Councilmembers Pedersen, Strauss Celebrate Unanimous Passage of Legislation Protecting Seattle’s Restaurants

The Full City Council Passed Their Bill Capping Delivery Fees at 15%

SEATTLE – Councilmembers Alex Pedersen (District 4, Northeast Seattle,) and Dan Strauss (District 6, Northwest Seattle,) joined by stakeholders, issued the following statements after the Seattle City Council unanimously approved their legislation today which supports Seattle’s diverse local restaurants by limiting the fees they need to pay to third party delivery corporations.

Councilmember Alex Pedersen, (District 4, Northeast Seattle): “This small business legislation capping fees charged by delivery companies is vital to support Seattle’s diverse restaurants. Over the past two years, the 15% cap has proven to be reasonable as well as vital for supporting Seattle’s diverse restaurants that have struggled mightily to survive in our city. Because Seattle’s Emergency Order for the pandemic could end soon, this legislation saves our diverse local restaurants from a financial cliff. I look forward to the Mayor signing this legislation as soon as possible, so that Seattle’s diverse local restaurants can be free from the fear of fees to focus on fantastic food. 

Councilmember Dan Strauss, (District 6, Northwest Seattle): “Capping food delivery fees at 15% during the pandemic has benefited both our smallest businesses and consumers. This was good for Seattleites during the pandemic and remains a good foundation for long-term recovery. This small business legislation means restaurants have more control over their economic survival and supports a vibrant, diverse restaurant scene in Seattle. This is a commonsense protection for our local restaurateurs and foodies alike.” 

Steve Hooper, President of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance: “As everyone knows, restaurants were the hardest hit throughout the pandemic. Today’s vote making the 15 percent commission cap permanent ensures the best customer experience by keeping delivery a viable option as restaurants navigate post-pandemic challenges and gives restaurants much-needed assistance and predictability without additional financial hardship as they seek to recover and thrive.” 

BACKGROUND: Council Bill 120379 makes permanent the 15% cap on fees that third-party delivery corporations can charge to Seattle’s restaurants. The 15% cap on fees was originally adopted as part of Seattle’s Civil Emergency Order in 2020 and has been helping many local restaurants survive the pandemic during the past two years. In addition to making the 15% cap permanent, the legislation adds flexibility by enabling any restaurant to opt out of the 15% cap if it wants to receive additional services from the delivery corporations, such as marketing. Several other cities across the nation – like Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco – have made their caps on delivery fees permanent as well. Before the pandemic, out-of-town delivery corporations were charging Seattle restaurants delivery fees as high as 30% on each food order. 

Now that the legislation has been passed by the full City Council, it will go to the Mayor for his signature. If signed, it will go into effect 30 days afterward. 

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