British Columbia’s cap on restaurant food delivery fees will remain at 15% through 2022

A food delivery man wears a protective mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during a pickup at Yaletown in Vancouver on December 3, 2020.JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

The BC government said it is extending the cap on fees charged by food delivery companies to help the restaurant industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ravi Kahlon, the Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, said the fee cap was due to expire on December 31, but it has now been extended until the end of 2022.

Fees charged to restaurants by food delivery companies will remain at 15%, while the additional 5% cap has been extended to other services, such as online ordering and processing fees.

The initial order was put in place on December 22 last year under the Emergency Scheme Act and was first extended in September.

Kahlon says the cap has been widely considered a success by business owners and industry professionals.

He says it’s a “key measure” to keep restaurants operating and making money during the pandemic.

“If the caps aren’t in place, businesses are actually losing money on every order. This way we’re making sure service delivery businesses can continue to make a profit, but our restaurants can also go through this difficult time,” Kahlon said at a press conference on Monday.

Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president of Western Canada for Restaurants Canada, says in-person dining has halved during the pandemic, while delivery sales have tripled.

“As this becomes a bigger part of each restaurant’s sales mix, it was really important to have these fee caps,” he said. “It provides that cost stability that restaurants really need in the takeout business.”

Earlier this year, the province also announced that businesses with liquor licenses will be able to purchase beer, wine and spirits at wholesale prices on a permanent basis.

Kahlon says the ministry will continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic on the sector to determine if more supports need to be put in place.

He says he encourages residents to support local restaurants during the holidays, either by dining in or having them delivered.

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