DoorDash, UberEats, GrubHub- the growing popularity of these services is a testament to the fact that more people now use online services to deliver food to their homes. Whether a fad or a cultural trend, food delivery has become the go-to for millions of Americans who want to grab a bite without leaving their couches.
The pandemic saw a rise in the use of these apps. However, these services continued to thrive even after the pandemic. Food delivery apps like DoorDash allow users to order their favorite foods from local restaurants without leaving the house. The convenience of the whole process makes the food delivery industry thrive.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a DoorDash driver or how much money they make? We’ll share some important tips on increasing your DoorDash earnings and determining if being a DoorDasher is worth it.
Registering On DoorDash
To register as one of the food delivery drivers on DoorDash, simply enter the DoorDash website and click on “Sign up to be a Dasher.” After inputting your ZIP code, you’d need to enter other details like your email address. College students registering on the site with their college-issued email will be eligible for some tailored offers.
The dasher must be at least 18 years old to be eligible. They also must own a car, bike, or bicycle (in selected places). You would also need to provide your driver’s license and social security number.
After you register, DoorDash will send you some gear after your first dash. This gear includes a food warming bag, hand sanitizer, and other important items.
They also have an online store for dashers to purchase other gear of their choice. Once you’ve registered on the platform, you’ve become a Dasher and are just a few steps away from making cool money while delivering food.
Schedule Your Dashing
As a Dasher, you have the opportunity to schedule your work to suit your convenience. On the app, you can choose custom schedules for your work availability, including choosing your times of work and the location you prefer to work.
Your city might be divided into a few regions on the DoorDash app. The app’s map is color-coded and lets you know if dashers are needed in that region at the moment.
The pink areas on the map are in need of dashers. If an area is pink on the map, you can simply drive to that area and “sign in” on the app.
To be on a region’s delivery queue, you must “sign in” to DoorDash at that location. Dashers can also schedule their availability up to six days in advance.
To be put in the delivery queue, you must sign in the location you chose during the time pocket you chose in advance.
A gray color code on a region in the map shows that the region’s Dasher capacity is full. There’s also a scheduler on the app which you can use.
Usually, when you are in a delivery queue, you might receive an order a little outside your region. However, this is rare, as most orders will be within your preferred region.
If you scheduled yourself to be in a region at a given time, you’d have up to half an hour after the beginning of the time to sign in. You’ll be taken off the queue for another dasher if you don’t sign in during that period.
Usually, you will receive a message after 15 minutes telling you to sign in inside the region you chose. Not signing in takes you off the queue, and there’s no punishment for this.
Maximizing Your Order Earnings
With DoorDash, you also have the option to accept or decline an order request. You must be tactful in deciding which orders are worth taking and which will be worth the ride.
Whenever you receive an order assignment on the app, you can view the map feature to let you see just what your journey would look like.
It’s important to look at the route and other factors concerning your order and determine if the pay is worth it. With some orders, it’s quite easy to make the decision.
However, other orders might be a bit complex to evaluate. You might want to consider some factors to know if you should accept an offer.
- Determine an hourly pay rate for yourself. Then, measure the order against your expected hourly income to determine if it’s worth your time.
- Consider the restaurant you’re picking up the food from. Is it a standalone building with a good parking space? This helps you factor in delays both in traffic and parking.
- Consider the food ordered. More items in an order increase the chances of a hold-up picking up the order. If you are unfamiliar with the restaurant, it’s hard to tell if it would be a quick pick-up or if you’d experience delays.
- Consider the distance of the entire route and if it’s feasible. Consider the day of the week, the time of day, and other factors that would affect the order delivery.
- Also, considering your desired hourly pay, you may want to grab a less-than-perfect order assignment if you’ve been idle for a while.
With some practice, you’ll get better at accepting only favorable orders. Your acceptance rate is stated on your dashboard, and at a rate above 70%, you might qualify for some special benefits.
How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Earn?
Earnings on DoorDash really depend on how many deliveries you make since there’s a set delivery fee. The time worked, and total fees are also calculated for hourly pay.
Usually, DoorDash drivers would earn anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour. DoorDash provides a base pay of $2 to $10 for every order. However, customers can also tip you on the app, and you get to keep 100% of your tips.
Dashers can also choose to receive their pay daily, weekly or monthly. The app easily tracks your pay, so you can always check to see your earnings and your earning history on the app.
