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Don’t Anger a Hungry Customer

Earlier this month, DoorDash announced that it would soon begin showing warning pop-ups that customers may have to wait longer for their food order to be delivered if they don’t give a tip. “Orders with no tip might take longer to get delivered – are you sure you want to continue?”

How is that possible?

“Orders without a tip are less appealing to Dashers and thus are more likely to be rejected by them, which may result in a consumer’s food sitting longer at a merchant’s restaurant,” DoorDash warned in a separate statement. “That leads to consumers experiencing longer wait times as Dashers potentially decline their orders.”

Even on orders where the customer chooses to tip, a slightly ominous warning pop-up still appears – “ Dashers are free to accept or decline any orders, and tips can make orders more attractive to fulfill.”  So now customers might also worry if their tip is big enough to get their order accepted and delivered.

In all fairness, tipping is a significant and legitimate issue for drivers.  A recent survey showed that 20% of food delivery recipients do NOT regularly give drivers a tip.

Also, it is well known that DoorDash has had a difficult relationship with its drivers.  Four years ago, DoorDash came under fire after The New York Times revealed a DoorDash policy that showed tips were effectively not even going to drivers.

That disclosure threatened DoorDash’s reputation with drivers who have many delivery companies for whom they can work.  And, if there are no drivers, then there is no DoorDash.

So, what should DoorDash do to keep their drivers happy?

How about threatening your customer?  While that strategy works quite well for those who are in the business of extortion, it may not be best for customers who have a choice!

After all, what hungry customer wants to be threatened with late and cold food every time they order?  Threatened customers tend not to be happy customers.  And unhappy customers tend to leave for competitors.

Without a doubt, companies like DoorDash have to make multiple constituencies happy – drivers (service provider), restaurants (provider of the product), and the ultimate customer (of the delivery).  But making one constituent happy does not have to come at the expense of another.  And certainly, not at the expense of the customer.

One DoorDash driver who appeared on Good Morning America a few weeks ago had some reasonable advice for DoorDash on how to solve the problem. “I think DoorDash should pay their drivers more and meet their customers, their clientele in the middle.”

Alternatively, the unhappy customer can answer the pop-up question posed at the beginning of this blog post “Are you sure you want to continue?” with this response:

“No, I will take my food order to UberEats!”

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