Complaints about Gopuff drivers have gotten so heated that the fast-delivery firm has enlisted security guards for at least one of its Manhattan stores to keep the peace, The Post has learned.
While Big Apple grocery stores typically hire security to catch shoplifters, the guard at Gopuff’s Upper East Side location is there to stop the company’s own drivers from bothering neighbors, Gopuff told a neighborhood co-op board as well as a City Council member.
The move comes after months of complaints from residents near a Lexington Avenue store about delivery drivers talking, smoking and double parking at all hours of the day and night.
“A lot of times they are talking loudly at 1 a.m.,” Stephen Durso, president of the co-op building across the street from the store, told The Post. “Our tenants can smell pot and hear them talk late at night.”
Council member Julie Menin, who represents the area, said she has relayed Upper East Siders’ complaints about the store on Lexington Avenue between 89th and 90th streets to Gopuff.
“We reached out to Gopuff who decided to hire a security guard to address traffic, crowd and trash issues,” Menin told The Post.
Durso likewise said that he repeatedly contacted Gopuff with concerns about the facility. In one email exchange reviewed by The Post, he sent Gopuff an email with a photo of a group of drivers hanging out outside the store late at night.
“The manager spoke with each individual driver partner pictured below and reminded them that there is a driver lounge and seating inside for them to use,” Gopuff corporate affairs staffer Ashley Maass told Durso on Aug. 12. “Communications were also sent out to all driver partners.”
“There is a guard on site each evening who will monitor and alert management as needed,” Maass added.
Still, some locals still aren’t happy, griping that the security guard has made little difference and drivers are still hanging out outside.
“Gopuff employs security personnel at locations across the country, including at multiple locations in New York City,” a Gopuff spokesperson told The Post. “Security decisions are made on a case-by-case and ongoing basis and vary depending on the specific needs of the store in order to secure inventory, staff and the surrounding area.”
Rival rapid delivery apps like Gorillas and Getir use full-time employees that ride company bikes, but Gopuff relies on gig workers who sign up for deliveries using their own vehicles, which range from e-bikes to full-sized cars.
One Gopuff driver told The Post that the company required them to park their car in a Manhattan no-standing zone to pick up deliveries, where they racked up hundreds of dollars in tickets they had to pay off themselves. Another ex-Gopuff driver said that e-bike and scooter delivery drivers often played loud music and partied outside stores while waiting on work.
Alex Gabriel, head of external and government affairs at rival delivery app Gorillas, told The Post that his company has not had to hire security guards for any of its stores and said that it would be an “unusual” move for them to do so.
The kerfuffle comes as Gopuff is trying to secure a credit line of up to $300 million as a cash cushion in case of an economic downturn, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The company, which operates in more than 1,000 cities around the world, is planning to pull out of Spain, Bloomberg reported the same day.
And in July, Gopuff announced plans to lay off 10% of its workforce and close 76 warehouses as it looks to reach profitability.
Gopuff is the biggest and most-funded of the grocery delivery apps, having raised a whopping $3.4 billion from a variety of backers ranging from investment firms like Softbank and Blackstone to big names like singer Selena Gomez and ex-Disney CEO Bob Iger, according to Crunchbase data.