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DoorDash launches ‘ultra-fast’ delivery in NYC, with couriers who are actual employees

DoorDash launches ‘ultra-fast’ delivery in NYC, with couriers who are actual employees


Unlike traditional DoorDash couriers, some DashMart workers will be eligible for benefits

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DoorDash “fast” delivery comes to New York Cityfv
DoorDash “fast” delivery comes to New York Cityfv
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Food delivery platform DoorDash has launched its “ultra-fast” DashMart delivery service in New York City because apparently delivery couriers aren’t already frazzled enough and no one can possibly wait more than 15 minutes for anything (not quite what Andy Warhol predicted, but we’re way past that now).

However, there is a key difference between the delivery jobs on the main DoorDash platform and positions with the new DashMart fast delivery service: DashMart workers will be part of what the company calls DashCorps, considered full- and part-time employees — instead of independent contractors — and many will be eligible for benefits. DashCorps workers will have set schedules and be paid $15 per hour, plus tips, the company said.

To start in NYC, the ultra-fast deliveries — which will arrive within 10 to 15 minutes of order times — will come from a DashMart location in Chelsea that’s open from 7AM to 2AM daily, with more locations to follow soon. The Chelsea DashMart has more than 2,000 items including fresh and frozen foods, household goods, and local products, the company says. Customers can order via the DoorDash app or website; those who have its DashPass membership won’t be charged delivery fees. DoorDash will donate excess DashMart produce to a local community food bank.

“Achieving ultra-fast delivery times inherently requires more structure and organization to ensure orders are fulfilled quickly and merchant and customer expectations are met,” the company explained in a blog post. DashCorps workers will use a different app than workers for the standard DoorDash platform, wear uniforms, and in addition to deliveries, will perform other tasks including stocking shelves, customer support, and administrative work. The roles are “fundamentally different from dashing,” according to the blog post.

DoorDash first announced the launch of its DashMart stores in eight cities in August 2020. Unlike the Chelsea location, the first DashMarts didn’t have brick-and-mortar locations, functioning kind of like ghost kitchens for convenience stores.

Why would someone want to continue working for the main DoorDash platform when the seemingly more attractive DashCorps jobs are available? According to the blog post, the “binary choice between working as an employee or an independent contractor” is “outdated and doesn’t reflect the needs of the modern workforce.” Its independent contractor “Dashers” prefer the flexibility over their schedules that DoorDash offers, the company claims, and “we’re steadfastly committed to protecting and strengthening this independent workforce.”

The benefits for those DashCorps workers who are eligible would include those that “traditionally come with employment,” including medical, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, and commuter benefits, the company said.