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Postmates Is Over $929.3 Million in the Hole

Also: House of Prime Rib is ready to reopen, and more news to know today

In this photo illustration the Postmates logo seen displayed...
SF-based food delivery company Postmates had an accumulated deficit of $929.3 million as of June 30.
Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your midday roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news from publications near and far. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal, a Friday regulatory filing from SF-based Uber reveals that (also SF-based) food delivery app Postmates is running at a very, very steep loss. “Postmates had an accumulated deficit of $929.3 million as of June 30,” reporter Laura Forman notes, and in the second quarter of 2020 — yes, in those months when delivery apps were supposedly making the biggest bank in bankville — the company lost over $32 million. According to the filing, Uber’s hopes as a company are pinned on the market advantage the Postmates acquisition might offer it ... but if Proposition 22, the California measure to keep delivery drivers classified as contractors, fails to pass, both companies could find themselves in even bigger trouble than before, because turning those gig-workers into full-fledged employees will cost a lot of money.
  • The SF Chronicle picked up on a tweet from Van Ness Avenue’s meat wonderland, the House of Prime Rib, which says that “after 6 months of being closed, it will take us roughly 2 weeks to rehire employees, properly age the beef, and prepare the salad dressing. It takes us 10 days to 2 weeks to make the base of our dressing. Thank you for understanding.” No opening date has been set as of publication time, but that beef is presumably aging as you read.
  • When you eventually head to a 49ers game, don’t try to pay for your fries, burger, or beer with cash, the SF Business Times reports, as Levi’s Stadium is now cashless due to “the untraceable pathogens [cash] can carry.” (That concern is not shared by the CDC and has been widely debunked, just FYI.) Instead, game fans must use a credit card, a mobile payment app, or trade legal tender for “a Visa-branded prepaid card.”
  • In a first-person opinion piece for the SF Chronicle, Bay Area chef and author Monifa Dayo says that the accumulated weight of this country’s systemic racism has prompted her to leave her “dream career” in Oakland for “my homeland of Senegal.”
  • On Tuesday, the Walnut Creek City Council will vote on a temporary 15 percent cap on what delivery apps can charge restaurants, KPIX reports. According to a city report, restaurants in the city say that over 70 percent of their revenue comes from takeout and delivery orders, making a cap necessary if restaurants are to see any sort of revenues.
  • Local syrup company Torani’s plans to open a multi-million-dollar “Willy Wonka-esque, tourist-friendly ‘Flavor Factory’” in San Leandro were stymied by the pandemic, but a massive increase in sales for at-home drink preparation saved the company from disaster. [CNN]
  • Little Italy San Jose’s annual food festival will be curbside only, this year. [East Bay Times]

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