TRENTON, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation (S2437) Friday which limits service fees charged to restaurants by third-party delivery applications and websites during state of emergencies declared by the Governor in response to COVID-19, according to an announcement from his office. The legislation provides relief to restaurants across New Jersey that have faced excessive fees while being limited to takeout and delivery service.
The legislation prohibits:
- Third-party food takeout and delivery service applications and websites from charging service fees greater than 20 percent of the cost of the individual order.
- Restaurants from charging greater than 10 percent of the cost of the individual order, when the order is delivered by an employee of the restaurant or an independent contractor with whom the restaurant has contracted directly.
The limits are in effect during a state of emergency and until the first day of the third month following any state of emergency declared by the Governor in response to COVID-19 that restricts restaurant dine-in service to less than 25% of the maximum capacity allowed by law.
"I appreciate efforts to prevent price gouging by third party services but I don’t think fee should be forced below standard levels," said Mary Blanusa, who has used Uber Eats a few times. "We have tried to give larger tips than usual in appreciation of the added risk the drivers are taking by providing the delivery service."
George Friedel said he only uses Uber Eats when he travels for work. But he said between the delivery fee, service fee, and tip "it can be expensive."
Dawn Mahdy, supervisor at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in Teterboro, called it an "absolute win" for restaurants.
Andrea Gaffney, whose high school son is "an avid Door Dash fan" said she's concerned about restaurants "passing it on to the consumer for the "convenience" of using the delivery service."
The legislation was introduced in the New Jersey State Senate on May 7. Primary sponsors of this legislation include Senators Vin Gopal (D) and Joseph Cryan (D) and Assemblymembers Annette Quijano (D), Serena DiMaso (R), and Aura Dunn (R.)
“Through this legislation, now law, dining establishments throughout our state will receive much-needed relief from excessive service fees if public health necessitates the return of dine-in restrictions,” said Governor Phil Murphy.
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