Florida Senate - 2021 SB 1858 By Senator Torres 15-01770-21 20211858__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to food takeout and delivery service 3 fees; creating s. 501.924, F.S; defining the term 4 “third-party food takeout and delivery service 5 application or Internet website”; limiting service 6 fees charged to restaurants by third-party food 7 takeout and delivery service applications or Internet 8 websites during a declared state of emergency; 9 providing that third-party food takeout and delivery 10 service applications or Internet websites that charge 11 fees in violation of the act commit a deceptive and 12 unfair trade practice, subject to the penalties and 13 remedies of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade 14 Practices Act; providing construction; providing an 15 effective date. 16 17 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that due to the current 18 state of emergency declared in response to COVID-19, restaurants 19 have been prohibited from offering dine-in service and have been 20 limited to delivery and takeout orders only, which has placed a 21 sudden and severe financial strain on many restaurants, and 22 WHEREAS, COVID-19 has also resulted in an increased use of 23 third-party food takeout and delivery service applications and 24 websites to place orders with restaurants for food takeout or 25 delivery services, and 26 WHEREAS, while some companies offering third-party food 27 takeout and delivery service applications or websites have 28 provided meaningful support to the restaurant community, other 29 such companies have charged restaurants a service fee exceeding 30 30 percent of the cost of the individual order, thereby 31 compounding the current financial strain on restaurants, and 32 WHEREAS, restaurants that are also small businesses, in 33 particular, may have limited bargaining power to negotiate lower 34 fees, and 35 WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that it is in the public 36 interest to take action to maximize restaurant revenue from 37 takeout and delivery orders to enable restaurants to survive 38 COVID-19, and any future declared state of emergency, and remain 39 sources of employment and community vitality in this state, NOW, 40 THEREFORE, 41 42 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 43 44 Section 1. Section 501.924, Florida Statutes, is created to 45 read: 46 501.924 Food takeout and delivery service fees during 47 declared state of emergency.- 48 (1) As used in this section, the term “third-party food 49 takeout and delivery service application or Internet website” 50 means any online application or website through which a consumer 51 orders food takeout or delivery services from a restaurant. 52 (2)(a) It shall be an unlawful practice and a violation of 53 part II of this chapter for any third-party food takeout and 54 delivery service application or Internet website, during a 55 declared state of emergency of 7 days or longer, to charge a 56 service fee to a restaurant for food takeout or delivery orders 57 that is: 58 1. Greater than 20 percent of the cost of the individual 59 order; or 60 2. Greater than 10 percent of the cost of the individual 61 order when the order is delivered by an employee of the 62 restaurant or an independent contractor with whom the restaurant 63 has contracted directly. 64 (b) Violations of this subsection are subject to civil 65 penalties and remedies under part II of this chapter. 66 (3) This section: 67 (a) Does not limit the ability of any restaurant to choose 68 to pay a greater percentage of the cost of the individual order 69 to access additional advertising or other products and services 70 offered by any third-party food takeout and delivery service 71 application or Internet website. 72 (b) Supersedes and preempts any county or municipal law, 73 ordinance, resolution, or regulation concerning the relationship 74 between third-party food takeout and delivery service 75 applications or Internet websites and any restaurant utilizing 76 their services. 77 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.