DoorDash is one of the largest food delivery services around. Right now, DoorDash and other food delivery companies are playing a massive role in helping households get their groceries each week and stay stocked up.
Needless to say, DoorDash is also on a hiring spree to keep up with demand.
If you have ever considered signing up for DoorDash, here is everything you need to know in terms of how does DoorDash work and, the truly important question, is DoorDash worth it?
Let’s get to it!
DoorDash Driver Review
Description: DoorDash is a food delivery service where food couriers can earn $11 to $20 per hour or more by delivering orders to hungry customers.
What Is DoorDash?
On DoorDash, customers can order fast food, restaurant meals, or entire grocery orders right to their door. Right now, DoorDash and other food delivery companies are seeing a surge in use, especially for grocery delivery.
As a DoorDash delivery worker, you are responsible for picking up food or grocery delivery orders and delivering them to DoorDash customers.
The platform lets you set your own hours, start work fairly quickly, and boost your monthly income if you are looking for extra work.
How Does DoorDash Work – What To Expect When On The Job
To understand how DoorDash delivery works, it’s important to break down the steps from accepting an order right down to drop off.
1. Accepting Orders & Scheduling
Once you’re approved to work for DoorDash, getting started with delivery is fairly straightforward.
Dashers have two options to start working for DoorDash
If there is current work availability and not a surplus of Dashers on the road, you can simply open the DoorDash app and select Dash Now. This will let you accept orders as you come in and get to work fairly quickly.
If Dash Now isn’t available, this means there are enough workers in your city and you cannot work. To avoid this, it is important to schedule yourself for a Dash, which is basically like setting your work hours.
Scheduling shifts is an excellent way to ensure you have enough work opportunity. If you can’t select a certain time slot, this means there are already enough Dashers for that time, so be sure to act fast.
2. Pickup & Paying For Orders
Once you’re on a shift or able to use Dash Now, DoorDash will send you orders when they are available.
Here’s how the process works:
- DoorDash Sends An Order – You have 45 seconds to view the order details and accept.
- Navigate to Restaurant/Grocery Store – Use the DoorDash app and GPS function to navigate to the pickup location once you accept an order.
- Confirm Arrival & Pickup – Confirm your arrival and when you actually pickup the order for delivery. This last step is important to let DoorDash and the customer know that you are on route to deliver.
DoorDash provides Dashers with a Dasher Red Card upon hiring. This card is a prepaid debit card which you will have to use on certain orders to actually pay for food or groceries.
Orders are often already paid for by the customer. However, orders will be marked as “Pay with Red Card” or “Place Order” if you have to pay. This is, of course, DoorDash’s money and not your own funds.
Once you pickup your order, it’s time to deliver!
3. DoorDash Delivery
Once you deliver the order to the customer, you have to verify the delivery in the DoorDash app in order to end that order and allow new orders to come in.
Ideally, you don’t encounter problems. However, there are a few tips to know if you struggle with a delivery.
Here are some tips and important information to know for how DoorDash delivery actually works and to prevent mistakes:
Check Your Order – It’s a good idea to verify you have the right order before leaving the restaurant or grocery store and to ensure nothing is missing. Don’t hesitate to grab freebies like utensils, sauces, or napkins as well to provide better service.
Follow Instructions – Orders sometimes have specific instructions to assist with delivery, such as door pass codes, specific drop-off points (like a side door), or if it is a contactless delivery. Be sure to read and follow instructions.
Separate Hot & Cold Items – Keep foods of different temperature separate and keep food platters flat during delivery. This is incredibly important from a customer service standpoint.
Know Alcohol Delivery Rules – If your delivery contains alcoholic beverages, you must check the customer’s ID and confirm they are 21 or older. You must also use your judgement to ensure they are not intoxicated. If you are unsure, don’t deliver alcohol and contact Dash support before returning the alcohol to the merchant.
Don’t Waste Time – If a customer is unavailable, there is a protocol. First, call and text the customer through the DoorDash app to attempt communication. If they don’t respond, mark them as unavailable the app to start a countdown clock. If the customer doesn’t respond in a few minutes, you are free to leave the food somewhere safe and get back to work as long as the order was not marked for ‘return’ if delivery fails
Note, you have to document where you leave the food in the DoorDash app and include a photo. You cannot take the food with you or document your actions or you may be kicked from being a DoorDash delivery worker.
