If you’re currently delivering for DoorDash or are thinking about starting, you might have heard from other couriers that DoorDash hotspots are super important.
And, if you open your Dasher app, you might see little flame icons on your screen, indicating the presence of a DoorDash hotspot.
But, what are DoorDash hotspots? And, does it actually make sense to wait at these hotspots for order requests to try and make more money?
In this post, I’m covering everything you need to know about DoorDash hotspots to help you make more money when DoorDashing.
Let’s get to it!
Looking for other ways to make money in the gig economy? Checkout:
- Instacart – Earn $15 to $20+ per hour as an Instacart Shopper!
- Steady – Use the free Steady app to find high-paying gig jobs in your area!
What Are DoorDash Hotspots?
When you open your DoorDash driver app and start working, you might see small flame icons on the map.
These small flame icons indicate a DoorDash hotspot.
So, what does DoorDash hotspot mean?
A hotspot is an area that has a lot of orders. In other words, it’s DoorDash telling you that restaurants in that particular area are getting a lot of DoorDash orders from customers.
According to DoorDash, if you want to get more orders, “To increase your chances to receive more orders, simply position yourself closer to a Hotspot. Hotspots are meant to guide you to busy areas and they are consistently refreshed throughout the day, but they do not guarantee orders.”
This is largely common sense, but what a lot of Dashers might not know is that there’s two types of DoorDash hotspots:
- Dynamic Hotspots: These occur when a restaurant or area have a lot of orders. The DoorDash app highlights an entire hotspot zone and the closer you get to the zone, the more likely you are to get an order from there.
- Historical Hotspots: Historical hotspots uses the flame icon, not an entire highlighted zone. These hotspots aren’t currently busy enough to be a dynamic hotspot but are usually busy areas based on historical order data.
The main difference to know is that Dynamic Hotspots are currently busy whereas Historical Hotspots should be busy based on the restaurants in the area and when people tend to order.
Do You Have To Be At A Hotspot For DoorDash?
DoorDash hotspots highlight areas where you should theoretically get more orders, but you don’t have to be at a hotspot to get order requests.
The most important thing with DoorDash is to begin dashing in busy zones, and to ideally look for peak pay.
And, unless you’re a Top Dasher, you aren’t able to begin dashing in grey zones that aren’t very busy.
It can still help you to wait near a hotspot or to at least try it in your market since this can lead to more orders, but don’t be worried if there isn’t a nearby hotspot and you just want to deliver in your area.
Does Waiting At DoorDash Hotspots Help Make More Money?
So, you now know what DoorDash hotspots are, but does waiting at them help you make more money?
Well, let’s take a look at what DoorDash says and what real DoorDash drivers have to say about hotspots.
What DoorDash Says
DoorDash really pushes hotspots quite heavily and created the system to help drivers get more orders.
But, once again, DoorDash says waiting near a hotspot increases the odds you get more orders but doesn’t make any guarantees.
However, hotspots are the busiest area for orders, so if there’s one very close to you, it might be worth checking out.
Extra Reading – Is DoorDash Worth It?
What DoorDash Drivers Say
If you look on Reddit for various threads, you can find a lot of info about what DoorDash hotspots are and if drivers think they work.
In this thread, two drivers share their opinion on hotspots and come to a similar conclusion.
According to these drivers, DoorDash hotspots are basically guidelines you can use if you’re not currently getting orders.
But if the closest DoorDash hotspot is miles away, it’s not worth driving out of your way to go track down orders.
One driver states they wait 15 to 20 minutes before driving to a hotspot, whereas the other driver doesn’t really care for them.
Additionally, one driver points out the key point here: you can make your own hotspot.
A pro DoorDash driver tip is to park your car by restaurants that are normally busy and by ones where you normally accept orders from.
After all, there’s little point of waiting by a hotspot if it gets you nothing but $3 Walmart deliveries you won’t accept anyway; waiting by lucrative restaurants and shopping areas is generally the best practice you should go for.
So, don’t be afraid to test out if DoorDash hotspots are worth it, but don’t stress too much if you don’t have many in your area or prefer waiting in your own area.
Extra Reading – Does DoorDash Acceptance Rate Matter?
Frequently Asked Questions
If you still have questions about what DoorDash hotspots are or if they even work, this FAQ should help you understand this aspect of dashing.
1. What Should I Do If I Don’t See Any DoorDash Hotspots?
If you don’t see a dynamic DoorDash spot, you can choose to head to a historical hotspot.
And, if you don’t see any historical hotspots, your best bet is to wait by an area that has a lot of restaurants in a small radius so you can get as many orders as possible.
2. When Do DoorDash Hotspots Update?
Hotspots update every 10 minutes to reflect new areas that are busy or areas that aren’t hotspots anymore.
However, even areas that were previously hotspots but have turned regular are often worth sticking around. This is because this is still a core of restaurants, so you should be able to get orders from that area anyway.
3. Why Don’t I Get Orders At A DoorDash Hotspot?
If you drive to an active DoorDash hotspot and aren’t getting orders, don’t panic, your app is still working.
Hotspots increase the odds you get order requests, but it isn’t a guarantee.
Additionally, you should try to find hotspots that are also in an area with a lot of houses; you don’t want to pick up the order and then have to drive 5 miles to get to the nearest area where people live.
I suggest watching this video from DoorDash driver Mike on how he maximizes his DoorDash earnings by using hotspots:
Mike also suggests looking for areas that are normally hotspots but also have things like apartment blocks or large neighborhoods so you don’t have to drive far away from the hotspot after you accept an order.
Extra Reading – How Does DoorDash Fast Pay Work?
Are DoorDash Hotspots Always Worth It?
So, should you wait at DoorDash hotspots?
In my opinion, it’s worth testing out this DoorDash hack, especially if there’s an active on that’s only a few miles away from you.
However, don’t drive miles and miles to get to a hotspot. You’re better off waiting by your own favorite area that has a bunch of restaurants that typically get large orders.
Additionally, always think about parking when choosing a DoorDash hotspot.
For example, if a hotspot is right in a downtown core where you can never find parking, I’d probably skip that one.
In contrast, if it’s a busy but reasonable area for parking that’s also close by, it’s probably worth checking out.
I also want to stress that you should avoid sketchy and dangerous areas of your city, even if it means missing out on a hotspot.
This is especially true if you’re a bike or scooter courier and aren’t able to stay in your vehicle. It’s just not worth the risk to try and get more orders!
Extra Reading – Can You Make A Living Off DoorDash?
DoorDash hotspots are just one of these tricks, and I think every driver should give them a try to see how well they perform in their market.
However, don’t follow hotspots blindly, and stick to other important tips (like aiming for orders that pay at least $1 per mile).
If you have a question about DoorDash hotspots or have experience in using them, let us know down in the comments!
Catch you guys in the next one.
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!
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!