- On April 29, DoorDash said in a press release that it's extending a gas purchase rewards program through August. The program was first implemented in mid-March to help drivers offset high fuel prices, offering 10% cash back on gas through the company’s prepaid business Visa card.
- The program was extended based on feedback from drivers, according to the release. The company said over 8,600 of its drivers use the cards every hour, and 74% gave the program a favorable rating.
- Other foodservice delivery companies, including Grubhub and Waitr, have also added driver incentives to help combat high fuel prices, while Uber Eats added a fuel surcharge that goes directly to drivers and couriers.
Fuel market analysts expect gas to remain at prices above $4 per gallon, a threshold at which consumers cut back on restaurant spending, according to research from Technomic. Consumers are also facing historically high inflation. The confluence of cost pressures is deterring customers from driving as much, which negatively impacts restaurants’ recovery.
In such an environment, delivery can help to maintain some digital traffic for restaurants, but delivery companies have struggled with driver shortages, just as their restaurant partners have battled staff shortages. Some drivers have even quit as gas price increases destroyed their ability to make a living.
While the delivery industry grapples with high fuel prices this year, the restaurant industry is experiencing high resignation rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. To compete with other employers, restaurant companies are adding new benefits, from same-day pay to vacation reimbursement. Likewise, delivery companies may have to keep some of their fuel incentives in place even after prices start to fall to win over drivers in a tight labor market.
Gas rewards programs and fuel surcharges could help with retention in this environment. One California DoorDash driver, Michelle Ronca, said in the release that the program has helped her keep more earnings from the job and save on personal gas costs.
DoorDash said in the release that it will continue to monitor gas prices through the summer, while seeking feedback from its driver community.