Chicago now requires third-party delivery services to itemize their fees for customers [Updated]

Illustration for article titled Chicago now requires third-party delivery services to itemize their fees for customers [Updated]
Photo: SOPA Images (Getty Images)

Update, May 13, 2020: Inspired by Chicago Pizza Boss owner Giuseppe Badalamenti’s Facebook post of his March Grubhub statement, Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot has announced that, going forward, third-party delivery services will have to disclose all their fees to customers before the order is finalized and also have to print them on receipts.

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“These first-in-the-nation rules will provide customers with the details they need to make fully-informed purchasing decisions,” the mayor’s office said in a statement. Services that don’t comply will be fined $500-$1,000 per day.

WTTW news reports that the mayor and her family ordered takeout on Monday night and that there was “very little transparency” about how much of the money they paid went back to the restaurant.

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Original post, May 1, 2020: We’ve written a lot about the fees restaurants have to pay to third-party delivery services and how the sites overcharge for food. There’s still been some lively debate in the comments about whether the sites still offer some benefit to the restaurants in the form of publicity and sparing the cost of the delivery drivers.

Now a Chicago restaurant has made public its March invoice from Grubhub:

In summary: 46 Chicago Pizza Boss customers paid Grubhub a total of $1,046.63. Grubhub passed just $376.54 onto the restaurant. It kept the remaining $666.09 as payment for various fees. How does this benefit the restaurant again?

It’s also worth noting is that many restaurants are currently offering discounts to customers who order from them directly over the phone or through their websites rather than via a third-party app. If you want to help out a local business, this is a really good way to do it.

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Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Since getting my stimulus check I’ve been ordering out more (plus the thought of waiting in line to get into the grocery store bums me out). Each order has the same process: I bring up Door Dash or Grub Hub, I scroll though and find what I want, then I get to the screen with all the added charges and fees (which are marked as going to the website). At that point I open the restaurant’s info in a new tab, call them to order, and pick the food up myself. Gas is down to late 90s prices and it’s a reason to leave the house that is justified by law if I get pulled over (the lack of traffic is encouraging speeders, and the county and state police are not missing the opportunities to issue citations). And I can feel secure that my spending is all going to the local restaurant, not some app’s HQ on the other side of the country.