It is less and less common to work according to a fixed work schedule. In the gig economy, people are free to work whenever they want, and for how long they want. That’s why many people work for food delivery services, such as DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, or Grubhub. Is it possible to make a living working for DoorDash, or should you treat it more like a side hustle? Let’s find out!
What is it like driving for DoorDash?
If you want to earn some extra cash, DoorDash is a great way to make money. If you’ve had a misfortune of being fired from your previous job, you can spend your time productively. DoorDash can help you gain financial stability in difficult times. If you become the approved driver, you’ll have to log in to the company’s app. Once you start working, you’ll get notifications about orders that you can either accept or decline. If you accept, the app will provide you more information about the delivery. Once you get the food from the restaurant, you’ll have to deliver it to the customer’s house.
How does DoorDash Pay?
Okay, but what about the pay? Is it any good? To put it shortly: it depends. If you decide to drive for this food delivery company, you won’t be receiving hourly rates. Once the customers order food, the restaurant receives part of the sum, and some of it goes to the dashers. The process is fully automated, and every dasher gets paid once a week.
How much can you earn with DoorDash?
It is difficult to estimate an hourly rate because how much drivers make depends on various factors. The size of the city, the time of the day, whether a driver is working on weekends or during the week, or the generosity of the customers – all of those factors influence the pay of the dasher. It also depends on how much time you spend driving for DoorDash.
How much could you earn per hour?
The company itself is claiming that it is possible to earn up to $19 per hour, which, although technically possible, usually won’t be the case. Experienced drivers can earn more, as they will know which types of orders might come with a generous tip, and which ones it’s best to reject. On average, a dasher in the United States can expect to earn $8 to $15, though, as we have stated before, how much you’ll earn depends on several factors.
If you spend enough time delivering food, and you’ll be good at it, then you might qualify for DoorDash Drive. It is a better-paying service for drivers who completed at least 100 deliveries with a 4.8 average customer rating and a 90% completion rate.
Here’s what Craig, an experienced Dasher in Los Angeles, told us:
“I make an average of 5 bucks a delivery, which is pretty good. But that amount can easily be more based on how big the order is, how far I’m driving to drop off the order, and if DoorDash is offering a higher guaranteed delivery fee because it’s a busy time of day. Plus, some people do like to reward good service with a nice tip. So, if I can do 4 deliveries an hour, I’ll usually take home about $20 plus tips. If I drive for 5 hours I can earn myself over $100!”
- Bottom line: some orders will pay more, some will pay less. It’s up to the individual Dasher if they want to accept or pass on an order. When asked about accepting or denying DoorDash delivery orders, Dasher Craig responded, “Here’s what’s kind of cool. You can see what the minimum payment will be on the app before I accept a delivery order. This way, I might turn down an a small order that’s going to take me 25 minutes to deliver and will only pay me a couple of bucks, plus hopefully a tip. Chances are I’ll get a bigger order with a larger payout if I wait a few minutes, especially during a really busy time. I wouldn’t be able to accept and deliver that bigger order if I was stuck in traffic trying to deliver the smaller order. Sometimes, you have to take a gamble and see what might come down the line.”
- DoorDash pays a guaranteed minimum delivery fee of at least $1 plus 100% of any tips a driver receives. The minimum guarantee is calculated based on the size of the order, approximate driving distance, traffic delays, parking, and how long it takes for the food to be made and packed up at the restaurant.
A higher hourly DoorDash Guarantee wage will sometimes be offered during really busy times like during the Labor Day holiday or big TV watching times such as the SuperBowl or World Series, when people want food to be delivered to them. These guarantees can sometimes be over $20 an hour. You just have to make a certain amount of deliveries to qualify.
What fees does DoorDash take?
DoorDash app allows customers to order food without having to leave their homes. A typical delivery apart from the cost of the food at the restaurant and local taxes would also include several fees:
- Delivery fee depends on a restaurant, and on the current demand for orders. It is usually between $2 and $6. If you order food from a good restaurant when the demand is particularly high, the delivery fee will be higher. It is possible for the customers to avoid this fee by subscribing to DashPass and placing at least $12 orders from DashPass-eligible restaurants. DashPass is available in only some areas and costs $9.99. If you don’t have time to cook on your own, which means that you order food frequently, then it might help you save some money.
