On Doordash, or My Life as a Dasher

On Doordash, or My Life as a Dasher

Sometimes restaurants, like Chipotle, give you free drinks while you wait. The downside is you’ll be waiting, and time is money.

Sometimes restaurants, like Chipotle, give you free drinks while you wait. The downside is you’ll be waiting, and time is money.

I've been driving with Doordash for about a month now. I'm literally driving for them right now. Well, not literally. I mean I'm on the clock, but I'm not currently driving. That would be unsafe. Well, I'm sure most of you know what Doordash is, but let me explain it for those of you who don't.

Doordash is essentially a food delivery service that allows you to increase your body density without the inconvenience of leaving your couch. It's pretty neat, and it's a bit more than a simple food delivery app. Dominoes, Jimmy John's and other restaurants offer delivery through online portals and applications. Doordash, however, seamlessly puts you in touch with an independent contractor, such as yours truly, who can choose whether or not to accept your delivery. Essentially, it's Uber, but with food… so Uber Eats, but different…

Anyway, I've been working with - not for because I'm a contractor as opposed to an employee - Doordash for round about a month, and I love it. Well, 90% of it. The 10% I don't love is partially due to Doordash’s pay set up, unorganized restaurants, and incompetent customers. I’m going to explain these problems and, kind of sort of, offer solutions to them.

Before diving in I'd like to make sure we are on the same page. For starters, this is a cathartic process for me. I do not hate any of the incompetent individuals on a personal basis. I'm just bitchin’. Secondly, I understand mistakes happen. If you’re a customer or restaurant that has behaved in one of the detestable behaviors detailed below, I forgive you. Moreover, I apologize for anything I may have done to inconvenience your life.

Okay let's get into it:

First things first, you should be tipping your dashers in cash as frequently as possible. This is because when you tip in-app, more often than not, that doesn't increase the amount of money I make per delivery. Some people accuse Doordash of stealing tips. This is not, exactly, accurate. The company has a complex, well confusing as all hell, pay system that us dashers agreed to when signing up. Key being we agree to it.

I get played per delivery, and that pay is the combination of 3 things: Doordash’s $1 base, Doordash’s guaranteed pay, and customer tips. I will always receive the dollar base. Now for the more confusing and misunderstood portion, aka guaranteed pay and digital tips. The guaranteed pay is merely that, a guarantee that I will be compensated x dollars for the delivery. This does not mean x from Doordash and y from the customer. It means y from the customer’s tip plus $1 plus z from Doordash will equal x. The only way I make more than x is if the customers y value exceeds x minus $1. In other words, your digital tip subsidizes Doordash's cost per delivery.

doordash tip stealing.jpg

So for example, let’s say I am offered $6.00 to deliver some Wendy’s spicy nuggets to stoned Bradley University freshman (this happens a lot). I can accept or decline that order. Most likely, I’ll accept it. I’ll drive to Wendy’s acquire said spicy nuggets and deliver them to the hangry stoners. Then the stoners are thankful for the nuggets, so they tip me a buck. I then make the base $1 from Doordash, the $1 from the nugget recipient, and $4 more dollars from door dash adding up to my guaranteed $6. However, if the stoners tipped in cash I would have made $7.

Damn you Doordash. I can’t wait for Grubhub to approve me!

It’s annoying, but I agreed to it. Ultimately, I’m just thankful for an easy way to make money while being my own boss. Driving for Doordash has given me far more freedom than any job I’ve ever had. I briefly drove for Jimmy John’s and it sucked. I ended up quitting because they wanted me to make sandwiches in addition to deliveries. I ain't no sandwich maken’ bitch, and thanks to Doordash I don’t have to be one. I may deliver the food, but I’m not part of a restaurant staff.

Which brings us to complain number two: for some reason not all restaurants understand that. On more than one occasion I have been asked to walk back into a kitchen to grab food. I don’t think that’s legal or safe for that matter. I don’t work here. You, you work there, so go grab me my order. I’m doing you a service by allowing you to sell to people outside your dining room. Treat me with respect, or, at the very least, do your fucking job.

