DoorDash breaks into grocery delivery game

It’s a week heavily focusing on delivery news with a touch of rideshare sprinkled in. Learn about the new features Instacart is offering their shoppers, how Chick-fil-A is showing up for delivery drivers who need a resting spot, and more in this week’s roundup with senior RSG contributor Paula Lemar.

Also, we have a cool survey opportunity for rideshare and delivery drivers here on driver safety and coaching programs. Let us know how what you think!

A $50 Amazon gift card will be awarded to 10 random survey takers (out of the first 200), so $500 in total prizes. Take the survey here.

Announcing DoorDash’s Newest Brand Campaign “We Get Groceries” Debuting During the Big Game (DoorDash News)

Summary: Today, we announced the launch of our new campaign, “We Get Groceries,” debuting during the Big Game for the first time with a :30 TV spot airing on Sunday, February 12. The new campaign is the first to highlight DoorDash’s wide grocery selection of beloved local and national favorites, our best-in-class support and flexibility, and savings for DashPass members. DoorDash’s mission is to make the best of every local neighborhood available to consumers on-demand, with this campaign broadening awareness of the value we provide in grocery, from the weekly stock up to the last-minute ingredients needed for dinner tonight.

“Starting with restaurants, our goal has always been to bring every business on Main Street online, and we’ve made significant progress in the grocery space. This new creative platform puts a fresh spin on the work we’ve been doing to expand the perception of DoorDash as more than restaurants, and to spotlight the selection and value that our grocery category offers,” said Kofi Amoo-Gottfried, Chief Marketing Officer at DoorDash. “By leaning into our relationship with well-known and trusted chefs, with our new campaign we’re emphasizing that if DoorDash can be the trusted delivery platform for their Pad Thai dinner, consumers can trust us with their flat noodles, soy sauce, scallions and the on-the-go stain remover for that inevitable sauce spill, too.”…

My Take: This is no surprise. I know I’ve mentioned something similar in the past, but DoorDash is in the perfect position to test the waters any way it wants to to keep its business on top compared to competitors. 

Instead of using multiple apps to get the job done, customers can use one for almost everything. If I could order groceries while also ordering something to eat right away, that sounds awesome to me. 

Uber and Lyft driver pay isn’t keeping up with soaring fares, study says (Engadget)

Summary: You’ve probably noticed a steep increase in the ridesharing fares you pay, but your drivers haven’t necessarily received the benefits. UCLA Labor Center researchers have published a study indicating that median Uber and Lyft fares increased by 50 percent between February 2019 and April 2022, but media driver pay only climbed 31 percent. The companies’ profits reportedly jumped from nine percent to 20.7 percent over the three-year span.

The authors recommended that authorities cap the amount companies can take from passenger fare, with proportionate increases in pay and enforced minimum rates. They also call for increased transparency around both the rideshare commission and drivers’ trip data. The study team further called for more detailed data, such as different ride types and surge pricing.

The companies object to the study’s conclusions. In a statement to Engadget, Uber claims the researchers made errors and that its April 2022 take was 16.4 percent. Government fees are 18 percent, the company adds. Lyft, meanwhile, tells Engadget pay has been “consistently above” $1,100 per week since the start of 2021, and that commission caps would “dramatically” increase fares and hurt lower-income communities….

My Take: No surprise here. The companies like Uber and Lyft have been raising their rates to passengers for years, and the driver’s pay has either been stagnant or decreased in the majority of the markets across the U.S. 

Read up on the latest driver pay in Lyft Driver Pay — How Much Does Lyft Pay? Compare that to How Much Do Uber Drivers Make? 

With the introduction of upfront pricing, Uber and Lyft could quickly and efficiently disassociate the cost of the ride from what the drivers receive. The two used to be tied together, and one affected the other. Now they are separate entities, and drivers aren’t fans. A common complaint that drivers tend to have is that when they can see what riders paid for the trip, a disproportionate amount is going directly to Lyft instead of the driver who put in the work. 

