Massachusetts State House
New Massachusetts law will put an end to third-party delivery "ghosting" practices
Over the weekend, Governor Baker signed the state budget into law. Included in the new law is language that would require third-party delivery companies to get a restaurant's written consent to be listed on their platforms.
It has become common practice for delivery companies to add non-partner restaurants to their listings. This has created frustration for restaurants who didn’t even know that they were listed, and confusion for customers who think they are patronizing a restaurant.
This law is a welcome change for our industry. For years, third-party delivery apps have casually listed restaurant brands, menus and logos on their platforms without asking permission. This will ensure that the apps get permission before listing a brand or menu.
SECTION 100. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:-
“Covered establishment”, a restaurant or other eating or drinking establishment offering same-day food or drink for sale in a single commercial transaction through any third-party delivery service platform, from 1 or more retail locations within the commonwealth.
“Third-party delivery service company”, a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other entity qualified to do business in the commonwealth that is engaged in facilitating same-day delivery or pickup of food and beverages through a third-party delivery service platform for not less than 20 separately owned and operated covered establishments.
(b)(1) A third-party delivery service company shall not use a likeness, trademark or other intellectual property belonging to a covered establishment without obtaining written consent from said establishment to use the likeness, trademark or other intellectual property. Written consent under this subsection shall be reflected in a valid agreement.
(2) To enter into a valid agreement under this section, the third-party delivery service company shall be registered to do business in this state.
(3) An agreement under this section shall not require the covered establishment to indemnify the third-party delivery service company, an independent contractor acting on behalf of the third-party delivery service company, or a registered agent of the third-party delivery service company for damages or harm that may occur after a product leaves the said establishment’s place of business. A provision of an agreement that is contrary to this section is void and unenforceable.
The Attorney General's office has been informed and is fully aware about this change in law.
National Restaurant Association
As we continue to refute claims that dining in restaurants and COVID transmission are linked, we are once again asking for your help in collecting information.
The data gained through the survey below will be used to make scientific-based decisions on restrictions instead of reflexive actions that punish restaurants without evidence. All responses will be kept confidential, and it is critical that we have high participation in order to validate the results.