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Sweeping Industry Survey Details Hellish Conditions Endured by NYC’s Delivery Workers

Plus, Alimentari Flaneur at the Market Line adds a lunch counter — and more intel

Crowds of delivery workers stand in the street in Manhattan, protesting a surge in the thefts of their bicycles on October 15, 2020 in New York City.
Last October, delivery workers rallied in Manhattan to protest a surge in bike robberies.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Industry survey details hellish job conditions for NYC delivery workers

NYC delivery workers are regularly experiencing low wages, stolen tips, and rampant theft while on the job, according to a new industry survey published this week. The survey reports that delivery workers in the city — who largely work at least six days a week and for more than six hours each day — make an average net pay of $7.87 per hour before tips through apps like Grubhub and Doordash, the City reports. Including tips, delivery workers make an average of $12.21 per hour, still clocking in below the city’s mandated minimum wage of $15 per hour.

But that’s only if the tips get to the workers: 42 percent of survey respondents reported never being paid out their tips, being underpaid, or being paid late. Furthermore, 54 percent of survey respondents say that they’ve dealt with bike theft in the city, and 30 percent of those respondents say that they were physically assaulted during the theft. Five hundred app-based delivery workers contributed to the survey. In a response to the City, DoorDash disputed the survey’s findings on average pay and hours worked.

The report, published by NYC’s Worker’s Justice Project in conjunction with Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, is the first in-depth survey of its kind addressing working conditions for delivery drivers in NYC. Worker advocates, including the Worker’s Justice Project, have introduced a package of legislation to City Council that would provide some measure of protection to delivery workers on the job, including fining restaurants and bars that refuse to let couriers use their bathrooms.

The survey was dedicated to 16 NYC delivery workers who have died while on the job since September 2020. See the full report here.

In other news

— Produce market Alimentari Flaneur at the Market Line on the LES is expanding to include a lunch counter called Bancone, selling toasts piled with seasonal ingredients. The counter is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

— Economy Candy’s rollicking grand reopening weekend was a hit, Bowery Boogie reports.

— And so it begins: Brown paper is up on the windows at the former Odessa diner space, which Superiority Burger owner Brooks Headley bought earlier this year to convert into a larger home for the East Village vegetarian hotspot.

Bon Appétit has replaced its annual Best New Restaurants list with a new awards program, Heads of the Table. Honorees include Ursula’s Eric See and Send Chinatown Love founder Justin McKibben in NYC.

— New Greenpoint all-day restaurant Sereneco has opened its takeout window to the public, selling salads, sandwiches, and breakfast burritos from Tuesday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

— Love to see it: