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DoorDash offers restaurants help on employee benefits

The delivery company is giving operators access to discounted healthcare and other perks in an effort to help them attract and keep workers.
DoorDash bag
Restaurants can get discounts on healthcare and other benefits through DoorDash. / Photograph courtesy of DoorDash

DoorDash is giving restaurants access to discounted healthcare and other benefits in an effort to help them improve hiring and retention.

The delivery company launched Merchant Benefits on Monday, days after a new jobs report showed restaurant hiring slowed significantly last month. The industry remains 500,000 jobs short of pre-pandemic levels.

DoorDash wants to help turn the tide by offering restaurants tools that it believes will help attract and keep workers. Here’s a look at what it’s offering:

Healthcare: DoorDash has partnered with Sesame, a cash-pay healthcare marketplace that offers plans as low as $5 a month.

Personal and mental health: DoorDash is offering discounted subscriptions to Breathwrk, an app that provides breathing exercises for reducing stress.

Education: DoorDash is offering discounts on two foodservice training programs. Restaurants can get 40% off EdApp by SafetyCulture, a job training app that features courses for hospitality and retail. And they can get 15% off StateFoodSafety, an online company that offers a range of food safety certifications.

Staffing: Restaurants can get one free month of recruiting platform Landed and four free months of team management platform 7Shifts.

The above companies will administer their services directly to DoorDash restaurant partners.

"The economic fluctuations that come with running a small to medium-sized business challenge employers in many ways, including being able to provide affordable benefits to staff," said DoorDash COO Christopher Payne in a statement. "Given our vast network of merchant partners, we've negotiated these benefits on their behalf who would otherwise face a steep surcharge, eliminating a barrier to growing teams to their full potential."

To show the impact benefits can have on staffing, DoorDash published the results of a survey of 300 restaurants and restaurant workers about benefits.

Workers clearly value them: Two-thirds said they’re more likely to apply for a job that offers health benefits. Eighty-six percent of those who are unsatisfied with their current benefits said they would consider staying if benefits improved. And 38% said they would take less pay for better health benefits.

Despite that, many small operators don't offer benefits of any kind, mainly because of the cost. Half of independents told DoorDash they offer some form of benefits, compared to 76% of chains. Among indies who don’t offer benefits, 80% said it was because they’re too expensive.

Under the Affordable Care Act, restaurants with fewer than 50 full-time employees are not obligated to offer health insurance. 

The Merchant Benefits program is the latest effort by DoorDash to evolve beyond a delivery provider into an all-around support system for restaurants. In February, for instance, it launched a financing arm that gives restaurants cash advances.

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