There are tons of side hustles out there these days to make some extra cash. Many involve making money online, taking online surveys, blogging all in your spare-time. However, one of the fastest-growing sectors to earn cash is that of food delivery services. Apps like Instacart let you deliver personal groceries to people.
Others, like DoorDash, work with both local restaurants and workers alike to give more food delivery service options to their customers. DoorDash will charge the restaurant a fee to be on the platform and the user a delivery fee which is how it can avoid costs to its drivers. But how much does DoorDash pay? How much can DoorDash drivers make? Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.
How Does DoorDash Work?
DoorDash developed a twofold business model. First, they work with restaurants, fast food joints, or other eateries that don’t typically offer delivery options and allow them to use their third-party delivery service to have their food delivered to customers.
On the other end, people download the app to sign up to become a delivery person or more commonly known as a “Dasher.”
Dashers have a few requirements they must meet:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a smartphone to access the app for delivery assignments.
- Have a valid driver’s license, insurance, and a good driving record (if applicable). Some locations don’t require that you have a car.
- Provide your Social Security number for a background check.
Once you have been approved as a Dasher, you can let DoorDash know when you are available for deliveries and start taking assignments!
How Much Does DoorDash Pay: The Basics
To start understanding how much you can make with DoorDash, you should first understand the basics of their payment structure.
Base pay is the minimum amount you’ll be paid for any particular delivery on DoorDash. DoorDash guarantees base pay to be at least $1 but typically starts at a minimum of $2 and can go as high as $10 or more per delivery, depending on a few factors. For example, shorter, closer deliveries will tend to pay less.
In contrast, longer, further, and less desirable deliveries will have a higher base bay on DoorDash. Each of these factors can vary, so the base pay will take all three into account. Drivers will know the base pay before they accept any delivery.
Promotions are more along the lines of rewards for working during busy times and achieving specific goals for the week. With Peak Pay, while working during busier times, Dashers will earn extra money doing their deliveries. Challenge Bonuses will give the more active Dashers specific goals to meet for the week. If completed, drivers will be rewarded with more pay.
The last way to make money on DoorDash is tips. Like any delivery, customer can choose to tips their drivers. This is up to the discretion of the customer, so results will vary and are unpredictable. Customers can currently tip at checkout, and DoorDash has plans to roll out options to tip after delivery as well.
DoorDash offers a referral bonus as well, though the new driver must be serious about it almost immediately. You’ll be able to earn $300 for every friend who signs up and makes 50 deliveries within their first 30 days as a DoorDash driver. Don’t count on this as regular income, but it could be a way to boost earnings every now and then.
How Much Can You Make with DoorDash?
It can go without saying that the more deliveries a Dasher makes, the more money they will make on DoorDash. To best answer the question, “How much do DoorDash drivers make” you’ll have to look at the average pay.
Average DoorDash Hourly Pay
Overall, most DoorDash delivery drivers report making anywhere from $15-$25 per hour. Let’s make that a nice $20 per hour as some days will be on the higher end and others on the lower end. Again this can change depending on the times and if a driver meets their goals for the week, but strictly speaking on base pay, $20 per hour seems about right. You’ll also need to factor tips in, but these can be unreliable and unpredictable at best. The pay isn’t all profit as there are expenses drivers must pay too, more on them in a bit.
DoorDash Weekly Pay
Weekly pay depends on how much Dashing you do. For example, if you work 5 hours a day, five days a week, that would be roughly $20 per hour, times 5 hours for $100 a day, times five days to get to $500 per week.
By working more or less than that example, you get to recalculate your expected pay for any given week.
As you become more experienced at being a driver for DoorDash, you’ll learn more of the in’s and out’s. For example, experienced drivers will learn to pass on smaller, longer deliveries and wait to get much better-paying jobs.
Waiting for busy times and larger orders are a great way to maximize your earnings.
There is also an incentive for doing easier jobs as well. After a minimum of 100 deliveries, if you have an average customer rating of at least 4.8 and have completed 90% or more of your accepted deliveries, you could qualify for DoorDash Drive, which is a better paying service for the best of the best on DoorDash. By qualifying for this service your ability to make extra money part-time in the gig economy is even greater.
Lastly, many experienced drivers will suggest that quality assurance be done on all deliveries to have higher ratings. Although missing or wrong food would not technically be the fault of the Dasher, the customer could potentially see it that way. By ensuring the order is correct, the customer will be more likely to tip better and give better ratings through the app, making them more profitable.
How Dashers Get Paid
Once you’ve started making some deliveries, it’s time to get paid, DoorDash offers two ways for drivers to get paid.
The most common way to get paid is via direct deposit. With this option, DoorDash will pay you directly into your bank account on Wednesdays for the previous week’s deliveries.
The other option is DoorDash Fast Pay. With Fast Pay, you’ll typically get your money the same day or the next day but will pay a $1.99 fee to do so. Money also won’t be deposited into your bank account. Instead, your pay is put onto a prepaid card called a DasherDirect card. This is a good option if you need some quick cash.
Until now, we’ve strictly been talking about how much does door dash pay. As with any job, the amount you are paid is not the amount you take home with you.
