While New York City restaurants can offer some of the finest cuisine on the planet, the bodegas that also populate the boroughs serve a distinct purpose for those seeking quick fixes through snacks. The current problem those bodegas are facing, however, is that such items are becoming increasingly hard to find due to economics from a higher power.
In this instance, that higher power is PepsiCo, which happens to be the parent company of Frito-Lay. They produce popular snacks like Lays potato chips, Cheetos and Doritos, as well as snacks like Cracker Jacks and Grandma’s Cookies. Those tempting delights are not being delivered to bodegas because of steep pay cuts to delivery drivers that resulted in a raft of drivers quitting their jobs to work elsewhere.
Some drivers saw over 30 percent of their hourly pay slashed, with Brooklyn likely one of the areas where this percentage was prevalent. That’s because a quarter of the 140 drivers within that borough left their jobs, with the compensation now being more based on commissions than actual salary.
In the past, some of those drivers that covered areas that were swamped with bodegas had the opportunity to make close to $100,000 per year. Since the change, that annual pay hovers more closely to $50,000 per year, which offers ample reason why the uproar has developed.
The situation has gone on since late in 2017, with no real end in sight. Especially aggravating to those bodega owners is the fact that distribution centers are being stretched to the limit, which has resulted in a severe drop in the quality of Frito-Lay’s customer service capabilities.
In some cases, bodega owners that are desperate for any of those precious snacks have essentially resorted to feverishly begging for products from drivers that have remained on the job.
On a regular basis, I purchase and eat several different brands and types of potato chips, including some Frito-Lay varieties. When I saw an article about a shortage of Frito-Lay snack chips in NYC on the Grub Street website today, I just had to read it.
According to the Grub Street article, bodegas and other small food stores throughout NYC are not receiving regular deliveries of Frito-Lay snack chips because many of the company’s local delivery drivers have quit their jobs.
It turns out that Frito-Lay is changing the pay structure for its delivery drivers nationwide, and some of the route drivers in NYC have been unhappy about the changes. The new pay structure will offer drivers a higher base salary, but will eliminate the highly profitable commissions that some drivers prefer to receive.
Approximately 20 percent of the Frito-Lay route drivers in Brooklyn, the Bronx, midtown and lower Manhattan have left their jobs because of the pay changes.
It is stated in the Grub Street article that some Frito-Lay drivers in urban areas that contain numerous small food stores were earning six-figure incomes with the commissions that were previously available.
While Frito Lay has been trying to cover the stores that were serviced by the former drivers, lots of store shelves in the city do not have any Lay’s potato chips, Fritos, Ruffles chips, Grandma’s cookies, Cheetos or Cracker Jacks to offer to their customers.
Some store owners are so desperate for Frito-Lay snack products, they are reportedly approaching drivers who are doing their routes, and trying to gain access to snack products from them.