New York City's Landmark Food Delivery Minimum Wage, Explained

Without a doubt, food delivery is not an easy career. In any given month, according to Gridwise, the average driver might make around $220 with DoorDash, $125 with Grubhub, or $121 with UberEats. A driver might make between $4 and $5 in tips per order, but that's if customers tip their delivery driver at all. Further cutting into their earnings is the responsibility for their gas and any vehicle maintenance.

To alleviate delivery drivers' financial struggles, New York City has proposed a minimum wage. By mid-July, drivers should be making at least $17.96 per hour, and by April 2025, at least $19.96 per hour — not including tips. This new rule would require food delivery apps to pay their drivers $0.30 per minute the entire time they're waiting for and fulfilling orders, or $0.50 per minute when they're fulfilling orders (referred to as "trip time"). Again, this increased pay would not include any tips drivers might earn, so an UberEats driver could expect to make quite a bit more than they do currently.

Not everyone is pleased with NYC's new minimum wage for delivery drivers

As you might expect, while delivery drivers are relieved to see an increase in pay, the apps that employ them are less than pleased. Whereas drivers previously made around $7 an hour, the delivery apps themselves are now expected to pay out higher wages.

DoorDash, which brought in more than $6.58 billion in revenue in 2022 alone, fought the change particularly hard. According to The City, DoorDash's NYC government relations manager claimed that increasing employees' wages would "likely result in substantial new costs that will need to be passed down to customers," and further accused lawmakers of hoisting fast food delivery out of citizens' reach.

Meanwhile, NYC citizens criticized their mayor's announcement on Twitter, demanding to know who was going to pay for the increased wages. Others suggested abolishing tipping entirely, seeming not to notice nor care that delivery drivers make as much as two-thirds of their meager earnings solely from customer tips. Clearly, a lot of information still needs to be heard from and by all parties involved, so everyone can come to a better understanding of the situation at hand.