Most Dashers are not full-time employees, so paying the taxes on their income from DoorDash is on them. Dashers get paid every week, and the income is simply what they’ve earned from deliveries; DoorDash takes out no taxes. There is also a Fast Pay option through DoorDash where you can get your money the next day, but you’ll incur a $1.99 fee each time you use that option.
If you earn $600 or more from DoorDash in a year, the company will use your account’s banking and tax information to send you a 1099 form by Jan. 31.
Most of the cost Dashers face comes with driving their car. In some markets, cars are not required, so costs are less for those who use bikes or walk, but typically, vehicles are the primary mode of transportation.
Paying for gas will likely be the most significant expense. Longer trips mean more miles and using more gas. Suppose you are using a vehicle that doesn’t get great gas mileage. In that case, this could significantly eat away at any profits you’d be making.
Driving your car more could mean higher insurance rates but will more than likely mean more maintenance costs as well. Brakes, tires, and other car parts will wear out that much faster the more you drive the car around. These likely won’t be weekly expenses, but they are something that should be kept in mind.
Any parking fees, tolls, or even tickets a driver incurs while delivering will not be reimbursed to them by DoorDash. Therefore, each of these should be factored into any calculations when determining how much money you can make using DoorDash.
Benefits of being a DoorDash Dasher
There are several factors about DoorDash that make it appealing to people. Here are some of the top ones.
As with any side hustle, being able to make your own schedule, only working when it’s convenient for you is the biggest draw. DoorDash makes it simple to deliver during a time slot that works best for you. Flexibility with choosing which orders to take also helps drivers maximize profits.
Know Where Your Going
Unlike other delivery apps, DoorDash allows drivers to see where an order is going before they accept it. This can allow drivers to plan better deliveries. When they start, they can drive further from home. Then, as they wind down their day, they can begin taking orders that bring them closer to home. Nothing eats up profits like a final delivery that leaves you a long drive home.
Don’t Need a Car
Not all markets require Dashers to use a car. For example, suppose you live in one of these markets. In that case, you can significantly increase your profits by walking or biking as the costs associated with these are much less than driving a car.
No Customer Interaction Required
Some people like the company of others; some want to simply do the job and move on. For the former, Uber might be a better option; for the latter, DoorDash does the trick. In most cases, you can pick up the food and drop it off without dealing with people on either end.
No Cash Required
As with many side hustle apps, all payments are made through the app itself. However, unlike traditional delivery drivers, like pizza delivery, dashers won’t need to have cash with them, making them less of a target for those looking to take advantage.
No Strangers in the Car
With apps like Uber and Lyft, you’re inviting total strangers into your car, which can be unsettling. Any passenger can be the best or worst ride of your life. They could also be intoxicated, cause damage to your vehicle, and some uber drives provide snacks and drinks for passengers, eating into profits. With DoorDash, no passengers means you can drive in peace and snack-free.
Cons of Being a DoorDash Dasher?
As with any side hustler, you’ll need to take the good with the bad. So here are some of the downsides to Dashing.
Some side hustles are all profit, but as with other ones that involve driving, there are many costs on the Dasher to pay for. Gas, maintenance, parking, tolls, etc., can all take away from your overall profit.
Schedules Fill Up
Yes, you decide when you want to work, but so do other dashers. There is only room for so many. Many of the popular delivery times fill up quickly, and if you don’t get in, you won’t make any money.
Delivery Time Can Be Out of Your Control
Sometimes the delivery speed is out of your control. Restaurants get backed up, you hit traffic, or one of a hundred other things could happen that will slow you down. You can make your best effort to make a speedy delivery, but it’s not always up to you.
How DoorDash Compares To Its Competitors
DoorDash isn’t the only delivery game in town, but how does it stack up to other similar side hustles?
DoorDash vs. Grubhub
DoorDash and Grubhub are very similar. However, when it comes right down to it, the most significant difference is the incentives DoorDash offers to drives to deliver during busy hours and meet weekly goals, giving it a slight edge in the money-making ability for drivers.
DoorDash vs. Uber Eats
Again, two very similar apps in the way they operate. The most significant difference here is that Uber Eats calculations on pay are much more complicated, making it harder to figure out which deliveries are better. On the other hand, DoorDash’s approach is much more straightforward and can make maximizing profits a bit easier.
DoorDash vs. Instacart
Instacart is in a slightly different space than DoorDash seeing that with InstaCart, you’ll be grocery shopping for a customer to earn money. Grocery delivery involves texting them to figure out unavailable items and other more complicated issues than simply picking up food and dropping it off. InstaCart users report making about $13 per hour, significantly less than the DoorDash average of $20.
In the “ways to make extra money” world, DoorDash offers drivers another way to make good money on the side. Flexible schedules and incentives to be a better delivery driver can set this app apart from other similar meal delivery services. The ability to bring in $20 per hour on average makes this a very viable way of getting paid.
Jeff is a fan of all things finance. When he’s not out there changing the world with his blog, you can find him on a run, a Mets game, playing video games, or just playing around with his kids.