Amazon’s Clashes With Labor: Days of Conflict and Control

Amazon was built on an underdog philosophy, but its workers are finding a voice. That presents a problem for the company that goes far beyond the union vote in Alabama.

#amazon-com-inc, #bathrooms-and-toilets, #bezos-jeffrey-p, #computers-and-the-internet, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #labor-and-jobs, #organized-labor, #social-media, #wages-and-salaries

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What Is Amazon Doing to Our Country?

In “Fulfillment,” Alec MacGillis tours America to understand how one company’s culture and capitalistic impulses are seeping into our way of life.

#amazon-com-inc, #bezos-jeffrey-p, #books-and-literature, #computers-and-the-internet, #delivery-services, #fulfillment-winning-and-losing-in-one-click-america-book, #income-inequality, #macgillis-alec, #united-states-economy, #washington-post

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Postal Service Struggles to Speed Up Delivery, Compounding Its Troubles

Months after the election highlighted the agency’s problems, delivery times are still falling short of its standards, and a plan to try to shore up its finances could further slow some mail.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dejoy-louis, #delivery-services, #postal-service-us, #postal-service-and-post-offices, #united-states-politics-and-government

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‘Stupid’ DoorDash Deliveries Get Pennsylvania Prosecutor Demoted

The district attorney for Bucks County, Pa., said Gregg Shore, a high-ranking prosecutor, had been making food deliveries during work hours for the county. “I don’t know why he did this,” he said.

#bucks-county-pa, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #gregg-shore, #matt-weintraub

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Coupang, South Korea’s Answer to Amazon, Debuts in I.P.O.

Coupang, a start-up founded by a Harvard Business School dropout, helped transform e-commerce in South Korea, one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for online shopping.

#amazon-com-inc, #coupang, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #initial-public-offerings, #labor-and-jobs, #naver-com, #shopping-and-retail, #south-korea, #start-ups, #stocks-and-bonds, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

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The Dangerous Job of Making Deliveries in N.Y.C.

As demand skyrocketed during the pandemic, robberies and violent assaults increased against the people bringing food to customers’ homes.

#bagels, #delivery-services, #labor-and-jobs, #new-york-city, #robberies-and-thefts, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

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The Dangerous Job of Making Deliveries in NYC

As demand skyrocketed during the pandemic, robberies and violent assaults increased against the people bringing food to customers’ homes.

#bagels, #delivery-services, #labor-and-jobs, #new-york-city, #robberies-and-thefts, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

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‘My Turn to Get Robbed’: Delivery Workers Are Targets in the Pandemic

Armed robbers are targeting delivery workers in New York, stealing the expensive electric bikes that are the key to their livelihood.

#bicycles-and-bicycling, #city-council-nyc, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #grubhub-inc, #rivera-carlina, #wages-and-salaries

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Amazon Expands in N.Y.C. as Pandemic Sends Shoppers Online

The e-commerce giant added at least nine new warehouses in the city over the past year as 2.4 million packages a day strained the nation’s largest urban delivery system.

#amazon-com-inc, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #fedex-corporation, #freight-cargo, #new-york-city, #shopping-and-retail, #traffic-and-parking-violations, #trucks-and-trucking, #united-parcel-service-inc, #walmart-stores-inc

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You’ve Heard of Ghost Kitchens. Meet the Ghost Franchises.

Virtual food brands, often driven by real celebrities, are rapidly spreading across the country. Do they help or hurt independent restaurants?

#delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #e-commerce, #fast-food-industry, #franchises, #grubhub-inc, #mobile-applications, #mrbeast-burger-mobile-app, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #restaurants, #virtual-dining-concepts-llc

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Don’t Look Away From Amazon Workers’ Latest Union Drive

Americans should contemplate the human cost of speedy delivery.

#amazon-com-inc, #bessemer-ala, #bezos-jeffrey-p, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #labor-and-jobs, #organized-labor, #shopping-and-retail

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Winter Storm Disrupts Automakers, Retailers and Delivery Services

Power outages, natural gas shortages and icy conditions made it hard for automakers, retailers and delivery carriers to operate across much of the South and Midwest.

#delivery-services, #factories-and-manufacturing, #fedex-corporation, #ford-motor-co, #general-motors, #midwestern-states-us, #natural-gas, #postal-service-and-post-offices, #power-failures-and-blackouts, #shortages, #shutdowns-institutional, #snow-and-snowstorms, #southern-states-us, #texas, #toyota-motor-corp, #trucks-and-trucking, #united-parcel-service-inc, #walmart-stores-inc, #weather

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Pinduoduo Employee Deaths Ignites China Debate Over Work

The deaths of two young employees of Pinduoduo, an e-commerce platform, have reignited longstanding concerns about working conditions at internet giants.

