Over the last year, communities have increasingly relied on platforms like DoorDash to access everything from a warm meal to grocery items and essential goods safely and reliably. As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and into a new normal, millions of Dashers are helping restaurants grow their businesses and provide convenient delivery to customers, while earning money in a way that works for them.

From earning to meet a savings goal or to help pay their bills, Dashers come to DoorDash for a variety of reasons, working on average fewer than 4 hours a week and earning over $25 on average per hour they’re on a delivery, including 100% of their tips. We know Dashers value this flexibility, and we have built the DoorDash platform to allow them to enjoy an accessible, low-barrier way to earn when, how, and where they want.

Our Commitment to Dashers

We are committed to providing a platform that serves Dashers, merchants, and customers alike. The goal of every action we take is to enhance the DoorDash platform, improve our service, and to offer meaningful economic opportunities to as many Dashers as possible. We recognize that, in working to strike this balance, we may make decisions that are not popular with every individual on our platform. But from our Dasher Community Councils and Restaurant Advisory Council to piloting initiatives with Dasher focus groups, we work in close collaboration with every segment of our community to ensure that these actions offer the best experience possible for as many Dashers as possible.

As part of this promise, we regularly pursue improvements and changes to ensure our platform remains equitable and accessible for the millions of Dashers around the globe. We’ve implemented a more reliable earnings structure to help Dashers earn more on the majority of deliveries, and improved our post-delivery payout summaries, so Dashers can better understand their earnings. Ahead of most orders, Dashers are shown the minimum amount they will earn on a delivery before they even accept it, as well as the location and name of the restaurant, and estimated total mileage for the order. In some instances, Dashers see the guaranteed rate of pay they will earn on each delivery instead of a minimum amount. And of course, Dashers are always free to choose which orders they accept or decline. After a Dasher completes a delivery, they can see their full earnings breakdown in their Dasher app, including promotions, incentives, and 100% of their tips.

Understanding Base Pay

Dasher pay is based on three components: base pay, customer tips, and promotions. Base pay is calculated based on the estimated time, distance, and desirability of an order. Applicable promotions such as Peak Pay and Challenges are added to base pay after the order is accepted, as well as 100% of tips — always.

Previously, trips were sometimes paid similarly, regardless of the distance. We heard from some Dashers that while short-distance trips often paid very well, pay didn’t always reflect the effort involved in completing longer-distance deliveries. To make earnings better match effort, we adjusted base pay in select markets and are reinvesting 100% of these savings into longer-distance deliveries, so Dashers get paid more for these higher-effort deliveries. As part of this change, total Dasher earnings in each market will continue to remain the same, and Dashers still receive 100% of tips, regardless of any additional DoorDash promotions or incentives. Just as before, Dashers are still free to choose to accept or decline any order they want.

Tip Transparency

To be clear, and as we’ve said before, Dashers always receive 100% of customer tips — each time, every time, independent of any DoorDash promotions, incentives or other effort-based pay contributions a Dasher may receive.

In deciding which orders to accept, some Dashers may wait for orders with exceptionally large tips and repeatedly decline lower- and even average-paying orders, with the goal of completing only high-tip deliveries. Unfortunately, this behavior not only impacts the experience for other Dashers, limiting their ability to receive high-value orders, it also harms the experience for customers and merchants relying on Dashers to complete their deliveries. These actions result in longer wait times for customers and leave merchants with unfulfilled orders and potentially unhappy patrons.

To ensure all Dashers have an equal chance at receiving high-value orders while increasing the likelihood that an order will be filled quickly, we show Dashers an estimated amount on orders that contain larger tips, rather than display the full tip amount upfront. This estimate does not impact the amount the Dasher receives upon completing the delivery — every Dasher still receives 100% of customer tips. By providing an estimated amount, all Dashers have visibility into the minimum amount they will earn, and a fairer chance at high-value orders.

We’re confident that the steps we’ve taken have had a positive impact on the overall Dasher community and their earning ability, with Dasher earnings increasing by 40% over the past two years. While these decisions aren’t simple or easy, we’re constantly learning from Dashers and improving every day. We know how important it is to engage Dashers, keep our channels of communication open and listen to our community. This is why we work closely with the Dasher Community CouncilVoices of Dashers of Color Council, and Dasher focus groups to garner feedback and ensure we’re continuously building the best experience for our Dasher community.

Improving the Dasher Experience

We understand that dashing is more than an additional paycheck, and we’re committed to ensuring that Dashers have the tools and resources they need to succeed. As part of this effort, we’ve developed a number of partnerships and programs to provide more value to Dashers.

Strengthening Earnings

DasherDirect — We launched our first financial platform for Dashers, featuring a Business Prepaid Visa Card and mobile banking app. With no-fee daily deposits, convenient mobile banking functionality, and cash-back rewards, the DasherDirect platform empowers Dashers with more flexibility and control over their earnings while serving the underbanked and helping Dashers access earnings in new ways.

Perks — From partnerships with GoodRx to CarAdvise, we’ve pursued exclusive discount programs for Dashers with national partners to help cover costs from car maintenance, to healthcare savings, and even discounted prescriptions.

Promotions — We understand that variables like where, when, and how a Dasher chooses to deliver can impact overall earnings. To help Dashers earn extra, we’ve established Peak Pay and Challenges to help Dashers earn more.

Product Enhancements and Improving Insights

Councils — We’ve created global Dasher Community Councils and a Voice from Dashers of Color Council to represent the voice of Dashers. From advising on improving the Ratings System and establishing Hotspots, the Dasher Councils have informed critical initiatives like DasherDirect and some Dasher-only perks. With their feedback, we work to create initiatives and improvements that ensure that all Dashers feel valued, included and appreciated as they strive to provide excellent service for merchants and customers.

Hotspots — To make each shift worthwhile, Dashers can now see busy areas and quickly locate better earning opportunities to make the most of their time on the road.

Rating System — We’ve built a more actionable and transparent ratings system, so that Dashers can get more reliable feedback from customers. To do this, we’ve updated the process for collecting tangible feedback from customers — carefully vetting to remove areas that Dashers can’t control — in order to provide Dashers with more clear, and accurate feedback about their service.

This work is ongoing and as our business continues to grow and evolve, we will confront new challenges and exciting new opportunities for Dashers. And we remain committed to being transparent with our actions and to continue working alongside Dashers, merchants, and customers to ensure that our decisions positively impact every stakeholder in our marketplace.