Seattle, Washington – Starting January 13, 2024, major changes to delivery platforms in Seattle will go into effect despite the efforts of community leaders, small business owners, and advocates. These policy changes, though well-intentioned, are expected to have adverse effects on the entire community, including Dashers, merchants, and consumers.
One significant change is the implementation of new minimum pay requirements for Dashers in Seattle. Dashers will now earn a minimum of $26.40 per hour, excluding tips, which exceeds the city’s minimum wage. Additionally, Dashers will receive mileage compensation for time spent on delivery. It is important to note that this minimum pay is just the baseline, and Dashers still have the opportunity to earn more. Dasher earnings will be reviewed after each accepted offer to ensure they meet the minimum requirement, with adjustments made for those who fall below.
To cover the costs of these new regulations, consumers in Seattle or ordering from Seattle merchants will see new fees at checkout. As a result, suggested tip amounts on each order will be reduced to balance the impact of these additional costs. Nevertheless, consumers will still have the option to provide tips in any amount they choose, and 100% of the tip will go directly to the Dasher.
Another change affecting Dashers is the alteration to platform access. In compliance with Seattle regulations, all Dashers can DashNow at any time. While this provides more flexibility, it also means that there may be more Dashers available for offers simultaneously, resulting in longer wait times for individual Dashers and potentially fewer work opportunities in Seattle.
Additionally, the Top Dasher and Priority Access programs will be terminated for Seattle Dashers. Despite their popularity among Dashers, these programs will no longer impact Dasher offers or earnings potential in Seattle. However, they will still be available in areas outside of the city.
For merchants, the changes mentioned above may lead to significant declines in order volume and negative impacts on service. Some merchants will now be required to provide additional information about items for delivery. To minimize confusion and costs, consumers outside the city will also face limitations on placing orders with Seattle merchants.
It is important to note that these changes mark a major policy shift, and the platform is actively seeking feedback to address concerns related to app functionality, new features, and public policy. The goal is to make this transition as smooth as possible for Dashers, consumers, and merchants in Seattle.
Seattle and its policymakers are urged to collaboratively work with the platform to improve the experience for Dashers, consumers, and merchants. The hope is that these efforts will empower local economies in the communities served.