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Excessive delivery fees? Ontario County moves to cap them at 15% of the food order

The Ontario County Board of Supervisors is moving forward with an executive action prohibiting third-party companies from charging more than 15% of the purchase price of food for delivery.

This follows other counties, like Monroe, putting similar caps on delivery services, which have been accused of charging excessive amounts during the pandemic.

Canandaigua city Supervisor Dave Baker brought up the subject during a committee report after hearing from city officials about possible price gouging on delivery fees, according to the Finger Lakes Times. “Seven counties (in the state) have local laws on the books on this topic, so it made sense for us to address it. This is about full-service restaurants that didn’t rely on takeout business until COVID, and delivery was a way to keep their doors open,” Baker said at the meeting. “Typically, I would say government should not be allowed in pricing, but then I thought we don’t allow ticket scalping. We don’t allow predatory lending, and we don’t allow price gouging.”

The measure passed in weighted voting, 2,483-2,013. Canandaigua Town Supervisor Cathy Menikotz voted no, pointing out that she could not read the resolution before the vote. “I am in favor of finding lawful ways of protecting restaurants from excessive fees which threaten their livelihood. I am also in favor of proceeding to develop a law or order which would accomplish that goal after considering all of the legalities and implications of such an order or law,” she said. “There was no guidance from those who proposed to proceed in this manner as to how the order would be enforced.”

The executive order can be extended every five days until a permanent local law is put in place.