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Home / Business / Tipping your food delivery person can actually help a large company

Tipping your food delivery person can actually help a large company



DoorDash is the latest service to look at its tip policy following a New York Times report that put the issue back in the spotlight. A reporter spent time as a delivery person and showed how customer tips contribute to workers' wages, a policy that has been in place since 2017.
In response to the article's backlash, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu tweeted that the policy will change in the future and Dashers' revenue will increase by the exact amount a customer tips.

"We thought we were doing the right thing by doing Dashers whole when a customer left no tip. What we missed was that some customers who tip would feel that their tip didn't matter," he tweeted.

debate about the role tips in a person's income is not new, but has been reinforced by the gaming economy, which is under increasing criticism for the treatment of workers and how well they are paid. Food delivery companies are also facing pressure to keep costs low when seeking to become public or profitable. For businesses that are desperate to improve their finances, tips are a tempting pot of money.

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Recent years Companies like DoorDash, Amazon and Grubhub have encouraged customers to leave gratuity, but they often does not reach workers in the traditional sense, according to tip experts.

In some cases, a great tip will contribute to a payment that is already guaranteed to workers. The exact details vary from company to company. A worker can be guaranteed $ 15 for delivery, or an hour's work. If their base salary and customer tip only reaches $ 12, the company will charge the extra $ 3. But if the customer left a big tip and pushed the total payment over the $ 15 threshold, the company would not have to save extra money.

The practice is legal, but breaks from the tradition that a tip is money a worker would otherwise not receive.

The tipping experts say that consumers are hardly aware that in some cases a generous tip will save companies money.

  A man delivers food in New York. (Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images)

Michael Lynn, a professor at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration as researchers tip, told CNN Business that these practices are morally wrong.

"This is a consumer fraud," Lynn said. "It is a voluntary payment from the consumer. So it is important that they are not tricked or tricked into giving money to a company they would otherwise not make. I would be willing to tip the delivery person, I am not willing to tip DoorDash . "

Instacart, which competes with DoorDash, Amazon Prime Now and Grubhub ( GRUB ) left a similar practice in February after criticism. Other food delivery platforms such as Uber Eats, Postmates and Caviar do not contribute to employee payouts with tips.
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The practice of subsidizing employee pay with tips affects millions of employees outside the gaming economy, according to Eli Wilson, a sociology professor at the University of New Mexico who has studied tipping.

Restaurant servers generally rely on tips. Most state and federal laws allow employers to pay a lower minimum wage if employees regularly receive tips.

Wilson said the gaming job has reinforced the trend of employers replacing tips instead of wages, as these companies seek to shift workers 'risk and burden customers' expenses.

"This as a very slippery slope," Wilson said. "In this context, it opens another can of worms to allow employers to use them as a paycheck when workers' earnings are already not very high."

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When asked about their tip policy, Grubhub says that 100% of the tips go to drivers , in addition to their salary. Amazon said workers receive 100% of the tips. However, their base salary varies, but they will always receive at least $ 18 an hour.

But the practice is confusing, although all tips go to a driver, it does not mean that they will see a change in their pay. Also, the payment structures sometimes change, confusing workers.

Sean, a forensic economist who asked that his full name not be used for fear of retaliation from Amazon, noticed in spring 2017 that his earnings fell by around $ 175 a week. He contacted Amazon to inquire about what seemed like a change in his tips. (He didn't know for sure, because Amazon's payment statements don't reveal how many tips contribute to earnings.) He was told that Amazon recently introduced "base variable earnings," the portion of total revenue paid directly by Amazon. [19659025] Amazon shutters restaurant delivery service "data-src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190611081234-amazon-file-restricted-small-169.jpg "data-src-xsmall = "//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190611081234-amazon-file-restricted-medium-plus-169.jpg" data-src-small = "http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/ dam / assets / 190611081234-amazon-file-restricted-large-169.jpg "data-src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190611081234-amazon-file-restricted-exlarge-169 .jpg "data-src-large =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190611081234-amazon-file-restricted-super-169.jpg "data-src-full16x9 =" // cdn.cnn .com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 190611081234-amazon-file-restricted-full-169.jpg "data-src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/190611081234-amazon-file- restricted-small-11.jpg "data-demand-load =" not-loaded "data-eq-pts =" mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781 "src =" data : image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhEAAJAJEAAAAAAP /////// wAAACH5BAEAAAIALAAAAAAQAAkAAAIKlI + py + 0Po5yUFQA7 "/>

In the letter, Amazon only partially described how "base variable earnings" are calculated. Factors include the length of the shift, and the amount of demand for deliveries, which is determined before the work is completed. Amazon also adds "additional revenue" to fulfill the promise that drivers will earn $ 18-25 per hour. The letter does not reveal how Amazon calculates additional revenue, and whether the total revenue ends at $ 18 an hour, $ 19 an hour or more.

Consumers remain in the dark, too, as Amazon and Grubhub in some markets guarantee certain payouts to workers. So when customers are more generous with tips, companies have to pay less to meet the minimum.

"It certainly doesn't come to me in a way that I think a customer would think comes to me," said Morgan Aycock, a concert worker who sometimes runs for Grubhub in Charleston, South Carolina, for tips. "So sure, it's a bit shady, until it becomes the norm – if it becomes the norm."

If a driver completes many orders, they should meet the hour's minimum, which is a $ 12 guaranteed payment in some markets, and Grubhub's payment to them will not be affected by how big the tip is.

When a customer places an order on Grubhub, they are not informed if there is a minimum minimum in the market hours and whether the driver has met or is likely to meet them without the help of a tip. This makes it impossible to know if tipping will subsidize Grubhub's own payment to the driver, or is an additional payment to the driver.

  Food delivery companies are facing how workers are being paid. (Jewel Samad / AFP / Getty Images)

Grubhub said in a statement that it pays drivers per order basis and will sometimes give a "true-up" bonus "if drivers do not have enough orders to remain loyal to Grubhub.

Grubhub states on salary statements what tips were received and what it pays. Amazon does not break out tips, leaving drivers in the dark about how much they are being tipped and how much of the $ 18 an hour they are guaranteed to come from Amazon.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to say why the company is doing this, nor has Amazon revealed how wages, apart from tips, are determined. that it contributes on average $ 19 an hour to a delivery partner's salary, and that delivery partners earn $ 18-25 an hour.

The company has not publicly acknowledged its practice of subsidizing guaranteed payments with tips, but individuals who identify themselves as am ozone drivers have reported the practice on social media. A Los Angeles Times survey earlier this year revealed that Amazon is using tips to cover guaranteed wages. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.


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