A guide to the proposed price and data transparency ordinance for RDSs in Florida
If you watch the headlines for food delivery news, you may have heard about a new ordinance in Florida. Miami-Dade County is considering a new regulation that affects the way restaurant delivery services (RDS) handle and share customer data. The regulation would also force RDSs to be more transparent about their pricing.
Conversation around the ordinance has been heated. So we’re going to break it down for you.
What, exactly, does the new ordinance entail?
There’s a lot of legalese to wade through, but there are two main parts to the ordinance: data sharing with restaurants and price transparency.
Data sharing with restaurants
Usually, restaurants don’t have access to data about any customers who place orders for their food through a third-party food delivery app. This new ordinance would change that.
If the ordinance passes, RDSs will be required to disclose basic customer information from every order to the restaurant. This would include:
- Delivery address.
- Phone number.
- Whether the customer is new or a repeat customer.
RDSs would not be required to share data such as credit card information.
Price transparency is a bit of a sticky subject when it comes to food delivery. This article does a good job showing the ways in which an RDS can partake in partial fee transparency while remaining somewhat unclear.
The new ordinance would eliminate any ambiguity and require RDSs to disclose how much of the customer’s payment goes toward:
- The restaurant.
- The RDS.
- The driver, specifically how much of the tip they receive.
Viewpoints on the ordinance
The ordinance is championed by the Digital Restaurant Association and sponsored by Miami-Dade County Commissioner Kionne McGhee. The view of those in favor of the ordinance is that it will allow restaurants to do better business. From their perspective, allowing restaurants access to basic information about customers will empower them to better understand those customers. Commissioner McGhee has also cited consumer protection as a selling point, since the price transparency allows consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
Opponents have a few key criticisms of the ordinance. RDSs are concerned that handing over customer information may harm their business. If restaurants have access to customer data, they can market to the customer directly, bypassing the RDS altogether. Others are opposed to the forced “release of digital personal information without any benefit to consumers.”
Next steps for the ordinance
In a preliminary reading in July 2023, the ordinance passed 8-1. It was scheduled to be reviewed by the Chairman’s Policy Council on September 11, 2023. As of late September, it has been deferred. Time will tell whether it is enacted.
What does this mean for your RDS?
Not much, if you don’t operate in Miami-Dade County. But similar laws are working their way through the courts in New York and California. If any of these ordinances pass, they may set a precedent for RDS legislation that spreads throughout the country.
Only you can decide what you think about these ordinances. But if you want to be prepared for the possibility of a similar law in your area, here are a few things to consider:
- Step up your marketing efforts. If your restaurant clients know exactly who your customers are, they can indeed market to them directly. So make sure you’ve got a good plan yourself. Check our blog for ideas; we write about marketing a lot!
- Make sure you’re providing real value. There’s no denying that food delivery costs more than dining at a restaurant or cooking at home. Some people may be easily convinced to skip it. Find ways to communicate the very real value you are providing through delivery services. Your customers will see that delivery is worth it.
- Embrace transparency. We’ve written about this before. Transparency is extremely important to many consumers and plays a critical role in fostering loyalty and trust.
At DataDreamers, we practice what we preach when it comes to transparency. Pricing for our restaurant delivery software is extremely straightforward. No hidden fees or unexpected charges. As a result, you can plan your budget and set your own prices without worrying about any surprises.
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