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Over the past few years, particularly during the global health crisis, DoorDash emerged as a pandemic hero, helping local restaurants and customers navigate the shift from “dine-in” to “door-to-door” delivery.
Around 2020, I became hooked on the idea of DoorDashing as receiving food from delivery drivers has become my happy pill. Seriously, who didn’t depend on delivery services during the lockdown period? WE ALL DID.
Besides being curious about how much a Dasher earns in a day, I also wanted to witness that same spark of excitement in others when their favorite food is delivered to their door.
Indeed, food delivery apps have taken eating at a restaurant to a new level – even post-pandemic. The days of needing to personally fetch your food from a restaurant are over; now, you can easily pay someone to make the trip, grab your meal, and bring it right to your door.
The convenience that the gig economy provides, particularly through platforms like DoorDash, is unparalleled, solidifying these apps’ positions among the best side hustle apps used daily.
Moreover, DoorDash’s flexibility makes the job a great gig for delivery drivers. It’s a simple job and definitely one of the easiest ways to make money, with some drivers touting it as the best second job.
However, the famous question among netizens (both customers and delivery drivers alike) is, “Is DoorDash safe to use for customers and drivers?
From sudden surges in the food business and multiple security breaches to delivery apps and crime-related news we see on TV, it’s only high time to tackle the safety features of DoorDash.
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
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1. Is DoorDash Safe For Consumers?
The safety and security of any food delivery app are probably the last things you can think of when ordering a delicious burger or a late-night pizza.
Nevertheless, consumers’ safety is very important, especially since gig economy apps like DoorDash collect tons of personal information like your name, address, and bank details. Plus, are Dashers even reliable enough to allow them to get your food?
Now that I’ve brought it up, let’s determine whether DoorDash merits your trust.
A. Data Security
As with other companies, DoorDash is not exempted from third-party hackers. However, the company’s commitment to giving customers the kind of service they deserve doesn’t stop at making your food safe until it’s delivered.
DoorDash had anticipated data breaches even before the app was made. So, they made a system to keep customers (even Dashers) at ease.
DoorDash use indecipherable passwords and a lot of codes to prevent data breach. In fact, when the app’s security was breached in 2019, the hackers could not get the customers’ debit and credit card information.
Since the hacking incident, the company has ensured that customers’ information is strictly safe.
For instance, each customer’s phone numbers are so well protected that even Dashers couldn’t see them. DoorDash uses scrambling software so drivers can’t see the customers’ phone numbers, and the customers can’t see Dashers’ phone numbers.
So, rest assured that no Dasher will call you unexpectedly with inappropriate comments. Phone numbers are well hidden.
Customers’ card details are also hidden. The only information drivers can get to see is the addresses of their customers.
B. Food Safety
If a less-than-appetizing room-temperature sandwich kept you up at night, I can attest that it’s not the Dasher’s fault. Dashers are well-equipped with sealed, insulated bags to ensure your food arrives in a fresh and piping-hot condition.
The culprit? It’s most likely the restaurant’s fault. In situations like this, restaurant reviews are your best friend.
To be clear, food tampering can occur in any restaurant. Unless you’re the chef, there’s no absolute guarantee that your dishes will remain untouched — like finding unexpected pineapple on your pepperoni pizza.
It’s rare to have Dashers messing with your food unless they’re an imbecile. Kidding aside, no one wants to get fired. For extra peace of mind, delivery drivers are told to keep their bags clean and well-sanitized – something we, dashers, especially following the challenges of the recent health crisis.
C. Delivery Safety
Delivery theft is not a thing of the past. It still happens in this era. But again, it’s worth noting that no one wants to jeopardize their job, so you can generally trust that your food is safe in the hands of your Dasher.
Most Dashers are focused on their primary objective – to deliver as many orders as possible and maximize their earnings. Yet, it’s probably true that some go home thinking over the customers who opted not to leave a tip.
