18 percent of the meal price is taken by food cards and online ordering sites: Istanbul Chamber of Commerce

Sekib Avdagic, President of Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) concluded that the commission rates demanded by both meal voucher companies and online food ordering sites from member businesses, especially restaurants, exceeded the endurance limits of businesses and their employees. Avdagic pointed out that if the orders placed on online food sites are paid with the meal card, 18 percent of the price of the meal is taken by the meal card and online order system, Avdagic said:

‘’ In fact, if a restaurant that does not have its own service is going to deliver a meal to a meal card holder with an online order, the total commission to be paid reaches 38 percent. The main victims here are the employees. Because they are using the meal card. Thus, the employees eat their meals almost half the price. ‘’

Avdagic reminded that the commission rate paid by restaurants for the lunch card or meal checks, which are the rights given to employees for lunch, is limited to 6 percent in accordance with the regulation issued in 2018. However, he stated that card companies received notifications that they increased this commission up to 8 percent under the name of “early payment commission”. Avdagic said:

 “Let alone the 8 percent commission, the 6 percent commission rate is still not a reasonable rate. This commission increases prices and harms businesses. The demand of those who use meal cards is that this rate should be applied as 3 percent at most. All meal card companies should be ensured to comply with the rules in the regulation. We believe that the justified demands of the sector members in this direction will be heeded. ‘’

‘’ Employee’s meal fees are required to be deposited on the bank card.’’

Sekib Avdagic stated that they received complaints that meal card companies did not provide POS devices to every market demanding them, said:

‘’ We can’t help but wonder if the card companies are making their POS device choices according to their own priorities. On the other hand, we hear that some meal card companies apply discounts to certain customers. If this is true, it means a violation of the regulation.

On the other hand, we have also received complaints that meal card companies do not make the payments they should make to retail businesses even though they cut early payment discounts. Although the meal card application was a tool to encourage registration in the past, nowadays it seems possible to pay the meal price by card, considering that employees receive their salaries via bank cards. They want the employers to pay the meal fees of their employees to the bank card within the amount determined by the state. Thus, the price increase on the food of the employees due to the commission will be prevented. ‘’

Noting that online trade has increased due to the pandemic and this is an important development, Avdagic said:

 “In addition, complaints about online food orders have also increased. The state should prevent such unilateral and arbitrary practices by showing its presence in online transactions. ‘’

‘’ Standards should also be brought to the commission in online orders. ‘’

ITO President Avdagic stated that the commissions demanded by online food ordering sites and companies that receive fast orders by motor courier also increased in an uncontrollable manner, he said:

‘’ Issues such as listing fee of up to ₺ 200 per month for online food ordering, blocked payments and single price policy create discomfort. There is even a commission from the bag delivered to the customer for 25 cents. Online ordering companies, of course, play an important role in reaching the business of the customer, but while there are businesses that have risks in many problems, it has also become unsustainable with high commission rates. ‘’

Reminding that online food ordering companies receive very high commissions of up to 12 percent over the orders of member restaurants, Avdagic completed his words as follows:

“The commission rates of online food ordering sites should be standardized as applied to meal cards. This commission should be determined to be around 3-4 percent at most. In addition, the commission rates received by companies that took fast orders with motor courier due to items such as diesel price and personnel costs reached 30 percent. We do not think these commissions are sustainable. ‘’

source: AA / translated by Melisa Karayusufoglu

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