Over the next few winter months, Chick-fil-A Inc. will operate a pop-up rest and recharge station exclusively for members of the food delivery community in New York City.
The Brake Room – run in partnership with Chick-fil-A’s New York restaurant, Operators – will provide a 5,000 square-foot space for cyclists and drivers to use the bathroom, store their bikes, charge their phones, access WiFi, and have a snack. Most of last year’s Chick-fil-A delivery orders for Manhattan were placed during the winter, the company said, and it’s hoped that The Brake Room will give these workers space to warm up before setting off on their next assignment.
The city is home to approximately 65,000 food delivery workers, and the company says Chick-fil-A’s Brake Room space will be open to all, not only those who work for their restaurant. To access the location, couriers must simply show proof of making a delivery within the past week through an eligible third-party food delivery app.
Located on the Upper East Side at 1477 Third Ave, the Brake Room is open now until April 13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, in accordance with Chick-fil-A’s unusual opening hours, the lounge will remain closed on Sundays.
Customers and workers alike are increasingly attuned to how companies treat their employees, and this act of goodwill towards food couriers at one of the coldest points of the year will no doubt help elevate Chick-fil-A’s reputation as a more ethical place to work and spend money. Similarly, as more retailers experiment with autonomous delivery and drone technology, this move from Chick-fil-A serves as a reminder of the human side of food courier services, which can be physically taxing and even, at times, dangerous.
Commenting on the news, Joe Saracino, senior vice president of brand strategy, advertising, and media at Chick-fil-A said, “we created The Brake Room as a small gesture, a little thing to thank them for all they do to serve our guests, especially in a market experiencing high demand in sometimes harsh winter weather conditions.”