It’s true that DoorDash offsets the amount it pays its drivers with customer tip, according to an FAQ page on its own site.
“For each delivery, you will always receive at least $1 from DoorDash plus 100% of the customer tip,” DoorDash states on a Dasher FAQ page. “Where that sum is less than the guaranteed amount, DoorDash will provide a pay boost to make sure you receive the guaranteed amount. Where that sum is more than the guaranteed amount, you pocket the extra amount.”
To be clear, drivers see the guaranteed amount in the app before deciding to accept or reject the order. That amount is based on the size of the order, whether or not you have to place the order in person, distance away, traffic and other factors.