The Seattle City Council in Washington, US, has approved the Fair Food Delivery Bill, which requires food delivery apps to seek consent from restaurants before listing them on their platform.

The bill was unanimously approved by council president M Lorena González and her Seattle City Council colleagues.

González said: “During Covid, our small businesses and restaurants faced incredible challenges, and have used their entrepreneurial insight to pivot their business models.

“While some restaurants found success utilising food delivery platforms, other restaurants that did not sign up for those platforms have found challenges to being on those apps.

“The Fair Food Delivery Bill will ensure our restaurants are given autonomy over their businesses and must provide consent before being listed on the apps.”

Under the new Fair Food Delivery Bill, food delivery platforms will now be required to establish a written agreement before offering takeout or delivery from any restaurant in Seattle.

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The bill will also allow restaurants to end the agreement with a written request, after which the platforms will have to de-list the restaurant within 72 hours.

If the rules are violated, a maximum penalty of $250 could be imposed, and the revenue from these penalties will be used to support small restaurants.

The legislation will come into effect from 15 September 2021.

During the pandemic, the usage of food delivery apps increased significantly, as more and more users preferred to order food from their favourite restaurants while staying at home.

Although many restaurants benefitted from these apps, some of them said they were listed on the platforms without their consent.

Such restaurant owners also said that they could not approach or contact the platforms in order to remove their businesses from the apps.