As a DoorDash driver, you can make a good income – but it could be that you are missing out on opportunities to earn so much more. In this guide, we’ll share our best tips for earning extra money with DoorDash.
The main secret to becoming a high-paid DoorDash driver is to have the right mindset. Many people view DoorDash as a side gig or a way to make extra money delivering food. But if you approach it with a strategic mindset, you can actually make quite a bit more money.
The Most Efficient Drivers Make the Most Money on DoorDash
The Dashers who make the most money always look for ways to optimize their earnings. They’re constantly thinking about how they can work more efficiently and make more per hour. If you want to make more cash with DoorDash, you need to start thinking like a business owner.
For example, we will take two drivers, both of whom work 40 hours per week.
DoorDash delivery driver A focuses on getting as many orders as possible and making a few dollars extra per delivery. He’s not too concerned about his hourly rate.
Driver B, on the other hand, is focused on making sure they get the best possible pay per hour. Who do you think is going to come out on top? The answer is apparent – efficiency always wins.
It’s not just about working hard (though that’s important too). It’s about working smarter.
There are only so many hours in the day, so if you want to maximize your potential with DoorDash, you need to learn how to make the most of your time. And in this guide, we’ll show you how to do just that.
If you are a seasoned DoorDash driver, you’ve reached this page because you’re looking for ways to make more money. Feel free to skip this section and get to the meat of this guide below, where we share our tips.
But if you’re new to the platform, you might wonder why DoorDash?
The main reason has got to be that DoorDash drivers can make a great hourly wage. How much you can earn is a hotly contested subject and can depend on a number of factors. But the average DoorDash driver in the US earns $25 per hour, according to DoorDash.
Your location, the time of day, and whether you’re working during a busy period can all affect how much you make. However, this guide will show you how to maximize those earnings.
Another big reason to drive for DoorDash is it’s a very flexible gig. You can work your own hours, whenever you want, for as long or as short as you want. And if you want to take a week off, you can do so without worrying about losing your job. That’s the beauty of being your own boss!
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility. As a DoorDash driver, you are in control of your earnings. If you want to make more money, it’s up to you to put in the extra effort or, as we like to say, work smarter, not harder.
Understanding DoorDash Earnings
Before sharing our tips, let’s review how DoorDash earnings work. When you make a delivery for DoorDash, you will earn three types of payments:
DoorDash base pay is the minimum amount that a Dasher will earn for each completed delivery. DoorDash calculates the base rate by considering the distance, estimated time, and how desirable the order is. Orders placed during peak hours or further away will generally have a higher base pay than those placed during less busy times or closer to your location.
Some Dashers have noted that if the order has been rejected several times before being accepted, you might experience a higher payout.
Customers are encouraged to tip their DoorDash drivers; without these tips, Dashers would only be left with the base pay, which wouldn’t be much of an incentive to drive. Tips are optional, but the vast majority of customers will tip their Dasher between 10-20% of the order total. You get to keep 100% of the tips you earn; DoorDash does not take a cut.
You can earn bonus earnings by participating in DoorDash’s various promotions. Peak Pay is a bonus that DoorDash offers during busy times when there is a high demand for Dashers. With Peak Pay, you can earn up to double the base pay for each delivery during peak hours.
Our 20 Best Tips on How to Make More Money On DoorDash
We sat down with some of the top DoorDash drivers and collected their best tips on how to make the most money. We found out that these guys aren’t only good at collecting tips, but they can also deliver them!
We were going to just list five or even as many as ten tips, but they came up with so much excellent advice we just had to share all their tips. We don’t expect you to implement each and every one (that would be crazy!), but there are sure to be at least a few that will increase your bottom line.
So let’s dive straight in!
Dash During the Best Times of the Day
The time of day that you dash can have a significant impact on how much money you make. In general, the best times to deliver are during lunch and dinner rushes, as these are when most people are ordering food.
However, these aren’t the only times of the day that can be profitable. You’d be surprised how many people order breakfast; working early morning hours can be pretty lucrative. Late nights are also worth considering; drivers report getting more significant tips when working these hours, maybe because people are more generous after a few drinks.
Of course, you’ll need to experiment and work the schedule that best suits your lifestyle.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
This should go without saying, but it’s worth reiterating nonetheless: if you want to make more money on DoorDash, you must provide excellent customer service.
DoorDash customers rate you on every delivery, and if your ratings start to slip, you will lose out on opportunities to earn more. On the other hand, if you consistently provide outstanding service, you will get more orders and make more cash.
