When it comes to making money in the gig economy, food courier jobs seem to be one of the most popular options people turn to.
After all, if you have a functional vehicle or bike and live in an area that is decently populated, your chances of finding a job with at least one of the food delivery behemoths out there is pretty decent.
Since two of the most popular food delivery services Uber Eats and DoorDash are often where hustlers end up applying, I figured I would write this post to help break down the differences between the programs and to highlight the pros and cons of each company.
I’ll go over the requirements and legal stuff first, and then you can hear from a current Uber Eats and DoorDash courier for his take on which service he prefers working for.
Let’s get to it!
If you’re ready to start making money already…
Uber Eats vs. DoorDash – Signing Up & Requirements:
I was surprised at just how different the signup process is between Uber Eats and DoorDash, but this is certainly an important difference to note for each platform!
Signing Up For Uber Eats:
Becoming an Uber Eats driver is fairly simple if you already drive for Uber because all you have to do is accept Uber Eats delivery terms to be eligible to receive food delivery requests.
If you aren’t an Uber Drive, you will have to make a free Uber account and then begin filling out your application to complete the signup process.
Uber Eats Requirements – For Vehicles:
There are a few critical requirements that you should be aware of if you want to drive for Uber Eats.
The requirements include:
- Being 19 years of age or older.
- Possessing a valid driver’s license.
- Having car insurance and at least one year of driving experience.
- You must drive a vehicle with 2 or 4 doors.
- Your vehicle can’t be older than 1998.
Note, these are just general requirements that are true of most countries/states, but there can be variance.
For example, in Canada, you need to be 21 years or older to drive Uber, so keep this in mind and check the Uber website for a country-specific list of requirements.
Uber Eats Requirements – For Bikes & Scooters:
If you want to deliver food on a bike or scooter with Uber Eats, the requirements are sightly different.
As a bike or scooter courier, you must:
- Only drive a vehicle with 2 wheels.
- Not have a vehicle that is faster than 30mph.
In the United States you only have to be 18 to deliver food by bike with Uber Eats, but you will still need to provide some sort of government ID.
You should also note that Uber Eats bike delivery is not available in every region.
Once you’ve completed your application and are accepted into Uber Eats, you are ready to take on deliveries!
Now, let’s see how Uber Eats compares to DoorDash for requirements.
Signing Up To Be A DoorDash Driver:
However, as with Uber Eats, there are plenty of rules and requirements to take note of.
DoorDash Driver Requirements & Driver Orientation:
Most countries/states require DoorDash drivers to be 18 years or older, although various places will require drivers to be 21 years or older. Again, check your specific region to find the requirements.
DoorDash also requires that
- You pass a background check (no DUI, assault, reckless driving, driving with an expired/suspended license, or a few other offenses within the last 7 years).
- You must be eligible to work in the country you are applying for.
- You cannot have more than 3 minor driving violations (like speeding) within the last 3 years.
- You must provide proof of a valid license and insurance.
- You must have at least one year of driving experience.
Note that DoorDash is much more lenient on which vehicles or bikes are acceptable; if it runs, you are good to go!
If you meet all of DoorDash’s requirements, there is one final step: the orientation.
If DoorDash approves your application, you have to attend an in-person orientation meeting at a specific DoorDash location nearest you.
The orientation is designed to familiarize new drivers with the app, delivery system, and to get them ready to start making money.
Note: you will have to fill out tax forms and other information at the DoorDash orientation.
You should bring:
- Your license and ID.
- Your phone (make sure the app is installed and charge your phone!)
- A credit or debit card.
DoorDash Or Uber Eats – Which Service Should You Deliver For?
It’s time to turn our questions to my friend, who has been working as both an Uber Eats and DoorDash courier in Toronto for the past 2 months.
I wanted to get to the bottom of which food delivery service paid more for side hustlers, as well as his overall impressions of both apps and companies.
Here is what he said.
How Long Have You Been Delivering & How Do You Deliver?
I’ve been delivering with Uber Eats and DoorDash for the past 2 months. I recently moved to Toronto and had a couple of courier friends that said it was a job you could do full time so I decided to give it a try!
I also deliver exclusively by bicycle.
What Is Your Food Courier Setup? What Gear Do You Use?
Your overall set-up will probably look a lot different than mine. I’m a pretty DIY guy and spent last Summer camping out across the country so I like to be prepared. I’ll give you a basic set-up of what you need to have, as well as a more ‘advanced’ set-up, of what I like to ride with!
- Food-Delivery Bag.
- Cellphone (with data).
That’s literally it. Once you have those two things, you’re ready to ride for Uber Eats or DoorDash!
