New Illinois law regulates food delivery apps


ILLINOIS — A new law that will take effect next year aims to protect restaurants and their properties from third-party delivery apps.

House Bill 3205, or The Fair Food and Retail Delivery Act, was filed by State Senator Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, and prohibits third-party delivery companies from posting any menu, trademark, or other intellectual property on their website without consent of the restaurant.

Without this provision, third-party apps may advertise restaurant items without notice.

“There are reasons some restaurants and bars may decide not to use delivery services,” Feigneholtz said in a statement. “Protecting the brand and reputation that small businesses have worked to establish was a top priority and the goal of this new law.”

Sam Toia, president of the Illinois Restaurant Association, explained how the process has affected restaurants and bars across the state.

“I have restaurants calling me about their menus being hijacked by these companies,” Toia said.

This can often lead to poor customer reviews, Toia said.

“Some members are like ‘Sam, I serve calamari, calamari doesn’t travel well, and these companies hijack them, place an order, come in, pick up and then deliver to people who then go on Yelp and say it tasted like rubber .'”

Restaurants in Illinois and across the country have seen an increase in delivery orders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many had to rely solely on delivery.

Toia said that after all, it is important that all parties work together to find a solution.

“We want to make sure we stay transparent and provide solutions that work for everyone,” Toia said. “When we worked on this bill with Senator Feigenholtz, there were definitely third-party deliverers at the table with us.”

After being signed by the governor, the law takes effect on January 1, 2023 and requires third-party services to have a contract in place with the restaurants they feature on their apps or websites.

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