By Benyamin Davidsons
Grub hub deliverymen offer contact-free food delivery, but residents say they have plenty of contact with one another. Clustering in groups and waiting to be called, packs of the men have been seen crowding in the small West Village square, many of them holding the signature red and black Grub hub bags.
As reported by the NY Post, some local residents are fed up with the crowd of deliverymen who sit with no social distancing, many without masks, chattering loudly and often arguing. “I’m telling you, it’s a nightmare,” said a woman whose apartment overlooks Mulry Square by the corner of Greenwich avenue and Seventh Avenue. The Square, also named 9/11 Tiles for America, is supposed to serve as kind of a mini museum with a bus parked there, commemorating the attacks on 9/11. The troubled neighbor said roughly 20 deliverymen crowd in the park with their bikes from approximately 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. She said she sees them without masks, too close to each other, and sometimes can hear them screaming and sometimes sneezing. “They’re certainly not distancing, which is outrageous,” she said, adding she would never order food through the Grub hub app.
The deliverymen have also been clustering in the New York City AIDS Memorial Park across the street at 76 Greenwich Ave. A local resident who lives on Bank Street and Greenwich Avenue, voiced the same complaint about the gathering spot on her neighborhood. “It’s bothersome to have my street become the employee lounge for the Grub hub,” the woman said. “Grub hub needs to organize that.” Some residents said they now have to avoid that crowded area. “I certainly wouldn’t sit anywhere near them,” said Barbara Chernick, 72, a retiree. “They’re not wearing masks. There’s a big group.”
The restaurant delivery app already has enough on its plate, as complaints have mounted about the fees it charges restaurants. The city council will be voting this month on whether it can permanently limit the charges it slaps onto for its service. For the duration of the state of emergency caused by the pandemic, the delivery apps will not be permitted to charge restaurants more than 15 percent in delivery fees and 5 percent for any other takeout order fees. Grub hub has responded to this legal action by threatening to file its own lawsuit against the city council for its “overstep.” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson dismissed the threat saying, “We do believe we have the legal authority. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at these issues. So I believe we’re on solid legal grounds and I’m not concerned about this challenge.”