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DC restaurant owners shocked by DoorDash emails saying charges could rise significantly

One restaurant reported the fees they paid "went from 15% to 55%" after the District's pandemic fee cap ended.

WASHINGTON — Small restaurants in D.C. are pushing back after receiving word that Doordash will be increasing the percentage they take from delivery orders as the city's pandemic fee cap ended. 

While Doordash may be the first delivery app to do this, many fear other apps may soon follow suit.

The Pie Shop on H Street is a neighborhood favorite but says the huge jump in fees from Doordash is a major hit. On Twitter, the restaurant called on DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb to reinstate a cap on fees charged by third-party delivery platforms to restaurants. 

"As of today the delivery fees we are paying just went from 15% to 55%," the restaurant's tweet reads.

DoorDash tells WUSA9 the 55% fee only applies to people who are shipping nationally. 

"A lot of restauranteurs woke up this week kind of shocked to see an email that their commissions from DoorDash are doubling," said Chris Svetlik from the Republic Cantina. 

A new law went into effect in D.C. Thursday that requires delivery companies to offer restaurants at least one service tier for the old 15% rate, but restaurant owners say the tech company is giving them a whole lot less for the old price. 

"They make it very clear if you chose a lower tier, they will penalize you and send less orders your way, try and hide you in the app," Svetlik said.

WUSA9 reached out to Doordash and received the following statement:

"We offer a range of partnership options for local restaurant partners to provide choice, flexibility, and transparency while empowering them to select a commission rate that works for them — including as low as 15% for delivery."

DC Councilmember Charles Allen isn't buying it.

"What's happening is not meeting the spirit or intent of the law," Allen said. "It appears that big out-of-state tech corporations are using their leverage to coerce small, locally-owned restaurants into paying more without getting anything in return." 

Allen is urging the Council to close what he calls a loophole and save neighborhood businesses. 

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