth on the back of an industry facing an existential crisis.
“Delivery service is no longer merely a convenience, it is a vital lifeline for restaurants and customers alike during this pandemic. Though some delivery companies have reduced fees for certain types of businesses, that is simply not enough. With a combined market share larger than some third world economies, these companies, which have made enormous profits in response to the pandemic, can waive fees for a relatively short period of time in order to ensure that New York’s beloved restaurants are not counted among the COVID-19 casualties.”
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. She represents the 67th Assembly district, which includes the Upper West Side and Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan.