Council President M. Lorena González issued the following statement after Council passage of the Mayor’s Emergency Order (Resolution 31945), which places a 15 percent cap on app-based delivery and pick-up commission fees charged to restaurants. In an effort to aid restaurants, which are already struggling due to the COVID-19 economic crisis, the executive order aims to ensure restaurants can keep more of their revenues when using app-based takeout and delivery services by imposing an immediate cap on per-order fees.
“Today’s Council action will clamp down on inflated prices imposed by app-based delivery and pick-up fees. The restaurant industry is reeling from this pandemic-induced, economic crisis. Many restaurants are closed or have had to drastically modify their business model to comply with Governor Inslee’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ Order. Seattle restaurant owners are just trying to keep their heads above water, but delivery apps, which are necessary during this pandemic, are taking at times up to 40 percent in commissions, wiping out any profits a restaurant may make. This is unconscionable.
“With today’s vote, third-party, app-based delivery platforms will be prohibited from charging a restaurant a commission fee per online, delivery or pick-up order for the use of its services that totals more than 15% of the purchase price of the order. Today, Seattle joins San Francisco and other municipalities who refuse to have their small business and restaurant revenues disrupted unnecessarily during an unprecedented pandemic.
“The coronavirus outbreak has caused many of us deep worry and uncertainty about the future. I know on a very personal level the harm caused to thousands of restaurant workers, who are wondering every day if the restaurant they work for will survive this economic crisis. With already tight margins, every dollar lost means restaurants may be one step closer to closing for good. In Seattle, our independently owned and local restaurants provide more than food; they provide jobs and a sense of place and community. They are where we come together to make memories, where we celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, engagements and promotions. We need our main street restaurants to stay afloat so that these restaurants, their workers and their services can come back after this pandemic is managed.”