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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

$28.82 per Hour for NYC Delivery Workers?

$28.82 per Hour for NYC Delivery Workers?

by David Klemt

Delivery worker on bicycle on city street

In response to the New York City Council’s proposal of $23.82 per hour for delivery workers, some “deliveristas” are asking for more.

Now, before we proceed, no, this isn’t a re-run of an article from last week. This isn’t a case of déjà vu—it’s the evolution of a news story that’s developing rapidly.

So, how much more do delivery workers in NYC want? Well, they’re after a significant bump over the council’s minimum hourly wage proposal.

Requesting that the NYC Council more accurately account for deliverista expenses, some delivery workers are asking for $28.82 per hour.

Early last week, a group consisting of Los Deliveristas Unidos and the Worker’s Justice Project members came together. They gathered at New York City Hall to make their stance on the NYC Council’s minimum wage proposal.

As the deliveristas see it, an increase from $23.82 to $28.82 more accurately reflects their operating expenses. The argument is compelling when one considers costs beyond fuel.

Asking for More

After all, not every delivery worker in NYC (and other markets) uses a car, truck or SUV to make deliveries. That should explain the use of the term “delivery worker,” not “delivery driver.” Some deliveristas ride motorcycles, mopeds, or bicycles. I’m willing to bet some even use scooters, rollerblades, or skateboards.

Using any mode of transportation as a delivery worker comes with requirements, both legal and practical. For example, deliveristas must maintain insurance, maintain their transportation, and purchase and maintain safety equipment.

And yes, that safety equipment is crucial. According to some reports, around a third of NYC those who deliver on two wheels have been injured on the job. Tragically, 33 delivery workers have been killed since 2020. In fact, NYC says delivery workers have the highest injury rate.

Another interesting development may seem semantic. However, when one takes time to truly consider the point it’s rather poignant.

In asking for the proposal of $23.82 to rise by $5 by 2025, are asking for a living wage. Not minimum wage, as the proposal frames the hike, but a living wage.

One worker, Antonio Solís, as quoted by The City, a non-profit NYC news publication, explained: “We are asking the city to make a $5 adjustment, to go that extra mile to ensure we get to a living wage.”

A Request, not a Rejection

It’s also important to note that NYC’s delivery workers aren’t rejecting the council’s minimum wage proposal. Rather, the request is that the council considers updating their proposal ahead of a December 16 public hearing on the matter.

So far, companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats haven’t released much in the way of statements. However, there have been reports quoting a handful of representatives. In pushing back against the proposal, they’ve mentioned increased costs; reduced deliveries; and the possibility of “locking out” deliveristas if delivery demand is low at a given time.

Should legislation go into effect after the public hearing, it’s likely we’ll see lawsuits from the delivery companies.

Image: Patrick Connor Klopf on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

$23.82 Minimum Wage for Delivery Workers?

$23.82 Minimum Wage for Delivery Workers in NYC?

by David Klemt

Red "New York" sign on building

With a public hearing on the docket for December 16, the New York City Council is proposing “fairer pay for delivery workers.”

The move is a year in the making. Last year, the NYC Council approved legislation with the goal of improving delivery worker pay and working conditions.

Now, the council is moving to increase minimum wage for the 60,000-plus delivery workers in the city.

At the risk of coming across as pessimistic, the legislation is likely to be unpopular with third-party delivery services. After all, when NYC and San Francisco passed laws to cap third-party delivery commissions, the big services filed lawsuits.

So, again, increasing the minimum wage for delivery workers in NYC will probably not go down well with companies like Uber, DoorDash, and Grubhub.

It’s possible we’ll find out before the end of this year. After the public hearing, the NYC Council will consider public comments. Then, the council could move forward and enact the legislation.

What’s in the Proposal?

Should the rule go into effect after the public hearing on December 16, minimum wage would rise to $17.87 per hour for third-party delivery workers. By April 1, 2025, that rate would increase to $23.82.

“This new proposed minimum pay rate would help ensure a fairer pay for delivery workers for third-party apps, providing more stability for 60,000 workers across our city,” says New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

According to reports, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso is in favor of the legislation as well.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable that the restaurant delivery workers who provide for so many in this city are not justly compensated for their time, reimbursed for their expenses or provided essential benefits,” says Reynoso.

So, how did the council arrive at the $23.82 per hour figure? Well, we actually have that information:

  • $19.86, which matches standards set by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission for ride-hail drivers;
  • $2.26 for expenses delivery workers incur; and
  • $1.70 for worker’s compensation.

Why Legislate Delivery Worker Pay?

It appears the main reason is an incredibly simple one. In short, third-party delivery workers aren’t making minimum wage in NYC.

