NYC App-Based Restaurant Delivery Workers Receive a Minimum Pay Rate

by Marissa Sheldon
app-based restaurant delivery

Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series

Policy name: Minimum Pay for App-Based Restaurant Delivery Workers

Overview: New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced a new minimum pay rate for app-based restaurant delivery workers.

Location: New York City

Population: 7.9 million total population; 65,000 food delivery workers

Food policy category: Food services

Program goals: To increase the economic stability of app-based restaurant delivery workers in order to enhance their overall quality of life. 

How it works: Beginning on July 12, 2023, app-based restaurant delivery workers will receive a minimum of $17.96 per hour, not including tips. The pay will increase to $19.86 per hour by 2025 and will be adjusted annually for economic inflation.

Delivery companies will be able to determine how their workers are paid, whether by the hour, by trip, or some other formula, as long as they receive the designated minimum hourly pay rate. For apps that compensate workers for the time spent waiting for a delivery and their trip time, the minimum pay rate equates to approximately $0.30 per minute in 2023. Apps that pay workers only after they have accepted a delivery will be paying approximately $0.50 per minute in 2023. 

Progress to date: In September 2021, the New York City Council passed Local Law 115, which required the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) to study the pay and working conditions of app-based food delivery workers and to establish a minimum pay rate based on their findings. In November 2022, DCWP released a report summarizing the study results and a proposal for the minimum pay rate. After receiving 2,000 public comments on the initial proposal, a revised proposal was released on March 7, 2023, and another public hearing was held in April. The minimum pay rate was officially adopted on June 12, 2023. 

The City is also working with Los Deliveristas Unidos to convert unused newsstands into shelters and e-bike charging stations for delivery workers. 

Why it is important: DCWP’s study determined that the average hourly pay for app-based restaurant delivery workers is currently $7.09 per hour, and after accounting for expenses, such as vehicle upkeep and phone charges, they net an average of $4.03 per hour before tips or $11.12 per hour including tips. The minimum wage for employees in New York City is $15 per hour. 

Food delivery workers, whose work has become more prevalent and in higher demand since the pandemic, often put their lives at risk completing deliveries in extreme weather conditions, encountering violent robberies and traffic accidents, and dealing with potential fires from exploding lithium batteries used for e-bikes. Mayor Adams stated that “This new minimum pay rate…will guarantee these workers and their families can earn a living, access greater economic stability, and help keep our city’s legendary restaurant industry thriving.”

Program/Policy initiated: Mayor Adams announced the minimum pay rate for food delivery workers on June 11, 2023. 

Point of contact: 
Michael Lanza 
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection
Phone: (212) 436-0042
Email: press@dcwp.nyc.gov 

Similar practices: New York City’s minimum pay rate for app-based restaurant delivery workers is the first of its kind in the country. 

Evaluation: Evaluation has not yet been conducted. 

Learn more: 

References:

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