DoorDash is the most popular food delivery platform in North America.
Yes, you read that right! Doordash even beats the likes of Uber Eats and Postmates in terms of market share, and thousands of delivery drivers have turned to this side hustle idea to boost their income.
But, it doesn’t matter if you’re already driving for this food delivery behemoth or are wondering if DoorDash is worth it: it’s critical to work smart if you want to maximize your earnings.
So, today we’re covering 15+ DoorDash driver tips and tricks you can use to make the most money on DoorDash.
These tips come from my friend who I interviewed in my post on DoorDash vs Uber Eats as well as from other delivery workers, some of whom actually make 100% of their income from the gig economy!
If you’re looking for DoorDash driver advice, this is the ultimate guide for you.
Let’s get to it.
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The Best DoorDash Tips & Tricks To Make More Money
If you’re wondering how to make more money on DoorDash, you’re not alone.
All gig economy jobs can be a little frustrating in the beginning because you’re still learning the ropes and how to work efficiently.
So, review this list of DoorDash tips for drivers and try to spot areas in your courier strategy you can improve upon!
1. Be Smart About Orders You Accept
One simple DoorDash driver tip is to be selective about the orders you accept.
This sounds straightforward, but many beginner Dashers stress too much about keeping their order acceptance rate above 70%.
This is because people think a higher DoorDash acceptance rate means you always get more orders and, therefore, earn more.
However, this is somewhat misleading.
Supply and demand is the main factor that influences how many orders you receive. Besides, scheduling yourself for a Dash, as we’ll cover later, is also key.
Additionally, you don’t want to waste your valuable time accepting every order just because it’ll increase your acceptance rate; you need to protect your hourly wage at all costs!
Here’s an example of an order I’d personally skip:
A common piece of DoorDash driver advice is to only accept orders of $7 or over.
This is because if you can squeeze out two to three orders per hour, you’re looking at at least $14 to $21 per hour before costs.
Another DoorDash driver tip is to aim for a $1 per mile minimum to make sure orders are worth it.
According to DoorDash, drivers make $23 per hour on average while out on delivery, so again, you want to accept orders that pay well enough to be worth your time.
Granted, this skill takes time. You need to learn how long certain deliveries take, which routes are fast, and how to spot orders that look good but are actually a time trap.
The takeaway: aim for orders with an approximate minimum pay of $7.
2. Deliver During Busy Periods & Aim For Peak Pay
Another useful DoorDash Dasher tip is to only work during the best delivery periods to increase the odds you get Peak Pay.
Peak pay is DoorDash’s way of compensating delivery drivers during busy periods. When you open the DoorDash app, you’ll see zones marked in red as being “busy” or “very busy.” These zones also indicate if they pay Peak Pay.
If you can snag Peak Pay, the bonus is a simple way to add a few dollars per delivery.
However, even if you can’t get this bonus, delivering during busy times helps you get more DoorDash orders.
So, what are the best times to deliver for DoorDash? Well, you can test delivering during the following periods:
- Lunch: 11:00AM to 2:00PM
- Dinner: 4:30PM to 8:00PM
- Sunday: Pretty much all day
- Friday & Saturday Night: It’s worth testing late-night deliveries when people are coming home from parties or the bar
Again, this can vary slightly depending on your market, but it’s relatively stable (humans behave the same everywhere).
3. Double-Check Orders Before Leaving!
If you want to make more money with DoorDash, a common theme to follow is to work for tips.
DoorDash pays using a formula that includes:
- Base Pay – Includes time, distance, and desirability in the calculation.
- Promotions – Includes Peak Pay and challenges.
- Tips -You always keep 100% of your tips, so it pays to work hard on the customer service front!
Tips are the variable magic here, and a generous tip can transform your DoorDash earnings per hour.
But, one of the easiest ways to mess up your tip is to leave the restaurant without double-checking the order! I mean, imagine how frustrated a customer would be if they paid for something, only to find out it’s missing from their order.
Even though this is always the restaurant’s fault, you need to double-check everything in their order is correct to keep the customer, your potential tipper, happy.
4. Grab Extras For The Customer
Another simple DoorDash tip is to just grab extras for the customer before leaving the restaurant.
Examples of this include:
- Extra sauce packets
- Napkins and wet wipes
- Plastic cutlery
This is a small gesture that will add an extra 30 seconds to your delivery, max. However, it provides better quality service and helps improve the odds you get a nice tip!
5. Separate Hot & Cold Items
On the note of customer service, make sure you separate hot and cold items in the order as best as you can.
This is especially important if you’re delivering a combo like ice cream and a hot food item. Cold drinks should also be separated, if possible.
