Legislative push to regulate food delivery apps growing; food delivery devotees push back

Feb 08, 2023

Updated March 9, 2023: The bill calling for regulation of third-party food delivery apps (SB 34) died. This bill, which would have created regulatory standards for DoorDash, Uber Eats and other online, third-party food delivery companies, had a promising run until it was tabled March 2. A late-night, last-minute effort to bring it up for a vote Monday during Crossover Day was squelched, rendering the bill dead this legislative session. A House version died on the vine earlier this session.

Legislative interest in regulating third-party food delivery apps in Georgia appears to be growing.

A House bill calling for, among other things, third-party food delivery services to itemize the cost of online food orders and regularly display and update those orders has been introduced by Reps. Kasey Carpenter, Lauren Daniel, Steve Sainz, Rey Martinez and others.

House Bill 225 would also prohibit food delivery apps such as DoorDash and Uber Eats from delivering food from a restaurant without written consent from that eatery.

HB 225 goes a little deeper than Senate Bill 34, which calls for banning smokers and pets when drivers are delivering online food orders. SB 34, which was introduced earlier this month, also prohibits third-party food delivery apps from using restaurants without their permission.

With the exception of a few states, the $250-billion-plus food delivery app industry is largely unregulated in the United States, enabling the industry to operate unchecked, State Affairs found. For instance, reports have emerged of drivers eating customers’ food.

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“It’s like the Wild West,” Karen Bremer, president of the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), said of unregulated food delivery apps. Read more >>

The idea of the government corralling the industry has created chatter on social media. Some food delivery devotees want government to stay off their doorstep and out of the food delivery business.

“Anytime Georgia steps in to regulate anything, it gets peed on,” Doraville retiree Gertha Coffee told State Affairs. Coffee spends about $1,000 a month having groceries and restaurant takeout delivered to her home. She doesn’t feel the industry should be regulated.

“From my experience, they’ve done a good enough job to regulate themselves,” she said.

You can reach Tammy Joyner on Twitter @lvjoyner or at [email protected]. Joyner is State Affairs’ senior investigative reporter in Georgia. A Georgia transplant, she has lived in the Peach State for nearly 29 years.


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