Ontario premier urges food delivery companies to slash commission to help restaurants survive
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford is urging food delivery companies to slash their commission rates for restaurants in the province's three COVID-19 hotspots that were forced to restrict indoor dining for the next 28 days.
Ford made the plea during a news conference at a Toronto restaurant on Tuesday that has been impacted by the return to a partial Stage 2.
Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa were forced to restrict indoor dining as of Saturday in order to curb the spread of COVID-19. The earliest these restaurants will be allowed to reopen for indoor dining is on Nov. 7.
"I have a message for the big third party food delivery services like Uber Eats," Ford said. “It’s time for you to do your part."
"Please consider reducing the commission rates you charge the restaurants impacted by these new health measures.”
Ford said that some of the restaurants are paying "as much as 30 per cent commission" to have their food delivered to customers.
"I understand that some of the companies are reducing the commission they charge and I thank you for that," Ford said.
"Please do the right thing in these difficult times."
In a statement to CTV News Toronto on Tuesday, an Uber Eats spokesperson said they have taken action to help support restaurant owners but did not say they would cut commission fees.
"During the COVID-19 pandemic, third party platforms like Uber Eats continue to be an important option for restaurants to enerate revenue and for delivery people to earn income," Uber Eats said.
"To support our restaurant partners during this challenging time, we've waived activation fees, introduced a daily payout feature, and increased more flexibility on our marketplace fees, including 0 per cent pick-up, 15 per cent for bring your own courier, and full-service with delivery people available on the Uber Eats platform."
Meanwhile, food delivery service DoorDash announced this weekend that they would waive delivery fees in Toronto, Mississauga and Ottawa starting Oct. 10 through until Nov. 6. The company did not say whether they would also reduce commission rates.
During the first wave of the pandemic, Toronto Mayor John Tory called on food delivery companies and apps to consider lowering their commissions in order to help restaurants that are already struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic stay afloat.
Tory said the delivery service apps take large commissions, which make it difficult for restaurants that are now entirely reliant on them to get by.
Tony Elenis, President of the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, told CTV News Toronto in April that Uber Eats charges the highest commission among suppliers used in Ontario, taking about 30 per cent of each order for themselves.
With a commission of 30 per cent, restaurants only stand to make $10.50 on a $15 order.
"We can’t have restaurants paying as much as 30 per cent commission to have their food delivered right now," Ford said.