Instacart’s new features give shoppers more ways to earn on their own schedules (TechCrunch)

Summary: Instacart is introducing two new features that are designed to give shoppers on its platform more opportunities to earn. The company is launching “queued batches,” which gives shoppers the option to accept another batch before completing the batch they are currently shopping. Once shoppers complete the delivery of their current batch, they can begin shopping their next batch. Instacart says the new feature gives shoppers the flexibility to shop on their own schedule and optimize their time whenever they do choose to shop.

The company is also launching “multi-store add-on orders,” which gives shoppers the option to add on separate customer orders from nearby retailers, in addition to the one where they’re currently shopping.

For example, say you’re currently shopping a batch at a grocery store, you may be offered an add-on order from an alcohol retailer nearby. You could then shop the new alcohol order before delivering both orders to the customers, allowing you to finish two orders simultaneously, without having to drive back across town a second time. Instacart says shoppers will receive additional time to complete the entirety of the multi-store batch. The new option is designed to eliminate drive time to and from customers’ homes before shopping additional orders….

My Take: More is always better when giving workers more options for obtaining work on their own time. Gig workers often state that flexibility is their number one priority when it comes to choosing which platforms to work for. 

RSG’s Sergio Avedian has a unique take on flexibility in his article: Is Freedom and Flexibility an Illusion in the Gig Economy?

Learn more about becoming an Instacart Shopper here

Chick-fil-A just did something Uber and DoorDash have never done (Freight Waves)

Summary: Companies like Uber and DoorDash have made life easy for millions of Americans. Yet the lives of their drivers can be anything but.

This week, one company took a step toward improving food delivery driver working conditions — but it’s not a food delivery company.

On Wednesday, Chick-fil-A announced the opening of The Brake Room, a 5,000-square-foot pop-up lounge in New York City where local delivery drivers can rest, charge their phones and use the bathroom for free.

Currently, Uber, DoorDash and other large food delivery companies do not offer a place for their drivers to shelter between shifts. In fact, some drivers have even set up makeshift break rooms in parking lots to escape the cold, eat lunch or simply rest and recharge….

My Take: Way to step up to the plate, Chick-fil-A. While this is only being tested in New York City, it would be neat if more restaurants followed suit or had more of these “brake” rooms established across the country. 

I know it would have made my life as an Uber driver a lot easier if I knew of a location that was set up with me in mind. Allowing me to use the restroom while also having a holding spot to wait for the next request to come through. This is literally the dream. 

The next thing would be to have something like this available 24/7. 

‘I’ll call an Uber or 911’: Why Gen Z doesn’t want to drive (The Washington Post)

Summary: When Madison Corr was 18 years old and in her first year of college, she started the process of getting a driver’s license. Corr, who was living in New York at the time, got an adult learner’s permit, did drug and alcohol training, and put in 10 to 15 hours behind the wheel and attending driver’s ed classes. But when it came time to schedule a road test to get her license, she simply … didn’t. “I just felt like I didn’t need it,” she said.

Now 24, she lives in Philadelphia and still doesn’t have a license. “My parents put a lot of pressure on me to get one,” she said. “But I haven’t needed one to this point. If there’s an emergency, I’ll call an Uber or 911.”

Gabe Balog, 23, waited to get his license until he was 20 and didn’t get a car until two years later. “I didn’t want my parents teaching me,” he said. But he also felt ambivalence toward America’s car-centric culture, only getting a car because his job as a peer mental health worker required one. “It would be so much better for everyone if public transport were just more accessible.”…

My Take: While this isn’t directly related to rideshare driving, it is. It’s job security, in a sense. If the newest generation of drivers is not driving but instead ordering Ubers, that helps keep us gig workers busy. If Gen Z doesn’t want to incur the cost of owning a vehicle or whatever other reasoning they come up with, fine by me. It’ll keep us in our jobs for longer. 

It also helps with the idea of keeping excess rideshare drivers off the platforms. If these younger kids aren’t willing to drive themselves, they obviously won’t be replacing us either. 

Have you run into the younger generation not wanting to drive before? Do your passengers consist mainly of 20-somethings? Share your thoughts in the comments.

-Paula @ RSG