If you need a solid delivery bag, you can also checkout this one on Amazon for a cheap starter bag:
For short deliveries, this won’t be game changing. However, for 20+ minute trips, this simple trick can help keep food and drinks at more enjoyable temperatures and make the customer happier.
6. Use A Mileage Tracking App
Alright, time for one of the most important DoorDash tips and tricks that a lot of beginner drivers miss out on.
Did you know that according to the IRS, the standard mileage rate for using your car for business purposes is $0.58 per mile?
That’s right: accurately tracking and reporting your mileage from DoorDashing can help you save money on your tax return.
Plus, it’s also important to track your fuel costs to ensure you know your true hourly pay and if you’re driving efficiently.
If you’re looking for an effective mileage tracking app that also lets you log your income, I suggest reading our Hurdlr review for more information!
Pro Tip: You can also use the GetUpside app to earn cash back rewards when refueling between deliveries!
7. Stay In Touch With The Customer
Encountering wait times at the restaurant, lots of traffic, or anything else that’s slowing down you delivery?
Let the customer know.
One simple DoorDash dasher tip is to keep the customer informed about how the delivery is going.
This helps them plan their schedule better, especially if they live in an apartment building and want to come down to meet you for pickup when you arrive.
You don’t need to overdo it here, but if something pops up, send that message!
8. Deliver With Care
Alright, this is a pretty simple piece of DoorDash advice, but I think it’s important to highlight…especially for scooter and bike couriers!
Before you accept an order, consider how easy it’s going to be for you to deliver safely.
If you’re a bike courier, do you really want to accept an order that involves ten burgers, ten drinks, and a bunch of other appetizers and assorted foods?
Probably not…even if it pays well, that order doesn’t sound too easy to lug around in your food delivery bag as you bike 25 minutes across town.
Anyway, the bottom line is to deliver with care at all times and to think about order difficulty, especially if you’re on a bike or scooter!
Extra Reading – How Much Can You Make With DoorDash Per Week?
9. Look For Batched Orders
One way to make the most money on DoorDash is to become a pro at batched orders.
When you’re on a delivery, DoorDash can sometimes send additional order requests. These requests are usually for restaurants in a nearby area, and you pick up both orders before making two separate deliveries.
Batched orders are great because you can usually squeeze out the second delivery faster than you normally would since you’re already in the area.
However, just make sure it isn’t too out of the way and that you don’t jeopardize your chance at a tip with both customers by being super late.
Extra Reading – 28 Apps That Pay You To Drive.
10. Cancel Orders (Sparingly)
This is probably one of the most unknown DoorDash tips for drivers but it’s also one of the most important.
Order acceptance rates on DoorDash aren’t going to make or break your success.
However, order cancellation rates, or how often you accept an order and then cancel it part way through, can get you in hot water…if you cancel orders all the time, you can even get deactivated.
But, this doesn’t mean you’re powerless as a Dasher.
Rather, it just means you have to cancel orders very strategically when it protects your hourly wage.
Here’s an example: you accept an order for $8 guaranteed for a Chinese restaurant that’s 7 minutes away.
You drive there and then find out the food will take another 25 minutes to prepare.
Is this really worth waiting around for?
In my opinion, you’re better off canceling the order, letting the customer know about the delay, and hopping on another order ASAP.
The only exception to this is if you spent forever driving out to a place, only to find out you have to wait a bit. In this case, the sunk cost is kinda what it is so hey, lesson learned about that restaurant.
11. Wait Near Multiple Restaurants
DoorDash highlights hotspots in the driver app that lets you know areas with a lot of order requests.
DoorDash hotspots are a nice area to wait for orders by.
However, you can also make life easier by waiting by clusters of multiple restaurants you know orders come from frequently.
This usually includes malls, strip malls, or just general neighborhoods in your city with a bunch of fast food joints right next to each other.
Extra Reading – How To Complete Your First DoorDash Delivery.
12. Be Friendly
Another trick to make more money on DoorDash is to be friendly with customers when messaging them and at drop off.
Drop off is really the most important part here as well. Be friendly, have a smile, and don’t be afraid to crack a joke about something.
Even something like a “dang, your order looked so good when I picked it up, you had me thinking twice about completing the delivery” or something tongue-and-cheek can get a chuckle and maybe increase the chance of a tip.
Just try to read the person quickly before cracking too many jokes; if they look antisocial or something, just give some friendly banter, a smile, and tell them to enjoy.
All of these DoorDash tips and tricks seem inconsequential, but in aggregate, they do help you land more tips.
13. Get A Grocery Delivery Cart
If you get a lot of Walmart orders or large grocery orders, you know what a pain it can be to drop-off all the grocery bags at your customer’s door.
