Board of County Commissioners Pass Resolution Capping Third-Party Food Delivery Service Fees

Adams County’s restaurants are part of the cultural fabric of our neighborhoods, provide jobs, and contribute to the tax base. The economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has been particularly devastating to many restaurants, and they have increased their use of third-party delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As a result, the Colorado Legislature passed House Bill 20B-1005 during the December 2020 special session granting new authorities to the governing bodies of municipalities and counties to limit the fee a third-party food delivery service may charge to a retail food establishment, as well as place other restrictions on delivery services by ordinance or resolution. The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) enacted a resolution regulating fees and increasing transparency of third-party food delivery platforms at their public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 15. 

“The COVID-19 crisis has hit our local restaurants and their owners and employees particularly hard,” said BOCC Chair Emma Pinter. “As the state has enacted stricter safety protocols that currently prohibit indoor dining in Adams County, we wanted to make sure they aren’t taken advantage of when offering takeout to their customers.” 

Starting immediately and expiring when the indoor capacity restrictions imposed on retail food establishments due to the COVID-19 pandemic are removed, retail food establishments located only within the unincorporated area of Adams County may submit a complaint via our online portal for any violation of the five areas defined in the resolution: 

Retail Food Establishment Consent – Third-party food delivery service cannot list a retail food establishment's information on their platform without written consent.  
Delivery Charges – Third-party food delivery services cannot assess a commission or fee of more than 15% of the total purchase price or menu price of an online order, excluding gratuities, taxes, and other fees. 
Delivery Wage Garnishment – Third-party food delivery services cannot garnish tips or lower the wages of a delivery person to compensate for any diminished revenues that result from the establishment of this resolution. 
Transparency of Transaction – Third-party food delivery services must provide to the end consumer an electronic or printed receipt that conveys in plain and simple language all fees for both the retail food establishment and the end consumer charged by the third-party food delivery service. 
Telephone Charges – Third-party delivery services cannot charge a retail food establishment any fee for phone calls made by customers through their platforms unless those calls result in an order. 

To determine if a restaurant is in unincorporated Adams County, visit our Public Records and Maps portal and search for the address and zoom in if necessary. If the address is in the white section, it is located within unincorporated Adams County. If it is shaded another color, it is located within the boundary of one of our municipalities, and restaurants can inquire with that city or town for more details. 

Adams County staff will conduct an investigation into all complaints submitted through the online form. If the complaint is determined to be valid, the third-party delivery service will receive a Courtesy Notice and be given 10 days to correct the violation. Documentation proving the violation has been corrected must be submitted to Adams County within the 10 days, and the violation will be closed. If the violation is not corrected, the third-party delivery service will receive a Notice of Violation and shall be subject to a civil penalty of $100 per violation instance, plus the amount of commission or fee the third-party food delivery service charged the retail food establishment that exceeds the 15% of the purchase price.