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Florida Cracks Down On Food Delivery Services

The State of Florida has enacted legislation regulating food delivery services, in response to consumer and restaurant complaints. The new measure ensures transparency between the services and their customers. It comes into full force in June 2025…

DoorDash Delivery to Woman - © DoorDashNew regulations will keep customers and restauranteurs smiling.
Not so much, the third-party delivery services, we suspect…

Wide-ranging regulations

“Among other things, it will prevent delivery platforms from unilaterally offering prices different from what is listed on restaurant menus,” a CBS News report says. “The bill, which would preempt local regulations, was backed during this year’s legislative session by groups and businesses such as the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Associated Industries of Florida, and Uber Technologies”

The new regulations do not effect restaurants which provide their own delivery services.

Need for transparency

“Food delivery apps are very popular,” Fla. state Sen. Jennifer Bradley, who first introduced the bill, said in a statement. “They provide great convenience to consumers, but the fast growth of food delivery has also made clear that we need consistent standards for transparency, consent and communication between the platform’s restaurants and consumers.”

“Delivery platforms [must] disclose purchase price of food and beverage, delivery fee, tax, and gratuity, as well as estimated time and date of delivery to customers before they place an order,” Nation’s Restaurant News adds. “Additionally, partnership agreements between food delivery apps and restaurants must state upfront all fees and commissions that will be charged to the business.”

Primary issues

The key directives among the new regulations require delivery services to obtain permission from restaurants before arranging food pickups, and provide communication options between consumers and restaurants. If a restaurant requests removal from a third-party delivery service’s roster, the service must comply within 10 days.

DoorDash responds for the industry

“We’re pleased that Florida policymakers took a collaborative approach on how platforms like DoorDash can support local restaurants and passed this bill that will help us continue to connect customers with the best of their communities,” a DoorDash spokesperson said in a statement. “We’re committed to protecting the privacy of everyone who uses our platform, and this bill allows us to implement tools that connect customers and merchants without jeopardizing their personal information.”

My take

What else could DoorDash – or any of the mammoth third-party delivery services – say? What they were doing may not have been strictly illegal. But some of their practices were definitely sneaky. Some have called them ‘bullying’ tactics.

There’s no doubt that the big delivery services are in brutal competition with each other for new business, and to retain both restaurant adherents and repeat customers. We’ve heard, over the past few months, that some services – notably DoorDash and Skip The Dishes – have laid off hundreds or thousands of employees across their operations, internationally. It seems… There just isn’t room in the big urban markets for more than two or three ‘mega delivery services’.

Personal Note: I’ve never used a third-party delivery service. And I don’t know anybody over 50 who has done so. Not even once. In the past, I have taken advantage of restaurants’ in-house delivery services – making sure to tip the delivery driver generously. Especially when the weather was less than perfect.

The third-party delivery services were a great, useful concept when they first appeared. But they’ve gotten greedy, and started objectifying the restos and customers they serve – in the name of profit. Yes. It’s high time regulations were imposed…

~ Maggie J.