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Exclusive: DoorDash reveals how much it relies on customer tips to pay its workers

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In its ideal world, food-delivery service DoorDash would pay its contractors almost nothing–relying on customer tips to cover most of the fee quoted for a delivery job. In the real world, conditions are usually not so ideal, as DoorDash reveals to Fast Company, for the first time disclosing the share of driver payments that come via tips from users. In about 10% of cases, customers leave no tip, and DoorDash pays the entire amount, the company tells us. (The default tip is set to zero in the app.)

In the next roughly 50% of cases, customers contribute less than half the money required to meet the minimum quoted fee–called the “guaranteed amount”–leaving DoorDash to chip in the majority of the fee. (DoorDash calls the money it contributes to make up the difference a “pay boost.”)

That news may not do much to satisfy workers protesting the company’s unorthodox accounting of pay and tips–especially in light of concessions by grocery delivery service Instacart last week that set minimum payments from the company to drivers.

The guaranteed amount for a DoorDash assignment, quoted in the driver app, comes from some combination of the company’s own payments and customer tips in 90% of cases. If a customer pays more, DoorDash pays less–as little as $1 (called “fixed base pay”), if that’s all is........

© Fast Company