On January 13, the Portuguese government announced new measures to control the spread of COVID-19. They include rules that limit restaurants to takeaway and delivery service — and restrict the fees and commissions charged by delivery platforms.
The official measures state that intermediary platforms in the restaurant industry are forbidden to charge service fees and commissions that exceed 20% of the overall value of each transaction.
The measures also prohibit platforms from raising the commissions charged to restaurants and other businesses; increasing delivery fees for customers; decreasing the wages of the service providers they employ; or reducing the rights of these service providers.
In addition, the current restrictions prohibit in-person dining and force restaurants to close at 8 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends. After these hours, they may only function through delivery service (not takeaway).
According to RTP, Uber Eats is not happy about the new restrictions:
“The limitations imposed on our business model, including our service fee, will force us to change the way we operate, negatively affecting all of those who use our app and who we want to support,” an Uber Eats source told the newswire Lusa in a letter.
“These measures make the service less accessible to consumers, which will limit the demand for restaurants and consequently the opportunities of the thousands of people who order through the app,” the source wrote.
Delivery apps like Uber Eats and Glovo have recently faced criticism for the commissions they charge to restaurants, which can be as high as 35%.
As a result, many restaurants in Lisbon have chosen to establish their own delivery services instead of — or in addition to — partnering with these apps, as previously reported by Atlas.