Albany County ratifies Local Law J, capping restaurant delivery fees during emergency

Albany County
Albany County Executive McCoy signs laws

McCoy signs “Local Law J” to cap third-party delivery, marketing, and other fees to support local restaurants amid the pandemic

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Tuesday, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed Local Law J, which caps delivery, marketing, and other fees to third-party delivery sites like GrubHub and DoorDash at 20%.

“Charging more than 20% of a purchase price for delivery, marketing and other hidden fees during a public health crisis is exploitive and won’t be tolerated in Albany County. This law builds on my executive order first signed in December, and I commend the Legislature for enhancing that order by ensuring restaurants have recourse against any bad actors.”

The measure is meant to support local restaurants amid the pandemic by helping them hold on to a greater share of the bill for online orders. It creates a law limiting how much online food services can charge food establishments to 15% of the original ticket price. The law also caps fees for marketing and any “other” fees at 5%, meaning the delivery site could charge a total of 20% to the restaurant.

The law is only in effect for as long as there is a state of emergency that places restrictions on in-person, indoor dining. The “exploitative” fees are set to return 90 days after the statewide emergency declaration ends.

McCoy released a statement about signing the law on Tuesday. “Our restaurants are still not able to open at full capacity, and even when they do, many residents still may not feel comfortable sitting down in the restaurant to eat. We know many of these businesses rely on the third-party online delivery model to bring in revenue, but we need to create a better and more mutually beneficial system, and that’s exactly what Local Law J will do,” said County Executive McCoy.

Now, Violators can be sued or court-ordered into compliance, and local restaurants can seek compensation for damages and attorneys’ fees. The local law was unanimously passed by the Legislature on February 8, and takes effect once it’s filed with the Secretary of the State.

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