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Seattle Food Delivery Drivers Ask City Council for a Guaranteed Minimum Wage

Plus, Plenty of Clouds is opening a South Lake Union noodle shop, and more news

400 brown paper delivery bags on the ground with receipts on the outside.
Food delivery drivers brought bags to city hall with receipts showing actual earnings after expenses for deliveries to show how little drivers often earn from delivering food in the city
Sage Wilson

Food delivery drivers brought 400 paper bags to Seattle City Hall yesterday, each tagged with receipts showing actual dollar amounts drivers earned on deliveries after expenses — some of which were negative figures — to show how little drivers often earn from delivering food in the city.

A delegation of drivers who work for companies like UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and InstaCart, backed by worker’s rights group Working Washington, are asking the Seattle City Council to pass legislation guaranteeing them a minimum wage after expenses. Food delivery drivers often make less than Seattle’s minimum wage after accounting for expenses like gas and car maintenance, says Sage Wilson, a spokesperson for Working Washington. Around 40,000 gig workers, mostly doing food delivery, are currently excluded from minimum wage and other workplace protections, he says.

Wilson says Councilmember Lisa Herbold is championing the policy, and that Councilmember Andrew J. Lewis is also supporting the cause. Last week, a draft policy was introduced at a committee hearing. The next step is for the policy to be formally introduced at a committee hearing, before moving on to be voted on before the full council, which Wilson expects to happen in the next few weeks. Working Washington was previously instrumental in passing the city’s $15 minimum wage.

“It’s time for council to deliver for workers again and show that Seattle is a place where we can make sure people doing work in the city are protected by labor standards and getting paid enough money to pay the rent,” Wilson says.

Seattle passed minimum pay standards for Lyft and Uber drivers who carry passengers in 2020, but those protections don’t yet apply to drivers who deliver food.

Plenty of Clouds is opening a South Lake Union Noodle Shop

Capitol Hill Yunnan-Sichuan restaurant Plenty of Clouds, which also has a Ballard food truck, is opening a Chinese noodle restaurant in South Lake Union, according to Seattle Met. It will be located at 422 Yale Ave N, two blocks north of REI.

The restaurant will make its own noodles from Washington wheat and serve about a half-dozen noodle dishes from all over China, with an emphasis on Sichuan province; it also will have a full cocktail bar and beer on tap. Plenty of Clouds is owned by Travis Post, the former chef at Ethan Stowell’s Bramling Cross, and his wife, Lisa Zak, and is scheduled to open around April 1.

Farine Bakery and Cafe is opening a second French bakery in Bellevue

Redmond’s French-Belgian bakery Farine Bakery and Cafe, which serves flaky croissants, crusty baguettes, and other well-executed breads and pastries, is opening a new bakery in Bellevue. According to an Instagram post, the new location will have a dining capacity of 90 and a heated outdoor terrace. At the first location, the bakery serves baguette sandwiches, tartines with smoked salmon and ham, liege waffles, salads, soups, and espresso drinks. The bakery is owned by Olivier Dispas, a former Microsoft executive from Brussels who recently switched career paths to study French bread and pastries.