Skip the Dishes quietly added a new $0.99 fee to all BC-based food orders Wednesday evening after the provincial government introduced a new temporary delivery fee cap during the pandemic.
Apps such as Skip, Uber Eats, and DoorDash can only charge restaurants 15% of a meal’s total cost to deliver it to the customer as of December 27, 2020.
Skip introduced its new $0.99 “BC fee” in response to that measure, a spokesperson told Daily Hive via email.
“This temporary fee will ensure we can continue our coverage across the province to drive orders to local restaurant partners, ensuring customers can order the food they love while providing earning opportunities for independently-contracted couriers,” they said.
They also added it’s to support “all of our stakeholders” while the delivery fee cap is in effect.
Both the cap and Skip’s $0.99 fee are set to lift when BC’s State of Emergency expires. Previously, delivery companies were charging Metro Vancouver restaurants up to 30% of meal totals.
But BC Restaurant Association CEO Ian Tostenson believes the “BC fee” is disingenuous coming from a company that’s one of only a few with overwhelming market share in the city.
“These are massive companies, and I don’t begrudge that. They’re tech companies listed on the stock exchange … They have to be very concerned about their earnings profile,” he said.
Winnipeg-based Skip the Dishes is owned by Just Eat, a publicly traded company estimated to be worth CAD $21 billion.
“They should pay their drivers anyways,” Tostenson said.
Delivery has become a lifeline for many restaurants during the pandemic that’s kept diners home. According to Tostenson, delivery accounts for as much as half of some restaurants’ revenue these days.
He doesn’t want customers turning away from takeout and delivery. But he wishes delivery companies would work collaboratively with the struggling restaurant industry to help local businesses weather the pandemic.
“I think it’s tone deaf. And it’s not in the spirit of helping our industry recover for the future.”