Doordash in the News
DoorDash, Wonder Layoffs Are Another Sign Tech Companies Don’t Understand How We Eat
Category: Doordash in the News Author: admin Date: 6 days ago Comments: 0
DoorDash, Wonder Layoffs Are Another Sign Tech Companies Don’t Understand How We Eat

Tech companies have long had moonshot visions for changing the way people eat and experience restaurants—some more dramatic than others. But recent signs suggest that the good times are over for these grand-planning tech disruptors: DoorDash, the restaurant delivery titan, announced on Wednesday that it was laying off 1,200 corporate employees, or 6 percent of the company’s workforce. And a company called Wonder, which collaborates with celebrity chefs to offer meals cooked directly from a truck parked in front of a customer’s home, announced this week that it has laid off a significant chunk of its staff. Instead of bringing a chef-cooked meal direct to diners’ front steps, Wonder seems to be shifting strategies to essentially become another meal kit delivery service. 

During the pandemic, food tech companies envisioned that restaurants and food brands would change in favor of diner convenience and tech-fueled efficiency. But it seems some companies have fundamentally misunderstood the desires of restaurant-goers and home cooks alike. With business slowing and economic conditions worsening, these companies are making changes to save themselves. 

DoorDash founder and CEO Tony Xu said in a blog post that the company grew too fast during the “sudden, unprecedented opportunities” of the pandemic. “We were not as rigorous as we should have been in managing our team growth,” Xu wrote. As a result, operating expenses grew too high, threatening DoorDash’s overall business. In short: The company got overly optimistic about its future, hired too many people, and now it can’t afford to keep them.

The staff cuts happened mere weeks after DoorDash executives offered a rosy outlook for its future. The company shared better financial results than Wall Street expected in November, and said its delivery business remained largely unaffected by inflation as customers continued to place orders, paying higher prices rather than give up a convenient meal.

DoorDash’s assumptions of a bright future weren’t unfounded. As many people dined at home during the pandemic, the delivery company profited as demand soared. It rode a wave of momentum, growing as fast as possible by branching out to new services like grocery delivery, and buying up companies to complement its business. In a deal that closed in June, DoorDash spent $8 billion to buy Wolt, a European delivery service based in Finland. The move boosted DoorDash’s corporate headcount, more than doubling from 8,600 at the beginning of the year to 20,000 recently. More countries, more cities, more restaurants, and more employees would theoretically make the service bigger and stronger. It also made DoorDash significantly more expensive to run, which would have been fine if it kept growing like crazy.  

In hindsight, this was all too much, too fast. The company’s CEO claimed full responsibility for the business decisions that led to this week’s layoffs. And he assured current employees that the news wasn’t a sign of more cuts to come, promising to continue hiring, albeit in a “more targeted” way. That could mean focusing less on delivering from restaurants and more on places like convenience stores. 

The tech industry has been plagued by layoffs. DoorDash is among the latest in a long list of big names including Meta and Netflix that have cut jobs after overhiring during the pandemic. Wonder, the mobile kitchen and delivery startup, this week confirmed layoffs of 7 percent of its staff. Tech news site The Information, which broke the news, estimated the cuts affected 130 jobs.

Wonder partners with big-name chefs like Nancy Silverton and Bobby Flay to offer meals for delivery that are cooked by a Wonder employee in a custom kitchen van parked outside a customer’s home. Dishes are delivered to their door just as they would come from a restaurant kitchen to a table, eliminating the delivery commute. According to Wonder founder Marc Lore, the goal is a pie-in-the-sky notion to somehow “completely change the way that people eat” by bringing restaurant-quality food to their front doors. (This sort of language is typical for Lore, who also founded Amazon competitor jet.com and sold it to Walmart for billions. He’s also planning a new, utopian city for 5 million people in the western U.S. as “a new model for society.” Seriously.)

But Wonder’s business is costly to run, requiring fleets of pricey vehicles and lots of repeat customers. The service is also only available in a few New York City suburbs. Wonder proves popular enough with diners who live within its small operating radius, but it could take years, maybe decades, to reach enough customers to make it truly viable. Wonder planned to expand across the country by 2035, but new data shows it’s been growing much slower than expected, with less than half the number of mobile kitchens Lore predicted on the road today. Its success also requires a lot of faith that enough suburbanites will pay for dinner from a van more than once or twice. 

