Yesterday, The New York Times published an exposé on the poor working conditions of food delivery apps’ delivery people in NYC.
The article shines a light on the difficulties and limitations of working as a delivery person for companies such as DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, Caviar, Grubhub, etc. It is not just critical of them – but is also critical of the consumers who benefit from these apps’ services, highlighting the incredibly tone-deaf consumer behavior when it comes to tipping these service providers for their work.
The “inside the app” tipping policies for the gig economy food delivery apps mentioned in the NY Times article are indeed quite dismal. But while we can be, and are, critical of them – they are mere technological go-betweens providing something people want.
Every time I get into an Uber I think to myself – what a revolution!!!
You can actually easily find semi-public transportation at any time of day (does ANYONE remember how hard it was to get a cab in NYC at rush hour before Uber???). That is the miracle of technology and the arc of human innovation and evolution. Things get easier. Things improve. We do less menial labor. And that is the POWER of the gig economy.
These revolutions in technology require something from us. And that is to adapt our own behavior. In the wake of the emerging gig economy, tipping people who live off servicing us is our responsibility.. We, the consumers, can’t only point the finger at the technology companies when it comes to tipping—it’s on us too.
Technology creates solutions at every level, and with a little bit of research it’s easy to find ways to tip the people who deliver to us even if we don’t have cash on us and don’t want to tip on the app because we don’t know who actually ends up with the money. So technology not only makes it convenient for consumers to buy stuff using an app and have it delivered using an app, but to actually tip people easily and safely. Yes. Using an app designed to do just that.
Two years ago I co-founded Mezu, a private payment app designed to replace cash in order to address exactly the problem highlighted in the NY Times article: How do you easily tip people in a world where no one is carrying cash any longer? How do you do that safely, securely, quickly AND privately?
Mezu, which basically means cash in Hebrew, lets you tip anyone in real-time just like you would if you were using cash—quickly, easily with no hassle and right to the person delivering. And the best part is that the service provider or delivery person gets 100% of the tip you gave them, instantly and for free.
And the best part is that, unlike other payment apps, you don’t have to share ANY of your personal information with the person you’re tipping, which also protects YOUR security and privacy. Using Mezu is the ideal response to the issue that many people were highly disturbed about in reaction to the article in The New York Times.
It’s a safe, respectful and PRIVACY-centered technological solution.