DoorDash Driver Review: How to Make Money Driving for DoorDash
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Having a nice dinner out is something we all enjoy. How would you like to have that same meal from the comfort of your home? Thanks to on-demand delivery apps like DoorDash, you can do that. Plus, you may not realize that the person delivering that meal is often earning $1,000+ per month as a part-time contractor.
The food delivery app space is exploding as a way to not only stay at home but also make money on the side. The service claims you can earn $20+ per hour with tips.
Our DoorDash Driver review shares how to work for the service, and whether it’s a suitable side hustle option.
What Is DoorDash?
DoorDash is an app that offers on-demand food delivery services. The app is one of the more popular apps in the space that also include:
- Uber Eats
Drivers, known as Dashers, deliver meals from participating local restaurants to your home. The service is currently available in most major cities and surrounding areas, with over 850 cities currently offering DoorDash delivery.
Driving for DoorDash is similar to other delivery gigs. You create your own schedule and earn a certain dollar amount for each delivery.
You can also earn tips as a part of your work.
DoorDash, however, clearly communicates your potential earnings before choosing any deliveries, which sets it apart from other side hustle apps.
How Do You Apply for DoorDash?
It’s relatively simple to start driving for DoorDash. It works like most other delivery apps.
The first step is to go to their website and click “Become A Dasher.” You need to provide your name, phone number, social security number, and address to start.
This will also be the time to complete your Dasher profile (including a picture), sign the independent contractor agreement, and complete a background check.
To start working for the DoorDash driver app, you need to meet the following qualifications:
- Be at least 18 years of age or older
- Have access to a vehicle: this could even be a motor scooter or bicycle
- Have a valid driver’s license as well as an insured vehicle (and your name must be on the policy)
- Consistent access to an Android or iPhone
- Be willing to attend orientation, either online or in-person
Once you finish your application, complete your background check, and get approval to drive, you’ll need to sign up for orientation and also get your activation kit.
Your activation kit includes a hot bag for you to use for the foood, your red card, (or company card) for tips and payment, and a “getting started” manual.
These kits can take up to four business days, and sometimes longer, to arrive.
Once you complete those items, you’re officially working for DoorDash. Once orientation is complete, you can begin a shift as early as the next day.
How Do Deliveries with DoorDash Work?
No two delivery apps are the same. They all work differently and tailor their functions to their specific platform. It’s pretty simple to start delivering meals with DoorDash.
When you first log into the app, you can create your schedule. There are no limits to how little or much you want to work.
While you do have to schedule your hours ahead of time, you won’t have to wait for days. If you’re available right now, you can select the “Dash Now” feature to start working.
Not all times and locations offer the “Dash Now” feature, so be aware it might not always be available. This limitation ensures enough work for Dashers that have scheduled shifts.
Regardless, you can schedule your time for up to a week in advance.
Once you’re on shift, you can accept or decline orders. If you accept, you must complete the order before moving on to the next to avoid possible penalties.
For example, low-rated drivers, including those who don’t complete orders, may get fewer opportunities or be banned from the app entirely.
Once you accept the order, you go to the restaurant to pick it up and then deliver it to the customer. The app will have your number on the customer’s order, so they can contact you if needed.
You can also call or text them if you’re having trouble finding their place.
DoorDash Drive, the catering service the platform offers, is available to high-rated drivers. If you qualify, you can earn more money by delivering large catering orders.
You must meet the following criteria to qualify for DoorDash Drive:
- Complete at least 100 deliveries
- Have an average customer rating of 4.8 out of 5
- Have a minimum completion rate of 90 percent
If you do get this opportunity, the same delivery method applies; you may need a larger vehicle depending on the order size.
How to Make Money Working for DoorDash
Before you become a Dasher, you may wonder how pay works when driving for the service. DoorDash has a straightforward pay structure.
Here is how it works:
- You receive base pay based on time, distance, and desirability of orders
- Promotions are given during peak times, and there are “challenges” that you can complete for extra cash
- You earn 100 percent of the tips you make
The minimum base pay you receive is $2 an order. DoorDash pays weekly every Monday, and funds are known to hit Dashers’ bank accounts in three to four business days.
If you need funds immediately, you can use the “Fast Pay” feature. It allows you to receive your funds within 24 hours after requesting them.
The “Fast Pay” feature costs $1.99 per cash out. You must complete at least 25 deliveries and live in a market that allows “Fast Pay” to take advantage of it.
DoorDash is currently testing supermarket shopping in certain areas. Those who choose those deliveries get extra pay for large orders and shopping time.
Supermarket shopping opportunities are currently not available everywhere, so if you’re unable to see stores in your app, you may not be in the test market.
DoorDash Driver Pay
Like other delivery apps, the pay you make as a driver will be dependent on your city, state, available deliveries, and hours worked.
However, DoorDash guarantees at least $2 per delivery. Many DoorDash delivery drivers report a minimum of $12 an hour and a maximum of $25 an hour.
Many Dashers take advantage of the new pay options, like challenges and peak times. For example, if you complete a certain amount of deliveries in a week, DoorDash will give you a bonus.
Like the “Dash Now” feature, bonuses depend on where you live and how often you work. Peak Pay is typically available on nights and weekends, so if you want extra cash, those are the best days to deliver.
As an independent contractor, you are responsible for taking out your own taxes and paying for your own expenses. These may include:
- Maintenance on your car
It’s best to keep track of all your spending and expenses to deduct them come tax season.