All that’s required is for you to be punctual, friendly, and efficient. If you can do all of these things, then you’re well on your way to becoming a top-rated Dasher.
Get to Know Your Delivery Area
If you want to make more money with DoorDash, you should get to know your delivery area like the back of your hand. The better you know your area, the faster you’ll be able to make deliveries and the more money you’ll make.
British black cab drivers famously have to pass a test called ‘The Knowledge’ to get their license. This test requires them to memorize every single street and landmark in London. While you don’t need to go that far, at least know the layout of your delivery area well enough that you can make efficient routes.
Not only will this help you save time, but it will also impress customers with your knowledge of the area. They may even give you a bigger tip.
Maximize Your Tax Deductions
As an independent contractor, you are responsible for paying your own taxes. However, there are several tax deductions that can help to offset the cost of driving for DoorDash, so you don’t have to pay everything out of your own pocket.
For example, you can deduct the cost of gas and tolls, as well as the depreciation of your vehicle. You can also deduct any business expenses, such as the cost of a dashcam, delivery bag, and even business-related cell phone calls. You can significantly reduce your tax bill by taking advantage of these deductions.
Don’t Be a Fair Weather Driver
While it might be tempting only to drive when the weather is nice, remember that people still need to eat even when it’s raining or snowing. In fact, you might find that there are even more orders during bad weather as people don’t want to go out in the elements.
And the same applies to other drivers; your competition will be reduced when the weather is bad, so you’ll have a better chance of getting more orders.
Of course, you should never put yourself in danger. Still, if you are comfortable driving in less-than-ideal conditions, it’s definitely worth heading out and picking up a few extra deliveries.
If you don’t mind getting a little wet or cold, then you could find yourself with a nice bonus come payday.
Maintain a Good Acceptance Rate
Your acceptance rate is the percentage of orders that you accept out of the total number of orders offered to you. To maintain a good acceptance rate, ensure only to accept deliveries you know you can complete without any issues.
However, if you’re unsure whether you can make the delivery in time, it’s better just to decline the order and move on to the next one. A high acceptance rate is one factor that goes into becoming a Top Dasher and being eligible for the lucrative DoorDash Drive program, so it’s definitely worth maintaining a good rating.
Accept DoorDash Challenges
Throughout the year, DoorDash will release special challenges that Dashers can take part in to earn bonuses. Typically these involve delivering a certain number of orders in a specified time. The challenges are designed to incentivize and motivate drivers to work when they are needed the most.
To find out if any challenges are running, simply open up the DoorDash app and check to see if there are any active challenges. They will be listed with all the details you need to know.
Become a Top Dasher
Top Dasher is a designation given to the best drivers on the platform and comes with many benefits. These benefits include getting priority deliveries on slow days and a 50% increase in high-value orders ($35+).
To qualify as a Top Dasher, you must have:
- 100 or more completed deliveries in the past month
- 200 or more completed lifetime deliveries
- An average customer star rating of 4.7 minimum
- 95% or more completion rate
- 70% or more acceptance rate
Aim to Qualify for the DoorDash Drive Program
Once you have been a DoorDash delivery driver for a while, you might be eligible to qualify for the Drive program. Essentially you have the opportunity to deliver large catering orders.
However, there are requirements you need to meet: the same requirements as you would to become a ‘Top Dasher’ but with an additional requirement to own a DoorDash-approved catering bag. You’ll also have to submit a short video to be approved.
Get On Your Bike
Sometimes, it might pay to leave the car in the driveway and make deliveries on your bike instead. If there isn’t too much of a distance to cover, you might be able to complete the delivery faster on your bike and move on to the next order.
Of course, this only makes sense if you live in a relatively flat area with good weather. If it’s hilly or raining, then it’s probably not worth it. But if you can make it work, you won’t have to worry about parking or traffic, and you won’t have to pay for gas or other expenses associated with driving a car.
The other option is a motorbike or moped, which can be a better way to make deliveries in congested cities.
If you want to make a little extra cash, help DoorDash by referring new drivers to the platform. You’ll earn a bonus for every new driver who signs up using your referral code and completes a certain number of deliveries.
This is an easy way to earn money without having to do any extra work. Just share your referral code with anyone who might be interested in becoming a delivery driver. Don’t forget to share these tips so they can get off to an advantageous start!
Regularly Restart Your DoorDash App
While out and about delivering, you might find that your DoorDash app starts to act up, loading slowly or freezing altogether. When this happens, the best thing you can do is close the app and restart it. This usually solves the problem and helps ensure you don’t miss any delivery requests.
