City Council bill aims to slash food delivery fees
In its latest effort to curtail the unfettered growth of food delivery services like Grubhub and Uber Eats, the New York City Council is set to introduce a package of bills today that will limit the amount of commission these apps can charge restaurants in the city, the New York Times reports. Delivery apps routinely charge between 15 to 30 percent commission, which many restaurant owners have complained significantly impacts their business and profit margins — several NYC restaurants that have closed in recent months have blamed high delivery fees and the overall delivery food culture in the city. In addition, a recent Times investigation revealed that using delivery apps can be up to 91 percent more expensive for diners than eating at the restaurant.
This new package of bills will require apps to charge restaurants no more than 10 percent commission and ask that delivery companies be licensed through the city’s consumer affairs department so they can be disciplined if they fail to meet new requirements. It’s not yet clear if this package of bills will be approved, but food delivery apps have been under increased scrutiny by the City Council, particularly after it was revealed that Grubhub was charging restaurants for calls that never resulted in any food orders. The city previously held hearings about the phone call charges and plans to hold similar hearings on this new package of bills in April.
In other news
— Lower East Side bakery Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery will turn 110 on March 15, a spokesperson for the establishment tells Eater. The business started as a pushcart toward the end of the 19th century, and it’s popular knishes helped the owner Yonah Schimmel open his bakery at 137 East Houston Street in 1910.
— An NYC Chipotle worker who was fired for taking sick leave has returned to her job at the fast food chain. Chipotle was also required to pay her $2,500 for the illegal termination.
— Gowanus indoor-outdoor bar Parklife has relaunched its popular taqueria. This time however the tacos aren’t being prepared by the former Prospect Heights phenom El Atoradero, but by owner Scott Koshnoodi, who was previously chef at molecular gastronomy spot WD-50 and Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit.
— Harlem Restaurant Week, a two-week-long celebration of Harlem restaurants, kicks off on Sunday. There are dozens of participating restaurants and offers, including $25 prix-fixe lunches and $35 prix-fixe dinners.
— Craft beer destination Mekelburg’s has added several new items to its Williamsburg location, owner Daniel Mekelburg tells Eater. Additions include babka waffles, latke tostadas, and a green goddess chicken picatta salad.
— Alphabet City sustainable omakase restaurant Mayanoki has added a cheaper menu option on Wednesday nights. Instead of the $125 per person omakase, diners can choose an abbreviated 10-course menu for $75 per person, a restaurant spokesperson tells Eater.
— A must-follow new Instagram account: