DoorDash is one of the biggest online food delivery platforms in the US, and driving for this successful company has become a popular gig job to make quick money. You can work when you want and boost your income with this side hustle.
However, to earn money on DoorDash, you need to work smart. Whether you have just started with DoorDash or have been delivering food for a while, you can follow these DoorDash tips to make a difference in your total income.
Use a Mileage-Tracking App
Did you know tracking and reporting your mileage can help you save money on your tax return? If you didn’t, you do now.
According to the IRS, the standard mileage rate for using your car for business is $0.58 per mile. You can deduct that as an ordinary business expense.
The Everlance app, for example, can help you track mileage and fuel efficiency, saving you money on tax payments. You’ll also understand how efficiently you’re operating when delivering orders.
Stay Away From Fast Pay
With DoorDash’s Fast Pay feature, you can immediately withdraw your money into your bank account. However, you’ll be charged $1.99 each time you use this feature. This can cost you over $500 per year if you use this feature five times a week.
If you need quick money, wait for the weekly payout via direct deposit, which is free.
Take Advantage of The Peak Pay
If you are doing this part-time, this is a valuable tip for making extra money.
DoorDash offers Peak Pay for certain busy times for every delivery. They also provide challenges where they offer a fixed bonus if you complete a minimum number of deliveries in a specific time. You can use both these add-ons to increase the money you earn with every order.
When you open the DoorDash app, you will see obvious busy zones. These are the times when you get the Peak Pay bonus. Start claiming them!
Provide Good Customer Service
You get to keep 100 percent of your tips, so you must provide excellent customer service. Always check if everything in the order is correct.
Be friendly and prompt in the conversation with your customer. Grab some extras like sauce packets, napkins, and plastic cutlery for your customers when you leave the restaurant.
Dress for The Job
Wear their brand T-shirt. If not, wear clean and presentable clothes when on the job.
Restaurant workers are often very busy with customers. If your appearance clarifies you are there to pick up an order, it can help speed things up.
Prompt delivery and a presentable appearance can also help you earn more customer tips.
Separate Hot and Cold Items
Ensure they are separated when delivering an order containing hot and cold items like ice cream or soft drinks.
Buy an insulated food delivery backpack to ensure the food is delivered to your customers at the proper temperature.
Stay in Touch With Your Customer
Let your customer know if you are encountering wait time at the restaurant or are stuck in traffic. Don’t overdo it, but message them if something is slowing down your delivery.
Be Wise About The Deliveries You Accept
Refrain from wasting your time by accepting every order you get. Don’t stress about your order acceptance rate; you should protect your hourly wage.
Generally speaking, you should accept orders of only $7 or above. Try to squeeze in two or three orders per hour. Over time you will learn to recognize orders that are worth your time.
Look For Stacked Orders
When you are out on a delivery, DoorDash sometimes requests additional orders from nearby restaurants. Two orders in the same area can help you make twice the money in a similar time.
However, ensure the second order is manageable, as it may jeopardize your tip for both orders.
Book The Area for Your Gigs
When an area has too many DoorDash drivers, the map gets greyed out quickly. If the area has several well-paying customers, you can open the app early and book that area.
When you book a desired area and time slot, your dash is already locked in. This method can pre-book dashes up to six days in advance.
Find The Best Times To Dash
It is best to dash during the busiest hours, but not if every other driver is simultaneously looking for orders. Here are the best times to dash:
- 6 am to 9 am – More people order breakfast than you realize, and there are few drivers to pick up orders at this hour.
- 11 am to 1 pm – Lunchtime is the busiest for most food delivery apps.
- 5 pm to 7 pm – The extended dinner rush gives you four solid hours to make food deliveries.
- After 10 pm – Customers tend to pay higher tips at this late hour.
Besides this, consider dashing on weekends and holidays for higher pay and better tips. If you have a day job, holidays and weekends are the best ways to make money with them.
Find The Right Places To Deliver
Find the areas that offer you the best potential profits in your city. Sometimes, areas with more restaurants and high order volume may be the best bet.
But these areas will also have higher competition. Some drivers find the suburbs pay better, but others find the drives too long.
When incentives and hotspots drive dashers into one area, it creates a vacuum in the surrounding area. These areas can also be profitable to work in.
