Should food delivery drivers be considered essential workers?

Not only do food couries have to worry about their health and safety while trying to work during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they also need to bring home enough money to provide for their families.

At the end of the day, some argue that they're some of the most vulnerable workers in New York City.

"A lot of workers are immigrant workers," said Maria Figueroa, Director of Labor and Policy Research at the Worker Institute at Cornell University.

Still, those dedicated delivery workers kept our world turning, even during a three-month long lockdown, often picking up more work and traveling longer distances.

"If you're gonna treat these people like essential workers, which I feel like the government has, they're entitled to some kind of 'hazard pay,' however hazardous this is for them personally," said Chris Crowley, a writer for Grubstreet.

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Every delivery app pays its workers differently. Some use a flat rate while Door Dash pays its 'Dashers' per-order with a base pay, ranging from $2 to more than $10, depending on the time, distance and desirability of the order.

According to Crowley, drivers' wages are, frequently, at the whim of a customer.

"If you have a good night, you can make a decent amount of money, but if there aren't any deliveries or you're sort of just sitting around or you get stiffed by some people, you don't really make anything," Crowley said.

Figueroa believes couries would make a bigger profit working for restaurants that use their own delivery services, but most places cannot afford to do that anymore.

"In the pre-app world, we did have workers who worked for the restaurants and did delvieries for the restaurants directly, but that's less and less the case nowadays," Figueroa said.

While customers are not mandated to tip, the extra money certainly goes a long way.