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Could New Retirement Savings Bill Transform Delivery Work?
Xos layoffs, Grubhub driver shows need for tamper-free packaging, consumer behavior trends
Ah, nothing like starting the week off with an exciting new bipartisan piece of legislation! But before your eyes glaze over, the Retirement Savings for Americans Act has the potential to make delivery jobs far more stable for millions of gig workers. We’ve also got big news from EV-trucker Xos, a few eye-opening charts and some bad delivery behavior. Let’s get to it!
This week’s edition is brought to you by Cambridge Mobile Telematics.
DoorDash, Uber Back New Retirement Bill for Gig Workers
Xos-ting Their Cash Reserves?
Chart Time | Influencing Consumer Delivery Decisions
Grubhub Driver Caught Eating Customer Food
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POLICY | DoorDash, Uber Support New Independent Retirement Bill
Uber and DoorDash came out in favor of the just-introduced Retirement Savings for Americans Act, a bipartisan bill that purports to boost retirement savings and security for low and moderate-income workers. Sponsored by Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO) & Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Reps Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-11) & Terri Sewell (D-AL-7), the RSAA would provide workers who lack an employer-sponsored retirement plan with access to portable plans modeled after the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) used by federal employees. The bill would feature automatic eligibility / enrollment for workers, a 4% match from the federal gov’t via tax credits, portability, employee ownership of the account and allow for a menu of low-fee investment options.
The Big Picture: Currently, only 19% of lower-income workers think they’ll have enough money to live comfortably on in retirement, as economic precarity rises and jobs with employer-backed retirement plans fall. At this point, 70 million workers, a whopping 55.7% of the workforce, lack access to tax-advantaged employer-sponsored retirement accounts. Only 10% of older workers in the bottom 20% of incomes hold a retirement balance at all, a number that’s been falling for decades. While gig work does qualify for social security (with workers paying both the employee and employer contributions) it’s been a long time since that was enough to live on for a comfortable retirement.
PARTNER | Save Money and Make Drivers Safer
Insurance costs are skyrocketing for gig companies. Companies are turning to telematics to reduce expenses by making their drivers safer. With real-time coaching and driving feedback about risky behaviors, telematics programs have a direct impact on driver safety. Telematics can reduce distracted driving by 25% and make drivers 65% safer overall.
VEHICLES | Xos Hits Record Van Deliveries, Cuts Staff
Electric van and truck maker Xos announced it had achieved its first quarter with positive gross margins per-unit, as a 105 of its class 5 to 8 vehicles made it to customers. The company’s new EV stepvan is powering that financial improvement, as the 140-280 kWh vehicle helped the company achieve GAAP gross margin between 8% and 15%. In states like California, electric vans are eligible for as much as $85,000 in state subsidies, on top of $40,000 in federal tax credits.
The Big Picture: Despite selling to marquee customers like Loomis, Unifirst and a number of FedEx ISPs, building an electric heavy duty vehicle business that’ll last is still a daunting proposition. Currently the LA-based company’s stock is languishing around 30 cents, three years since its SPAC-based public listing hit highs of $13.18. The company has yet to formally announce it, but based on LinkedIn we can also see that Xos conducted a large round of layoffs, including cutting senior positions like its Chief Technology Officer, as it looks to conserve cash.
CHART TIME | Consumer Trends in On-Demand Delivery
Last week we briefly mentioned DoorDash and GroupM’s new consumer trends research, and if you haven’t perused it yet, the 24-pager is a must-read for anyone that cares about how customers are making use of on-demand delivery. Not only are folks shopping via delivery more than ever, but in-app ads are becoming a larger influence on their purchase decisions.
3PD | Delivery Driver Caught Eating Customer Food, Again!
Another week, another attention-grabbing story about a delivery worker eating a customer’s food. This time the restaurant in question is Mexihana’s Hibachi Grill in Long Beach, California, and the platform of choice is Grubhub. While cases like these are often he-said, she-said, in this case the restaurant’s security system caught the driver on camera: tearing open the bag, chowing into the fried rice and then repackaging the meal.
The Big Picture: In response, Grubhub has reiterated it has a zero tolerance policy for this sort of behavior, while restaurant owner Martin Luzanilla takes the compassionate route, saying, “If you’re any delivery service driver and you come into my restaurant to deliver some food and you’re hungry, I got you.” If the restaurants and 3PDs want to resolve this on a more systemic level, they’ll need to invest in tamper proof packaging (or at least make it a choice customers can opt for.) That could take the form of sealing the bag with a sticker that tears when opened, or using specialty clamshell packages; there are even plant-based tamper evident packaging options at this point.
A Few Good Links
Mars launches Journey and Post-Check Out Ads for Skittles on Uber, Uber Eats. Teamsters expand Amazon strike to Georgia. Amazon looks to further eliminate packaging. A finger lickin’ education — learning from KFC. SBE, Focus Brands name new execs. Whole Foods’ founder John Mackey’s new health-forward, plant-based restaurant concept to shift flagship from Culver City to El Segundo (are these words just gibberish to non-SoCal people?) Wegmans’ first Manhattan location gets a thumbs down. Pret A Manger enters JV for U.S. growth. DD named one of America’s Great Workplaces. Ryder acquires 3PL Impact Fulfillment Services, as it grows food, beverage, health, beauty, retail verticals.
Join us Thursday for a webinar on the proper pricing and customer willingness to pay for restaurant delivery technologies.
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