DoorDash, the San Francisco-based food delivery company, is requiring its engineers (and even CEO) to make one delivery per month. The move may quell its delivery driver shortages a bit, sure, but its central aim seems more likely to be an attempt at dogfooding: using your own product to better understand it (à la a dog food company president known to eat a can during shareholder meetings).
The policy could help to tackle the disconnect between the company’s highest and lowest-paid employees. According to Ridester, typical delivery drivers (called Dashers) make just under $11 per hour before tips (not including transportation expenses like gas and insurance). Meanwhile, CEO Tony Xu received over $400 million in 2020 compensation, mostly in stock. Many engineers have six-figure salaries, so even though the white-collar workers’ delivery wages will go to charity, the time they spend on their delivery averages several times the hourly compensation of Dashers.
Some engineers are less than thrilled — MarketWatch reports that employees anonymously complained about the policy on an app called Blind, which requires a work email address in order to curtail spam users. A thread of 1500 comments included colorful language and complaints such as “I didn’t sign up for this, there was nothing in the offer letter/job description about this.”
This requirement isn’t brand new, though. The company paused the one-delivery-a-month policy during the pandemic and recently instated it.
Dashing ain’t easy — For a while, I took up DoorDash deliveries on days that I felt up to riding my bike all over New York. It’s brutal out there! After one particularly rough afternoon, when an address mix-up amounted to me spending two grueling hours on a single order which yielded me $5, I said never again. Let’s hope the policy inspires more respect for the die-hard Dashers who make the company function.