Extra Reading – The Top Apps That Pay You To Drive.
New DoorDash Pay Rate 2021 – How Dashers Get Paid
DoorDash workers are paid using this formula: base pay + promotions + tips = total earnings.
This is DoorDash’s new pay model, and there are a few things to know about each section.
DoorDash Base Pay Rate – This ranges from $2 to $10+ depending on time, order distance, and desirability. Desierability is influenced on the acceptance rate of all Dashers on a particular order type/specific chain. Base pay doesn’t change based on tip, which is a nice change seeing as the flak DoorDash got in for their tipping scandal. This base pay is the DoorDash guaranteed minimum for payment.
Promotions – DoorDash has 3 types of promotions that can boost pay:
- Peak Pay is added to total earnings during busy delivery windows. Delivering during bar food rushes or dinner rushes might increase the odds of Peak Pay.
- Challenges are a newer feature that incentivize Dashers to be more active. Examples of challenges include reaching a certain number of deliveries in a specific time-frame, such as paying a bonus of $20 for completing 15 delivering within a week.
- DoorDash Drive involves delivering larger catering orders that require special handling.
To qualify for Drive orders, you must have a minimum of 100 deliveries and 4.8 average customer rating, as well as a 90% completion rate. Drive orders pay more than regular orders and you can even receive an on-time or early delivery bonus.
As for tips, you keep 100% of whatever you earn and this doesn’t impact base pay or bonuses.
So, this is the new DoorDash pay model.
The question remains, is DoorDash worth it and what is the DoorDash pay rate?
Is DoorDash Worth It? – DoorDash Pay Rate
The main thing in deciding if a side hustle is worth it for you or not is to look at the earning potential as well as the opportunity cost of taking on that side hustle.
So, in this case, it’s important to look at the DoorDash pay model in 2021 and what you can realistically expect to earn per hour on the job.
DoorDash used to advertise that you could earn up to $25 per hour working as a Dasher. While this is sometimes true, the average is definitely lower.
Let’s break down what we do know.
According to Glassdoor DoorDash reviews, DoorDash’s average pay rate is $11 per hour.
In contrast, Indeed DoorDash reviews are a little higher, and state that the average DoorDash courier earns between $13 and $18 or so.
After interviewing my friend about his experience delivering food for DoorDash and Uber Eats, his experience was around $16 Canadian per hour for DoorDash orders he completed in downtown Toronto via bike.
If there’s one thing that’s clear it’s that DoorDash typically pays more than minimum wage on average.
However, how much you earn as a DoorDash courier varies greatly based on a few factors, such as:
- Your specific metro.
- If you deliver via car or bike.
- If you qualify for challenges, peak pay, or drive orders.
Working during busy delivery times (bar nights, dinner time, and weekends) is the simplest way to improve the chance of peak pay.
Similarly, working to provide stellar customer service by being timely, grabbing freebies, and being super courteous probably improve the odds you get a tip.
Nothing is set in stone for this gig economy job, but for a side hustle, the average hourly pay isn’t too bad.
Plus, there are cases of DoorDash drivers making really good money.
Just checkout this screenshot from Reddit where one driver shared how the earned nearly $1,700 in a single week of delivering:
The reality is that, with the current DoorDash pay rate, I wouldn’t expect this amount in most markets.
But, if you can get lucky with tips and peak pay, I think it’s possible to sometimes make $20 to $30 per hour with this side hustle.
However, when deciding if DoorDash is worth it, just remember that the time you spend delivering is time you could be using for other things, like a second job, building another side hustle, or just relaxing.
Fellow DoorDash couriers on Reddit also share a similar idea about if working for DoorDash is worth it or not:
If you need money quickly and want to earn above minimum wage, DoorDash could be worth it in 2021 and beyond.
Just make sure you consider all the angles here!
You can also read our post on how much DoorDash couriers make per week for more information about if DoorDash pays well!
DoorDash Pros & Cons – Deciding If This Is Worth It
Honestly, the answer to this question really depends on your financial goals and how viable this food delivery service is in your market.
It’s also important to consider all of the pros and cons that come with this side hustle.
Some of the main benefits of being a DoorDash courier include:
- Hourly Pay. On average, you will make more than a minimum wage job.
- Somewhat Flexible. It’s important to schedule your shifts to ensure you find work. However, the Dash Now feature adds some flexibility.
