June 15, 2024


Welcome to the Food

City Council weighs putting a cap on delivery service fees charged Lincoln restaurants | Dining


Derek Johnson, who delivers for DoorDash, leaves the downtown Qdoba with a customer’s order March 27.

Lincoln City Councilwoman Tammy Ward, seeking to throw local restaurants another pandemic lifeline, proposed an ordinance to cap the fee a food delivery service can charge a restaurant to shuttle takeout to hungry homebodies. 

Third-party companies such as DoorDash or UberEats could not charge restaurants more than 15% of the purchase price to deliver orders under the ordinance, which Ward crafted to mirror one passed in Chicago.

The ordinance would only apply while the city’s pandemic emergency lasts, said Ward, who has introduced other measures to help restaurants financially during the pandemic.

Brian Kitten, owner of Brewsky’s, called on the council last year to follow Chicago’s course to help out restaurants such as his that relied heavily on the delivery services when restaurants couldn’t offer dine-in service. 

“We were completely shut down, and we’re just trying to figure out how to get dollars in the door,” Kitten said during a public hearing at Monday’s council meeting. 

Delivery services charged Brewsky’s restaurants a 30% fee based on orders, and he said he couldn’t afford to properly deliver his own orders because programming an order service and insuring drivers ate further into an already tight budget. 

“For Lincoln restaurants, we cannot pass this soon enough,” Ward said, adding that her effort to get it before the council was delayed by the holidays and last week’s historic snowstorm.