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Uber Lays Off 15 Percent of Postmates’ Workforce

Also: California cooks face the state’s highest COVID-19 risks, and more news to know today

Uber To Buy Postmates For $2.65 Billion To Expand Delivery
Uber laid off 185 Postmates employees last week

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • The New York Times reports that SF-based Uber, which completed its acquisition of food delivery app Postmates in December and promptly told customers to start using Uber Eats instead, laid off 185 Postmates employees last week. That’s “about 15 percent of Postmates’ total work force,” reporter Mike Isaac writes, including “most of the executive team,” many whom will enjoy “multimillion dollar exit packages.” This comes just days after Postmates started charging customers as much as an additional $2.50 per order to cover the charges wrought by Proposition 22, the Postmates-backed California ballot measure intended to deny its delivery drivers worker protections.
  • A UCSF study says that in California, cooks are more likely to die of COVID-19 than than those in many other professions. UCSF Epidemiologist Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo tells NBC Bay Area that “among the deadliest jobs during the pandemic were restaurant and agricultural work,” with an uptick in mortality of 40 percent. “It’s communities that have the least means, the most need to work, and the least power within their workplace to make sure they can keep themselves safe” that are the hardest-hit, Bibbins-Domingo says.
  • Doordash, which spent millions of dollars to ensure it needn't offer California drivers worker protections then passed the cost for the protections it will offer onto consumers, will spend millions more on a Super Bowl commercial starring some muppets from Sesame Street and Oakland actor Daveed Diggs. The latter of whom says that he’s “excited to play a role in DoorDash’s efforts to build community during this time.” [Ad Age]
  • Sapporo-owned, locally-based beer company Anchor Brewing has rebranded. [SF Gate]
  • Diners enjoying food from local pop-ups should accept chaos as a side dish to their meals. [SF Chronicle]
  • Santa Cruz’s Clam Chowder Cook-Off will be held in 2021, but this time, it’ll be a take-home affair. [Bay Area News Group]
  • Video shows a suspect in break-ins at Inner Sunset restaurants like Underdogs Tres and Pasquale’s Pizza. [KTVU]
  • Oakland bar the Alley has kept its regulars going with virtual events. [SF Chronicle]
  • NorCal wineries are worried about California’s new wastewater rules, which could cost business owners as much as an additional $500,000 per year. [KPIX]
  • Candy company Godiva is closing all its retail stores, including those in two San Francisco malls. [Eater]
  • Restaurants in SFO can expect a break in rent. [NBC Bay Area]
  • Pacific Grove has capped food delivery fees at 15 percent, and Monterey County is mulling a similar restriction. [Bay Area News Group]
  • Local bar-goers say they miss heading out for a drink at their favorite dives. [SF Chronicle]