But rest easy; no Dasher will pursue you down the street simply because they didn’t receive a gratuity.
Every driver undergoes thorough background checks before becoming a Dasher.
A third-party company verifies all criminal history and driving records, so you can sit back and await your delivery with the assurance that DoorDash drivers are trustworthy.
The likelihood of having your food delivered by someone with a questionable background is slim. However, I can’t assure you that a neighbor won’t swipe your meal if you instruct the driver to leave your order at the door.
Also, if you inadvertently provide the wrong address and your food is delivered elsewhere, a fortunate neighbor might just claim it. After all, who can resist the lure of unexpected, freshly prepared sushi?
To stop the food thieves, make sure that you input your address correctly and have you or any person from your household receive the food.
2. Is DoorDash Safe For Drivers?
Delivery drivers have been victims of robberies, carjacking, and physical assaults. Need proof? Five teenagers were caught on camera in the attempted carjacking of a Grubhub driver. Scary, right? Take note that the perpetrators are teenagers! Also, it could have been worse if the victim was a woman like me.
That was only one of the many unfortunate events a delivery driver had gone through. This is not to discourage you from being a Dasher – this is only me stating facts.
In fact, according to Statistics, delivery driver is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States.
For delivery drivers, every day’s a new adventure. They brace themselves for trips to those ‘rather-not-go’ neighborhoods or where customers are few and far between. But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom — imagine the fun of delivering dinner to someone dressed in their onesie birthday suits.
No job is perfect. Now, let’s answer the question: Is DoorDash safe to work?
A. Personal Safety
DoorDash has introduced a lot of safety features to protect their Dashers (and I’m forever thankful for that). And the best part? They are all available in the app – so gone are the days when you need Beth from HR to file a complaint.
If you ever need help, tap the shield button at the top of the DoorDash app. You will be taken to SafeDash, where you can get in touch with an ADT agent who will check up on you to ensure that everything is okay.
For urgent situations, feel free to ask the ADT agents to call 911 for you.
Or maybe you’re just busy driving and minding your own business without knowing that there’s a building fire. In cases like this, DoorDash has a real-time safety alert to keep you safe.
Moreover, I want to emphasize that female Dashers are well taken care of, thanks to the app’s safety features.
But of course, you need extra precautions, i.e., never entering someone’s house (that’s unsafe and is considered trespassing). Is the customer acting weirdly? Or do you feel harassed by a customer’s messages in the app? Never hesitate to cancel the order and report them on the app.
If you feel unsafe working at night, you can work during the day and still take advantage of peak pay. After all, many customers look for hangover food or a quick breakfast before they start their day.
B. Financial Security
Even before the latest payment innovation at DoorDash, Dashers are well-compensated, especially if you have good ratings in the app.
This is because DoorDash has a priority access program where highly-rated Dashers mostly get high-paying offers and get to work often.
Would I still be working at DoorDash AND writing this blog if I was not paid enough? Absolutely not! Let’s be honest – the ability to earn an extra $100 a day quickly makes Dashing an appealing errand-running job.
As previously mentioned, I have only tried the app because of curiosity. I made $150.55 on my third day, enjoyed the job, and here I am still in the business and even give you tips on how you can make your DoorDash journey worthwhile.
If you have chosen to Earn per Offer, you can make around $2 to $10 as based pay. You can earn more than that if you work during peak pay and if customers give you tips.
However, if you are one of those drivers who think they are not paid fairly because the app gives them low-paying orders, your best alternative is to Earn by Time. This option allows drivers a guaranteed hourly pay of around $10 to $19.50 per hour.
As for taxes and insurance costs, rest assured that DoorDash is worth it even after taxes and other expenses. Of course, that depends on whether you will take advantage of tax incentives for independent contractors.
Costs like mileage and equipment used during working hours help reduce taxes you must pay. So, track your spending wisely.
Additionally, on top of your tax incentives, you can also take advantage of DoorDash insurance. Normally, your auto insurance will not protect you in case of accidents because it may only cover the personal use of your vehicle and not for business use like DoorDash insurance does.
