Grubhub and rivals list restaurants whether they like it or not. This bill would change that.

“During a time when restaurant owners are already struggling with a loss of business due to the pandemic, they do not deserve greater loss from perceived bad service,” Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, said in a statement after the bill passed yesterday. “Mutually beneficial partnerships between delivery services and restaurants is possible, and I hope this legislation will foster an environment where that can happen.”

The bill would fine delivery services $1,000 for each violation, in addition to damages up to $5,000. If the bill passes, Illinois would join California, which passed a law prohibiting such listings last year.

“Third-party delivery services should not be delivering a restaurant’s food or using their name or likeness without the business’ consent,” the Illinois Restaurant Association said in a statement. “It’s a common-sense measure to protect and support local restaurants when they need it most.”

Chicago-based Grubhub, which for years said it refrained from listing restaurants without their permission, reversed course. The company recently offered a settlement to end a class-action lawsuit over the practice. It estimates nearly 90 percent of the restaurants on its site are partners.

"Grubhub is committed to helping restaurants during this challenging time, and we place restaurants on our platform to generate more orders for restaurants and offer diners variety,” the company said in a statement.

“We’re developing tools that make it easier for restaurants to claim their menus or request to be removed from our platform, and if a restaurant would not like to be included on Grubhub, they can reach out to us at [email protected]"

Restaurants have long complained about the tactics of delivery services such as Grubhub, DoorDash and Uber Eats, and the prices they charge. Fees can top 30 percent of the total price of a delivery order.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, which devastated in-person dining and dramatically increased business for delivery services, restaurants were getting the attention of state and local elected officials. Dozens of cities passed laws to limit those fees during the pandemic. Chicago is considering making its 15 percent limit permanent.  

via Crain’s Chicago Business

April 30, 2021 at 04:31PM

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