One Month Later: Evaluating the Harmful Impacts of Seattle’s New Delivery Laws

New data shows dire consequences to the City’s untested, extreme policies

stock image of seattle

In January, the City of Seattle implemented an unprecedented new law that made huge changes to the way dashing works, making it harder for a Dasher to flexibly earn when and where they want. The new law requires Dashers to earn at least $26.40 per hour, before tips, plus additional pay for mileage–far exceeding Seattle’s minimum wage of $19.97.

Countless community advocates, small business owners, Dashers, and consumers spoke out against this untested policy while it was being considered by the City in 2022, and warned that it would make delivery prohibitively expensive for thousands of residents. However, the City ignored these voices and moved forward with this new law in January. One month later, new data shows just how disastrous this extreme policy has been for Dashers, local businesses and everyday consumers.

Over One Million Dollars in Lost Revenue for Seattle Businesses
Looking at a sample of only two weeks after the implementation of the law, Seattle businesses have already missed out on more than $1 million in revenue on the DoorDash Marketplace alone. At a time when local businesses are having to work harder than ever to keep their doors open, this is a major blow to local commerce in Seattle. Alexandra Serpanos, the owner of Nikos Gyros in Seattle, told KIRO 7 this about the future of her restaurant:

“We’re going to be impacted. The customers are going to be impacted. I was hoping for that to grow and if people can’t afford it, that’s obviously going to impact my sales. I can’t keep raising prices. There’s only so much people are willing to pay…”

Unprecedented Drop in Order Volume
Over just two weeks since the pay regulations launched, consumers have placed thirty thousand fewer orders on the DoorDash Marketplace, and we expect this volume loss to compound even more over time. Seattle businesses are now grappling with a significant decline in revenue and lost exposure to new customers.

Dashers Receiving Fewer Offers
Due to the drop in order volume and the restrictive policies on how Dashers access offers through the platform, Dashers are now having to wait an average of three times longer in between offers. Longer wait times means fewer dashes and fewer opportunities to earn for thousands of Dashers across Seattle. In a recent news report, a Seattle Dasher said:

"It’s hurting us, it’s hurting the consumer, it’s going to close restaurants. Please repeal it."

The Path Forward
Dashers, merchants and consumers have made their voices heard–this untested, extreme policy is simply not working. We hope the newly-elected City Council will come back to the table and make things right. We’re committed to working with lawmakers to find a practical solution that empowers local commerce, restores access to crucial delivery services, and helps Dashers continue to earn on their own schedules.