Now the company is reportedly trying to offload vans and kitchen equipment in favor of selling meal kits to places like bars and sports arenas—a significant change to its original business. The Information called the shift in strategy “a dramatic stumble,” a harsh but accurate assessment.

We’ve come to expect change-the-world narratives from tech leaders extolled as visionaries, and their huge visions for change and disruption have remained well-funded. The last time Wonder took investor dollars—$350 million in June—the company was worth a reported $3.5 billion. DoorDash’s stock took a hit after the company announced its layoffs this week, but it’s still valued over $20 billion. 

But it’s hard to square these pricey visions for the future with what actually happened. When pandemic restrictions eased, people went back to restaurants. When it was safe, we again chose face-to-face human interaction over screen time. Some changes, like how much we’ve come to love the convenience of food delivery, will stick, along with more realistic expectations over how technology will change how we eat. Now that the grand claims of revolutionizing dining have largely come up short, we can expect to see plenty more of them dropping back to Earth. There will always be a way to get the delivery you love, but it probably won’t come with a side of total industry change. 

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Hashtag Trending Dec. 1 – Proposal to use lethal robots passed, DoorDash lays off 1250 employees, Senator accuses Apple of supporting China’s speech suppression policies
Category: Doordash in the News Author: admin Date: 1 week ago Comments: 0
Hashtag Trending Dec. 1 – Proposal to use lethal robots passed, DoorDash lays off 1250 employees, Senator accuses Apple of supporting China’s speech suppression policies

San Francisco police can now use potentially lethal robots, DoorDash lays off 1250 employees and Missouri Senator accuses Apple of supporting China’s speech suppression policies.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Thursday December 1st and I’m your host, Samira Balsara. 

The San Francisco police have been granted the ability to use potentially lethal, remote-controlled robots in emergency situations, following a debate on Tuesday that concluded with an 8-3 vote with the majority of supervisors agreeing to this further militarization of the police force. The two-hour debate was emotionally charged, AP News reported, with each party accusing the other of ‘reckless fear mongering’. The proposal was amended to allow the use of these robots only after alternative force or de-escalation tactics had been deployed and concluding that none would work to subdue the suspect.

Delivery service, DoorDash has laid off 1250 employees, as part of the company’s cost-cutting plans, following slow growth and over hiring, CEO Tony Xu said in a message to employees, yesterday. The company’s shares, which has been down 60 per cent year to date, bumped five per cent after the news. DoorDash joins Amazon, Twitter, Meta and many other tech companies who slowed hiring earlier this year and have now went on to cull headcount as consumer and investor confidence is muted, following spiking inflation and interest rates, post-pandemic. DoorDash will offer 17 weeks of severance to affected employees and health care will continue through March 2023, CNBC reported. For overseas and visa-sponsored employees, the termination date will be March 1, which according to the Xu, will give employees “as much time as possible to find a new job.”

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley has written an open letter to Apple’s Tim Cook, accusing the company of helping China to suppress free speech. He stressed that Apple should cut its dependency on China, bring back jobs to the US, and not ban Twitter, after Elon Musk alleged that Apple wants to ban Twitter’s mobile app from its app store. The Senator presented Cook with a list of questions and the deadline of December 6 to respond. The questions cover the treatment of workers in Apple’s factories in China, looming invasion of Taiwan by China , Apple’s dependency on China and Apple limiting AirDrop in China. Hawley has previously said that Cook, and Google’s Sundar Pichai, be held personally accountable over privacy issues to do with coronavirus contact tracing.

Montreal-based Avvy, dubbed the healthcare Uber, is the first mobile healthcare platform connecting registered medical practitioners with patients to provide healthcare services in the safety of their homes and work offices, at times the most convenient to them. Patients can order a home healthcare service through the company’s app. The company seeks to leverage technology to ease the burden on the healthcare system as we enter a season full of respiratory illnesses and eliminate the challenges in accessing care, including long wait times. The Avvy app is available on Google Play and the App Store. 

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Samira Balsara. 

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Tech layoffs continue as DoorDash drops over a thousand employees
Category: Doordash in the News Author: admin Date: 1 week ago Comments: 0
Tech layoffs continue as DoorDash drops over a thousand employees

DoorDash logo in Chicago, United States, on Oct. 17. Photo: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

DoorDash announced Wednesday it has laid off around 1,250 employees as a part of a cost-cutting campaign to offset overhiring during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Layoffs and hiring freezes have become commonplace in the tech industry this year, and it’s expected to continue throughout the winter as companies warn of the troubling times ahead, per Axios.

Details: DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said in a statement Wednesday the company was “not as rigorous as we should have been in managing our team growth” during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to these recent layoffs.

“If you are among those impacted, I am truly sorry and I apologize to have some of you wake up to this news as opposed to reading it during more normal hours,” Xu said.Employees will receive 17 weeks of severance and 2023 stock vesting as a part of the severance package, the company said.Laid-off employees will receive health care benefits through the end of March, DoorDash said.The company’s shares jumped up 5% after the news, CNBC reports.The big picture: DoorDash joins other tech giants like Amazon, Meta and Twitter in announcing job cuts as the tech industry copes with the fallout from the hiring surge during the early days of the pandemic.

Consumer demand and investor confidence have thrown cold water on these companies, per CNBC.Now, employees with these businesses — who are used to high salaries, massive benefits and lots of opportunities — have to deal with the tough times ahead.More from Axios:

Tech layoffs are soaring this month

Tech workers brace for massive wintertime layoff surge

Go deeper
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Big Tech Layoffs Continue As DoorDash Cuts 1,250 Jobs
Category: Doordash in the News Author: admin Date: 1 week ago Comments: 0
Big Tech Layoffs Continue As DoorDash Cuts 1,250 Jobs

Simone Hogan/Shutterstock

By S.G. Howe/Nov. 30, 2022 11:53 am EST

In today’s early morning hours, DoorDash CEO Tony Xu announced that the food delivery service is reducing its corporate workforce by 1,250 people. The November 30 message from Xu to DoorDash personnel states that the payroll deductions come despite the fact that DoorDash “remains strong and continues to grow.” Xu said that DoorDash, after overtly rigorous team growth during the pandemic, saw quickly mounting operating expenses post-COVID. High personnel costs after padding up the workforce during the pandemic are a common denominator in the layoffs sweeping across various corporations.

The CEO added that his company is “not immune” to the current economical climate and challenges, remarking that the exponential growth of the pandemic era has slowed — and that operating expenses would overpass profit if measures weren’t taken. Efforts to reduce spending outside of employee livelihoods have reportedly already been taken, stated Xu.

DoorDash will help the laid off workers with career transition and recruitment, according to the statement. Impacted employees are receiving just over four months of severance pay, in addition to the quarterly employee stock vest in February. Health insurance and benefits are set to continue through the end of March, Xu’s memo says, and COBRA coverage will be available for 18 months thereafter. For international visa-holding employees, the termination date was set to March 1 of next year to give adequate time for job hunting and relocation.

Across all of tech, thousands face layoffs as fears of economic slump mount

Frederic Legrand – COMEO/Shutterstock

While it’s certainly no consolation, the DoorDash employees finding themselves unemployed in the thick of the holiday season aren’t alone. The downsizing bug was also caught by Meta, Amazon, Twitter, Lyft, HP — the layoff numbers of several paling DoorDash’s cuts in comparison. Amazon is letting go an estimated 10,000 employees across multiple departments, including Alexa which has been a struggling branch of Amazon for some time. Meta confirmed sweeping reductions earlier this month, with the totals there amounting to 13% of the tech giant’s payroll (via Wired).

Tech layoffs can largely be blamed on the slowing momentum in consumer spending power, fear of a pending recession, and continued inflation. Workforce downsizing at Twitter is decisively less structured — with all the organization of a shaken jar of hornets, it seems — but among the most recent news there is Twitter dismissing thousands of freelancers and contractors after already slashing an estimated 4,000 from its regular payroll.

