Hoboken Council To Consider Sidewalk Café Expansion Plus Profit Sharing Cap

Giattino, DeFusco Propose Pro-Business Legislation to Expand Sidewalk Cafes, Cap Profit Sharing of Third Party Delivery Companies to Assist Ailing Hospitality Industry

HOBOKEN, N.J. — Councilman Mike DeFusco and Council President Jen Giattino are proposing a pro-business legislation package that will expand the use of sidewalk cafes and lower the commission that third party delivery companies can collect from local restaurants. Both ordinances, which are up for first reading on Wednesday evening, are designed to help small businesses and the hospitality industry recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of amendments that would be made to the existing sidewalk cafe regulations, qualified businesses would be permitted to build a temporary platform in the parking spots immediately in front of their establishment to use as an outdoor dining area. It will also allow for businesses located across the street from municipal parks to extend seating to the sidewalk immediately in front of the park, with a pathway designated for pedestrians.

A second ordinance will cap the commission collected by third party delivery companies, such as GrubHub and UberEats, at 10% during a declared State of Emergency. Currently, companies are able to charge small businesses anywhere from 15-30% of each order value. The legislation also prohibits the corporation from reducing the compensation of its delivery drivers.

Below is a joint statement from Council President Jen Giattino and Councilman Mike DeFusco:

“The hospitality industry has been devastatingly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and as elected leaders, it is our job to help the mom and pop shops in our community recover and succeed. Though our current social distancing guidelines prohibit dining at restaurants, the time will soon come where our eateries, bars and cafes will once again be allowed to serve food and beverages, but likely with limited capacities. This is our opportunity to identify creative and innovative ways to help these businesses keep their doors open in Hoboken. Scaling back the profit percentage of large third party delivery companies allows our local small businesses to generate additional revenue to keep their staff employed and pay their bills. The hospitality industry needs our help now more than ever and we stand prepared to assist them through this challenging time in any way possible.”

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