Helping Employees Find Financial Security after COVID-19

As a part of the company’s $200 million Main Street Pledge, DoorDash launched a one-of-its-kind banking solutions platform for its delivery drivers that represents a new way for businesses to support their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Known as DasherDirect, the platform offers drivers no-fee daily deposits of their DoorDash earnings, convenient digital banking functionality, and cash-back rewards. The transactions are issued through Stride Bank and the software is powered by Payfare.

To DoorDash, the platform is a way for the company to offer drivers greater economic freedom, security, and financial opportunity—something workers in all industries have been searching for since the pandemic began. DasherDirect is available in select regions across the East Coast, with a full nationwide rollout planned for early 2021.

“Over seven million households in the U.S. are without a checking or savings account, and with the support of our partners we’re proud to provide financial resources to more Americans looking for flexible earnings opportunities,” Tony Xu, CEO, and Co-founder of DoorDash, said in a statement. “This is a major step forward in introducing new tools to empower Dashers who count on DoorDash for reliable, independent and flexible work.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry have experienced unemployment in far greater numbers than workers in other industries. In April, the industry experienced a 32.5 % unemployment rate which has since declined to just over 16%, according to the US Department of Labor.

Meanwhile, research by the Pew Research Center found the industry’s historic unemployment overwhelmingly impacted young workers in entry-level roles. “Among the 19.3 million workers ages 16 to 24 in the economy overall, 9.2 million, or nearly half, are employed in service-sector establishments,” one study concludes.

For restaurant owners, providing employees with financial security is always a goal. Since the pandemic began, it is now an imperative. Research by global consulting firm McKinsey & Company found the pandemic has left employees needing varied types of support from employers. Some examples include trusting relationships and help to build their financial knowledge.

While achieving all of these measures may be tough for many restaurant owners, there are a few simple ways that can be incorporated into almost any organization. Here are a few examples.

What is Financial Security?

According to Smart Asset, financial security means different things to different people. But, a few similarities remain. Namely having enough money to pay all of one’s bills and save for retirement. Others may see financial security as the number of zeros on their paycheck.

For business owners, understanding the different ways your employees interpret financial security is the first step to understanding how to help them achieve their goals.

Offer Employer Benefits

Benefits like 401(k)’s, IRAs, and similar vehicles are a great way for employers to show their employees they have their wellbeing in mind. Offering employer match benefits are a great way to maximize this benefit for your employees. However, retirement benefits require employees to be making enough money to save some portion of their income, which is not always the case.

However, just offering these benefits isn’t enough. Employers should teach their employees about the decisions they’re making and how it can impact their financial future in the short-and-long-term.

Other off-the-books benefits can include offering employees who show initiative overtime hours. While the pay will still be taxed, giving employees opportunities to make a little extra money will pay off in the long run.

Flexible Schedules and Time Off

Business owners like standardized schedules for accounting purposes. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important flexible scheduling is for restaurants.

Flexible scheduling requires managers to staff shifts based on customer demand rather than gut feeling. It requires business owners and managers to keep the books up-to-date and stay on top of customer trends.

For employees, especially tipped employees, standardized scheduling allows for a more predictable schedule as well. Many employees know Friday and Saturday nights are the money nights and can plan around the expected income of a set schedule.

On the other side, flexible scheduling offers employees more opportunities to find side-gigs that can help them make money. It also provides an opportunity for an employee to define their own work-life balance.

Daily Cash-Out Options

What makes DasherDirect so revolutionary is that it allows employees to cash-out their earnings when they’re done working rather than waiting weeks for a paycheck. For restaurants, implementing this model could help reduce employee turnover and increase loyalty but it comes with operational challenges.

“We are committed to providing innovative solutions for gig workers that drive financial inclusion, which is why we are thrilled to partner with DoorDash and announce this major initiative. Since the inception of Payfare, we have quickly become a name synonymous with digital banking and instant payout solutions for the on-demand gig economy,” Marco Margiotta, CEO of Payfare, said in a statement.

Family Meal

Family meal is a common practice in the hospitality industry to ensure employees are fed on long shifts. Especially during difficult economic times, this meal can be a very important benefit for your employees guaranteeing them at least one good meal each workday. Ensuring this meal is healthy and balanced is a small way you can invest in your team.

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