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Nassau County Legislator Files Law Capping Food Delivery Service Fees For Struggling Restaurants

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- Struggling restaurant owners in the suburbs are clamoring for a crackdown on food deliveries.

They want to do away with the fees that food delivery services are charging.

Look down any suburban Main Street and there they go, food deliveries in hand.

"Digital restaurant orders have increased 135%," said Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan.

He says third-party food delivery services are making billions of dollars since the pandemic began. Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates have taken over 81% of the market share in New York.

"I live with three millenials, they app everything, and I wasn't aware of the amount that was charged to the restaurants," Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton said.

RELATED STORY: Westchester County Legislators Approve Cap On Food Delivery Fees

"They take 30% of the total sale. So if you buy a $10 cheeseburger, they are taking $3 from us, so we only get $7," said Rustan Lundstrum, owner of the restaurant Coach Meeting House.

Lundstrum told CBS2's Jennifer McLogan he's barely breaking even since it's tough to lure customers for outdoor dining and drive-thru in the winter.

"I do use Uber Eats, yeah. The burrito is $10. It comes out to be, like, $18 or $20 with fees," one Oyster Bay resident said.

"Wow, a service charge of 30% is just unbelievably high," another Oyster Bay resident said.

"That's a lot of money for these restaurants that are already struggling," one woman said.

Patricia Holman, of the Glen Cove Business Improvement District, says suburban restaurants need exposure but feel hijacked.

"The businesses were between a rock and a hard place," she said.

John Zozzaro owns Downtown Cafe in Glen Cove.

"For them to charge that much, basically we are giving away food for free and working for them," he said.

RELATED STORY: NYC Council Considers Capping Food Delivery Fees During Emergencies

"That is why I have filed the Nassau County restaurant protection law," Lafazan said.

Like New York and several other big cities, the law would cap the service fees at 15%.

Grubhub and other delivery services call this an overstep by local officials, saying, "Any arbitrary cap will lower order volume and increase costs for small restaurant owners and customers."

The Coach Meeting House severed ties with the apps.

"My friend's son was home from college. I hired him as a delivery driver," Lundstrum said.

The commission limits would be lifted when the pandemic ends.



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