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Red Deer food delivery driver says low minimum payments causing order delays

It can take a long time for people using food delivery apps to receive their orders due to low minimum payments for drivers, says a Red Deer man.
Joe Foster, of Red Deer, says low minimum payments for food delivery app drivers are causing orders to be delivered later than expected. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

It can take a long time for people using food delivery apps to receive their orders due to low minimum payments for drivers, says a Red Deer man.

Joe Foster has been delivering food with Skip the Dishes for about seven months. Prior to that, he delivered food with Door Dash for a similar period of time.

“My main concern is to let the community know why they may not be getting their deliveries on time,” Foster said.

“There are a lot of complaints out there, from not only customers but also the restaurant owners. They’ve asked me, ‘Are you guys really busy today?’”

Foster said Skip the Dishes pays the driver a minimum of $3.54 per delivery. He said he used to deliver food about 25 years ago.

“That was back when we used a traditional paper map. I’m not going to lie, we actually made more for a base pay than we do now. We received $4 per delivery,” he said.

“We handed it right to the customer then, which means we usually got a tip. Now we set it on the step, we take a picture and we go. It’s quick, there’s no contact and tip is all pre-done.

“If you don’t tip, we don’t take the order because no one wants to deliver anything for $3.54. These companies are allowed to rely on customer tips to make up our wage.”

Foster said drivers who stay above an 80 per cent acceptance rate with Skip the Dishes, meaning they don’t decline many orders, receive a minimum of $6.50 per order.

“Earlier today there was a request to bring an order to Blackfalds for $7.50 or so. I didn’t take it because I’m not going to ride to Blackfalds for a bit more than $7, but if I don’t accept it, my rate goes down,” he explained.

Foster said he’s personally able to make a decent amount of money through food delivery, but there are many drivers who cannot.

“I see new drivers every day and there are people who can’t afford to do this,” he said.

“I see their struggle. There are very few permanent people – there are just a few of us. I do it because I can make it work.

“I say it’s frustrating and disrespectful. There are other drivers who will have an even harsher opinion. There are a lot of places we have to wait to pick up an order. Within an hour, we can do roughly three orders if we don’t have to wait. In a hour, doing three orders at $3.54, we aren’t even making minimum wage. That doesn’t even include fuel or wear and tear.”

Skip the Dishes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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