An Indiana Senate committee OK’d a bill Thursday that would require food delivery apps like DoorDash and Grubhub to receive permission from a restaurant or business before they list them.
Bill author Rep. Robb Greene, R-Shelbyville, said delivery apps often list restaurants without permission, fulfilling orders without their knowledge. The Senate Commerce and Technology committee voted 10-1 on House Bill 1279, which would instate protections for both restaurant owners and customers.
Greene is a co-founder of ClusterTruck, a delivery-only restaurant, though he no longer works for the company. That company recently launched a new project, called Empower Delivery, which provides technology for restaurants to host their own delivery services.
“In that time, I saw firsthand how third-delivery parties, like Grubhub or Postmates, exploit our independent Hoosier restaurateurs,” Greene said.
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When a restaurant is placed on an app without its consent, Greene told the IndyStar what often happens is they “scrape” basic information and repost old menus. He said this could increase liability issues for restaurants as well with the unknowns associated with delivery drivers.
A restaurant would have grounds to sue for damages if it finds a delivery app in violation of this legislation and is not remedied within 72 hours.
Clancy’s Hospitality co-owner Blake Fogelsong, who owns several restaurants around Indianapolis, told lawmakers the company has had issues with Postmates and Grubhub — platforms they avoid using — posting their menus and delivering their food, despite no agreement with those platforms.
“What I like about this bill is that it will actually hammer home taking them and holding them accountable,” Fogelsong said.
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Committee members are happy to see a solution for what they all agree is a significant problem.
“It’s one of the best bills of the session,” Sen. Blake Doriot, R-Goshen, said.
The full Senate will consider the bill next.
Cate Charron is a Pulliam Fellow covering the statehouse. You can reach her over email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @CateCharron.
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