DoorDash is the most popular food delivery platform in North America. But how much you make with this gig depends on a lot of factors, including delivering efficiently.
So, today I’m covering 20+ 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.
Looking for other lucrative money-making ideas?
- Branded Surveys: Share your opinion to earn free PayPal cash and various gift cards!
- Uber Eats: Start making money by delivering with Uber Eats!
Table of Contents
The Best DoorDash Tips & Tricks
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. Know Which Orders To 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%.
People think a higher DoorDash acceptance rate means you always get more orders and earn more. However, this is somewhat misleading. Supply and demand is the main factor that influences how many orders you receive. Additionally, you don’t want to waste valuable time accepting every order if they don’t pay well.
Here’s an example of an order I’d personally be on the fence about:
A common piece of DoorDash driver advice is to only accept orders of $7 or over. Some drivers suggest going for orders that pay $1 per mile instead.
The takeaway: aim for orders with an approximate minimum pay of $7, or at least $1 per mile from restaurants that won’t take forever to prepare the order.
2. Use A Mileage Tracking App
Did you know that according to the IRS, the standard mileage rate for using your car for business purposes is $0.655 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 checking out Everlance.
Everlance is my favorite mileage tracking app, and it automatically logs your mileage and expenses and even has a deduction finder tool to help you save more money as a gig worker. This helps you save time and keep more money in your pocket, and the app is very easy to use.
Pro Tip: You can also use the Upside app to earn cash back rewards when refueling between deliveries!
3. Deliver During Busy Periods
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.
4. Start Multi-Apping
One of my favorite tips for DoorDashing is to begin multi-apping, which involves using multiple delivery apps at once or on the same day to get more orders.
In my experience, multi-apping helps you cherry-pick the highest-paying orders and stay busy. And while it takes more work and effort some days, the pay boost can be worth it.
Some other apps you can mix into your gig economy routine include:
- Uber Eats: My favorite food delivery app that’s a natural one to multi-app with.
- Instacart: The leading grocery delivery gig that lets you get paid to shop.
- Grubhub: Another popular gig like Uber Eats and DoorDash.
- Shipt: A grocery delivery gig that pays at least $16 per hour.
- Amazon Flex: This gig pays you to deliver packages to Amazon customers.
- Walmart Spark: Make money by delivering groceries and orders to Walmart customers.
- Steady: A free money-making app that helps you find the best side hustle for your goals and skills.
Multi-apping takes some getting used to. But if DoorDash is slow, this is the best way to keep your hourly pay high.
5. Know The Best DoorDash Times
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).
6. Try Earn By Time Mode
In 2023, DoorDash started rolling out a new payment model for Dashers: Earn by Time mode.
This mode pays Dashers a fixed hourly rate that varies depending on their market instead of the normal pay mode. So, you can get steadier pay and keep things simple instead of worrying about getting enough orders.
The Earn by Time mode still lets you keep 100% of all tips. You can also cancel up to two orders per hour, so you’re not stuck with every order you get. And for some Dashers, this mode pays more on average than the pay-per-delivery mode.
7. Separate Hot & Cold Items
Another simple trick for DoorDash drivers you can try is separating 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.
8. Double-Check Orders Before Leaving
If you want to make more money with DoorDash, a common theme to follow is to work for tips.
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.
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.
9. Grab Extras For The Customer
Another simple DoorDash tip is to just grab extras for the customer before leaving the restaurant. This can include extra sauce packets, napkins, wet wipes, and 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!
10. Communicate With Customers
Encountering wait times at the restaurant, lots of traffic, or anything else that’s slowing down you delivery? Let the customer know.
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.
11. Deliver With Care
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?
12. Complete 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.
13. Cancel Orders (Sparingly)
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.
14. Wait Near Multiple Restaurants
Another one of my favorite tips for DoorDash drivers is to wait by hotspots so you get more orders.
DoorDash highlights hotspots in the driver app that lets you know areas with a lot of order requests. So, this is a natural place to park while waiting for orders.
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.
15. Be Friendly
Drop off is really the most important part of a delivery if you want to get lots of tips. 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.
16. Get A Grocery Delivery Cart
If you get a lot of Walmart orders or large grocery orders, 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.
17. Wear a DoorDash Shirt
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.
18. 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 – How To Make $50 Per Day.
19. Deliver On Time
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!
20. 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.
Extra Reading – Can You Make A Living Doing DoorDash?
21. Use DoorDash Driver Support
If you’re still looking for DoorDash tips and tricks, one good one to keep in mind is that you always have Dasher support on your side if you run into issues.
You can contact DoorDash driver support from within the Dasher app to help you with things like:
- Answering common questions about how to DoorDash
- Helping you with DoorDash Red Card issues
- Helping you if a restaurant is closed
- Walking you through the steps if a customer is unavailable
Live chat is available, but wait times can vary, so make sure you use the in-app Dasher FAQ to find solutions to common problems so you can get back to delivering.
22. Get Enough Sleep
One final tip for DoorDash drivers 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 means you’re more likely to spend money eating out while on a shift, eating into your profits.
Also follow the rules of the road. This means driving the speed limit and following parking rules so you don’t get expensive tickets.
Frequently Asked Question
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.
What Are Good DoorDash Tips For Beginners?
Some of the best tips for new DoorDashers include not accepting low-paying orders, tracking mileage and expenses, and learning which restaurants are slow so you can avoid them.
If you can learn these skills early, you can make more money with DoorDash. You can then start trying tricks like multi-apping and stacked orders to earn even more.
Are There Any DoorDash Algorithm Tricks?
No, there aren’t any DoorDash algorithm tricks or hacks to make more money. But this doesn’t mean you can’t use the advice in this guide to maximize your earning potential.
Extra Reading – Amazon Flex vs DoorDash.
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. Plus, you can always try out other gig apps like Uber Eats and Instacart to maximize how much you make per hour.
Looking for other money-making ideas? Checkout:
- 20+ Jobs That Pay $5,000 A Month!
- How To Make $500 A Week With DoorDash.
- Not Getting DoorDash Orders? Try These 8 Tips!
DoorDash Disclaimer: Start Dashing today is subject to background check and availability. Dash anytime is subject to availability.
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!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please use our contact page to get in touch!