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Clark County to consider capping food delivery fees during pandemic

Updated July 22, 2020 - 8:23 am

“You may not know that food delivery apps such as Postmates, Uber Eats and Grubhub take 30 percent of every single order placed through their platforms, even pickup orders,” restaurant owner Kristen Corral told the Clark County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday morning.

Corral, who owns the two local Tacotarian restaurants, explained to the commissioners that before the COVID-19 pandemic, those fees “were considered a necessary evil by most restaurant owners.”

But things are different now, she said.

“Now restaurants are being forced to rely on delivery and takeout as a primary source of income. And we are now giving away 30 percent of nearly our entire revenue. This is not sustainable, and it should not be legal.”

Corral lobbied Clark County to cap the fees charged by delivery apps during the current crisis. It marked the first time that the idea, which has been gaining traction in cities across the country, formally has been raised here.

Segerbloom proposes

The proposal was placed on Tuesday’s schedule as a “discussion item” by Commissioner Tick Segerblom after Corral brought the issue to his attention.

“When she alerted me to (the situation), I checked it out and saw that all kinds of cities around the country are capping these delivery fees,” Segerblom explained to the Review-Journal before the meeting. “So I told her I’d propose it.”

While the social distancing guidelines for the meetings made it impractical for Corral to rally local restaurateurs in person, she brought letters from several local business owners in support of a fee cap. She was joined at the meeting by the Nevada Restaurant Association’s director of government affairs, Alexandria Dazlich, who echoed Corral’s sentiments that a cap is needed.

The commissioners apparently agreed that the issue deserved more attention. Later in the meeting, they asked the county counsel to draft an ordinance that would cap fees at 10 percent for six months, noting that those figures could be changed when that ordinance is presented for discussion and a vote. While that language could be presented as early as Aug. 4, it’s just the next of many steps.

First step

“It’s a long process,” Segerblom explained of what must transpire before any cap could take effect.

“You have to notify all the businesses. It’s complicated. But basically this is the first step of the process.”

Corral was pleased with the progress.

“It was good; I’m excited,” she said after Tuesday’s meeting, vowing to get more support before the next one.

“It was last minute, so I didn’t get a chance to get letters from everybody,” she said. “But as people get more aware, I’m going to reach out to more people.”

Contact Al Mancini at amancini @reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlManciniVegas on Twitter and Instagram.

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