Good News Thursday: DoorDash adds safety feature for drivers, hotels get creative with concierge services


DoorDash adds safety feature for drivers

Security company American District Telegraph is working with DoorDash to protect its drivers through the DoorDash app. (AP News)

The food delivery app DoorDash is adding safety features to protect its drivers. If the driver feels unsafe, they can press a button on the app that will connect them to an agent through the security company American District Telegraph, or ADT, who will stay on the line until the driver feels safe, call 911 if the driver stops responding and communicate with the driver through text messaging. DoorDash driver Ronae Christensen called DoorDash support before the safety feature existed when she felt threatened, and while they helped her handle the situations, she still felt they were far away.

“This tool is so much better. It’s just going to be a very reassuring thing, especially as a woman,” Christensen said.

Hotels get creative with concierge services

The W Punta de Mita resort helps guests locate and take social-media worthy pictures as part of their new concierge effort. (AP News)

Hotels are wanting to stand out and be creative, and one way they are going about this is by offering a variety of concierge services. In Mexico, the W Punta de Mita Hotel is offering to help guests locate and take social-media worthy pictures by taking them on a personalized tour. The Hyatt Regency Portland in Oregon is offering a “concierge of weird,” highlighting off-the-beaten-path destinations and unique, little-hyped tours. In Aruba, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort introduced a “carbon offset concierge,” helping guests offset the environmental impact of their flights to the carbon-neutral hotel by purchasing carbon offsets, helping guests feel less guilty for the emissions that come from their air travel.

“Personalization is not just a travel trend; hotel guests want to experience unique moments, tailor-made for their vacation. Having highly specialized staff that is able to cater to the most extravagant aspect of their travel will definitely create added value for the guests,” said Emanuel Schreiner, founder of RVS Hotel Consulting.

Botanic bloom attracts people and beetles

The 48-hour long bloom of the giant Sumatran flower has attracted thousands of viewers to the San Diego Botanic Garden. (AP News)

The Sumatran flower has bloomed at the San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas, attracting more than 5,000 people. The flower, nicknamed the “corpse plant,” smells like a dead body, and the bloom only lasts 48 hours. The smell is intentional, as the odor of rotting flesh attracts carrion beetles and flesh flies that help its pollination process.

The bloom’s “rotting corpse smell was so thick and heavy you could cut it with a knife,” said John Connors, horticulture manager for the San Diego Botanic Gardens.

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