If you want to make extra cash on the side, driving for DoorDash is a very reliable option.
DoorDash is the leading food delivery app in North America, and it’s currently available in over 5,500 cities!
But, for drivers and customers alike, DoorDash can be painfully slow in some markets.
So, why is DoorDash so slow? And, what can you do to get more DoorDash orders if you’re stuck in a market without much potential?
This guide is covering everything DoorDash drivers and customers need to know.
Why Is DoorDash So Slow?
Like other gig economy apps, DoorDash doesn’t guarantee a certain number of hourly orders or pay. So, sometimes, you might get non-stop orders and Dash the entire days. But other times, you might have to wait a long time between orders.
So, why does DoorDash get slow? And, what can drivers do to maximize their earnings with this side hustle?
1. Delivering At Slow Times
One reason why DoorDash is slow is that you’re driving at the wrong times.
This is actually very important for any driving app that pays, especially for food delivery jobs like DoorDash.
This is because higher customer order volume increases the odds you get more orders and ultimately make more money.
So, driving at the best DoorDash times naturally means you avoid the dreaded slow periods when you barely get orders.
These peak times include:
- Mornings: Hitting the 8AM to 11AM breakfast rush can be lucrative in some markets.
- Lunch: Noon to 1PM is another decent time to do DoorDash.
- Dinner: 5PM to 8PM is another DoorDash time that isn’t slow.
- Weekends: All-day on weekends is a safe bet for DoorDash, especially during late-nights on Friday and Saturday.
So, if DoorDash is slow in your area, mix up the times you’re delivering at and aim for these busier periods.
This is a basic piece of DoorDash driver advice, but hey, sometimes simple works!
2. Competition With Other Dashers
Another reason DoorDash is slow right now is that you’re competing with other Dashers.
DoorDash assigns orders to drivers using several factors, including what zone you’re delivering in.
But one of the most important factors is just how close you are to a restaurant. So, if lots of drivers are around, you’re all competing for the same pool of orders.
To avoid this, make sure you schedule Dashes in advance so you don’t log into the app to just find grayed-out zones that are too busy to Dash in.
And, if you still find DoorDash is being slow and not giving orders, experiment with delivering in some different parts of town or entirely new zones.
3. Technical App Issues
This is a simple reason DoorDash is being slow for you: you’re not even Dashing because of technical issues!
This also happens more often than you think.
So, if you’re not getting orders, try restarting the app to see if that fixes things. Also make sure your data is turned on and you have signal.
Finally, make sure you didn’t pause your Dash by accident since this is a surefire way for DoorDash to be slow.
4. Not Waiting Near Hotspots
A DoorDash hotspot is a cluster of restaurants and stores you can get DoorDash orders from. DoorDash highlights hotspots in this app with a small flame icon.
If DoorDash is being slow, you can try waiting at a hotspot to see if it gets you more orders.
These hotspots don’t always work, but it’s definitely better than waiting in the middle of nowhere where there are barely any eligible stores.
5. Not Being A Top Dasher
During very busy periods, DoorDash prioritizes Top Dashers over regular Dashers when assigning orders.
So, if you’re finding DoorDash is slow, there’s a chance Top Dashers are snagging all the orders in your market.
To become a Top Dasher you must:
- Have a customer rating of 4.7 stars or higher
- Have a DoorDash acceptance rate of 70% or higher
- Have a DoorDash completion rate of 95% or higher
- Complete 100 deliveries within the last month
- Have at least 200 all-time deliveries
Now here’s the thing: being a Top Dasher isn’t worth it in most markets because you have to keep your acceptance rate so high, which inevitably leads to you accepting low-paying orders.
But, as a last resort, you can always go for Top Dasher for one month to see if it makes a difference for how slow the DoorDash app is for you.
Extra Reading – How Much Money Do DoorDash Drivers Make?
6. Your Market Is Slow
Unfortunately, DoorDash can be slow if you’re delivering in a market that’s just not busy.
Some of the best places to DoorDash include major cities like Houston and Miami, or more populated states like New York and California. In contrast, a lot of small towns and cities just don’t have enough customer demand to be active.
Why Is DoorDash Slow For Customers?
If you’re a DoorDash customer wondering why DoorDash is so slow lately, there are two main culprits you should think about.
1. You’re Not Tipping
You don’t have to tip on DoorDash as a customer. And, DoorDash drivers don’t see tips when accepting or declining an order.
However, tipping can influence the pay estimate a Dasher sees when deciding if an order is worth it or not.
