DoorDash customers in Fresno now must pay a "Fresno Fee" for deliveries. Image via DoorDash blog
Written by Edward Smith
Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from DoorDash.
DoorDash has added Fresno to a list of a half dozen cities where an extra fee was added for food delivery.
Each city passed caps on charges delivery apps such as DoorDash and Uber Eats can place on restaurants, according to restaurantbusinessonline.com. The fees can range from $1 to $2 and are charged to the customer.
The “Fresno Fee” appeared on orders made to Fresno restaurants going to a Clovis address. No “Fresno Fee” appeared when ordering from a Clovis restaurant to a Fresno address.
Managers at three local restaurants featured on DoorDash had not heard of the additional fee.
A spokeswoman from DoorDash said they understand the challenges facing the restaurant industry.
“Operating our platform, paying and insuring Dashers, and ensuring high-quality service can be expensive, which is why in many markets, where local governments have passed pricing regulations, we have begun charging customers a small additional fee,” the spokeswoman said. “We realize this isn’t ideal, but with these regulations in place, these fees help us to continue providing convenient delivery for customers, meaningful earning opportunities for Dashers, and valuable services that help drive orders for merchants.”
Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, Ohio; Seattle, Washington; St. Louis, Missouri; Oakland, California; Clark County Nevada — home to Las Vegas; Westchester County, New York as well as Emeryville, California all are subject to new area-specific fees from DoorDash.
Fresno City Councilman Mike Karbassi sponsored an ordinance in September 2020 to cap how much of a fee third-party delivery companies can charge restaurants for their service.
He said the city-specific fee began popping up a couple weeks after the Council voted in favor of the cap.
The ordinance limited the fees charged by delivery companies to restaurants to 15% of the ticket price. Other fees cannot exceed 5% of the same amount. It also mandated that delivery companies could only charge fees if a delivery was made.
“I get it,” Karbassi said. “ If their costs are ‘X’ and they need to make money, they’re going to do what they have to do.”
Karbassi, however, didn’t like the fee being called a “Fresno Fee” because it gives the impression the money is going to the city.
Also included in the ordinance were requirements that 100% of tips go to drivers. Third-party delivery services are also required to let restaurants know if they are selling their goods. Karbassi said when he owned a restaurant, a third-party delivery service had come to pick up food without any deal being made. Food was delivered cold and the customer left a bad online review.
Karbassi said he didn’t like the idea of having to regulate an industry.
The Council tried working with third-party delivery services to help restaurants in what he called “an emergency scenario.” They were unable to work anything out, Karbassi said.
Karbassi said the cap has a sunset provision written into it that expires 90 days after the state of emergency ends. He hopes the Fresno fee will end along with the caps.