How we are supporting shoppers during the #Instacartstrike

Joel Shapiro
Mar 30, 2020 · 3 min read

These past few weeks are shining a bright light on the inherent inequities in the Instacart model. While Instacart’s business may be booming, the backbone of their business — the hundreds of thousands of personal shoppers employed as independent contractors — are being exploited more than ever.

The truth is, this exploitation isn’t anything new. It’s been this way for a long time and has been well documented. It’s also the reason why we built dumpling, to provide gig workers a better option to continue doing the important work they love to do, but to do so unshackled from the low pay and algorithm-based control of the on-demand apps they work for.

A Model Based on Ownership

Rather than employ shoppers as independent contractors, we built dumpling around an ownership model that empowers Gig Workers with the tools and support they need to start and run their own businesses. Shoppers can set their own prices (including the Tip options that are presented to their clients), decide when and where they want to work, which clients they want to shop for, giving them complete control over their business.

Some of the many local grocery delivery businesses running on dumpling

And it works! Not only are business owners making significantly more per order, their clients couldn’t be happier. The numbers speak for themselves:

Now more than ever, a trusted relationship with a shopper, and their ability to make smart decisions for you based on what’s in stock, or go to multiple stores to get what you need is huge — not to mention knowing that they are taking the proper safety precautions while shopping.

Supporting Business Owners During the Corona Pandemic

To further support business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve also implemented the following programs:

We’ve made it easier to get started

Today, Instacart shoppers across the country are on strike — fed up with the lack of appropriate protections and the amount of money they are making on each delivery. We feel for these workers and want to support them the best way we know how — by enabling them to become their own business owners on the dumpling platform. To help them get started — and get started quickly — we’ve made significant improvements to our shopper onboarding process. Shoppers can now launch their own business in a matter of days.

This is our way of supporting those workers that are truly on the front lines of this pandemic, helping the vulnerable, home bound and others with food delivery. To start your own delivery business, click here.

Support a Local Grocery Shopper

One way you can show your support is by trying out the local grocery delivery businesses that many of them have started. Search for a shopper near you here.

Dumpling Blog

Dumpling Blog