And, tipping is also something many people think is ethically right, especially if you’re ordering a lot of food or groceries.
So, if you’re placing a massive order or want to buy 100 products from Walmart, you should probably tip if you want someone to accept your order quickly.
Dashers are learning to pass on low-paying orders, especially ones for tough grocery deliveries, so pay for the luxury of faster deliveries with tips!
2. Your Location
Another reason DoorDash can be slow is if you live far away from many stores.
This is the unfortunate reality for people living far away from fast food and shopping centers. Really, the only way to get orders in these areas is to tip generously so Dashers are incentivized to travel to you.
DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas after all, so Dashers have to track their DoorDash mileage and factor this into deciding if orders are worth it or not.
3. Your Driver Is Stuck In Traffic
DoorDash deliveries can also be slow if your driver gets stuck in traffic. Ordering before or after rush hour is therefore a good idea if you want to get your food a little bit faster.
Additionally, ordering from restaurants in high-traffic areas can result in slower deliveries.
4. Slow Restaurants
Sometimes, restaurants are what cause a delay for DoorDash orders. Delivery estimates aren’t perfect, so avoid ordering from restaurants that are slow for dining in since they might be even slower for deliveries.
5. It’s Dinner Time
As mentioned, traffic and order volume can really influence how slow DoorDash is.
If you want your food as quickly as possible, try to order a bit before or after lunch and dinner rushes. This is especially true for weekends when people tend to order in more often.
Tips For DoorDash Drivers In Slow Markets
If you’re still wondering why is DoorDash so slow and aren’t making the money you want, you’re not out of options!
As mentioned, the first tip you should try is to change up the times and locations you deliver in to see if you get more orders.
Also, there are some other jobs like DoorDash you can make extra cash with if DoorDash is slow.
Some of the best DoorDash alternatives include:
- Instacart: Make money by delivering groceries to people in your city.
- Uber Eats: Work for another popular food delivery app and deliver via bike, scooter, or car.
- Shipt: A popular grocery delivery job like Instacart.
- Grubhub: Another leading food delivery app that’s very similar to DoorDash.
- Amazon Flex: Earn $18 to $25 per scheduled hour as an Amazon Flex driver.
- GoShare: Make money by delivering packages to people with your car, truck, or cargo van.
- Roadie: Like GoShare, you can use Roadie to make money delivering packages to people and businesses.
Jobs like Uber Eats and Instacart are ideal if you still want to deliver food and groceries to people. In fact, many DoorDash drivers multi-app with these two apps to increase how many orders they get per hour.
You can also try other delivery apps if food delivery isn’t working too well in your area.
Finally, odd job apps like TaskRabbit and Steady are also great for finding extra gig economy jobs in your area, so you have plenty of options!
Start making money with Instacart today!
Extra Reading – How Much Money Do Instacart Shoppers Make?
What Other DoorDash Drivers Say
You’re not the only one wondering why DoorDash is slow in your market or thinks DoorDash sucks.
A lot of Dashers have this complaint, and here’s what some other Dashers are saying about their market on Reddit:
- IronBudda80 says: “There’s no way I’d make a decent income off of DD in my area alone. I do all 3 that are available in my area. Doordash, Grubhub and Uber Eats. I look at it as fishing, you’ll have more luck casting three rods then just one.”
- Aware_Pumpkin_6838 says: “Multi app and expand your zone. I float between 3 or 4 connected hot areas and stay busy.”
- smagood says: “Multi app. DD should not be your only source of income. Diversify.”
As you can see, multi-apping is a common recommendation drivers have to increase your hourly earnings.
And, many Dashers also admit it’s difficult to make a living doing DoorDash.
In some markets, the blunt truth is there’s too much competition or not enough orders to make quick money in a day to $200 or more as a Dasher.
But, by multi-apping and trying new side hustles, you can at least maximize how much you’re making on a daily basis.
So, try out Instacart, Uber Eats, and other delivery apps alongside DoorDash.
And remember: you should do your best to accept high-paying orders so you make the most money with DoorDash possible.
If you’re driving 8 miles to make $3.50, that’s a very tough way to make good money and still pay off all your gas.
I hope this guide helps you understand why DoorDash is so slow and what drivers and customers can do to improve their experiences.
Again, DoorDash is a great way to make quick money in a day.
However, testing out numerous gig economy jobs is important to diversify your income and also earn more overall.
As for customers, make sure you’re tipping your Dasher, especially for large orders or if you live far away.
Hopefully, DoorDash stays busy in your markets and you don’t have any difficulties.
Looking for more side hustle ideas? Checkout:
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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