How a $3 Tip Launched a Delivery-App Uproar

DoorDash just changed its policy after a reporter's first-person story
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2019 9:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – A journalist's first-person story about working as food-app delivery person seems to have stirred up a hornet's nest over the subject of tipping—and prompted one big company, DoorDash, to change its policy. The issue revolves not just around how much to tip but how much of that tip the delivery person gets to keep—and the answer is more complicated than you might imagine. The details:

  • The story: In the New York Times, Andy Newman wrote a first-person piece about the "frantic" nature of delivering food for the likes of DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, etc. In a separate story, he noted that two-thirds of his 43 customers did not tip. But the real hubbub came when he explained the tipping policy on a DoorDash order.
  • The basics: DoorDash guarantees "Dashers" a minimum amount for each order, which varies depending on the size of the order. On Newman's first order, he was guaranteed $6.85. The woman tipped him $3, but he still received only $6.85. "Here’s how it works," he writes: "If the woman in the bathrobe had tipped zero, DoorDash would have paid me the whole $6.85. Because she tipped $3, DoorDash kicked in only $3.85. She was saving DoorDash $3, not tipping me."

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