4 third-party food delivery services come out against Jersey City directive limiting fees

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DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats have come out against a Jersey City order that would not allow third-party food delivery services to earn more than 10 percent in fees, calling the measure “misguided and potentially disastrous.”

Photo via Uber Eats.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“The extreme executive order issued today in Jersey City to limit the amount that restaurants pay to offer delivery and market themselves to local consumers is misguided and potentially disastrous for the very businesses it purports to help,” the four companies said in a joint statement issued this evening.

“Without any input from stakeholders, including the delivery platforms or members of the public, this ordinance will devastate locally owned restaurants that are being kept afloat thanks to the delivery and take-out services these companies provide. It will also result in job losses for the workers who depend – now more than ever – on delivery work to supplement their incomes or bring in money after being laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis.”

The four companies continued that the local legislation will limit affordable and accessible deliveries for Jersey City residents, noting that they are eager to reach a solution that works for everyone.

After the Jersey City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would limit third-party food delivery fees at 10 percent last night, Mayor Steven Fulop signed an executive order this morning – making the local legislation official without necessitating a second reading.

Officials were in agreement that they came to the decision to relieve some financial strain on hospitality businesses that have only been able to open to do takeout orders since mid-March.

City spokeswoman Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said it’s unfortunate that companies who make millions “aren’t willing to provide a small amount of relief” to small businesses struggling to survive.

“The sponsors worked closely with the restaurant community to craft the referendum after restaurant owners came to the Administration asking for help on these outrageous fees,” she said.

“It’s unfortunate that these multimillion dollar companies aren’t willing to provide a small amount of relief to the small business owners that drive their success, despite being in the midst of an international health and economic crisis.”

According to a copy of last night’s agenda packet, the ordinance was sponsored by the council as a whole, with Council President Joyce Watterman, Ward E Councilman James Solomon, and Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera speaking in favor of today’s executive order.

A similar measure was announced in Hoboken last week and was okayed by their city council on first reading yesterday, though Grubhub has come out against that proposal as well according to an email obtained by HCV.