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California Will Require Fee Transparency from Delivery Apps, but Fails to Pass a Permanent Cap

Plus, Bay Area Indian restaurants raise money for COVID relief in India, and other intel

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Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • The California State Assembly has passed a bill requiring food delivery apps like DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub to provide an itemized breakdown of costs to both customers and restaurants for each transaction — one that lists food price, fees, tips, and commissions. Assembly Bill 286, introduced by San Diego assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, passed the Assembly with bipartisan support in a 55 to 8 vote on Thursday, May 13. It sounds like good news, requiring more transparency from delivery apps. But this was the state-level bill that originally proposed putting a permanent cap on delivery fees, and that portion of the original bill was removed prior to the vote. The city and county of San Francisco still has a temporary emergency order in place, but only until 60 days after restaurants resume indoor dining at 100 percent capacity, so its days may be numbered.
  • Ten top Indian restaurants in the Bay Area will donate 50 percent of their sales on May 25 to support COVID response efforts in India, including Besharam in Dogpatch, both locations of Rooh, and Aurum in Los Altos, among others. “Dining for India” restaurant donations will go towards the American India Foundation for oxygen, ventilators, cold storage equipment, and temporary hospital facilities in India, as well as protections for frontline workers. See the Facebook event page for a full list of participating restaurants.
  • There’s some good news for SF New Deal, the local nonprofit meal delivery organization born in the early days of the pandemic. San Francisco has extended its contract with the org one year past its initial expiration date, through May 17, 2022, a deal that requires it to distribute three meals and one snack per day to 650 food insecure individuals for the year. The nonprofit pays restaurants to make meals to be provided to those in need; it says that in a recent survey of partner restaurants, SF New Deals accounted for 40 percent of monthly revenue among the restaurants that responded. The board also approved a contract extension for a meal delivery program with SMG Food and Beverage, a private food service and management company, reports the SF Biz Journal. [SF Biz Journal]
  • H Mart devotees can now order their favorite staples from San Francisco’s brand new store for same-day delivery, as long as they don’t mind using Instacart. Produce, frozen items, meats, prepared food, and other specialties the wildly popular Korean-American supermarket is known for are now available for delivery on the app every day from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. For tips on how to shop H Mart like a pro, check out Eater SF’s thorough guide.
  • Berkeley winery Broc Cellars now has outdoor seating, and blessedly, it’s not street-side. The new Backyard at Broc, outfitted with furniture from Berkeley artisan Rafi Aji, is open for reservations of up to six people, with seating for a total of 30. A menu of snacks from nearby breakfast and lunch spot Standard Fare is available on the patio, as are reservations for a guided tasting of the brand’s lineup of natural wines. [Berkeleyside]
  • Despite the recent sale of its building, the enduringly popular Fish Market does not anticipate closing its Palo Alto location on El Camino Real, reports Palo Alto Online. Fish Market president Dwight Colton says the restaurant’s current lease, which still has a few years left, is set to continue under the property’s new ownership and assures the public “There’s no risk of the Fish Market Palo Alto, or any other location, going away any time soon.” The Fish Market is back up and running on El Camino Real after a four-month closure, currently open Wednesday through Sunday. [Palo Alto Online]

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