- DoorDash has updated features for its delivery drivers, called Dashers, following roundtable discussions and online surveys that provided feedback on different elements of the job, including pay model and restaurant wait times, according to a company blog post from CEO and co-founder Tony Xu. Among the top priorities for drivers was making earnings more transparent and making long-distance deliveries more worthwhile.
- In response, the company will provide earnings breakdowns, which have been added to Android smartphones and will be available on iOS devices in the next few weeks, after each order is completed. DoorDash will also update its calculations to increase guarantees for long-distance deliveries and is optimizing its systems to offer more short deliveries to Dashers. Additional perks include the addition of "Promos" to make it easier for Dashers to track upcoming peak pay and better plan their schedules, and reduced wait times.
- DoorDash also now offers all Dashers injury occupational accident insurance while on delivery at no cost. The insurance provides medical expenses, disability payments and survivors payments for a covered accident.
While DoorDash's new policies for drivers will make pay more transparent, critics say it still doesn't address its tipping policy, which came under scrutiny this year following accusations that tips were being used to subsidize base pay.
DoorDash provides a guaranteed pay for each order, which is given to the driver regardless of whether or not they receive a tip, according to Recode. The company will contribute at least $1 per order, but tends to use whatever the driver gets in a tip to pay for most or all of the rest of the guaranteed minimum. Several drivers have joined in a class-action lawsuit against the policy. DoorDash has said that its policy has been well-received by its drivers, and that it doesn't reduce pay based on a tip, only increasing base pay if the tip is small.
The new features do address previous criticism that say that the app didn't make it clear exactly how much they received in tips, since it breaks down where the earnings per order come from, which could help address some driver concerns over tips being used to redirect company costs.
DoorDash isn't the only delivery platform facing lawsuits related to driver issues, either. Many companies within the gig economy have been facing lawsuits because of how they hire independent contractors. Last year, a federal judge ruled that a Grubhub driver was an independent contractor, not an employee. Deliveroo lost a case in Spanish court in June, which ruled that the company hired 97 riders as self-employed when they should have been hired as employees. Even Waitr drivers, who are hired as employees, accused the company of paying below minimum wage.
While DoorDash's newest benefits will likely help smooth things over with drivers, the ongoing scrutiny will likely not keep it out of the limelight forever. Appealing to drivers will also be particularly important among these companies, especially since they face a shortage of drivers as they expand into new markets.