Relay Unlocked Profitable Delivery For 3k NYC Restaurants, Now Its Existence Is At Risk
August 02, 2023
In 2021, NYC’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) began investigating the pay and working conditions of third-party food delivery workers in order to establish a fair minimum wage on their behalf. The 37-page study found that the average NYC food delivery courier earns an average $14.18 per hour with tips, and $7.09 without. When accounting for hourly expenses, that figure lowers by ~$3, about $12k in annualized net earnings, 37% lower than the poverty line for a single adult or 71% below the near thresholds for a four-person household. The Department estimated that there are about 123k couriers who performed deliveries on behalf of deliveries in Q4 ‘21, about half of which still remain. It also estimated that 92% of NYC restaurants offer delivery, which represents ~27% of their sales on average. After two sets of proposed rules that were updated to adjust for “multi-apping,” the $17.96/hr minimum wage law was temporarily blocked by a NY State Supreme Court judge just a week before it was set to go into effect on July 12. Furthermore the DCWP lumped third-party delivery marketplaces Uber, DoorDash, and Grubhub alongside an under-the-radar startup called Relay that offers restaurants the ability to fulfill their own orders using its network of bike couriers for a flat fee of ~$5-7 per order. Today, Relay is in court to fight the move that seeks to threaten its very existence.