Per the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), delivery workers average less than the city’s $15 minimum wage. With tips, they’re averaging $14.18. And without tips? As one can imagine, the hourly rate plummets: $7.09 per hour.

According to the DCWP, the average hourly expense a delivery worker incurs is $3.06. So, that drives their hourly pay to $11.12 with tips, $4.03 without.

In an argument likely to be cited in any lawsuit filed by DoorDash (or at least shared in a public statement), the company claims its delivery workers make almost $29 per hour.

Clearly, there’s a discrepancy somewhere. Either delivery drivers are woefully underpaid for the service they provide or multiple researchers are misinterpreting hourly pay data.

Several sources have cited a statement made by a DoorDash representative about the NYC Council’s proposal:

“Dashing allows so many across New York City to earn when, where and how often they choose,” says the rep. “Unfortunately, the proposed rule does not appropriately account for this flexibility or that Dashers are able to choose which deliveries they accept or reject.”

Their statement continues, addressing a possible rise in costs and drop in orders:

“Failing to address this could significantly increase the costs of delivery, reducing orders for local businesses and harming the very delivery workers it intends to support.”

Why Should I Care if I Don’t Operate in New York City?

We’ll see—quickly, apparently—if this proposal becomes law. Should that happen, there’s reason to assume similar proposals will pop up in other cities and states.

We’ll also see whether or not third-party delivery companies file lawsuits in response. They’ve done so for commission caps, after all.

At any rate, this is one to watch. Similar legislation could be coming to your market.

Image: Nik Shuliahin 💛💙 on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Rise of the ‘Not’ Delivery Platforms

Rise of the ‘Not’ Delivery Platforms

by David Klemt

The big third-party delivery services are facing pushback in the form of community-based competition.

We’ve kept our eye on this burgeoning trend and the push for operators to implement first-party delivery, also known as direct delivery.

It isn’t directly related to hospitality but the first of the “not” sites that grabbed our attention was Not Amazon. As the name suggests, Not Amazon is…well…not Amazon.

The founder highlights businesses owned and operated by women and BIPOC and LGBTQA+ people. However, Not Amazon goes even further, as illustrated in their mission statement:

“Providing the most we can, while taking as little as possible, in order to build a new kind of community.”

Community and neighborhood support is at the core of Not Amazon. The digital era has been marked by local, mom-and-pop brick-and-mortar businesses suffering in the wake of online shopping. Convenience has outweighed community. More often than not, women-, BIPOC- and LGBTQA+-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by “convenience.”

Of course, it makes sense with a global pandemic to shop online. Not Amazon, which currently serves Calgary, Halifax, Toronto and Vancouver, provides a viable alternative to its behemoth of an online retail counterpart.

That brings us to two compelling hospitality industry-specific platforms.

It’s not a secret that KRG Hospitality supports first-party and last-mile delivery. In fact, we’ve very clearly explained that operators lose guest data and control over the guest journey when they sign with a third-party delivery company.

That’s to say nothing of the fees third-party services charge their F&B “partners.” Is it convenient that DoorDash, UberEats, Postmates and other companies provide a semblance of infrastructure, the lure of reaching a larger pool of customers, and drivers (including the associated liability)? Sure.

But are the costs associated with doing business with a third-party delivery company worth it? Most likely not.

Studies have also shown that when a delivery goes wrong on the third-party’s end–cold food, for instance–it’s the restaurant that tends to get the blame.

There are two websites that, like Not Amazon, have popped up to put supporting local restaurants front and center: Not UberEats and NotGrubhub.

The former serves Toronto and operates as a non-profit, according to their FAQ page. The latter is mainly focused on the United States, offers the option to purchase gift cards, and is powered by Lunchbox. NotGubhub also boasts more than 100,000 direct ordering links.

Both operate in similar fashion: Restaurants submit their information to be added to the respective platforms, provide an ordering link, and obtain a listing. From there, people can search by location for restaurants in their area to place a delivery order.

In the case of NotUberEats, deliveries are fulfilled by Ritual or DoorDash. As noted on their FAQ page, Ritual is offering Toronto restaurants free delivery through 2021. Restaurants can also DoorDash because, as NotUberEats explains in their FAQs, the service is charging a flat rate and not collecting any commissions.

People can also send restaurant information to NotUberEats to help grow their listings. Anyone who wishes to do so is asked to provide at least 50 businesses in their city and submit them here.

Operators ready to make the move to first-party/direct delivery and own their guest journey should consider the following platforms:

With delivery here to stay, the sooner operators transition to direct delivery, the better. There’s no longer a reason to lose control of guests, a profitable operational element, or costs.

Image: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash