Gig Economy to the Rescue for Job Seekers in Current Public Health Crisis News Commentary

The Gig Economy is a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs. Uber and Lyft, have been connecting riders with drivers for some time now and now other apps are focusing on opening up more jobs for under, unemployed or laid-off workers in the restaurant industry during this public health crisis. The Wall Street Journal, in an article titled, The Gig Economy to the Rescue: The flexibility of app services is helping millions in the panic, recently said: “Americans have been urged to “social distance” and… to self-quarantine. A decade ago this would have been unpleasant but also impractical for most people. Fortunately, there’s now an app, or many, many apps, for that… Uber and Lyft launched the so-called gig economy a decade ago with apps that connect riders with drivers. These (new) apps now let customers order rides, groceries and food delivery through their smartphones.”  Active companies in the markets this week include ShiftPixy, Grubhub, Slack Technologies, Uber Technologies, Lyft.

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As a result of the public health crisis, a restaurant’s only means of generating revenue are to ramp up “to-go” orders, or to create a delivery program using their employees or third party services. The demand for delivery services has started to rise and with it, opportunities for gig work. A recent insider article addressed this growing demand: “With restaurant workers finding themselves with fewer hours and lost wages, DoorDash stated yesterday that it will be creating a “priority access program” to help workers at their restaurant partners sign up as delivery workers, “enabling them to meet their financial needs until their jobs return to normal.”  “This crisis is really a breakout moment for gig companies and for delivery companies in particular,” says Julia Pollak, an economist at ZipRecruiter. “That shift to e-commerce, which was already happening very rapidly, is just going to accelerate.”

ShiftPixy, BREAKING NEWS:  ShiftPixy Enables Restaurant Operators to Stay Connected to Customers through Self-Delivery During Coronavirus Pandemic – ShiftPixy, a California-based gig engagement platform provider, today discussed the Company’s increased levels of inbound interest due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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“As you can imagine, we are busy responding to many inquiries from most of the national brands, all of which are trying to keep their employees busy and connected to their store, and wish to use our self-delivery platform to stay connected with customers,” stated ShiftPixy’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Scott Absher. “In response to the pandemic, major cities including Los AngelesNew York City and Seattle have banned dine-in restaurants, restricting businesses to takeout and delivery exclusively. Using ShiftPixy’s driver management technology, restaurant operators can control delivery with their own staff without having to deal with the uncertainties of third-party delivery services. In partnership with ShiftPixy, these restaurants can train their staff to act as delivery drivers – repurposing their existing human capital while adjusting to the current needs of the marketplace.”

Mr. Absher concluded, “Coronavirus is hitting all aspects of society hard, and restaurants have had a particularly rough time. Our technology provides a native delivery opportunity to allow multi-unit operators to remain operational in this very challenging environment.”

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