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St. Louis alderwoman's bill could cap third-party food delivery fees

Restaurant owners say delivery apps charge up to 30% to transport orders. A new bill could bring that number to 5%

ST. LOUIS — When customers pick up orders at El Burro Loco in Downtown St. Louis, there's a new sign on the front door. It says "Delivery Available" with logos for Postmates, GrubHub, and Door Dash.

"Pretty much all of them, yeah," co-owner Sebastian Montes said.

Montes said they started up with the delivery services when stay-at-home orders closed their dining rooms and patios, and so far it's helping boost their bottom line.

"We have a lot of deliveries come, usually around dinner time, there is a whole rush. Sometimes we actually have to pause because there are too many people coming in," Montes said.

But those apps come with a cost. Restaurants pay an average 25-percent commission per order, on top of the fees customers pay.

For that reason, a lot of restaurants are encouraging customers to pick-up their own orders or opting out of delivery at all.

But Ward 6 Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia has filed paperwork proposing the City cap delivery fees at 5%.

Montes said he's receiving a lower rate right now, paying only 2-5% during the pandemic. But that deal is not the driving reason for their partnership with delivery services.

"We are trying to help the community as well," Montes said. "We are trying not to look at the margins as much as the service for the customers."

Ingrassia's bill is scheduled for the first reading on Friday, May 15. It is co-sponsored by Ward 15 Alderwoman Megan Green.

Contact reporter Sara Machi on Facebook and Twitter.

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