New Data Shows Seattle’s Untested Law has Dire Consequences for Local Businesses and Dashers

Small businesses continue to lose millions in revenue as orders dry up due to extreme regulations

stock image of seattle

Earlier this year, the City of Seattle implemented new laws governing Dasher pay and flexibility. After one month, we released new data showing the damaging effects of the new law on Seattle’s economy–including huge losses in revenue for small businesses and fewer offers and earnings opportunities for Dashers.

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The unintended consequences have been felt throughout the city, with one local merchant writing, “We’ve already seen a nearly 50% drop in third-party delivery app sales.” Now, nearly three months after the implementation of this law, new data shows that the negative impacts of this law are worse than originally anticipated.

Projected Loss of $40 Million for Seattle Businesses 

Based on our internal analysis of average weekly lost volume in a six week period after the law took effect, merchants have earned roughly $7 million less than expected on the DoorDash marketplace. We estimate that over the course of the year, merchants will earn $40 million less than expected.

“The fact is, this new law is making it hard for small businesses to survive. The City Council needs to fix this.”
Sanjay Sharma, Owner, Masala of Indian Cuisine

Continued Drop-off in Order Volume 

Over the course of February and March, consumers in Seattle have placed an estimated 300,000 fewer orders on the DoorDash Marketplace than they otherwise would have. Projecting this same drop-off in orders over the course of a year, we’d anticipate a loss of more than 1.7 million orders. On top of the huge hit Seattle merchants are taking, this means far fewer opportunities for Seattle Dashers to earn. 

Longer Waits and Fewer Offers

Despite the current law’s earnings guarantee, the fact is it’s become harder for Dashers to receive offers in Seattle, meaning fewer chances to earn. Because the law removed programs like Top Dasher and increased costs, Dashers are waiting more than three times longer in between offers.

What happens next?

Right now, the Seattle City Council is considering compromise legislation that would fix many of the problems with the current law. While imperfect, we believe this compromise represents our best chance of stabilizing the Seattle delivery market and restoring the hundreds of thousands of lost orders and millions of dollars Seattle merchants are missing out on. 

We will continue to listen to and share the feedback of the countless Dashers, merchants and consumers who have reached out to tell their stories, and will work with local lawmakers to advocate for a solution.