Drivers are a hot commodity these days, it seems. With the rise of ride-sharing and e-hailing apps, like Lyft and Uber, there seems to be an ever-present demand for people who are willing to drive other people around. Travis Kalanick, Uber's co-founder, has even cited the need for drivers as the reason the company has to surge prices during peak times.
For Uber, the answer to keeping drivers is to pay them more. For Lyft, however, the answer seems to be to pamper them.
The company announced on Thursday that it has entered into a partnership with employee benefits company AnyPerk, in order to give its drivers discounts on goods and services.
"Lyft’s amazing community of drivers has sparked an incredible movement, helping Lyft become the world’s fastest-growing rideshare company," the company wrote. "Just as they delight Lyft’s passengers every single day, we’re thrilled to show our appreciation and give them another reason to proudly wear the ‘stache."
Through the partnership, Lyft will be getting 15% off of their AT&T bills, as well as discounts on movie tickets to spa treatments, hotel packages to virtual assistants. They even a perk for #PetLyft to get a discount at the vet.
Those are some pretty awesome perks right there. 15% off my phone bill? I'm thinking of becoming a Lyft driver right now!
"AnyPerk is perfectly suited to match Lyft's next-generation business model with a next-generation way of delighting its employees," Taro Fukuyama, co-founder and CEO of AnyPerk, said in an e-mailed statement.
"By partnering with AnyPerk, Lyft is demonstrating its commitment to not only delighting its passengers with a fun and engaging ride-share experience, but also to delighting the very drivers that make that experience possible."
While both sides of the partnership attribute it to Lyft simply being generous (and I have no doubt that there is at least some truth to that) it's hard for me not to wonder if the reasons that Lyft is offering these types of perks has anything to do with some of Uber's attempts to steal away Lyft drivers.
Most recently, Uber began offering $500 to any driver from another ridesharing platform who is willing to try out uberX for just a single ride. The company also said that it will pay out the same amount to any current Uber driver who refers a driver from a competing service.
This was not the first time Uber tried something like this: late last year it was reported that Uber had begun giving out $50 gas cards to Lyft drivers who came by their offices, along with an additional $500 if they picked up 20 riders by the end of the year. The moves were never officially verified.
When I asked Lyft how much of this has to do with increased competition, and needing to keep drivers from jumping ship to Uber, the company reiterated what it had said earlier: this is just about making their drivers happy.
"We’re thrilled that this is the first major perks program for ridesharing drivers. We want everyone to know that driving for Lyft can be incredibly rewarding on a number of levels, and this is just one way for us to show how much we value and appreciate everything they do for the community," Paige Thelen, a spokesperson for Lyft, told me.
And if that stops them from taking jobs with other ride-sharing services, then that's just an added benefit, right?
(Image source: pixels.com)