Seattle council passes invoice permitting eating places to show away meals supply companies

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Seattle council passes invoice permitting eating places to show away meals supply companies

A Postmates sticker hangs on the window of a restaurant. (Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Seattle restaurants will soon be able to opt out of food delivery services thanks to a new bill passed by city council members.

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The bill, passed unanimously on Monday, stipulates that grocery delivery apps must obtain approval from a restaurant in order to list them on their respective platforms.

This came after complaints from restaurant owners, many of whom said too many third-party services took orders without worrying about errors or misrepresentations. This has resulted in dissatisfied customers blaming restaurants, not the company that placed the order and picked it up.

Restaurants listed on food delivery platforms also have little to no control over whether their menus are updated in apps or whether they are even listed in the app.

“I have no control over our menu and the delivery services are always wrong,” said Cafe Pettirosso and Bang Bang Cafe owner Miki Sodos in a written notice. “The drivers won’t communicate with the customers for us, so we’ll do our best. Sometimes we end up with disgruntled customers because they didn’t get the order they wanted and it’s completely out of our control. “

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In practice, this new bill requires grocery delivery services to enter into a written agreement with each Seattle restaurant before offering delivery or take-away, while restaurants offer the option to terminate that agreement later.

The move was sponsored by Council President Lorena Gonzalez, who touted it as a necessary step to help restaurants stay afloat at the end of a year-long pandemic that has seen significant increases in delivery and takeout.

“During COVID, our small businesses and restaurants faced incredible challenges and used their entrepreneurial insights to transform their business models,” she said on Monday. “While some restaurants have been successful in using food delivery platforms, other restaurants that have not signed up for these platforms have struggled with being on these apps.”

Should it come into force by Mayor Jenny Durkan, the law would come into effect on September 15, 2021.