Walnut Creek approves 15% cap on delivery service fees

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Like other cities in the Bay Area, the Walnut Creek City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance to help out local restaurants by capping takeout delivery fees.

For many Walnut Creek restaurants, take out used to account for 10% of their business. But now it's their bread and butter comprising 70% or more of their business.

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"We pay anywhere from 25% to 30% for third-party deliveries like DoorDash and Uber eats," said Rolla Ghaben, owner of Mel's Diner and Broderick Roadhouse.

Lance Bellamy, manager of the Walnut Creek Yacht Club manager echoed that by saying, "at 30% cost you lose money by using a delivery service."

So the city of Walnut Creek stepped in, approving an ordinance to put a 15% cap on restaurant delivery fees for the next six months. And they were shocked they didn't get any opposition from the delivery companies.

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"City staff reached out to the third-party delivery companies. They are aware it's been happening throughout the Bay Area in other cities. They were not discouraging of it," said Kathy Hemmenway, Walnut Creek Downtown Association Executive Director.

"The impact for the restaurants is great. It could mean tens of thousands of dollars per month for some of these restaurants," added Hemmenway.

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"Oh my God, it's great for the city of Walnut Creek to step up to the plate and help our restaurant community. This will be a huge help. Any penny or dollar will help these days just to get us through to where we need to be," said Ghaben.

While the 15% cap is being celebrated, many local restaurant owners and managers told ABC7 News that what helps them out the most is people ordering directly with them and then picking up their orders in person.
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