VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s extending the cap on fees charged by food delivery companies to help the restaurant industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ravi Kahlon, the minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, says the fee cap was to expire on Dec. 31, but it’s now been extended to the end of 2022.
The fee charged to restaurants by food delivery companies will remain at 15 per cent, while the additional cap of five per cent has been extended for other services, such as online ordering and processing fees.
The original order was put in place on Dec. 22 last year under the Emergency Program Act and was extended for the first time in September.
Kahlon says the cap has been widely viewed as a success by business owners and industry professionals.
He says it’s a “key measure” in allowing restaurants to continue to operate and make money during the pandemic.
“If the caps are not in place, businesses actually lose money on every order. This way, we ensure that the service delivery companies can continue to make a profit, but our restaurants can also navigate this challenging time,” Kahlon told a news conference on Monday.
Mark von Schellwitz, Western Canada vice-president for Restaurants Canada, says in-person dining has declined by half during the pandemic, while delivery sales increased three-fold.
“As it becomes a more important component of every restaurant sales mix, it was really important to have these fee caps,” he said. “This provides that cost stability that restaurants really need in the takeout delivery business.”
Delivery service provider DoorDash said in a statement that it supports the government’s goal of helping local businesses, but pricing regulations may force the company to increase costs for customers, which could result in reduced restaurant sales.