Many people use the DoorDash app for deliveries from places that don’t offer their own and it’s done through independent contracts who work when they want. Just like Uber or Lyft rideshare apps.

Far too many don’t leave a tip. Dashers notice that and can skip over those orders and let some other driver pick it up. What a lot of customers must not know is how little these drivers make.

From USA Today:

In 2020, one study by Working Washington evaluated the pay of 229 dashers around the United States and found that even post-2019, workers were making an average of $1.45 an hour after factoring in the costs of mileage, payroll taxes and lost time spent waiting for the app to offer the next gig.

Photo by Marques Thomas on Unsplash
Photo by Marques Thomas on Unsplash

This is a job, often a side hustle, that depends on gratuities, yet many customers don’t seem to understand that. For most people it’s a luxury to pay extra to get something delivered to their home. For some of us, sometimes, it’s a necessity.

I’m a single father raising two young boys and if I don’t realize we were running out of something because I’m off my game one night of juggling far too many things all by myself, I rely on something like DoorDash.

DoorDash Raises Estimate For Initial Public Offering
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Any parent knows once you’ve gotten kids in pajamas and it’s after eight o'clock and you’re getting them ready for bedtime the last thing you want to do is drag them out of the house to go to a store with all the lights and stimulus and get them wide awake. Or worse, if they fall asleep in the car and you must wake them up to get them in the house good luck having an easy time putting them to bed.

Obviously once they’re asleep a single parent is basically on house arrest. You can’t legally leave your home to go out shopping. Think about it.

So someone like me relies on DoorDash. It happened just the other night.

Jeff Deminski photo
Jeff Deminski photo

I needed something from Walgreen’s. It couldn’t wait because one of the boys needed it for school in the morning. So for me it was figuratively a lifesaver. I pulled out the app, ordered, added in a few extra things the house could use and got to the tip section.

I always tip. The smallest I ever tipped was five dollars. The most was 20. My average is probably eight.

Yet when the package arrived at my doorstep it was not only all correct, it was not only in a timely manner, there was something the driver, a woman named Leah, left on the bag that I thought was great.

I found this handwritten note.

Jeff Deminski photo
Jeff Deminski photo

I felt sure it was something she adds to every order whether they tipped or not. I would imagine if every DoorDasher started doing this personalization it would drive home the point that these folks are trying to work for tips.

It makes paying extra for items to be delivered more palatable to see something so friendly. If all drivers did something similar I would guess tipping would increase at least 20%. Even if you didn’t tip on that order, I think you’d be more likely to next time no matter who your driver might turn out to be.

It puts a human into the equation of a faceless drop off. So try to remember they’re not doing this out of boredom and having nothing to do. Tip the Leahs of the world. They deserve it.

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