By the way that job, includes serving me in a timely manner. If I get to the counter first and two to go orders come in after me, you need to take care of me first. It’s one thing if my order is a White House sized fast food feast and the next two are small milkshakes, but it’s another thing entirely to go make someone else’s burger and fries while I can see my pre-made cake sitting on a counter three feet from me. Typically the restaurants that do this, are repeat offenders. If I can decline them I do.

In my area, Peoria Illinois, the worst offender, bar none, is Pizza Works. It has gotten to the point where I only go there if I am desperate for the money. Which as much as I love bragging about the $100 plus nights, there are some lucky to make $30 nights. On those bad nights, when nothings coming in I’ll take a Pizza Works. Even though I know accepting the order means I will be treated as a damn dirty inconvenience. When I’m there, there’s a fifty fifty chance I’ll be asked to go back to the kitchen and interrupt the kitchen staff by asking where my order is. I’m sure it pisses those guys off, and half the time they don’t know what I’m talking about. On top of all that I know I will be sitting, or most likely standing for half an hour before being handed, what is almost guaranteed to be, the wrong order.

I’ve heard people rant and rave about how great Pizza Works in Peoria Heights Illinois is, and it’s probably true. Hell, Sushigawa isn’t always a stellar delivery experiences, but they I’ll eat there on me time. As for Pizza Works, considering how many people have talk them up and how frequently they have live music, it’s totally possible they’re a great place to hang. All I know is that unless I’m making money off that hell hole I’m not going anywhere near it.

Places like Pizza Works are just a shitty part of the job, and that’s the thing as cool as Doordash is, it’s a job. Like all jobs it sucks at times. You know, if you’re thinking about driving for Doordash you really need to sit down and think about it. It’s really work. Personally, I’d say go for it, but you need to make sure it’s right for you. If you’re thinking about ordering food from Doordash absolutely go for it, but please tip in cash. Also, if you live in an apartment please, for the love of god, tell me what building you’re in.

It’s a daily aggravation of mine. It’s not as bad as dealing with restaurants like Pizza Works on the corner of Prospect and Cox Ave. in Peoria Heights Illinois, but it is annoying. There is an instructions section on the app for a reason. Please use it. Many of you do use it, and you people are saints. You don’t even need to tip. Just thank you for making my life easier.

I mean I’d still appreciate the tip…

The confounding thing is most of the people who go through the effort (it really isn’t that difficult) of including delivery instructions live in these teeny tiny easily navigated apartment complexes, yet the people who ignore this feature live in village sized complexes. All I’m asking is for the building number. Please at the very least do that. Let me put it this way: do you want your food warm or not?

Maybe you’ve never used google to find an apartment, but if it is a multi-building complex one of two things will happen. Either google will take you to the main office, and wish you luck from there, or google will get you in the general area. If google tries to take me to the main office and I have a building number no big deal I just look at the numbers and drive on over. If It gets me in the general area, well even easier.

However, If I don’t have the building number well things just got far more complicated. If it’s a private complex the street address might literally be the main office and everything else is broken down into building and apartment number. Which means I’m left with a three or four digit number and my best guess. I’ll probably call you. When you don’t answer I’ll text. When you don’t respond I’ll wonder into the night. The good news is that when it’s over I get to rate you smiley face or frowny face, and unless you tipped well it’s going to be frowny face.

Okay, but what if google gets me near by and the street address goes directly to the building? This is an admittedly much better scenario. However, I would like you to see things from my point of view. Google your address and look at it via street view. Can you see the address? If not, assume I can’t either. If you can picture what it looks like at night. Now picture a car riding my ass. Is it still easily visible? Yes? Really? Okay, But would it be easier with a building number? Probably.

This mistake is more understandable. I get how it’s not really something you would think about unless it was pointed out to you, so if this is you don’t feel bad about it just go ahead and drop me that building number. Thanks in advance!

I hope I gave you an idea of what it’s like to drive for door dash. If you have more questions about it hit me up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.