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Crypto exchange Kraken cuts 1,100 jobs
Category: Doordash in the News Author: admin Date: 1 week ago Comments: 0
Crypto exchange Kraken cuts 1,100 jobs

Crypto exchange Kraken today announced it’s letting go of 1,100 staffers. The announcement came from a company blog post and follows similar news from DoorDash that it was also cutting staff.

News that Kraken is cutting staff — and therefore costs — is not a surprise, given a generally gloomy macroeconomic climate and even worse climes in crypto-land. Prior to the Kraken news, we’ve seen several high-profile implosions in and amongst web3 companies, and layoffs from other exchanges including the American crypto giant Coinbase earlier in the year.

Per Kraken, the 1,100 affected employees represent around 30% of its staff, making them stiffer most cuts that we’ve seen from tech companies this year, reductions that tended to land in the 10% to 20% range.

The exchange explained why it made the cuts, writing that “significantly lower trading volumes and fewer client sign-ups” this year led it to reduce its hiring pace and avoid “large marketing commitments.” However, continuing “negative influences on the financial markets” according to Kraken made the cuts necessary despite its attempts to cut other expenses before laying off staff.

DoorDash cited “macro” impacts that led to it make cuts, striking a related tenor concerning the market it is confronting today.

Layoffs have become commonplace in the technology market this year. From startups to tech giants, many tech companies have looked to trim their costs in response to slower than anticipated growth, or the need to reduce unprofitability as investor sentiment has evolved; last year’s growth at all costs mantra has run head-first into market expectations for cleaner P&L statements this year.

After a slight slowdown, tech layoffs have picked back up. The crypto market has see a sharper contraction this year than the technology market more generally, making the Kraken cuts not a surprise, even if they constitute a greater portion of the company’s overall workforce than we have seen amongst other companies.

Coinbase and Kraken are not alone in reducing their personnel costs. OpenSea, another company that saw its valuation soar during the 2021-era startup and crypto boom was forced to cut its headcount as well.

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DoorDash Employee Says Customer Pulled Knife on Her During Creepy Delivery: ‘I Just Want Some Human Contact’
Category: Doordash in the News Author: admin Date: 1 month ago Comments: 0
DoorDash Employee Says Customer Pulled Knife on Her During Creepy Delivery: ‘I Just Want Some Human Contact’

Spooky season might be over, but for one DoorDash delivery driver, an incident straight out of a horror movie occurred just in the nick of time.

Gado | Getty Images

TikToker @fw.mackkk is going viral on the platform for her two-part video series that depicts an eerie story about a late-night delivery she made to a customer who had ordered from a local Wendy’s around 10 p.m.

On her way to deliver the food to the man, she said he requested that even though the DoorDash order indicated that he wanted the food dropped off at his door, he actually wanted her to hand it to him.

“He pauses for a second and then he says, ‘Well, really, I just want some human contact. I don’t have any friends.’ So I started trembling,” the DoorDasher recalls.

@fw.mackkkpt 1

♬ original sound – fw.mackkShe says in the video that she considered abandoning the order, but proceeded anyway, against her better judgment. She noted that it was an extremely rural area and that there were multiple driveways — which is where the nightmare begins.

“He’s standing in my headlights to the right of my car a little bit … he’s in a yellow raincoat with his hood up and there’s three pockets, three layers of pockets down,” she said.

The man then allegedly told her not to be scared and proceeded to whip out a butterfly knife which prompted the TikToker to lock her doors and windows and try to drive away.

“‘He’s yelling through my window, I don’t know how to explain it, it was hard to get out the driveway without pulling forward because it was intersecting so I didn’t really know what to do in the moment. And he’s screaming through my window with the butterfly knife in his hand,” she said.

She reversed out of the driveway as the man continued to yell at her, throwing his food out the window before gunning it for an escape. She said she is not sure if he was under the influence or if he had a mental illness while warning other drivers to be safe.

@fw.mackkkpt 2 sorry !!

♬ original sound – fw.mackk”I probably didn’t handle it correctly, but just be careful — A girl DoorDashing at night by herself just isn’t a smart decision,” she said. “I don’t know what would have happened tonight had I not had better judgment.”

Both of the DoorDasher’s videos have a combined over 2.1 million views, with hundreds in the comment section telling the girl she should’ve canceled the delivery and applauding her for trusting her gut.

