During Latino Heritage Month, DoorDash has announced several updates designed to make the delivery app experience better for Spanish-speaking users. Those updates include in-app translation for Dasher-to-consumer chat, a Spanish-language Dasher support chatbot and the ability to change Dasher app language regardless of the device that it’s used on. DoorDash is a technology company that connects DoorDash drivers to customers ordering from favorite local businesses in more than 25 countries across the world. DoorDash customers can order and pay for food delivery in minutes.   

DoorDash representatives told CALÓ NEWS that they aim to give millions of people from all backgrounds the opportunity to earn supplemental income wherever and whenever they choose, regardless of what language they speak or where they are from. 10 years ago, DoorDash was founded to empower local economies.

Keith Fernandez, head of Social Impact Communications at DoorDash, said that “as we’ve grown, we’ve continued to deliver more of what customers want from their neighborhood, more ways for businesses to grow, and more flexibility and control for how Dashers want to earn. We are committed to making the Dasher experience as seamless as possible for all Dashers, including Spanish-speaking Dashers.”

Keith Fernandez, head of Social Impact Communications at DoorDash. Photo courtesy of Keith Fernandez.

Fernandez is also responsible for the company’s public communications when it comes to anything related to food access, Dasher drivers empowerment, merchant impact and the empowerment of local economies using data-driven metrics and storytelling.

DoorDash new in-app updates

DoorDash updates were live on September 18, 2023 and are available to all Dashers nationwide. “According to our survey data, 6% of Dashers cite Spanish as their primary language spoken at home,” Fernandez said.

Spanish-speaking Doordash drivers and customers were facing challenges that included language barriers. Fernandez said Dasher’s feedback let the app company to make changes via consumer feedback. Doordash leaders also learned that many dashers whose primary language is Spanish set their device language to English to help practice learning the language.

“Some Dasher drivers prefer to have critical apps such as the Dasher app in their primary language,” Fernandez said. “That’s why we introduced the new feature that enables Dashers to set their Dasher app to a different language than the overall device, so they can have even more confidence on the road.”

One of the updates that was also launched is the new in-app translation tool. Spanish-speaking Dashers and customers are now able to send and receive messages in real-time that are automatically translated. This feature will be available in 54 different languages, from Spanish to English and vice versa, along with other language translations. It also includes the option to view the original message.

Here is an example of the app translation for Dasher-to-consumer chat. Photo courtesy of Eli Epple, a senior accountant executive at DoorDash.

The second update occurred in the in-app Dasher Support chatbot, which is now available in Spanish. This ensures that Spanish-speaking Dashers and customers can get immediate support in their native language. If a Spanish-speaking user needs to speak with someone live, they’ll automatically be connected with a Spanish-speaking support agent.

Here is an example of the Spanish language Dasher support chatbot.  Picture courtesy of Eli Epple, a senior accountant executive at DoorDash.

The last update is that the Dasher app can now be set to a language that is different from the phone’s overall device setting, enabling Doordash drivers and customers to choose the language they’re most comfortable with throughout the whole dashing experience. Moreover, the platform continues to study the different Dasher communities worldwide, which include six million users.

Here is an example of Dasher app language.  Picture courtesy of Eli Epple, a senior accountant executive at DoorDash.

DoorDash diversity

On the DoorDash website, Maria Lizardo, Executive Director of the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, stated that “the introduction of these new features represents a significant step towards improving accessibility and convenience for Dashers, irrespective of their cultural backgrounds or home languages. Our partnership with DoorDash has allowed us to witness their genuine commitment to strengthening diverse communities, fostering flexible earning possibilities, and actively supporting initiatives aimed at increasing access to economic opportunities.”

“DoorDash is proud to provide flexible and convenient earning opportunities to millions of people from a diverse variety of backgrounds and life experiences,” Fernandez said. “We’re proud to offer low-barrier-to-entry earning opportunities so any Dasher can earn when, how and wherever they want on their own schedules and according to their own unique needs.”

Ramiro Herrera, 60, Bakersfield, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts Driver, He/Him/Latino. Ramiro Herrera is a customer who uses the DoorDash app in Spanish language.

Ramiro Herrera, a DoorDash user who describes his English vocabulary as being very limited, told CALÓ NEWS that he struggles to translate words from Spanish to English. As a first-generation immigrant, he had to teach himself how to speak English after he arrived in Los Angeles from his home in Mexico.

He said that his lunch break at work occasionally involves ordering food from DoorDash when he works at O’Reilly’s, an American auto parts retailer. “It was difficult before to communicate with Dasher drivers. Sometimes I couldn’t ask for something because I didn’t know how to say or write it on the app. I would have to ask co-workers to help me out,” Herrera said.

Herrera also told CALÓ NEWS that he found out about the new app update through his son, who is 24 years old. “My son told me that I was able to change the app language through the DoorDash settings website. Once my son did those changes, my DoorDash app on my phone was automatically changed to Spanish, which was great,” Herrera said.

He also said that he believes these new DoorDash updates will bring in new customers. “It will be much easier to communicate with Dasher drivers; the only thing I wish was that the app would allow you to make these changes instead of the website,” Herrera said.

Fernandez of DoorDash said that 76% of all Dasher drivers surveyed agreed that they feel less stressed and anxious about their financial situation because they can dash whenever they need. “About 47% identify as people of color, 60% are women, 38% are parents to children under 18, and 18% have a disability or chronic illness, according to our data,” Fernandez said. “Additionally, 95% of immigrant Dashers surveyed agree that dashing helps them get to know their communities.”

In addition to the flexibility and convenience of the app, DoorDash looks for new ways to make the dashing experience even more seamless for Dashers of all backgrounds, including the Latino community. “We work with Dashers to ensure their feedback is heard,” Fernandez said.

DoorDash representatives say that the company strives to support Dashers and assist them in achieving their personal and financial goals. When Dasher drivers use Dasher Direct, they receive 2% back on gas purchases. Another perk is a service called Everlance, which tracks mileage and expenses. “Dashers receive 20% off Everlance Premium for a year for help with mileage, expenses and taxes,” Fernandez said. Dasher drivers also have other benefits with Shell, Dirwin and CarAdvise.

Dasher community council

Another way DoorDash supports its DoorDash drivers is through what is called the Dasher Community Council, which aims to ensure that all Dashers feel valued, included and appreciated as they strive to provide excellent service for merchants and customers all around the world.

“DCC members serve a six-month term as representatives of the broader Dasher community. These Dashers advise DoorDash on key issues, act as a sounding board for ideas and shape DoorDash’s future by testing new product features,” Fernandez said. “They also strengthen the Dasher community by voicing community concerns and planning community events.”

After their six-month term, members become DCC Ambassadors. In appreciation of their efforts, DCC members are invited to join the Top Dasher Program. The Top Dasher program rewards top  Dashers for their dedication to DoorDash customers. “As a Top Dasher, you will always be able to Dash Now even when the zone on the map is gray,” Fernandez said.

Latino campaigns

DoorDash has also created marketing campaigns like “Antojo” to ensure that it’s authentically connecting with the Latino community.

“The creative campaign is rooted in the perspective that cravings are a common experience in culture, but antojos are a part of the way Latinos live life,” stated according to the DoorDash website.

“We’re proud to be making the Dasher app even more convenient for Spanish speaking Dashers,” Fernandez said.

Amairani Hernandez is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of the California State University of Los Angeles with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She is a staff multimedia journalist, who focuses on...