If you want to be more prepared for biking in a variety of conditions or at night, I recommend taking some notes from my setup:
- Single Speed Road Bike (built myself, this helped cut down on costs quite a bit).
- Cellphone (with data).
- Large Food-Delivery Bag.
- Bike Lights (this is crucial for riding around at night).
- External Battery Powerbank for my cellphone.
- Cellphone Charger Cable
- Cellphone Bike Holder.
- Bluetooth Headphones (So the cable doesn’t get caught when taking your phone on and off the phone holder)
There aren’t a lot of hills in Toronto, so a single speed bike is the ideal choice. It allows me to accelerate quickly, it’s cheap, easy to build, and is overall quite simple to maintain.
The bike cellphone holder is ideal to see where you are going for an order and you absolutely need an external battery if you’ll be delivering food for an extended period of time.
DoorDash or Uber Eats – Which Company Pays More?
It’s hard to say for each as the apps track the hours you are online, not just the time I spend doing delivering.
However, on Uber Eats, I make anywhere from $15-$25 an hour. If I receive consistent orders, it’s generally around $20/hour.
As for DoorDash, it never seems busy enough in Toronto to have the same volume of orders that I receive with Uber Eats. However, I do make slightly more per delivery.
For example, the last three deliveries I made for DoorDash paid me:
These orders took around 15-20 minutes each to complete, so for this reason, I like to run both apps simultaneously and to accept all my DoorDash orders if I’m not swamped with Uber Eats.
Noticeable Perks Or Benefits Besides Pay?
As I said, Uber Eats = more orders, at least where I’m located.
However, DoorDash seems to have higher surge pay. Sometimes they even message me saying “earn $7.50 more per order right now” which basically doubles what you would make.
However, in downtown Toronto, Uber Eats almost always has a 1.1x multiplier anyway, so keep this in mind.
Both apps have decent UI, but Uber Eats has their own GPS, while DoorDash relies on external software like Google Maps (which can still be used with Uber Eats).
Overall, I like delivering for Uber Eats more since they let you accept a second order before your last one has been completed. This is important because it allows you to work without stopping between orders.
What Do You Recommend Other Couriers Do?
This may be the unpopular opinion, but I prefer Uber Eats over DoorDash based on how I complete my deliveries and where I’m located.
I only go out between 5pm – 12am on any given day, which seems to be more than busy enough to have constant orders (usually). Food Couriers seem to talk a lot of trash about Uber Eats, but it is the most commonly used food delivery app and it’s by far the simplest to sign up for.
That being said, I have courier friends that double app (dapping) to optimize their earnings. This is best done with Doordash + Skip The Dishes, and Foodora because Uber Eats wont show you where the drop off location is until you’ve picked up the food you’re supposed to deliver.
I would suggest that other couriers/drivers download and apply for both companies and to test what works best for them. You can really increase your earnings if you optimize and work smart, so don’t be afraid to mix things up.
Speaking Of The Signup Process – Your Thoughts?
Uber Eats was by far the easier of the two for signing up! You don’t have to meet or talk to a single representative and everything can all be done from their website.
If you’re delivering on bike, the only requirements are a background check (takes around 10 minutes), some basic info about yourself, and a profile picture. It’s that easy!
DoorDash was still a really easy sign-up process, but you do have to go meet them in person.
If I’m being completely honest, this made me a little uncomfortable; it felt like I was going in for an interview. However, I can assure you it’s still an incredibly easy sign-up process.
You fill out a quick survey and pick a date to meet in person. You are then put in a group orientation, where they tell you how to use the app, and you fill out the a form and listen to a quick presentation by the orientation leader. After that, you are good to start working with DoorDash too!
What Surprised You About The Whole Food Delivery Side Hustle?
That I actually made money doing it!
With how much people talk shit about it, I assumed I’d be making $10 an hour or less. However, as long as you’re smart about it – you can easily make some decent money. However, I think its best kept as a side hustle during busy hours.
Also, I was surprised by how much I liked the whole gig.
At first, I thought it would just be a way to make some extra money, but I find myself wishing I was doing UberEats during my real job – because going out, exercising, and releasing endorphins is a way better way to make money than sitting behind a computer screen!
Well, there you have it!
The world of food delivery companies is certainly competitive, but it seems that in Toronto, Uber Eats has the volume over DoorDash.
However, I want to reiterate what my friend said about optimization; you should never take one opinion or experience as gospel. Rather, you should get your boots on the ground and test what works for you!
Toronto is a busy, bustling city, so these results and figures might not be indicative of what you will experience. But, don’t let this discourage you from trying out this side hustle!
The gig economy is a lucrative, fascinating thing, and with some hard work and perseverance, there are plenty of great and honest ways to make some extra money.
Catch you guys in the next one!
Tom is a 22 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. 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!