So, one simple tip for DoorDashing is to invest in a small grocery cart you can use to wheel all the bags to the customer’s door.
14. Wear a DoorDash Shirt (or Be Presentable)
If you’re looking for even more tip potential, it pays to be presentable.
In other words, don’t roll up to the drop off looking like you just robbed the joint you got the food from.
You can wear a DoorDash delivery driver t-shirt. Alternatively, wear a fun shirt or, at the very least, something clean and presentable. Smell good as well!
15. Claim Delivery Shifts Early
If it’s busy in your area, DoorDash usually lets you begin dashing in a zone immediately.
However, scheduling yourself for an upcoming dash is an effective way to make more money with DoorDash because it ensures you can work.
There’s nothing worse than opening your DoorDash driver app, only to find out your nearby zones have enough drivers and you can’t make extra cash.
Schedule yourself as early as possible and check the app frequently to see what shifts are available.
You can also try doing DoorDash in another state or nearby city if it’s busier.
Extra Reading – The Best DoorDash Times.
16. Aim For On-Time Pay
Did you know that DoorDash can sometimes pay bonuses for delivering earlier than expected?
That’s right: you can earn an on-time bonus if you’re exceptionally fast and consistently beat delivery time goals.
Granted, this DoorDash driver tip is often out of your control because of traffic or restaurants being slow, but sometimes, the hustle can pay off!
17. Double-Up On Apps
Sometimes, the best way to increase your DoorDash pay is to split your attention between multiple apps.
Double-apping, or Dapping, involves running multiple apps at once to get a faster stream of order requests in.
So, you can run apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats simultaneously to get orders faster.
Making money with Instacart while working for DoorDash is also another great way to maximize how many orders you get.
Once you accept an order somewhere, turn the other app off. When you’re close to drop off, turn the other app on again to get an order request as you’re finishing a delivery.
You can even get lucky and get order requests from the same joint; a rare albeit awesome occurrence that basically lets you stack orders on two apps at once.
Extra Reading – How To Make $50 Per Day.
18. Try The Para App
Para is a popular app that can help you make more money with DoorDash and other food delivery gigs. For starters, Para helps track your income by platform so you know how much you’re making.
But Para also provides estimates for how much tips are from customers, giving you a better idea if an order is worth it or not.
This is actually very useful since it can turn orders you might not accept normally into ones you do, making you more money overall.
The tip estimates aren’t always accurate, but this is one of the best hidden DoorDash tips and tricks for 2022 right now.
19. Use Fast Pay Sparingly
DoorDash lets you cash out daily earnings using Fast Pay instead of waiting an entire week to get paid.
However, using Fast Pay costs $1.99 every time you use it.
This fee doesn’t sound like much, but if you use it several times a month, you’re looking at $5 to $20 in extra fees, or $100+ in fees per year!
So, one piece of DoorDash advice is to avoid over-using this Fast Pay feature.
But otherwise, keep more of your hard-earned money by waiting the week to get paid.
Extra Reading – Can You Make A Living Doing DoorDash?
20. Get Enough Sleep
One final DoorDash Dasher tip is to get enough sleep before a long day of deliveries.
I know many Dashers who want to make $200 to $300 a day or more, and they wake up super early to start delivering. But if you don’t get enough sleep, you’re putting yourself and other drivers at risk by worsening your driving skills.
Plus, if you don’t sleep enough, you probably don’t have time to prepare your food and beverages for your day of Dashing. This mean you’re more likely to spend money eating out while on a shift, eating into your profits.
Frequently Asked Question
Time to wrap up our list of DoorDash driver ticks with some common questions Dashers have about this side hustle:
1. How To Get More Orders On DoorDash?
I mentioned how order acceptance rate impacts how many orders you get on DoorDash.
This is because of the Top Dasher program, which is designed to recognize the most consistent Dashers with special benefits
Here’s how Top Dasher works.
On the first of every month, you can qualify for this program if you meet the necessary Top Dasher requirements:
- Customer Rating Average: 4.7
- Acceptance Rate: At least 70%
- Completion Rate: At least 95%
- Delivery Number: At least 100 for the previous month
- Lifetime Deliveries: At least 200
So, what benefits do you get as a Top Dasher?
Well, the main one is that you unlock the ability to “Dash Anytime” so you can work in grey zones:
Apparently, you can also get more DoorDash orders because “when things are slower, you will be prioritized for new orders.”
However, I want to stress that scheduling yourself is still important to ensure you get enough work.
And, getting Top Dasher isn’t worth it if it ruins your hourly pay, so don’t be afraid to skip or cancel orders when it makes sense!
2. DoorDash Tip After Delivery – When Do I See My Tips?
Another common question Dashers have is when they see their DoorDash tips and how the whole tipping process works.
