NEW YORK, NY. (WLNS)- A major fast food chain is saying thank you to food delivery workers in a new way, by opening a space just for them in New York City.
However, it’s also a reminder of what is lost as more people take jobs in the gig economy.
Delivery workers are on the move every hour of the day, but on the city’s upper east side, there’s a new place to stop.
It is called the Brake Room. It opened in February by Chick-Fil-A. It’s where any delivery worker can get a free cup of coffee, charge their phone or find a restroom.
In its first week alone, hundreds showed up.
Delivery drivers are grateful for comforts many traditional workers might take for granted but are rare in the growing gig economy.
Bank of America analysts project an economic slowdown this year could push a million more people into jobs making food deliveries for apps or driving for rideshare services.
“The vast majority of people work at least six, if not seven days a week,” said Andrew Wolf.
Wolf worked with Rutgers University studying app delivery workers in New York and found they often work in tough conditions for below minimum wage.
“With these apps, where they’re classified as independent contractors, they’re not entitled to any of these rights,” said Wolf.
But there is another path.
Revel, a rideshare startup, is hiring drivers as traditional employees.
Behind the wheel of company-owned Teslas, they get paid breaks and benefits.
“They get health benefits. They get access to dental benefits. They get access to a 401k,” said Revel VP Keith Williams.
Revel says their employee drivers are more reliable and efficient and it gives them an edge.