Best Time To Dash
You might need to know tips and tricks to maximize your earnings, including the best times to dash. Peak periods are the best time to dash; however, these are also the periods when a region’s dasher capacity would be full. DoorDash also offers peak pay for high-demand periods. Some recommended times to dash include:
- 6 am to 9 am
Dashers mostly pick up lunch and dinner orders. However, there are more people ordering breakfast these days. Thus, if you are an early bird, you should consider getting set in the mornings to pick up breakfast orders. This time slot would likely have low competition volume.
- 11 am to 1 pm
Dashers should consider taking advantage of this short time slot to make profitable deliveries.
- 4 pm to 9 pm
This time slot might be the busiest for restaurants and food delivery services, especially on weekends. This dinner rush will afford you the time to work orders back-to-back, making substantial profits.
- Past 10 pm
This time is so profitable, as these are the hours dashers receive the most tips.
Note, however, that these time periods differ from city to city. Therefore, you must observe the peculiarities of your region and make better choices.
Become A Top Dasher
DoorDash runs a Top Dasher program to recognize and reward their dashers for exceptional work. To qualify as a top dasher, you must have met certain criteria at the end of the previous month. These include:
- Customer rating of 4.7 stars and above
- Completion rate of 95% and upwards
- Above 70% acceptance rate
- 100 deliveries completed in the last month
- A total of 200 or more lifetime deliveries
Dashers must meet these five criteria at 11:59 pm on the last day of a month to qualify for top dasher the following month. Becoming a top dasher comes with some perks that could help you earn even more.
These perks might differ by region. Also, DoorDash reserves the right to change the rewards and qualification criteria at any time. The top dasher often receives two major perks for the month:
- More Deliveries
The top dasher will be entitled to the possibility of more deliveries. This means that the app will prioritize a top dasher when an order is made on slow days. Therefore, if two dashers are qualified to take an order, the top dasher will be favored above the others.
- Dash Anytime
This perk allows top dashers to dash into nearby regions whenever they like. Even gray zones are not off-limits for the top dasher.
However, all of these do not mean that work is guaranteed every time. It might still be in your best interest to stick to “pink” zones, as it could afford you better chances of getting orders.
These perks are to encourage dedicated drivers and give them a chance to increase their daily earnings. In as much as it pays to be less picky, DoorDash does not encourage accepting an inconvenient ride that is not worth it.
A part of their deactivation policy states that dashers with below 80% completion rate are liable to have their accounts deactivated.
Does The Restaurant Choice Matter?
As a Dasher, you’d likely need to visit many restaurants during the course of your work. You’d most likely visit popular chains more often, and you might only experience a short waiting time depending on several factors.
However, with the popularity of food delivery services, many outlets have begun to better prepare themselves for such orders. Thus, you might not have to wait long before your customer’s order is ready.
Generally, some dashers stay away from certain types of orders unless they are high paying. These include Walmart orders. Grocery runs at Walmart can be unpredictable and a lot of stress. Thus, many dashers stay away from them, except there are other incentives.
Maximize Tips & Ratings
You must understand that even though you’re an independent contractor, your service quality still goes a long way. As higher ratings may qualify you for more perks, you should bring your A-game when attending to your customers. Putting your best foot forward might also mean getting bigger tips for your service.
To ensure that your service is great, keep your interactions professional and positive. Besides anything else you might offer, your customer service is really important.
Observe and implement some important customer service tips if you want to get your customers’ sky-high ratings and generous tips. Some tips you can observe are:
- Look Presentable
As a Dasher, you’d be handling people’s foods on a daily basis. Thus, you must always present a clean and put-together image to build confidence in your customers.
You can decide to wear DoorDash gear or your own clothing items. All in all, just ensure that you look smart and presentable, and this might even set you up for bigger tips from customers.
- Always Communicate
It’s necessary for you to always communicate with the customer at every step during the order assignment. You can type several templates on your phone’s Notes to copy-paste to your customer’s chat.
For example, if you arrive at the restaurant and are waiting for the food, you can send a message like, “Hi. I’m John, your DoorDash driver. I’m waiting at the restaurant for your order. I’ll let you know my expected arrival time as soon as I have it. See you soon.” When you get the order, you can text something like, “Hi. I’m John, your DoorDash driver. I’ve picked up your order, and my ETA is 18 minutes. See you soon.”
If the restaurant is taking a long time to get the order ready, you can also text the customer so that they know the status of their order. A simple “Still waiting for your order. Hopefully, it should be ready in a few minutes.” can go a long way.
