Food delivery apps gaining popularity but no regulations in place

There are no specific regulations on popular food delivery apps in the state of Texas. The Texas Restaurant Association is now taking a closer look at the issue.

On any given day in Houston, there are hundreds of drivers on the road delivering food right to your door.

They work for services like Uber Eats, GrubHub and most recently Amazon Prime. But no one is regulating these popular food delivery services.

"There are no specific regulations on this in Texas," said Kenneth Besserman, TRA's general counsel. "There aren't any states that have addressed this on a state-wide level."

It's why the Texas Restaurant Association is taking a closer look at the issue. They're in discussions with third party delivery apps hoping to avoid the need for legislation.

"It is an increased economic impact for restaurants," said Besserman. "More orders. More food. That's beneficial for the bottom line and for delivery services. We want to make sure it's done appropriately. It's a new world out there when it comes to these delivery apps."

Part of the problem is liability. Who's responsible if your delivery order goes south or the driver mishandles your food? Often times it's the restaurant getting the blame, and it shouldn't be.

"We want to make sure customers are getting what they order and that restaurants are properly protected in case things do happen," said Besserman.

A growing problem is also inadvertent pricing where the restaurant charges you one price. And the app charges you more for the same dish. Restaurants want 3rd party delivery services to make sure the customer knows that price difference doesn't reflect a decision made by the restaurant.

"That's also good for consumer protection, that's something they need to know, what they're paying for and who's responsible for what piece of that price," said Besserman.

Any possible regulations would still be a ways off. Uber Eats declined to comment about any future regulations.


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