Hoboken moves forward with placing 15% cap on third party food delivery fees

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The City of Hoboken has moved forward with a measure to place a 15 percent cap on third party food delivery fees, with a five percent cap in place for restaurants that provide their own deliveries.

Photo courtesy of the City of Hoboken.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

The Hoboken City Council approved the second reading of an ordinance introduced by 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco, 6th Ward Councilwoman Jen Giattino, and Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour, the clerk’s office said on Wednesday after some initial confusion.

“Restaurants and cafes have struggled to stay afloat since the onset of the pandemic, and now more than ever they need all available resources to keep their doors open,” DeFusco said today.

“Hoboken’s restaurants, cafes and eateries contribute greatly to the overall charm of our city and their absence following the pandemic would greatly impact our community,” added Giattino, the council vice president.

They initially introduced this local legislation in April as one of two concepts to hope Hoboken’s ailing hospitality industry back.

The first reading was approved on May 6th, but Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order on June 26th instituting 10 percent delivery fee cap before a second reading of the Hoboken ordinance was ever heard. That order expired on December 31st, 2020.

Both DeFusco and Giattino indicated that the administration objected to this measure back in the spring, but if true, that’s at least no longer the case as Mayor Ravi Bhalla signed the legislation into law earlier today.

“Our business owners should have the peace of mind that they won’t be stuck with exorbitant delivery fees at a time when they’re struggling to make ends meet,” the mayor said in his own statement.

“This legislation will help our businesses keep as much revenue as possible to pay employees, pay rent, and more. My administration has been in touch with GrubHub which has pledged to comply with our ordinance, and I thank them for their cooperation. I am confident all third-party delivery services will do so as well.”

Additionally, the city is currently considering an amendment that will allow businesses to opt-in to additional marketing opportunities with third-party delivery services, if they so choose, without any rate increase.

“On behalf of the Hoboken Business Alliance, we are pleased to support the city’s efforts to keep money in the hands of small businesses,” said Hoboken Business Alliance President Greg DellAquilla.

“This is the latest example of Hoboken’s government working with business owners to understand the difficulties that they are facing on a daily basis due to the pandemic. This is a welcome change for our city.”

The new delivery fee changes are set to go into effect on Tuesday, February 23rd.

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