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California Bill Mandates Transparency on Delivery App Fees

New requirement for food delivery apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub to disclose restaurant fees'.

Particularly in California, the meal delivery industry has seen tremendous scrutiny and change in recent months. A novel requirement for delivery apps such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub to disclose the fees they charge restaurants has been proposed under Senate Bill 1490 (SB 1490). The goal of this bill is to address the unclear nature of the financial transactions between delivery platforms and restaurants. It is led by Democratic Senator María Elena Durazo.

The Need for Transparency

The opaqueness of delivery app costs is one of the main problems affecting the restaurant business. These platforms frequently put restaurants at risk since they take commissions that can range from 10% to 30% each order. These charges, which seem to cover processing, marketing services, and delivery, can have a big effect on a restaurant's profit margins. SB 1490 aims to provide diners and restaurants a better understanding of these business agreements by requiring disclosure.

Key Provisions of SB 1490

SB 1490 includes several crucial provisions aimed at promoting fairness and accountability within the food delivery ecosystem:

1. Itemized Fee Breakdown: Delivery apps must provide an itemized breakdown of fees, commissions, and other costs at checkout, ensuring transparency for both restaurants and consumers.

2. Protection for Restaurants: The bill prohibits delivery apps from penalizing restaurants for refusing to use their services, thereby safeguarding the autonomy of businesses in their choice of delivery platforms.

3. Dispute Resolution: Delivery apps are barred from limiting the dollar value or number of transactions that restaurants can dispute in the event of errors reported by customers, fostering a fair and equitable dispute resolution process.

4. Access to Restaurant Information: Apps are required to provide customers with the contact information of restaurants, promoting direct communication between consumers and businesses.

5. Freedom for Restaurants: Delivery apps cannot restrict restaurants from seeking professional assistance, such as consultants or legal services, to manage or review information provided by the app.

Stakeholder Perspectives

Discussions amongst several food delivery sector players have been triggered by the introduction of SB 1490. Proponents, such as the Digital Restaurant Association (DRA), contend that responsibility and confidence in the marketplace are fostered by openness. The DRA highlights how crucial it is to provide customers and eateries with thorough information on fees and commissions.

Opponents, including the Chamber of Progress, meanwhile, voice worries about the possible consequences of sharing charge details. They contend that by using their exclusive ties with delivery apps, larger food chains may gain a competitive edge if this data is made public.

Criticism and Response

Notwithstanding its admirable goals, SB 1490 has drawn criticism from certain places. Opponents, such as representatives of delivery app firms like DoorDash, contest the use of fee transparency for customers. They contend that consumers might not give charge information priority or understand its full relevance.

In response, SB 1490 proponents reiterate how crucial openness is to enabling customers and companies alike. They emphasize that in order to promote a fair and competitive market where all participants can make informed decisions, complete disclosure of fees is essential.

Looking Ahead

As SB 1490 moves through the legislative process, it will undoubtedly contribute to more accountability and openness in the food delivery sector. This measure seeks to advance justice, strengthen the position of enterprises, and safeguard the interests of consumers by bringing light on the financial dealings between delivery apps and restaurants.


Finally, Senate Bill 1490 represents a turning point in the continuing development of California's laws governing food delivery. The law aims to address long-standing complaints about fee structures and contractual abuses within the business by requiring transparency on delivery app fees. SB 1490's passing might create a precedent for similar laws across the country, changing the landscape of food delivery services in the US as stakeholders continue to argue its benefits.

Disclaimer:  This article is informative and not for promotional purposes. Moreover, the content belongs to the owner and there are no affiliations or marketing motives behind it.


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