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Mayor Young Asks Food Delivery Apps To Lower The Fees They Charge Baltimore Restaurants

AP/Mark Lennihan

Restaurants throughout Maryland are still open, but operating only as carry-out establishments under emergency orders because of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning many residents are turning to delivery apps to bring meals to their door. 

The problem, some restaurant workers say, is that the fees the delivery services charge greatly reduce the already razor-thin margins that most restaurants skate by on. 

Chef Ashish Alfred, owner of Duck Duck Goose in Baltimore, took to his Instagram earlier this week to urge his followers to delete delivery apps altogether. 

“They’re killing restaurants,” he said. “They’re hitting restaurants that are already hurting for 30 percent commissions...they’re multi-million companies, some have billions.”

On Friday, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young said he’s asked delivery app companies to reduce their commissions, saying small restaurants throughout the city were barely getting by.

“Like so many of us, they have taken a big hit and their whole business model has been disrupted by this pandemic,” the Democrat said.

Young requested that GrubHub, UberEats, Postmates and DoorDash cap the fees they charge restaurants at 15 percent. 

The mayor of San Francisco ordered a similar cap about a week ago; elected officials in New York City have asked Mayor Bill DeBlasio for a delivery app commission fee cap as well.

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