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Why better tips could mean faster delivery when ordering from apps

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Cost of living8:18Want your takeout delivered fast?generous tip

The amount of tip when ordering on food delivery apps can affect the time it takes to receive an order, according to couriers.

That’s because apps like SkipTheDishes, UberEats, and DoorDash make up the majority of fares with hints that prompt customers to add to their order before it arrives. —and the courier is evaluating whether your order is travel-worthy.

“We basically do nothing unless the tip is included. The base rate from these companies is $2 to $3 [per order]’ said Montreal driver Ashley. People sharing their experiences distributing apps on YouTube.

The service has made ordering restaurant meals easier than ever, created a delivery market far beyond pizza, and launched an entire economy of gig-based workers.According to the pre-pandemic data from Statistics Canada, approximately 1 in 10 working Canadians were part of the gig economy.

Food delivery drivers are paid a flat fee per delivery and do not get hourly wages. In other words, many couriers are looking for the best possible offers.

Couriers say big offers, which usually include generous tips, are quickly snatched away. On the other hand, a poor tip or a low offer with no upfront tip can bounce from one driver to the next.

Ashley told CBC Radio: “If I get an order for $3 and they say, ‘Run seven kilometers,’ I’ll turn it down. I’m not making any money, so I’ll run more than $1. never,” he said. Cost of livingCBC is withholding her last name because she could be kicked off the platform for what she said.

Some couriers say tip-baiting (giving high-value tips and reducing them after delivery) is an industry problem. (Carlos Osorio/CBC)

According to Gigworkers United, an organizing group of gig economy workers backed by the Canadian Postal Workers Union, tips can make up 40-70% of a delivery worker’s wages.

Statistics Canada reports that half of gig workers use their work to supplement their income, and the other half it’s their only source of income.

Customers “bidding” for faster delivery

Both UberEats and DoorDash say they provide delivery companies with information about potential revenue for every order. SkipTheDishes did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Brennan Tilley, a regular user of a food delivery app in Calgary, said tipping ensures he gets it when he wants it. He sees it as a form of “bidding” for the fastest drop-off.

“People leaving a $2 tip [their order], the driver does not want an order and takes my order. So I am very happy with all these people who are refusing to tip. Because my order moves to the top of the pack with my chips,” he said Tilley.

“Whatever it is, it’s definitely worth $10, $12 for someone to go get it for me ASAP.”

A happy looking man eats takeaway food from a disposable container.
Calgary resident Brennan Tilley says she’s happy to tip, knowing that food orders mean coming a little sooner. (Courtesy of Brennan Tilly)

It’s a system that worker advocates say highlights the lack of minimum wage protections for couriers delivering on app-based platforms.

Jennifer Scott, President of Gig Workers United, said:

Depending on the app, couriers may be penalized for rejecting orders, impacting what is called “acceptance rates” and eventually being removed from the platform.

For example, a delivery method by car rather than on foot could limit the number of shifts available to couriers, Scott added.

“I couldn’t afford to turn down the low offer because it was the only offer I got for an hour,” she said.

Both UberEats and DoorDash said couriers are free to decline orders. DoorDash said it never removes carriers based on rejected orders.

Jennifer Scott (front left) is president of Gig Workers United, an advocacy group supported by the Canadian Postal Workers Union. (Gig Workers United CUPW)

‘Chipbait’ is a courier problem

Some customers have found ways to abuse the tipping system for service. With UberEats, you have the option to tip significantly less as long as your order is delivered to your doorstep within an hour.

“It’s chipbaiting,” said Ashley. “Because the driver can see the tip and may know you’re doing it to get faster delivery service.

“It happens left, right and center. [hear from] 1 in 20 orders are chipbaited drivers. So I think we’re very lucky that it’s only been 2 in 400, but it happens quite often. “

According to UberEats, only 1% of orders have their tip reduced, but “nearly 10%” have their tip increased after delivery. The company is testing new methods to “prevent intentionally misleading chips,” the company said in a statement.

But Ashley doesn’t want to rely on customers tipping in advance. “I grew up in the old school, where I can get tips for providing good service,” she said.

“In my opinion, it would be nice if companies paid more.”

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