#china, #computers-and-the-internet, #deaths-fatalities, #delivery-services, #labor-and-jobs, #overtime, #pinduoduo-mobile-app, #wages-and-salaries, #working-hours, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

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Ghost Kitchens Find a Home in Empty Hotels

Restaurateurs hunting for cut-rate space in the pandemic are teaming up with eager partners in another beleaguered industry.

#delivery-services, #hotels-and-travel-lodgings, #real-estate-commercial, #restaurants, #small-business

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Uber, After Buying Postmates, Lays Off More Than 180 Employees

The layoffs include most of the executive team at Postmates, the food delivery app that Uber bought last year.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #car-services-and-livery-cabs, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #food, #khosrowshahi-dara, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #mobile-applications, #postmates-inc, #uber-eats, #uber-technologies-inc

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Air Cargo Construction Is Booming, Thanks to Amazon

Airports across the United States are devoting more space to freight shipments as online shopping surges in the pandemic.

#airports, #amazon-com-inc, #anchorage-alaska, #building-construction, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #fedex-corporation, #freight-cargo, #kentucky, #philadelphia-pa, #real-estate-commercial, #san-bernardino-calif, #united-parcel-service-inc

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My Packages Keep Getting Stolen. What Can I Do?

A 2019 analysis found that 90,000 packages are lost or stolen every day in New York. And it’s only getting worse during the pandemic.

#delivery-services, #postal-service-us, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #robberies-and-thefts, #united-parcel-service-inc

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The Year Inequality Became Less Visible, and More Visible Than Ever

Even as shared public spaces emptied out, the gap between the economically privileged and the precarious became impossible to ignore.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #great-depression-1930s, #income-inequality, #labor-and-jobs, #recession-and-depression

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How Will We Eat in 2021? 11 Predictions to Chew On

Meal kits from your favorite restaurant, snacks that help you sleep and other ways the food world may respond in a year of big changes.

#cooking-and-cookbooks, #delivery-services, #food, #labeling-and-labels-product, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #united-states, #vegetables

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A Race to Become the Tesla of Delivery Trucks and Vans

Investors are betting that small companies like Workhorse will help popularize electric commercial vehicles. And Tesla aims to extend its reach.

#arrival-ltd, #automobiles, #delivery-services, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #factories-and-manufacturing, #lordstown-motors-corp, #rivian-automotive-llc, #start-ups, #stocks-and-bonds, #tesla-motors-inc, #vans, #workhorse-group-inc

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Cold Storage, Key to Coronavirus Vaccine, Lures Investors

Smaller companies that are key to the cold storage and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines are seeing a flurry of new investments.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #cryoport-inc, #delivery-services, #fedex-corporation, #infrastructure-public-works, #mckesson-corporation, #pci-pharma-services, #pfizer-inc, #private-equity, #stirling-ultracold, #stocks-and-bonds, #united-parcel-service-inc, #vaccination-and-immunization

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Delivery Workers in South Korea Say They’re Dying of ‘Overwork’

More than a dozen couriers have died this year. Some died after complaining of unbearable workloads that kept them on the clock from dawn until past midnight.

#boycotts, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #freelancing-self-employment-and-independent-contracting, #labor-and-jobs, #seoul-south-korea, #strikes, #work-life-balance, #working-hours, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

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DoorDash Stock Soars After Initial Public Offering

The delivery company’s shares started trading at $182 each, 78 percent above its initial public offering price of $102, in a sign of investor appetite.

#airbnb, #computers-and-the-internet, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #freelancing-self-employment-and-independent-contracting, #initial-public-offerings, #restaurants, #start-ups, #venture-capital

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Apps Are Helping to Gut the Restaurant Industry

High fees are cutting already thin margins to the bone.

#coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #postmates-inc, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #restaurants, #uber-eats

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Food Delivery Apps Are Booming. Their Workers Are Often Struggling.

Delivery drivers have been essential to feeding New York, while boosting sales for companies like DoorDash and Uber. But they say work conditions have gotten worse.

