The Villain Always Wins

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Courier service DoorDash—the company that’s managed with some success to dream up multiple predatory wage models for its independent contractors—has, according to recent data, pulled ahead of rival food delivery companies like Uber Eats and Grubhub. By every indication here, the bad guys are winning.

Citing data from analytics firm Second Measure, CNBC reported Friday that DoorDash captured 33 percent of the food delivery market last year, surpassing GrubHub by a single percentage point. By comparison, Uber Eats held 19 percent of the market, while Postmates grabbed 10 percent. And here’s the worst part: By Second Measure’s estimations, DoorDash grew by 143 percent year over year in sales. What this means is that no matter how unethical the company has proven itself to be, it’s still making a killing.


To be clear, this has been the case for a while. DoorDash was found to be leading the market in total consumer spend last spring, right around the time the company was in the middle of a public relations crisis over its twisted and now-infamous tip-skimming scheme that effectively paid substantial portions of employee wages with customer tips. But even with ongoing reports about the company’s underpayment of its delivery workers—a report from non-profit Working Washington this week found they are averaging $1.45 per hour after expenses—DoorDash is still a veritable king in the delivery arena.

It’s possible that DoorDash’s success is due in part to the dizzying number of promotions the company runs, with another seemingly cropping up each week. For example, Chase recently announced that it had partnered with DoorDash to offer its Freedom, Sapphire, and Slade cardholders DashPass subscriptions for free delivery and slashed fees. Little Caesars recently announced it would begin delivering pizzas for the first time ever through a partnership with DoorDash. Popeyes ran a promotion for a free chicken sandwich this month with the code “CHICKENWINNER.” There are countless more of these so-called “partnerships” that surfaced throughout most of last year. But at what cost?


DoorDash has built its entire business on the exploited labor of its delivery couriers for whom it would rather invent new, convoluted pay models then offer a fair and honest wage. To this point, multiple investigations by Gizmodo last year found that even after the company had overhauled its tip-skimming scheme, the company was still screwing workers over by messing with their per-delivery payouts. And if it frequently isn’t paying its employees anything close to what they should be making, then that sure frees up a whole heck of a lot of money for things like, oh I don’t know, flashy marketing and promotions.

DoorDash is as morally bankrupt as ever. Don’t let the free chicken sandwiches convince you otherwise.


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