This is because the process has changed a bit over the years, but it’s now in a place that’s better for drivers.
DoorDash customers typically add a tip while checking out with their order.
This is actually a good idea from the customer side of things since Dashers will see the tip information on an order before accepting it, incentivizing them to take the delivery.
However, what many don’t know is that customers can also choose to adjust the tip after delivery once they rate the delivery experience.
So, if you really mess up or do something to annoy the customer, there’s a chance they go into their DoorDash app and adjust the tip.
Customers can also choose to tip afterwards through the app or with cash.
So, when do you actually see your DoorDash tips?
- Customer Tips During Checkout: You see your DoorDash tips immediately when accepting the order.
- Customer Tips After Delivery: You receive a push notification when the customer adds their tip and see the updated payment amount for the delivery.
3. Is DoorDash Safe?
DoorDash has new delivery protocols, including wearing a mask. Since you’re mostly dealing with food and not contact with many people, it’s also safe that way.
The main thing I want to stress here is that if you deliver via bike, always wear reflective clothing at night!
Additionally, if you get an order request in a very sketchy part of town with items that don’t really make sense, don’t feel bad for not accepting it.
Here’s a Reddit thread that has a lot of valuable info about if DoorDash is safe to work for or not.
As you can see, the main Dasher tip here is to be aware.
4. Does DoorDash Pay Daily?
DoorDash pays weekly on Monday for all deliveries completed between Monday to Sunday of the previous week. However, you have the option to cash out faster if you want through Fast Pay.
DoorDash Fast Pay lets you cash out your earnings daily for a $1.99 fee.
Just note that you need a debit card, not a prepaid card, to use DoorDash Fast Pay.
5. What Time Does DoorDash Pay On Monday?
Payments transfer first thing on Monday, but this doesn’t mean you get money in your account on Monday morning. In fact, DoorDash payments usually take two to three days to finish processing and to appear in your bank account.
So, you can expect to see your DoorDash earnings sometime on Tuesday or Wednesday for the previous week of work.
6. Does DoorDash Pay For Gas?
When you drive for DoorDash, you’re working as an independent contractor. This means you’re fully responsible for paying for gas.
You also need to factor in vehicle depreciation and accurately report your income when filing your taxes.
In short, DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas or anything besides providing you a Red Card to pay for certain food orders.
For more information, read our post: does DoorDash pay for gas?
7. DoorDash Bike Vs. Car – What’s Best?
My friend delivered for Uber Eats and DoorDash to avoid buying a card and to get paid to workout. If you live in a busy city center, this is definitely a viable strategy.
Plus, with a bike, you pay less in wear and tear, don’t have to worry about fuel costs, and get your sweat on while making extra cash!
However, you probably earn a tiny bit more when delivering with a car, and in some markets, bikes and scooters won’t be viable.
Note: DoorDash knows what vehicle type you deliver with and only gives you deliveries that are reasonable, so don’t worry about getting a 10 mile request if you’re on a bike!
8. How To Make $500 A Week With DoorDash
I’ve seen this question on a few forums as well, so I’ll take a crack at it! Let’s assume you earn between $23 per hour working for DoorDash.
To make $500 in a week, you would need to work around 21 hours based on this hourly rate.
However, I still think by working for Peak Pay and driving smart you can make $500 faster.
Just checkout this snapshot of one Dasher’s record week:
In this snapshot, the Dasher was earning an average of $30 per hour, which highlights the power of tips and getting good at this gig!
Our post on how to make $500 a week with DoorDash covers the math and strategies behind this idea as well if you’re curious!
Extra Reading – How To Make $500 A Day – 10 Best Methods.
Making The Most Money On DoorDash – Final Thoughts
I hope our list of DoorDash tips and tricks help you maximize your earnings the next time you’re out dashing!
I think the main takeaway out of all these tips is you need to keep testing what works in your market and to learn how to be more efficient.
Every city is different.
It also takes time to learn which restaurants are never worth accepting orders from, neighborhoods that are solid, and what deliveries are worth it where you live.
However, with some practice and working at peak times, you can definitely make good money by working for DoorDash.
Again, this isn’t guaranteed. But, I hope this list of DoorDash driver tips and tricks sets you up for success in the gig economy!
Looking for other money-making ideas? Checkout:
- 20+ Jobs That Pay $5,000 A Month!
- The Best Microtask Sites To Earn Extra Cash.
- Not Getting DoorDash Orders? Try These 8 Tips!
DoorDash disclaimer: Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and expenses. 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 peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
Tom is a full-time blogger and freelance writer with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and the gig economy. His work has appeared on dozens of personal finance websites like Money Crashers, The College Investor, Investor Junkie, and more. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
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