Ensure to communicate with the customer if you are ever running late. Delays are an inevitable part of the job, so customers will understand. Much more, they’ll feel a lot more relaxed when they get frequent updates from you.
Also, it may be necessary sometimes to cancel some orders after accepting them. For example, if you get to the restaurant and they ask you to wait for a while longer than you can, you can text the customer to schedule another dasher to pick up their meal.
DoorDash does not pay dashers for wait time. Thus it would be better to use your time delivering orders and not waiting.
- Handling Your Order
It matters how you present the customer’s food to them. Going the extra mile to put their food in a warming bag can get you many props.
DoorDash provides a food warmer for dashers after their first dash. However, you can choose to use a different one for your food deliveries.
Just ensure that you properly transport the food, and the customer knows that their food was properly cared for while in transit.
It’s also important for you to be mindful of the hot and cold orders. Ensure not to mix them up at any time to avoid unpleasant reactions between the foods. If an order has both hot and cold items, try to keep them separately in two insulated bags.
When juggling multiple orders simultaneously, it’s best to ensure you do not mix up the orders. Therefore, consider carrying a permanent marker to identify your customers’ food.
Some restaurants put receipts or identifiers in their takeouts, while others do not. Thus, it’s important for you to mark the orders so as not to mix them up.
Other Tips To Earn More On DoorDash
If you are still earning one-digits an hour, it’s time for an upgrade. You must check to see what factors affect your earning potential.
When you do, you will find out that your money depends on several factors, including location, holiday, day of the week, etc.
Here are some facts to keep in mind to help you make informed decisions throughout your dashing journey:
- Parts of the city with corporate offices are usually busy during lunch, and suburban areas are usually busier later at dinnertime.
- Rainy or cold weather might cause an increase in demand for dashers.
- The season you’re in might affect your demand. For example, you might get lower demands during the summer weeks when everyone is on holiday or going out. Winter might also bring a peak in dinner orders.
- Big sporting days like live football matches or other live events like major award ceremonies often mean very busy days for dashers.
There might be some other subtle determinants of how busy the day might get. If you pay close attention and take note of your order assignments, you may begin to notice patterns.
Restart The DoorDash App Often
It’s important to restart the app frequently to ensure it works fine. DoorDash Support also gave this recommendation. While driving, you might pass through low connectivity areas, which might cause your GPS to glitch, and prevent you from getting dashes.
If you start to receive dashes from a region you are not in, you may need to restart the app to put it right. Note that restarting the app does not lead to data loss.
Thus, your data is always safe, even when you restart the app. You can also restart the app frequently even if you are not experiencing poor service.
Financial Tips For DoorDash Drivers
As a gig worker, your finances are going to be quite peculiar compared to a 9-5er or an entrepreneur. These financial tips will help you maximize your earnings and organize your finances.
- Get A Separate Bank Account
Receiving your DoorDash earnings into a separate account from your personal account might be a good idea. Get a separate account for your DoorDash earnings to keep your finances tidy. Besides traditional bank accounts, there are some types of accounts tailor-made for freelancers that would be great for you.
- Maximize Tax Write-offs
As an independent contractor for DoorDash, you must make the smart choice to take advantage of tax Write-offs. There are several “investments” you might need to make if you are a Dasher.
For example, you might get a phone jack, courier bags, and other accessories to aid your delivery business. If done right, you do not need to pay out-of-pocket for all the expenses.
Some purchases made to aid your delivery work might be tax-deductible. It’s best to find an automated tool to help you keep track of your purchases and track them for tax deductions.
- Get on Other Food Delivery Platforms
There are a few other food delivery platforms like GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Postmates that you can also earn more money from. It’s best not to just rely on DoorDash for your income. You can register on more than one delivery app to make some extra cash.
Once an order request comes in from DoorDash, you can then check if there are orders on the other apps in that same restaurant or close by. If there happens to be an order, you can fulfill both orders with the same resources while getting paid more.
DoorDashing is a fairly profitable business and registering to be a Dasher is also easy and free. However, to ensure you maximize your earnings, you have to know the most efficient ways to work.
Explore the DoorDash driver tips listed here, and you’ll be well on your way to earning some good cash every day. DoorDash also has a Fast Pay feature that allows dashers to withdraw their pay daily.
Fast Pay costs $2 but is convenient if you are in need of quick cash. Note, however, that with most gig economy jobs, there’s hardly any room for growth or career progression. Thus, you must understand that dashing is not a career and have another long-term plan.