- Same-Day Pay. DoorDash Fast Pay is a useful feature for anyone truly tight on cash.
- Lenient Requirements. DoorDash has simple requirements and is very lenient on your vehicle type unlike companies like Uber.
There aren’t just positive DoorDash reviews out there. Here are some of the main cons of working for DoorDash to consider:
- Tax Implications. Independent contractors need to accurately report their income and pay necessary self-employment taxes.
- Vehicle Costs. Fuel, wear-and-tear, and general depreciation are important to factor in to your DoorDash earnings. This is a major reason why my friend delivers via bike.
- Earning Ceiling. Your hourly pay will hit a cap with this side hustle and there is no room for growth.
- Tough Work. In all honesty, if you want to earn peak pay and really maximize your earnings, you have to work high-demand delivery windows which probably means missing out on some weekend time or late night fun.
This is probably the most important set of considerations besides how much time you’re sinking into things.
To calculate the true profit from your efforts, you need to subtract mileage, fuel costs, and taxes from your earnings…you’ll get a much different picture after doing so.
Finally, I also suggest reading our post on DoorDash driver advice to learn how to make the most money with this sideh hustle.
Extra Reading – Does DoorDash Pay You For Gas?
Signing Up For DoorDash – How To Become A Courier
If you’re interested in working for DoorDash, there are several requirements to be aware of:
According to DoorDash, eligible workers must:
- Be 18 years old or older.
- Have a vehicle, bike, or scooter.
- Have a valid driver’s license and insurance, as well as at least one year of driving experience.
- You must pass a background check (no DUI, assault, reckless driving, or several other offenses within the last 7 years).
- You can’t have more than 3 minor driving violations, like speeding, within the last 3 years.
If these all check out, all that’s left is to actually signup for DoorDash.
Signup Process For New Dashers
Signing up for DoorDash is pretty quick and painless.
To begin, head to DoorDash and submit an application. This includes basic information like your name, location, and SIN plus information about your vehicle.
If you’re accepted (if demand is high in your city this is very likely), you then go through onboarding.
Onboarding includes a virtual orientation to learn how to use the DoorDash app and getting your activation kit.
The activation kit includes your Red Card, an insulated food delivery bag, and orientation manual. This kit takes roughly one week to arrive. Some large markets require you to pick this up in person, as my friend in Toronto discovered.
Finally, you must activate your Red Card, complete a W-9 tax form, and setup direct deposit. That’s all there is to it.
Extra Reading – How To Do Your First DoorDash Delivery.
How Do You Get Paid?
DoorDash only pays via direct deposit, and you cannot use a savings account. Payments are made the first Monday of every week and take 1-2 business days to process.
But, isn’t there a way for DoorDash to pay daily?
Correct! If you want to get paid sooner, you can signup for Fast Pay.
Fast Pay is available for U.S. Dashers who have completed at least 25 deliveries and dashed for at least 2 weeks. Cashing out with Fast Pay costs $1.99 but you get your money that day.
Is DoorDash Worth Working For? Who Should Drive?
So, if you’re still wondering if working for DoorDash is worth it or not, here’s my suggestion on how to make the decison.
Do you want to supplement your monthly income with a flexible side gig?
Do you also enjoy driving or biking, and have a relatively fuel-efficient vehicle or decent road bike?
If the answers to both these questions are yes, I think DoorDash is a viable side hustle that’s worth it.
Because of DoorDash’s pay rate, you can generally expect to earn at least $10 to $15 per hour as a courier. And, with some practice and luck, earning $20 to $25 per hour is possible.
On the other hand, if you don’t enjoy driving or don’t have much spare time, this probably isn’t the best side hustle idea.
Similarly, you really need to have a reliable road bike and somewhat fuel-efficient car for your hourly earnings versus gas consumption to be worth it.
So, my advice is to try out DoorDash to increase your income, but answer these questions first.
So, is DoorDash worth it for drivers?
Well, my opinion is that it’s great if you can’t find enough work right now and need to boost your income or are sick of having no money.
However, I don’t think it’s the best long-term strategy since the earning ceiling definitely has a cap.
DoorDash has implemented contactless delivery, but it is up to individuals to stay informed and decide which side hustle is the best option for them right now.
There’s truly no right decision here or easy call. I just hope that some of the resources on this website and this article help you find the right side hustle for you.
Best of luck, and I’ll catch you guys in the next one!
Tom is a 24 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!
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