HOBOKEN, NJ — Both Hoboken & Jersey City have taken steps to impose limits on the amount of money third-party delivery services can extract from local restaurants. This move comes amidst widespread allegations of excessive rates and debilitating knock-on effects, exacerbated by the brutal small business environment since COVID-19 restrictions took hold.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop has issued an executive order capping the charge to restaurants—which could be anywhere from 15 to 35 percent of a customer’s bill—to 10 percent.
“Many of the restaurants have had to make a shift to relying solely on delivery and takeout under the circumstances, and this cap is our latest effort to identify any available options to provide relief to our local businesses,” Fulop said.
In Hoboken, Council President Jen Giattino and First Ward Councilman Michael DeFusco have put forth an ordinance that would maintain similar limits in the Mile Square City.
"At the end of the day, our hospitality industry and mom-and-pop shops are facing an uphill battle, and they need all the support we can offer to them. Hoboken is built on a community of small businesses and their survival is key to the success of our Mile Square," said DeFusco.
While the idea has seen widespread support, according to Hoboken City Spokesman Vijay Chaudhuri, there are questions about the legality of the proposal.
"The Hoboken Corporation Counsel's office has determined that the City has no ability or jurisdiction to regulate the fees associated with a third party delivery service," said Chaudhuri, via email last week.
Grace Sciancalepore, co-owner of Leo's Grandevous (200 Grand Street, Hoboken), would like to see something done to help the hospitality industry navigate the pitfalls of post-pandemic policy.
"This would be wonderful, and greatly appreciated by small businesses that rely on these services," she said.
Sources have indicated that GrubHub has already begun implementing fee cuts and promotions in an effort to work with their clients.
As of press time, the delivery service has yet to respond to our questions about the Hoboken ordinance and the Jersey City executive order.
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