Cancel Unviable Orders (Sparingly)
While your order acceptance rate does not significantly affect your success on DoorDash, your cancellation rate can. You can get deactivated if you cancel orders too often.
This doesn’t mean you can never cancel an order. For example, you may accept an order for $8 at a restaurant that is five minutes away. Later you realize you will have to wait 30 minutes for the food, so canceling the order makes more sense.
Familiarize Yourself With The Areas and The Parking Spots
Looking for a parking spot can ruin your delivery time. So familiarize yourself with the site, traffic patterns, and available parking spots.
Sometimes parking further away and walking up to the restaurant or the delivery address can be a time saver.
Restart Your DoorDash App Regularly
When you pass through an area with low cell phone service, your GPS may glitch, and your app may crash. You will not get any new dashes. In this case, restart the app to get new orders.
Restarting the app will not delete your data or your progress.
Write Customer’s Names on Their Orders
While some restaurants put the receipt on the orders, many don’t. This can lead to confusion at the time of delivery.
Always keep a permanent marker and write the customers’ names on their orders. This will save you from delivering the wrong order and lowering your rating.
While you think this does not impact making money, it can help you boost customer tips. Personalization always makes customers happy!
Get Tools That Make Your Job Easier
Getting tools like a good catering bag can help you obtain large orders from the restaurant to your car. Get a grocery delivery cart to wheel your customer’s bags to their door.
You can also use technology to fasten your delivery. For example, the Beans app is a helpful navigation app for locating apartments inside a complex.
Avoid Long-Distance Trips
Long-distance deliveries can suck a lot of cash. Not only do you have to pay for the gas, but the wear and tear of your car will also add to the expense.
These orders may not compensate for your costs if they are not big enough. Focus on closer deliveries.
Opt for Bike Delivery for Extra Profit
Bike delivery with DoorDash can be very profitable. You can get around much faster on a bike in congested areas.
You also don’t have to worry about fuel, insurance, depreciation, and vehicle maintenance costs.
Run Multiple Delivery Apps
Run more than one app on your phone to get faster orders. You can try websites and apps like Postmates, Grubhub, and Instacart with DoorDash to start earning more.
Choose The Right Car When Delivering
Your car should be comfortable, reliable, and fuel-efficient. Keep up with the maintenance, as you can only make money on transportation that works. You can also get paid to advertise on your car.
Use The Para App
The Para app helps you track your income on DoorDash. It also enables you to estimate how many tips you get from your customers, which gives you an idea if your order is lucrative and which isn’t.
Wait Near Multiple Restaurants
You can wait near a cluster of restaurants where you know orders come from frequently. This could be a mall or a food street.
DoorDash hotspots are areas with a lot of order requests. These are the right areas to wait for orders and earn extra cash.
Start Sharing Your Doordash Experience
You can share your experience of working DoorDash on YouTube or TikTok and make money. Some people also consider blogging to share their experiences.
While you’re already acing DoorDash, many want to start and learn. These people often look for ways to make money, and Doordash is definitely on the list. You can earn money via advertisements, affiliate marketing, and brand collaborations on these platforms.
However, please remember these platforms take time to build and generate income. It is also not guaranteed you will be able to make money with your channel or social media account.
Ready To Get Paid More and Supplement Your Income?
While you already get paid to deliver, knowing the right DoorDash tips and tricks can boost your income substantially and help you get paid more for the same work.
You don’t have to test all these tips at the same time. Try the ones that suit you and your locality. Good luck!
What’s your favorite side hustle?
About the author: Chhavi is a lawyer who quit her job to become a full-time work-from-home blogger. She shares tips and tricks on making money online, side hustles, freelancing, and blogging through her blog, Mrs. Daaku Studio. Besides blogging, she works as a freelance coach and shares her expertise on YouTube and Instagram. When not blogging, she is traveling, sketching, or doing yoga.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.
*Earning more on certain types of orders (ex. alcohol): Earn more per order as compared to restaurant orders. Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries you accept and complete, time of day, location, and any costs. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from tips, peak pay, and other incentives.
*Get paid instantly (DasherDirect): Subject to approval
*Cash out daily (Fast Pay): Fees apply
*Start Dashing today: Subject to background check and availability
*Dash anytime: Subject to availability