- The service fee helps the company run the operations and maintain the platform. This fee is about 10% of your order.
- Small order fee – if you place a small order (the definition of a small order depends on the local market, though usually, it is below $10), you might be charged $2.
Apart from the previously mentioned fees, the app makes it possible for the customers to tip a Dasher. It is a common practice to tip 15%, though if you think that a driver did an exceptional job, you can always be more generous.
How to Earn More as a DoorDash Driver?
There are several ways to increase your earnings as a Dasher:
- If you don’t want to wait in your car for orders doing nothing, you should work during the busy hours. Instead of working for the entire day, it’s better to choose smaller time slots when the demand is going to be much higher, like f.e. the time when people would normally have lunch or dinner.
- It is usually the case that bigger orders result in higher tips, so if you get a notification about a particularly huge order, then don’t think twice.
- Apart from working during lunch and dinner time, you should also think about events that cause people to stay in their homes. Is there a final episode of a popular TV series airing tonight? If that’s the case, people won’t leave their homes to get the food, and that’s how you can use this opportunity.
DoorDash Incentives and How to Get Paid More by Earning a DoorDash Bonus
DoorDash Referral Bonus:
Dashers can earn a sweet bonus by referring a friend to be a DoorDash driver. The amount varies by the size of the city. However, the referred driver has to complete a certain amount of deliveries in order for both drivers to get their bonuses. Just look for the Invite Friends tab in the DoorDash app to refer someone you know.
- For example, in LA, Dashers can earn up to a $500 bonus for referring someone they know to be a driver. The person you refer will need to complete 120 deliveries in their first 60 days as a Dasher to activate the bonuses.
- DoorDash will also occasionally add a couple of bucks to delivery fees during busy times of the day like lunch or dinner on weekends. It’s an incentive to get out there and Dash! Keep your eye on the DoorDash app for these alerts.
Tips from Professional Dashers
HyreCar compiled some delivery suggestions and driving tips from experienced Dashers around the country. These tips will come in handy when you‘re ready to Dash! Check ‘em out!
- “Get out there during the busy times of day, like lunch (11:00am-1:00pm) during the week when people or working or dinner any day of the week from 4:30pm-9:00pm. Sitting in your car when people don’t normally order food is a waste of your time.”
- “Bigger orders, say like a $100 order from a place like Cheesecake Factory, will usually result in a decent tip after you drop off the chow. So, I try to accept as many of those kinds of orders as possible.”
- “Listen up, this is an incredibly important tip. I get the most orders and tips during really bad weather and when big national sporting events are on TV, especially if a local team is involved. People hate going out to get food during howling snow or rain storms or right in the middle of the Super Bowl, right? So do I stay inside glued to the flatscreen? Heck no. I go out and Dash to bring customers their meals so they can stay inside where it’s warm and dry. I’ve gotten some pretty amazing tips delivering large orders to guys watching a playoff game or when it’s snowing or pouring rain out. Just make sure you have a good sturdy umbrella in the car and wear warm winter clothes.”
- “Check your order to make sure the food order is complete. You don’t want to show up with several take-out packages at an office and discover two sandwiches are missing. Also, grab some extra straws, napkins, or even restaurant mints for your delivery customer. The nice gesture might result in a nice tip.”
- Get yourself a couple of reusable insulated food bags to keep in your car. You’re going to want to make sure hot food items are still hot when you deliver them. Same goes for delivering cold or frozen desserts. In fact, some restaurants won’t even give you a customer’s order unless you have an insulated bag with you.”
- “Keep track of mileage and business expenses for tax deductions. As soon as you turn on the DoorDash app, you’re working. A percentage of your mileage is deductible, and anything you buy to make your job easier or safer, like car cell phone chargers, cell phone mounts, gas, or if you have maintenance done on your vehicle, can be considered business expenses that might save you a heap o’ cash when Uncle Sam comes calling for his cut at tax time.”