After a truly dismal year for Quebec restaurants, the province has at last unanimously adopted legislation that would cap the amount third-party delivery services can charge during the pandemic.
On Tuesday, Quebec officially moved forward with Bill 87, which André Lamontagne, the province’s minister of agriculture, fisheries, and food (MAPAQ) floated last week at the National Assembly, meaning Uber Eats, DoorDash and any other platform with at least 500 restaurant customers can charge no more than 15 percent for deliveries. App usage fees are being capped at 5 percent, or 10 percent in the case that the delivery isn’t being delegated to the third-party service. Ultimately, Bill 87 sees that the most a restaurant can be charged, in total, for the service provided by Uber Eats or DoorDash is 20 percent. Until now, commission rates climbed as steep as 30 percent.
Bill 87 will apply to any restaurant whose opening hours are being affected by government-mandated coronavirus regulations, and not just those whose dining rooms are closed, as was previously stipulated in the initial draft of the bill. That includes red zones, such as Montreal, and orange zones, where dining rooms have reopened but are limited by a 9:30 p.m. curfew. As of March 26, Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Côte-Nord, and Nord-du-Québec will be the first to transition back to the yellow — i.e., lowest — tier on the province’s coronavirus alert scheme, where a curfew is no longer in place. These areas would, presumably, no longer qualify for the capped fees.
The bill also ensures that delivery apps are prohibited from deducting pay from drivers in an effort to recoup profits lost as a result of the cap. Any delivery workers whose renumeration is affected will be able to file a complaint online with the MAPAQ. The same goes for any restaurant who is being charged a fee that exceeds the 20 percent threshold. An infringement of these regulations could yield fines of up to $1.5 million.
The measure goes into effect on Monday, March 22.