Seattle City Council OKs bill requiring delivery app/restaurant deals

SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council has approved a law that will require meal-delivery apps to sign agreements with restaurants instead of listing restaurants on the apps and taking orders without permission.

Council President M. Lorena González, who sponsored the law, said it will protect restaurants, simplify work for delivery-app drivers and give customers more reliable service, The Seattle Times reported.

The vote was 8-0 on Monday. Mayor Jenny Durkan hasn’t reviewed the law yet to determine whether she’ll sign it or let it become law without her signature, her office said.

Council staff noted the law could result in some restaurants paying delivery fees they’re not paying now, possibly less work for drivers and fewer options for customers.

González said restaurant-industry groups such as Seattle Restaurant Alliance backed the measure and labor groups and delivery apps were consulted. Delivery apps Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats didn’t immediately comment.

Brianna Megid, a spokesperson for the delivery app DoorDash, said restaurants should have the power to make choices affecting their businesses. DoorDash removes restaurants, when requested, she said.

Under the status quo, delivery apps can use online menus and other information to list restaurants without permission. Restaurants may not even know they’re listed. App drivers place orders on the behalf of customers, who pay the apps’ delivery fees, the council said.

Under the new law there must be agreements, which restaurants can end at any time, that authorize the apps to coordinate deliveries.