“Always, Always, trust your gut instinct,” one user said. “If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not.”

“Even if the cops don’t do anything, they’ll have this incident on record,” another explained. “Please go to the police about this. It could save someone else’s life.”

Entrepreneur has reached out to DoorDash for comment.

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Doordash Worker Shares ‘Scary’ Order Experience: ‘I Started Trembling’
Category: Doordash in the News Author: admin Date: 1 month ago Comments: 0
Doordash Worker Shares ‘Scary’ Order Experience: ‘I Started Trembling’

In a viral video posted on social media, a DoorDash employee shared their “scary” experience while delivering a customer’s order.

Posted on the popular video-sharing platform, TikTok, a user named @fw.makkk explained what happened while working a night shift for DoorDash. The video has over 188,000 likes, 1,000 comments and 1.8 million views.

The TikToker began her story by explaining they never DoorDash at night but was in need of some extra money. After picking up the food from the restaurant, she received a call from the customer saying to give the food directly to him and not leave it at the door as it stated on the app.

He explained that he had dogs and they would eat the food if it was left on the deck. She explained that she was driving through a rural area with gravel roads and no street lights in order to get to her destination.

While on the phone, he explained to the DoorDash employee that he “just wanted some human contact” and that he didn’t have any friends.

Here, people exchange food delivery orders. A woman shared her “scary” encounter with a DoorDash customer.
Pinkypills/iStock / Getty Images Plus
“No,” she blatantly spoke, “So I started trembling and I was about to be like ‘f*** the DoorDash’ like, I don’t even want to go anymore. I’m sketched.”

She continued her journey to the customer’s house and explained when she got there, the customer was standing in her headlights. She described him as wearing a yellow raincoat with his hood up.

The TikToker said, “I don’t want to get out of the car,” she said, saying that the man was smiling at her, “So I stick my head out of the window and I’m like ‘Hey do you mind coming and getting it from my car? I get a little sketched out at night’ and he’s like ‘Oh you don’t have to be scared around me.’

“I laughed it off and I was like ‘Well I don’t really know you so better to be safe than sorry, right?’ I swear to God at that moment he sticks his hand in his pocket and he pulls out a butterfly knife,” she proceeded.

She continued her story in a part two of the story, she said she immediately shut her door and window fully and locked them. She explained that while she was locking her car up, the customer began to laugh.

She said he came up to her window signaling that they didn’t mean any harm and that they only wanted to show the DoorDash employee the knife. In an instant, she began to reverse out of the driveway with the customer telling them to wait. She threw the food out of the passenger seat window and took off.

“I’m done for the night, I’m done for every night, I’m not doing that anymore,” she said, “Just be careful. A girl DoorDashing at night by herself just isn’t a smart decision. If you’re thinking about doing it just don’t. I don’t know what would have happened tonight had I not had better judgment.”

Newsweek reached out to @fw.makkk for comment.

How to Stay Safe”What has been reported in the video is concerning and we’re actively investigating,” a DoorDash spokesperson told Newsweek, Every week, Dashers complete millions of deliveries and the overwhelming majority—more than 99.99 percent—occur without any safety-related incident at all.”

“Even though negative incidents are extremely rare, we’re constantly working to make Dashing even safer because even one incident is one too many. If a Dasher ever feels unsafe, they can quickly get the help they need via SafeDash, our in-app safety tool powered by ADT, or via our 24/7 Trust & Safety team,” the spokesperson continued.

User Reactions”Right at the ‘I want human contact’ would’ve made me cancel the order,” one user pointed out.

“LOOK WHEN YOU HAVE THAT FEELING DON’T GO AGAINST YOUR FEELINGS,” a user reminded the TikToker.

“Girl! Please be careful! Gladly you trusted your instincts when you did,” another exclaimed.

“If you ever have a weird feeling like that, call DoorDash and explain. They’ll cancel it for you. Your safety is more important,” a user said.

One user shared, “I live in a very rural area and when I dash at night I always take the food to the door with my mace in my hand. It gives me more peace of mind.”

“In todays world you must be SO careful sadly,” admitted another.

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