Affected Restaurants Once Caps End – NBC Boston

Food delivery has become a lifeline for many during the coronavirus pandemic, but now some restaurants in Massachusetts are worried about fees that could rise.

At Krueger Flatbread in Haverhill, it’s done with third-party delivery companies.

“It just doesn’t make financial sense for us to give 30 percent of the bill,” said chief executive Jason Petrou. “We completely cut them off.”

Even when fees were capped at 15% by the state due to the pandemic, Petrou says it was just too much as the restaurant was trying to survive.

“Frankly, I think it was trashing restaurants that already operate with very thin margins like razors,” he said.

Now that business is improving, he would consider bringing delivery companies back, but only if fees remain capped.

But the caps are expected to expire in mid-June when the state of emergency in Massachusetts is officially over.

“If it was not acceptable to cut prices during the closure, it is not acceptable to start to cut the prices of these restaurants immediately after the lifting of the state of emergency,” said Senator d ‘State Diana DiZoglio, who wants to extend the ceilings by two years, but so far. the legislation has failed on several occasions.

“There are some very powerful lobbyists on Beacon Hill who work hard who represent DoorDash, who represent Grubhub, and these other third-party delivery services,” Dizoglio said.

In a statement, DoorDash said, in part, that it “has always supported restaurants in Massachusetts. Price controls mean fewer orders for restaurants and lost revenue for Dashers.”

DoorDash said its new pricing structure allows “local restaurants to choose a pricing plan with a delivery commission rate as low as 15% with the ability to add additional services and options.”

The company also said it was always keen to “engage with policymakers on solutions that actually support restaurants.”

And GrubHub said in part that “fee caps are arbitrary price controls and it’s not the right thing to do when restaurants need more support, visibility and order volume than ever before.”

“Any cost cap – regardless of the duration – has damaging and unforeseen consequences for local businesses, delivery people, diners and the local economy,” the statement said. “As the Commonwealth emerges from the pandemic and restaurants can reopen their doors, these controls are hampering the ability of restaurants to get back on their feet.

Paola Gonzalez of Casa Blanca in Haverhill says takeout and deliveries account for around 40% of business.

She doesn’t like fees, but the multiple delivery companies the restaurant uses are key to breaking even.

“It’s the way to survive,” Gonzalez said. “This is how everything works now with third parties.”

DiZoglio says she plans to reintroduce the legislation later this week.

About Walter Bartholomew

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