A Statement From ACI Director, Krisztina Pusok, Regarding Misguided Proposed Legislation That Would Undercut Food Delivery Services
We are very concerned with the repercussions that the proposed H 5205 could have on consumers and restaurants in Rhode Island. The proposal, which caps the fees third-party sites can charge restaurants for deliveries to 15%, although intended to benefit small businesses, would backfire on the very same it is intended to help – restaurants.
Due to the loss of dine-in service, delivery apps have been a lifeline to isolated customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and modifying what is already working would increase only uncertainty during a time when restaurants are fighting for their survival.
The H 5205 proposal would essentially set price controls on the idea of food delivery. We believe this a very aggressive action by Rhode Island’s General Assembly to get involved in how companies set their prices as it could ultimately lead to increased costs to Rhode Island’s small business owners and customers and lower pay for company delivery drivers due to decreased order volume. Since the costs will have to get recuperated somehow, customer fees would go up and worker pay would suffer. Additionally, the added cost of having to hire and manage their own delivery would be just as, if not more, expensive than using third-party platforms.
Many restaurants would probably not have been able to be in business during the pandemic if it wasn’t for the delivery platforms to offer their products. Rhode Island’s General Assembly should prioritize ensuring that restaurants are able to stay afloat and NOT jeopardizing their sales and survival at a time when they already do not have enough revenue coming in the door.