Restaurateurs say Uber Eats' fees hurt business in Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Stephanie Vitori, the owner of Cheeseburger Baby a restaurant in Miami Beach, is among the many restauranteurs in Miami-Dade County who are hurting during the coronavirus pandemic.

Before the pandemic, Cheeseburger Baby was open until 5 a.m. for late-night customers on Washington Avenue. Vitori said the everchanging Miami-Dade County curfews due to the pandemic have decimated prime business hours for many restaurants in Miami Beach.

Combine that with fees from third-party delivery services like Uber Eats and the effect has been devastating. Vitori said at least 85% to 90% of the business is delivery and takeout.

“I understand they do a service, but 30% on a bottom line on food is just outrageous; 58% especially during a pandemic or state of emergency,” Vitori said.

A spokesperson for Uber Eats said the platform charges anywhere from 20% to 30% of an order to pay couriers. Miami Beach is looking into creating a program to help local restaurants.

“You’re talking thousands of dollars in fees a week,” Vitori said. “That’s huge for a small business especially right now when we’re suffering.”

North Miami’s community redevelopment agency has dedicated $5,000 a month to give back to restaurants to cover those fees. The city is also helping to fund a $5 credit for customers placing an order over $15. Vitori is among the restauranteurs in Miami Beach who are hoping the city follows the example.

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