DoorDash, Grubhub offer drivers relief for gas costs

Dive Brief:

  • DoorDash is launching a Gas Rewards program to help drivers cover expensive gas costs. The offering includes 10% cashback on fuel via DasherDirect and a weekly gas bonus for frequent delivery workers based on mileage.
  • Grubhub began increasing per-mile driver pay nationwide on March 9, Bloomberg reports, although the company did not disclose how large the boost is. The delivery platform noted it will account for regional average-per-mile gas costs.
  • As gas prices skyrocket, the three big delivery platforms have launched initiatives to help drivers as retention rates remain a problem. Uber is adding fuel surcharges to help offset the costs, which will go directly to drivers and couriers. 

Dive Insight:

As gas prices inch closer to $5 a gallon, delivery drivers have questioned the payout of taking more orders while eating the costs. Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub have all responded with different tactics to alleviate the issue. 

On Thursday, DoorDash will launch the cashback program for its drivers. Drivers who use DasherDirect, a prepaid business Visa debit card designed for Dashers, can get cash back at any gas station whether or not they are completing orders at that time, a DoorDash spokesperson said. 

“We’ll continue to monitor the evolving situation and explore additional resources in the coming weeks and months,” the spokesperson said.

For frequent delivery drivers, DoorDash has developed a weekly gas bonus that will work on a sliding scale. DoorDash couriers who complete orders totaling 100 miles in a motor vehicle can earn an extra $5, those who complete 175 miles earn $10 and those who complete 225 miles earn $15. DoorDash claims these rewards can translate to savings between $1.27 and $1.69 per gallon. Both the cashback offering and the gas bonus will be in place at least through April. 

Grubhub’s decision to increase wages may be a popular choice among delivery drivers. Low pay was a top concern, according to a survey of 500 app-based couriers conducted by The Worker Institute of Cornell University’s ILR School, in partnership with Workers’ Justice Project. The recent study, which looked specifically at New York City, noted most delivery drivers work six days or more a week for over six hours a day, bringing home an average of $12.21 an hour, with tips included. The median pay without tips, which accounts for 44% of their earnings, is estimated to be $7.94. 

Workers are also mobilizing. In New York City, Justice for App Workers, a group representing 100,000 rideshare and delivery workers, formed to advocate for living wages, better benefits and a safe working environment, among other issues.

The cost of gas further exacerbates their concerns, but with these various initiatives — from gas rewards to more pay — each delivery platform is trying to figure out what may resonate with workers. 

“We’re committed to offering competitive rates for our drivers and are constantly making adjustments on a market-by-market basis to ensure we have enough drivers to meet diner demand. This includes increasing driver pay given current gas prices and continuing to monitor the situation. We also have partnerships with GasBuddy and CarAdvise that give our drivers access to discounts on gas and car maintenance,” a Grubhub spokesperson said, noting it periodically adjusts diner fees based on a number of factors, including distance from the restaurant to the diner. 

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