Food apps in Chicago will soon show the premium you pay for delivery

Igor Bonifacic
Contributing Writer
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: A Grubhub delivery person checks his phone during the coronavirus pandemic on May 3, 2020 in New York City. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 247,000 lives with over 3.5 million infections reported. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

In a first-of-its-kind policy change, the City of Chicago will require companies like DoorDash to disclose to customers how much restaurants pay when they order food using a delivery app. If you live in the city, you’ll see an itemized breakdown that lists how much the restaurant you ordered from paid to the company that delivered your food, as well as the menu price of each dish and beverage, the cost of delivery and tip as well as any taxes. Additionally, you'll see the breakdown both before and after you place your order. 

Chicago will start enforcing the new rule on May 22nd, giving companies like DoorDash and Grubhub less than two weeks to make their apps compliant. It applies to all delivery companies, whether they allow you to order through a mobile app or website. Companies that don't provide a breakdown after the 22nd will face a daily fine between $500 and $10,000.

The policy comes as restaurants across the US and much of the world struggle to stay in business. In most instances, even depending on deliveries to offset not being able to serve diners in their own spaces, some restaurants have closed permanently.

Unsurprisingly, the companies the policy targets aren't fans. "We support policy and legislation that help restaurants serve their communities, and a path to reopening those businesses must be the focus," a Grubhub spokesperson told NBC Chicago. "These arbitrary disclosure rules will do exactly the opposite of their intent by causing confusion to consumers."

The city, however, sees it as a way to make the entire delivery process more transparent. "By providing customers with more transparency when they use these delivery services, we can further ensure not only fair business practices for our restaurants but also maintain the innovation that is essential to this industry," said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

In their defense, both Grubhub and DoorDash lowered their restaurant fees shortly after the coronavirus pandemic began. In Grubhub's case, it even went so far as to waive fees for independent businesses. They also already provide a breakdown of the fees you pay as a customer. Of course, having more access to information can never hurt consumers, and it will be interesting to see if other cities adopt similar policies.