In fact, we’ve had it on good authority that it’s a good idea to restart the app from time to time, as new orders tend to show up when you reconnect.
Keep Your Hot and Cold Items Separate
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people make the mistake of putting hot and cold items in the same bag. This can ruin the food delivery, and a lower rating is a given. To avoid this, invest in a quality insulated bag; remember, items you buy as part of your independent contractor work can be classed as tax write-offs.
Keep an Eye on Major TV Events
There are certain times of the year when hundreds of thousands or even millions of people will be glued to their TV screens. Events such as the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the NBA Finals will all lead to a surge in demand for DoorDash.
Also, look out for TV show finales; for instance, when Game of Throne’s final season aired, there was a significant uptick in DoorDash orders.
You’ll need to be aware of these major events and ensure that you are primed for action to take advantage of the increased demand.
Schedule Your Dashes in Advance
DoorDash gives you two delivery options: Dash Now or scheduling your dashes. Scheduling your shifts and zone in advance will result in more earnings, and you’ll get more priority bookings. You can book up to five days in advance and secure those delivery hot spots and times.
Communicate With Your Customers and Follow Instructions
One of the first tips that we mentioned was the importance of customer service, and this builds on that.
A big part of being a good delivery driver is communicating well with your customers. This means being friendly, helpful, and understanding as well as keeping them in the loop if there are any issues with their order.
Of course, sometimes things beyond your control can happen (like traffic delays), but as long as you communicate with the customer and let them know what is going on, they will usually be understanding.
Make sure you do your best to accommodate their request. It means following instructions to the letter. If they say to come to the back door, don’t just go to the front door, because it’s convenient. You are providing a service, and customers can be demanding. The better you are at providing that service, the more likely you will get repeat business and good tips.
Only Use Fast Pay in Emergencies
Fast Pay allows Dashers to cash out their daily earnings without waiting for the direct deposit that is automatically paid weekly. It only costs $1.99 per transaction and can be a lifesaver in certain situations, such as when an unexpected bill comes up, or gas is running low, and you are out of cash.
But, if you get into the habit of using it excessively, the fees can soon mount up. Let’s say that you used Fast Pay to get your earnings instantly three times a week; that would be $5.97, which doesn’t sound like that much.
But if we multiply by the 52 weeks in the year, we are talking $310.44, which is a little more sobering; if we take the average hourly dasher rate of $25 an hour, you would have worked over 12 hours for nothing.
Join a Dasher Community
Getting to know your fellow Dashers can be a rewarding experience. Not only will you make friends, but you’ll also be able to learn from their wealth of experience. You can find communities online on social media platforms like Facebook. Still, depending on your location, there might be local meetups you can attend where you get to meet other delivery drivers face-to-face.
Drive for Other Food Delivery Apps
Many delivery drivers work for multiple apps to maximize their earnings. If you’re only driving for DoorDash, you’re missing out on opportunities to make more money. Many other food delivery services are available in the gig economy, like Uber Eats, Postmates, or Grubhub.
Driving for more than one delivery app is a great way to boost your bank account with extra cash. It can also help you even out your earnings since you’re not relying on one delivery app for all of your income.
You should also always check to see if other apps require deliveries to the same restaurant you’re already going to. That way, you can kill two birds with one stone and potentially double your earnings.
But be prepared to put in the extra work to juggle multiple apps – it’s not as easy as it sounds!
What’s great is that you can also apply many of the tips in this guide to other delivery apps.
Look After Yourself and Fuel Your Body
Delivery driving can take a toll on your body, especially if you work two jobs to make ends meet. If you get sick or injured, you will be unable to work and earn money. This is why it is essential to take care of yourself physically and mentally.
We aren’t health or wellness experts, but eating healthy, getting enough sleep (or at least taking a nap before starting your delivery route), and exercising can only do you good. Taking care of your mental health is also crucial – if you feel burnt out, it might be time to take a break or switch to part-time hours.
Being tired and irritable because of lack of sleep or not eating correctly can lead to poor decision-making while out on deliveries. This can result in accidents, messing up deliveries, or being short-tempered with customers.
All these things will reflect poorly on your DoorDash account and could lead to your inability to work as much (or at all).
So, make sure to take care of yourself – it will help you make more money in the long run.
There you have it, 20 fantastic tips to increase your DoorDash pay. Whether you are a new Dasher or a seasoned veteran, we’re sure you can find at least a few of these tips helpful. Acting strategically rather than applying a whack-a-mole approach to each order is the wisest investment you can make in your Dashing career.