DoorDash, the popular food delivery platform, has announced a major update to its earnings structure, offering delivery drivers the option to be paid an hourly minimum rate instead of being paid per delivery. This move comes as a response to new regulations in New York City requiring app-based gig companies to provide delivery workers with a guaranteed minimum wage of $18 per hour.

While DoorDash claims this new earning option provides flexibility and reliable earnings, there are concerns about the true nature of the hourly rate and its potential impact on drivers’ earnings.

DoorDash Introduces Flexible Payment Options

DoorDash asserts that the introduction of the new payment option is a direct response to feedback from drivers and a reflection of their desire to provide drivers with increased autonomy and decision-making authority.

Talking to The New York Times, Cody Aughney, head of the company’s Dasher & Logistics team said:

“One of the things we’ve heard a lot is around choice: Choice of when, where, and how they earn is really important.”

According to DoorDash, new earning modes give drivers the choice between two options: Earn by Time or Earn Per Offer. The Earn by Time mode guarantees a minimum hourly rate for the time spent on delivery, starting from the moment a driver accepts an offer until the delivery is completed, in addition to receiving 100% of tips. DoorDash stated:

“We know there are Dashers who prioritize reliability in their earnings, who simply want to get on the road and dash with an exact, upfront idea of how much they’ll earn for the time it takes to complete an order. Earn by Time was developed precisely with those Dashers in mind.”

Source: DoorDash

On the other hand, the Earn Per Offer mode is the existing earning structure that DoorDash drivers are familiar with. Drivers are shown an upfront guaranteed minimum amount they can expect to earn on each offer, and they keep 100% of tips on top. This mode provides drivers with the flexibility to accept orders based on their preferences and potential earnings.

DoorDash aims to provide more ways for drivers to maximize their earning potential and efficiency. They have introduced Dash Along the Way, which allows drivers to select a starting point for receiving offers, reducing downtime and increasing efficiency during their shifts.

Additionally, DoorDash has implemented post-checkout tipping, enabling customers to add or increase tips up to 30 days after the delivery. This feature aims to reward drivers for excellent service and provide them with additional earnings opportunities.

In terms of safety, DoorDash has launched various initiatives, including Real-Time Safety Alerts and SafeChat, to enhance the safety of its drivers. To further address safety concerns, the company has introduced a new feature called Location Sharing.

This feature enables drivers to share their real-time location with up to five trusted contacts, allowing them to track their whereabouts during deliveries and provide assistance if needed.


To show appreciation for their most loyal drivers, DoorDash has given a one-time gift of $10,000 to drivers who joined the platform in its early years, completed over 10,000 deliveries and are actively working on the platform today.

This gesture acknowledges the integral role that drivers have played in DoorDash’s mission of empowering local economies.

DoorDash Faces Criticism

While the introduction of an hourly minimum rate may seem like a positive change, there are concerns about its true implications. Critics argue that the hourly rate is not a true hourly wage since it is based on the time spent actively delivering orders and does not account for waiting time.

Some drivers fear that this new structure may incentivize them to accept less desirable orders they would typically reject to maintain a higher base pay.

Moreover, drivers on the Earn by Time mode are not able to reject order offers. Declining or unassigning more than one order per hour will result in the automatic end of the Earn by Time dash.

Additionally, certain benefits, such as priority access to high-paying orders, are not available in the Earn by Time mode, potentially limiting drivers’ earning potential.

DoorDash has not disclosed the specific hourly rate offered in the Earn by Time mode, and there is no information available regarding the states and markets where this option will be available.

DoorDash’s introduction of new earning modes provides drivers with increased flexibility and choice. However, concerns remain regarding the true nature of the hourly rate and its impact on drivers’ earnings.

DoorDash’s efforts to enhance driver safety and offer additional earning opportunities are commendable, but ongoing dialogue with drivers will be.

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