With more laws on the books demanding additional pay for gig workers, DoorDash has finally come around to offering some hourly pay for its Dashers, though only when they’re hoofing it to their delivery spot. The food delivery app announced Wednesday that contract delivery drivers can now earn a base hourly pay and still receive “100% of tips” on top of it. “Dashers” can still get paid per offer, but now the app should display a guaranteed minimum amount that they can expect to make per offer before they select the job.
Dashers are only on the clock from when they select a job until after they drop off their package. A DoorDash spokesperson told Gizmodo the “Earn by Time” feature will only be available in certain markets to start, but it will be available nationwide by the end of the year. It’s unclear whether the fees are specifically meant to account for new minimum wage laws that include gig workers, but the company spokesperson said Earn by Time payments are calculated to offer comparable pay to “Earn Per Offer” deliveries.
Delivery drivers can choose which model they want to use for each job, and DoorDash is still emphasising its old model. With the new “Dash Along the Way” feature, Dashers can set the app to automatically receive offers from zones they’ve selected as a starting point, meaning there could be less running around overall. And for drivers’ friends and family members hoping to keep tabs on a loved one, Dashers can also share their location in-app with up to five contacts. That tracking will also notify friends if 911 was requested while on the job.
It’s perhaps the most radical change for an app of its kind, especially as the gig economy has taken major hits as of late. Just this month, New York City passed a law mandating Uber, DoorDash, and other app contract drivers must receive a minimum wage. That’s a $US17.96 ($25) floor for Gotham delivery workers to make up for their status as contract workers who don’t get health benefits or compensation for work-related expenses. That minimum can be reached through an hourly wage or through the app’s pay calculations, though that pay is still much less than the $US23.82 per hour the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection advocated for last year.
DoorDash’s new pay choices also get out in front of other laws like Minnesota’s regulation requiring a minimum wage per mile for rideshare drivers. Seattle, Washington also has legislation coming down the pike that would set minimum wages for gig workers.
A few other new features should help users in food assistance programs. DoorDash said it’s allowing for SNAP and EBT online payments through multiple stores including ALDI, Albertsons, Safeway, Meijer, and some 7-Elevens. Food assistance payments should be available for most of these shops come July, but it’s already available at the participating Albertsons and Safeway locations. The company will also offer a two-month benefits package for SNAP/EBT users with incentives like $0 delivery fees on eligible orders.
For regular users, this latest update also adds numerous features like a “Universal Search” that lets customers shop among multiple stores for general groceries and meals. The new Retail tab also facilitates buying more items other than food, but perhaps the most useful feature is the ability to set up multiple carts. This means you can start a groceries selection earlier in the week, but set up a separate order for that night’s dinner. These features will become available over the next few months in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Though the new features are welcome, DoorDash has been under the microscope recently over its fee calculations. A recent lawsuit complained that the same kind of order placed to the same address resulted in two separate fees, based on if they were made on iPhone versus Android.