#bicycles-and-bicycling, #cornell-university, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #freelancing-self-employment-and-independent-contracting, #grubhub-inc, #labor-and-jobs, #mobile-applications, #new-york-city, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #uber-eats, #wages-and-salaries

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Pushed by Pandemic, Amazon Goes on a Hiring Spree Without Equal

The company has added 427,300 employees in 10 months, bringing its global work force to more than 1.2 million.

#amazon-com-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #hiring-and-promotion, #labor-and-jobs, #recession-and-depression, #shopping-and-retail, #wages-and-salaries, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

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Amazon Produce Reviews: What Do They Mean?

Customers and sellers have relied on star ratings for decades, but the review system appears to have met its match: “Yellow Onion (Brands May Vary).”

#amazon-com-inc, #consumer-reviews, #delivery-services

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DoorDash Reveals I.P.O. Filing

The company’s performance renewed questions about whether “gig economy” businesses can turn a profit.

#company-reports, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #food, #freelancing-self-employment-and-independent-contracting, #initial-public-offerings, #restaurants, #venture-capital, #xu-tony

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On Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, China’s Couriers Demand More

The country’s booming e-commerce sector relies on millions of delivery workers, some of whom are protesting low wages and grueling working conditions.

#alibaba-group-holding-ltd, #china, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #singles-day, #strikes, #wages-and-salaries

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Uber and Lyft Drivers in California Will Remain Independent

The victory of Proposition 22, the most expensive initiative in the state’s history, could help gig companies remake labor laws throughout the country.

#car-services-and-livery-cabs, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #freelancing-self-employment-and-independent-contracting, #gonzalez-lorena-1971, #herrera-dennis-j, #law-and-legislation, #lyft-inc, #proposition-22, #referendums, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #uber-technologies-inc, #wages-and-salaries

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Spying a pivot to ghost kitchens, Softbank’s second Vision Fund pours $120 million into Ordermark

“We’re building a decentralized ghost kitchen,” is a sentence that could launch a thousand investor calls, and Alex Canter, the chief executive officer behind Ordermark, knows it.

The 29 year-old CEO has, indeed, built a decentralized ghost kitchen — and managed to convince Softbank’s latest Vision Fund to invest in a $120 million round for that the company announced today.

“We have uncovered an opportunity to help drive more orders into restaurants through this offering we have called Nextbite,” Canter said. “Nextbite is a portfolio of delivery-only restaurant brands that exist only on UberEats, DoorDash, and Postmates.”

After hearing about Nextbite, Softbank actually didn’t take much convincing.

Investors from the latest Vision Fund first reached out to Canter shortly after the company announced its last round of funding in 2019. Canter had just begun experimenting with Nextbite at the time, but now the business is driving a huge chunk of the company’s revenues and could account for a large percentage of the company’s total business in the coming year.

“We believe Ordermark’s leading technology platform and innovative virtual restaurant concepts are transforming the restaurant industry,” said Jeff Housenbold, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement. “Alex and the Ordermark team have a deep understanding of the challenges that independent restaurants face. We are excited to support their mission to help independent restaurants optimize online ordering and generate incremental revenue from under-utilized kitchens.”

It’s an interesting pivot for a company that began as a centralized hub for restaurants to manage all of the online delivery orders coming in through various delivery services like GrubHub, Postmates and Uber Eats .

Canter is no stranger to the restaurant business. His family owns one of Los Angeles’ most famous delicatessens, the eponymous Canters, and Ordermark apocryphally started as a way to manage the restaurant’s own back-of-the-house chaos caused by a profusion of delivery service orders.

Now, instead of becoming the proprietor of one restaurant brand, Canter is running 15 of them. Unlike Cloud Kitchens, Kitchen United or Reef, Ordermark isn’t building or operating new kitchens. Instead, the company relies on the unused kitchen capacity of restaurants that the company has vetted to act as its quasi-franchisees.

Ordermark logos for some of the company’s delivery-only restaurant concepts. Image Credit: Ordermark

While most of the restaurant concepts have been developed internally, Ordermark isn’t above the occasional celebrity sponsorship. Its Nextbite service has partnered with Wiz Khalifa on a delivery-only restaurant called HotBox by Wiz, featuring “stoner-friendly munchies”.

The first brand Canter launched was The Grilled Cheese Society, which took advantage of unused kitchens at places like a Los Angeles nightclub and mom-and-pop restaurants across the East Coast to build out a footprint that now covers 100 locations nationwide.

It’s perhaps the growth of the HotBox brand that shows what kind of growth Nextbite could promote. Since the brand’s launch in early October, it has grown to a footprint that will reach 50 cities by the end of the month, according to Canter.

