IFood CFO touches segment's deepest wound: the relationship with partner deliverers

IFood CFO Diego Barreto spoke about the company's benefits program and other initiatives to Exame magazine

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For some time now, delivery applications have become part of our daily lives, but also they have been also criticized for the working conditions offered to their partner couriers. In an interview with Exame magazine, Diego Barreto, chief financial officer (CFO) of iFood, pioneering food delivery, touched this wound and talked about the benefits program recently launched by the app.

As the publication puts it, the couriers are part of a mass of “internet workers”, which also grew in Brazil due to the financial crisis of previous years. These are people who live in informality, without labor rights and take risks, working longer hours than they should and, sometimes, in dangerous conditions.

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In October, iFood launched a benefits program. “Delivery de vantagens”(something like “A Delivery of advantages” in English) offers business and personal finance courses for couriers, as well as life insurance for work-related injuries.

To Exame, Barreto explained that offering a benefit program now is part of the app’s natural growth journey and would not make any sense to offer it at the beginning, when the app only connected restaurants to consumers.

“Just as the company has learned over the past eight years how to be a better partner for restaurants, we are now developing another partner, which is the delivery partners.”

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According to Barreto, iFood today has 83,500 couriers directly linked to the app. They account for 20% of the 20 million monthly deliveries, which are complemented by the restaurants’ own couriers. “In 12 months, we reached 4 million own deliveries per month, out of a total of 20 million deliveries that iFood makes as a whole, according to September data. (…) And with that came our awareness of how to better structure this increasingly important piece of the chain, “he said.

Barreto recalled that there are several profiles of delivery workers working with iFood: unemployed people who see the app as their only source of income; workers or entrepreneurs who supplement income with doing this kind of service; and others who work for more than one type of platform to form a source of income at the end of the month.

Asked about the criticism that the delivery companies are receiving, for having high revenues while people have unfavourable working conditions, Barreto replied: “First, I do not agree with this view. If you take as an example a delivery man who dedicates eight hours of daily work and If you multiply this by the hourly hour you earn as a delivery man, that would be higher than the minimum wage in Brazil. It’s hard to believe that there are more than 80,000 couriers attached to a platform if the relationship between us and the delivery man is bad.”

Barreto was also very straightforward about the benefits program. He said that in the end, he is doing nothing to withhold couriers, but to leave something to society. “Because this deliveryman’s profile is from an autonomous view: tomorrow he may be driving a car, being a plumber, providing any other service it deems most profitable. But it was not a financial constraint that prevented us from introducing these benefits before… It’s not like the banking industry that has been around for decades. right, everything is part of a process of structural understanding. “

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