LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas valley restaurants thought they were catching a break in third party delivery fees when the county recently capped them at 15%.
Before an emergency ordinance was passed by Clark County last month, the fees were so high at 30 percent that it was hurting local restaurants.
"In June and July, we were paying almost $7,000 in delivery fees to these apps when our rent was $3500 at our Fort Apache store, which is unsustainable when we're in the middle of the pandemic," said Kristen Corral, the owner of local restaurant Tacotarian.
She mentioned companies like UberEats and Postmates are now in compliance, but she says others like Grubhub, found a way around it by charging a 20% “marketing fee” on the deliveries.
in a statement, a Grubhub spokesperson said in part:
“We closely reviewed the ordinance and took quick steps to implement the cap by ensuring any delivery fees paid by restaurants do not exceed 15% in accordance with the law. The Clark County ordinance only applies to fees for delivery services and does not place any cap on marketing or advertising services that local restaurants pay to drive more orders that are unrelated to our delivery services. We have always been a marketing engine first and foremost that allows independent restaurants to compete against enterprise brands and restaurant chains for diners.”
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom said he is aware of this and believes Grubhub is “playing games” and the solution might be in the wording of the current emergency ordinance.
“That’s one of the questions - is the law so clear that we can penalize them for violating the law? Or do we have to tighten up and then penalize them? Either way, they’re going to have to leave Clark County or comply with the 15% because this is an emergency situation. These restaurants are desperate," Segerblom said.
On Oct. 6, a county commission meeting could change the ordinance to avoid any more confusion on how much third-party delivery companies can charge for their services.
In the meantime, Tacotarian owners are already trying to part ways with Grubhub, a step that other restaurants may take in the future.