In some ways, Nextbite couldn’t exist without Ordermark’s delivery aggregation technology. “The way that Ordermark’s technology is designed, not only can we aggregate online orders into the device, but we can aggregate multiple brands into the device.”

For restaurants that sign up to be fulfillment partners for the Nextbite brands, there are few additional upfront costs and a fair bit of upside, according to Canter. Restaurants are making 30% margin on every order they take for one of Ordermark’s brands, Canter said.

To become a part of Nextbite’s network of restaurants the business has to be vetted by Ordermark. The company takes cues on what kinds of restaurants are performing well in different regions and develops a menu that is suited to match those trends. For instance, Nextbite recently launched a hot chicken sandwich brand after seeing the item rise in popularity on different digital delivery services.

Restaurants are chosen that can match the menu style of the delivery-only brand that Ordermark’s Nextbite business creates.

Behind those menus is Guy Simsiman, a Denver-based chef who is in charge of developing new menus for the company.

“We’re building things that we know can scale and we do a lot of upfront vetting to find the right types of fulfillment partners,” said Canter. “When a restaurant signs up to become a fulfillment partner, we’re vetting them and training them on what they need to do to … We’re guiding them to become fulfillment partners for these concepts. There’s a whole bunch of training that happens. Then there’s secret shopping and review monitoring to monitor quality.”

While Nextbite may be the future of Ordermark’s business, its overall health looks solid. The company is about to cross $1 billion worth of orders processed through its system.

“We are laser focused right now on helping our restaurants survive COVID and the best way we can do that is by doubling down on the incremental revenues of the Nextbite business,” said Canter when asked where the company’s emphasis would be going forward.

Nextbite is something we’ve been developing for a while now. We took it to market at the end of last year prior to COVID. When COVID kicked in every restaurant in America needed to be more creative. People were looking for alternative ways to supplement the loss in foot traffic,” he said. Nextbite provided an answer.

#america, #business, #ceo, #chef, #chief-executive-officer, #companies, #covid, #delivery-services, #denver, #doordash, #east-coast, #grubhub, #jeff-housenbold, #laser, #los-angeles, #managing-partner, #menu, #online-food-ordering, #ordermark, #postmates, #restaurant, #tc, #uber, #uber-eats, #vision-fund, #websites, #wiz

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Beyond TikTok, Walmart Looks to Transform

Away from the political drama of the TikTok deal, Walmart has been taking steps that are already changing the company and, by extension, the broader retail sector.

#amazon-com-inc, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #shopping-and-retail, #supermarkets-and-grocery-stores, #tiktok-bytedance, #walmart-stores-inc

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7 Ways the Pandemic Has Changed How We Shop for Food

Oranges and frozen foods are being snapped up. Shelves have fewer choices. And customers are steering their carts in surprising new directions.

#delivery-services, #food, #health-foods, #kroger-company, #local-food, #oranges, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #shopping-and-retail, #supermarkets-and-grocery-stores, #united-states, #walmart-stores-inc, #whole-foods-market-inc

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Inflation Is Higher Than the Numbers Say

While government statistics say inflation is low, the reality is that the cost of living has risen during the pandemic, especially for poorer Americans.

#bureau-of-labor-statistics, #consumer-price-index, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #costco-wholesale-corporation, #delivery-services, #discount-selling, #discrimination, #e-commerce, #harvard-university, #inflation-economics, #instacart, #klenow-peter, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #quarantines, #shopping-and-retail, #shortages, #social-security-us, #twitter, #united-states-economy, #university-of-michigan

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As Food Deliveries Boom, So Do Ghost Kitchens

Several new companies and models have emerged to help restaurants by making food off-site, and even delivering it.

#delivery-services, #kitchens, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #reef-kitchens, #restaurants, #sbe-entertainment-group, #zevv-inc

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Drone Delivery? Amazon Moves Closer With F.A.A. Approval

The agency said it had issued a certificate clearing the way for the company to use drones to fly packages to its customers’ doorsteps.

#amazon-com-inc, #delivery-services, #drones-pilotless-planes, #federal-aviation-administration, #shopping-and-retail

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A Local Alternative to the Big Delivery Apps, in Los Angeles

Modeled after food delivery services in Seoul, a tiny Koreatown business keeps neighborhood restaurants running through the pandemic.

#delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #grubhub-inc, #jung-vivian, #korean-food-cuisine, #korean-americans, #los-angeles-calif, #mobile-applications, #postmates-inc, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #restaurants, #runningman-delivery-friends-inc, #uber-eats

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Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s Chief of Consumer, to Retire Next Year

Mr. Wilke, who has been a key lieutenant to Jeff Bezos, is departing after building the e-commerce business for two decades.

#amazon-com-inc, #appointments-and-executive-changes, #bezos-jeffrey-p, #cloud-computing, #computers-and-the-internet, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #jassy-andrew-r, #wilke-jeff

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USPS Suspends Changes After Outcry Over Delivery Slowdown

Policy changes by the postmaster general prompted allegations that the Trump administration was trying to disenfranchise voters before the 2020 election.

#absentee-voting, #attorneys-general, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #dejoy-louis, #delivery-services, #democratic-party, #government-employees, #house-of-representatives, #postal-service-us, #postal-service-and-post-offices, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-party, #senate, #states-us, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Uber’s Ride-Hailing Business Craters, but Deliveries Surge in Pandemic

Uber said revenue fell 29 percent in the second quarter because people traveled less, but food deliveries soared.

#car-services-and-livery-cabs, #company-reports, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #khosrowshahi-dara, #uber-eats, #uber-technologies-inc

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Tim Bray is Not Done With Amazon

Tim Bray was a celebrated engineer at Amazon. Now, he is its most high-profile defector.

#amazon-com-inc, #antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #bray-tim-1955, #cloud-computing, #computers-and-the-internet, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #politics-and-government, #shopping-and-retail, #united-states-politics-and-government

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NJ Flood Dragged Her Into a Tunnel. Miraculously, She Survived.

“I’m going to die here, I don’t want to keep trying,” recalled Nathalia Bruno, a food deliverer in New Jersey. “But then I saw a flash of light.”

#automobiles, #bruno-nathalia, #clifton-nj, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #floods, #passaic-nj, #passaic-river-nj, #rain

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Uber to Buy Postmates for $2.65 Billion

The ride-hailing company’s core business has struggled in the pandemic, and it is betting on growth of its Uber Eats division.

#car-services-and-livery-cabs, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #postmates-inc, #start-ups, #uber-eats, #uber-technologies-inc, #venture-capital

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Uber Makes Offer to Buy Postmates Delivery Service

The ride-hailing company has been trying to expand its food-delivery business to compensate for the collapse of its main business.

#delivery-services, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #mobile-applications, #postmates-inc, #uber-eats, #uber-technologies-inc

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Kept Out of the Library, a School District Tries Summer Reading by Drone

A Virginia school district, determined not to let a pandemic keep students from their summer reading, is delivering books to students via the drone company run by Alphabet.

#alphabet-inc, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #drones-pilotless-planes, #education-k-12, #libraries-and-librarians, #montgomery-county-va, #passek-kelly, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #virginia, #wing-aviation-llc

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Just Eat Takeaway to Acquire Grubhub for $7.3 Billion

The Dutch food delivery company beat out Uber to buy Grubhub, whose chief executive will oversee operations in North America.

#antitrust-laws-and-competition-issues, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #groen-jitse, #grubhub-inc, #just-eat-takeaway-com, #mergers-acquisitions-and-divestitures, #uber-eats, #uber-technologies-inc

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Why Restaurants Are Fed Up With Apps

Delivery apps promised to connect restaurants with more customers. The dream isn’t working.

#delivery-services, #mobile-applications, #restaurants, #world-health-organization

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What It Looks Like Inside an Amazon Warehouse Now

Amazon, which has been under fire on worker safety, invited us into one facility to show its response.

#amazon-com-inc, #computers-and-the-internet, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #corporate-social-responsibility, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #newspapers, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #quarantines, #tests-medical, #workplace-hazards-and-violations

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As Diners Flock to Delivery Apps, Restaurants Fear for Their Future

While the apps say they are saving them in the pandemic, many restaurateurs say the opposite.

#car-services-and-livery-cabs, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delivery-services, #doordash-mobile-app, #favor-delivery-neighborfavor-inc, #grubhub-inc, #maloney-matt-m-1975, #prices-fares-fees-and-rates, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #restaurants, #shutdowns-institutional, #uber-eats

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Your Kitchen Can Be as Well Stocked as Restaurants Now

Without chefs to sell to, farmers, fishmongers and wholesalers are making house calls. And the change may be here to stay.

#agriculture-and-farming, #baldor-specialty-foods, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #dartagnan, #delivery-services, #food, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #restaurants, #shopping-and-retail

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