How to Earn More Money as a Driver
Driving for DoorDash won’t replace your day job. However, as a side hustle, it’s an excellent way to run errands for money and earn decent cash.
Here are some tips to earn more as a Dasher.
Drive During Peak Times
While peak times may vary based on your location, they are the best time to drive. Orders during peak times have higher base and promotion pay, which means more money in your pocket.
Know Your Area Well
Do you know how to avoid traffic? Are you aware of all of the back roads and ways to get to certain locations?
Knowing these can come in handy, especially if you’re driving during peak times.
You never want to be stuck in traffic.
That causes your deliveries to be slow, which means fewer you can complete in an hour and potentially fewer or smaller tips.
Your base pay doesn’t increase if you’re sitting bumper to bumper, so keep that in mind.
Accept Larger Orders When Possible
Why earn $5 on an order when you can earn $15? If you’re willing to wait for larger orders or qualify for catering orders, you can make more money per delivery.
If you’re desperate to fill an order, smaller orders are fine. But they won’t make you much money and tips will be smaller. So instead, stick to larger orders if you can get them.
Be the Best
Customer service is everything. While DoorDash offers tipping before delivery, many people still wait until after delivery to tip.
So be kind, try to be fast, and offer communication if anything goes wrong. A smile and being pleasant goes a long way.
Don’t be afraid to ask customers for a 5-star rating. At the very least, if they tip small, a 5-star rating is free and often results in better-paying deliveries.
Complete the Challenges
If you want to earn more money, you can complete the “challenges” that DoorDash offers its drivers.
These challenges are incentives for drivers who complete a certain amount of deliveries or tasks in a specific amount of time.
For example, you can earn an extra $20 for completing 15 deliveries in one week. You can earn this money in addition to promotions and peak pay.
Pros and Cons to Consider
As with any side hustle or job, there are pros and cons to driving for DoorDash. It’s essential to keep these in mind to see if the app is worth your effort.
- You can set your own schedule and complete as many deliveries as you want each week.
- You get to choose the deliveries that you want to do. It’s possible to accept or decline them based on your own schedule and desired pay.
- You can go to multiple cities. For example, if you live near a few larger cities, you can go to each of them and work for as long as you’d like.
- A terrific way to earn quick cash in your spare time. The app pays weekly, plus bonuses, so this is great if you need some quick cash for bills or savings.
- You don’t have to work with people. Besides a smile to your receiving customer, socializing is almost zero.
- You can use a bike or scooter. Doing so will limit your delivery area, but you don’t really need a car.
- You keep 100 percent of all of your tips and bonuses.
- The base pay is $2 per order. That means if you take a small order, the least you’ll receive with no tip is $2.
- Delivering can be slow during peak times. This is especially true if you’re in a large metro area. You could end up competing with everyone else who wants the bonuses and promotions. However, if your market and location aren’t over-saturated with drivers, you may earn more.
Only you can answer if the opportunity is a fit for you. If you’re willing and able to work throughout the week, DoorDash can be a good way to make money on the side.
Alternatives to Consider
DoorDash is just one of the players in the food delivery app space. While it’s a great company to drive for, a few others to keep in mind are:
If you have enough time, you can work for multiple companies. This is great if you’re looking for multiple side hustles as most are similar in their requirements, earnings, and delivery scheduling.
However, if you choose to go this route, check each site individually and apply for what works best for you.
It’s common to have questions before working for any side hustle app. Here are a few common questions people have before working for DoorDash.
Does DoorDash offer phone support to drivers?
Yes, you can speak with DoorDash support agents through the Dasher app if you wish. If the app is not working, you can contact support through the website.
Does DoorDash carry insurance?
DoorDash offers a commercial auto insurance policy that provides up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury while on a delivery.
The coverage also includes property damage to third parties.
You must physically possess the food you’re delivering to qualify for coverage; it does not apply while you’re between deliveries.
Do I need my own insurance?
Yes, one of the requirements to become a Dasher is to carry an auto insurance policy. If you don’t have coverage, the policy from DoorDash may not apply.
What benefits does DoorDash offer to drivers?
Each on-demand delivery driver app is different when it comes to benefits. DoorDash offers numerous benefits to its drivers.
You can find dental, health, and vision coverage through their partnership with Stride Health. If you need a way to track mileage and expenses, DoorDash gives drivers a three-month trial of Everlance Premium.
Should you choose not to pay for it after the three months, you can manage tracking through the free version of Everlance.
How do I set up direct deposit?
It’s simple to establish direct deposit for earnings. Once in the Dasher app, you go to the “Earnings” tab, tap the red bank symbol at the top right, and input your banking information.
Once done, tap “Submit Bank Details” and you’re all set.
Being a DoorDash driver is an easy side hustle that can earn you good money each week. Many Dashers report earnings of at least $1,000 per month.
That’s real money you can use to supplement your income.
Food delivery is growing exponentially, especially in cities where families are busy, and professionals don’t have time to make their own food. Even I order delivery from time to time, and it’s convenient and appreciated.
If you need to earn extra cash, or if you’re looking for a gig while you’re in-between jobs, this is a terrific way to earn money while using what you already have.
What is your favorite side hustle? Would you consider working for DoorDash, or other similar services, as a way to make money? How often do you order out?
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