What I love about DoorDash is their Fast Pay feature, which caters to those who desire or need to access their earnings promptly. If you’re in a situation where you need cash immediately DoorDash makes it possible to withdraw your earnings daily, providing financial flexibility when you most require it.
C. Health Precautions
Being “hangry” is real. Trust me. I’ve encountered hungry customers who make me want to run a mile when I deliver an order late.
If you’re behind schedule, prepare for the familiar signs of irritation: raised eyebrows, disapproving headshakes, or the occasional eye roll. These reactions are manageable, though.
But, if you sense a customer’s annoyance might escalate into a Hulk-like rage, prioritize your safety. Use the SafeChat feature for a secure communication line.
And just like a cringe-y date, you can use the Safety Reporting feature to block future deliveries from a bad customer, and poof – you won’t see them on your app forever.
The SafeChat option can also help you during health emergencies. Got a mini heart attack after meeting a disrespectful customer? Tap the blue shield button for ADT agent or 911 assistance.
In certain regions, DoorDash extends further support through medical insurance. This plan covers unforeseen medical costs, vision and dental care, and various other health services.
For Dashers in Seattle, there’s an additional benefit: it’s the only city where local legislation grants delivery drivers paid sick leave, a privilege rarely afforded to most gig workers or independent contractors.
Best Practices for Consumers and Drivers
DoorDash has truly improved its safety features over the years. But, like other jobs, there’s always room for improvement, and we must also do our part to keep us safe. Finally, here are best practices to keep yourself safe as a Customer or Dasher.
A. For Consumers
There’s little difference between ordering a meal online and being served at a restaurant; you’re letting strangers take the wheel on your food experience. However, this doesn’t mean you should be complacent, regardless of whether your food is subpar or your order gets mixed up.
Want your food just right? Pick a restaurant with a rep you can trust — your Dasher is just the messenger.
I may be biased, but truthfully, in most cases, it’s the restaurants that are responsible for preparing your food. We, Dashers, simply use our insulated bags and other delivery equipment to maintain its safety and quality. These tools are just a few of the prerequisites for becoming a Dasher.
Allergic reactions are no joke so make it clear in the ‘Special Instructions’ when you’re checking out.
And if you’re doubting your delivery, always check that the package is sealed and everything you ordered is there, untouched.
B. For Drivers
Trust those instincts of yours, especially when delivering. Dicey area? Gut telling you something’s off? Err on the side of caution, always.
You’re totally within your rights to turn down an order or keep things brief with customers by eliminating the cash tip option.
And let’s get this straight: no entering customers’ homes. Ever. Even if you’re the biggest fan and they’ve got the ultimate fan cave, RESIST THE URGE.
Meet the customer at the door or deliver food at the doorstep if requested. But take note to communicate with the customer in a friendly manner, even if you think they don’t treat you right. It stinks, sure, but staying positive keeps us primed for the folks who value our hustle.
Is DoorDash a good side job?
You bet it is! It’s not your 9-5 job replacement, but wow, has it put a cushion in my bank account for those rainy days. Plus, the freedom to work when I want? Priceless.
Are you a student who wants to make money fast like $500 a week, working in your free time? Or are you looking for a part-time job that allows you to earn great side cash? DoorDash is definitely a reliable gig app.
Is It Safe To DoorDash As A Woman?
DoorDash, like other gig economy apps, has safety features to make their platforms safe for all genders. Safety measures like in-app features, GPS tracking, contactless delivery, etc., are designed to protect all delivery drivers and customers.
As a woman exploring various avenues to earn money quickly, I’ve found DoorDash to be a reliable gig. But, the road isn’t always easy, especially when challenges arise from customers or encounters during deliveries. My survival tip? Steer clear of iffy areas and make sure my last delivery is while the sun’s still up. Daylight isn’t just for visibility — it’s a safety net.
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