Coronavirus Chicago: City sets new rules for third-party food delivery apps amid COVID-19 pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Third party food delivery apps will now be required to list an itemized cost breakdown of each transaction for customers in Chicago.

The new rule was announced Tuesday by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in response to mounting criticism over profits that food delivery companies take as commission.

"It's very important for transparency," Lightfoot said. "I think the average customer who's ordering wants to know what the actual payment is, what the fee is going to be for the restaurant."

Lightfoot called the rules the first of their kind in the country and apply to all websites, phone apps and other internet services that offer the sale of food by a dining establishment.

"Diners deserve to know exactly how much of their dollars is going to a third party delivery service," said Sam Toia, of the Illinois Restaurant Association.

Bill Thanoukos agrees. He's the general manager of Hub's restaurant in Skokie, which relies on take-out and delivery because of the stay-at-home order.

Hub's uses Grubhub, which takes a 20-percent commission from each order, but he reminds customers that many restaurants offer their own delivery.

"Hopefully if there is a restaurant that has a delivery service, that they can call in that way," Thanoukos said.

Last week, a group of Chicago restaurant owners called out third-party apps like GrubHub and UberEats over high service charges and asked customers to order directly from the restaurants.

Third party delivery companies were critical of the new rules.

In a statement, Grubhub said: "These efforts by policymakers risk discouraging people from enjoying restaurant meals safely at home and hurt our efforts to support restaurants."

DoorDash said in a statement: "Unfortunately, this unnecessary and overreaching regulation, issued under the guise of the current emergency, will only lead to confusion and hurt restaurants and delivery workers."

The new requirement takes effect Friday, May 22. Violations of the rule can result in daily fines.
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