How to Make Money with DoorDash

Delivering with DoorDash

What comes to mind when you hear the word DoorDash? If you live in any major city in the US or Canada, you’ll likely be thinking of the unsung heroes in red. They bring your favorite takeout meal to your home in record time, getting your order right every time (well, most of the time).

Even if you’ve never used DoorDash, you’ve probably seen Dashers darting in and out of your neighborhood restaurants. If you’re looking for a job, why not become a Dasher? With zero work experience required and a flexible schedule on the table, the job practically sells itself.

If we’ve got you hooked, don’t worry. We’re about to deliver (get it?) Here’s everything you need to know about making money with DoorDash.

Overview

DoorDash was launched in 2013 by four Stanford college students who wanted to create an app that allowed small business owners to easily deliver the food they’ve worked so hard on. Initially called Palo Alto Delivery, the name changed to DoorDash within six months.

Today, DoorDash is available in over 4,000 cities in the United States, Canada, and Australia. You’ve probably seen their workers “dashing” in and out of your favorite restaurants.

As of 2017, DoorDash had over 100,000 dashers in the United States and Canada, and we’re sure this number has grown extensively by now!

What do I Need to Work for DoorDash?

As the company grows, so does the number of Dashers. To become a Doordash Dasher, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • You need to be 18 years old
  • Hold a valid driver’s license
  • Have access to a vehicle (car, bike, or scooter)
  • Have access to a smartphone with the ability to run the DoorDash Partner App (iPhone 5/ Android 4.4 or newer)
  • Social Security Number (For Dashers in the US)

If you don’t have any prior work experience, then becoming a Dasher is a great first job! While DoorDash doesn’t require you to have work experience, they do invite workers of other delivery services like Instacart or Uber to apply as well.

How to Get Started as a DoorDash Driver & Delivery Partner

To get started as a Dasher, you’ll need to complete the Dasher signup process. Once you fill this out, you’ll see whether DoorDasher is accepting Dashers in your area.

Although they typically are, they do put a hold on new Dashers from time to time. If so, no stress! They’ll probably open back up in a week or so and you can continue the application process.

Once you get accepted, you need to provide your Social Security number and more information about the type of vehicle you’ll be using. They don’t require you to have a specific type of car, but for your sake, make sure that it’s a car you can count on.

No one wants to have their lunch coming an hour late. And having your stomach growl during a presentation? The horror.

Once you do this, you’ll undergo a background check. Once you pass, you’ll be presented with one of two options.

You can choose to attend a virtual onboarding session, or you can opt to receive an at-home orientation kit. The onboarding session will walk you through the basics of being a Dasher.

If you choose the orientation kit, it includes the DoorDash red food bag to keep food hot, your Red Card, and an orientation packet. It normally takes about one to four business days to arrive.

At this point, you should download the Dasher app and get your Red Card set up. This card is vital to your work as a Dasher. You need it to pay for orders at restaurants. You should also take this time to fill out your W-9 form and set up direct deposit so you can get paid.

Once you’ve completed all of the above, DoorDash will approve your account and you can start dashing to your heart’s content.

What to Expect as a DoorDash Dasher

Working as a Dasher is fairly straightforward. Once the customer completes an order on the DoorDash app, you’ll receive a notification providing you with the restaurant, the base pay for the order, and the location of the customer. You’ll have time to either accept or decline the order, and then you will head to the restaurant to pick up their food.

If it’s a particularly busy time of the day, you might have to wait a while for the food to be ready. Once they call out your name, you’ll pay using your pre-loaded Red Card, then complete the delivery.

After the food is delivered, your payment for the delivery will pop up in the app, along with any tips you get from the customer.

DoorDash evaluates its Dashers by their Dasher rating, acceptance rate, and completion rate. Your Dasher rating can be seen in the app, and it’s measured by the customer reviews. After a customer receives an order from you, they can give a rating from one to five stars.

Your acceptance rate is calculated by the number of orders you accept in the app. While it’s not explicitly stated that DoorDash has a minimum acceptance rate, Dashers who decline multiple orders repeatedly run the risk of being deactivated. To keep your acceptance rate high, avoid declining many orders during your shift.

Your completion rate is calculated by, you guessed it, the number of orders you accept and fully complete. Even when things don’t’ go as planned, Dashers should do their best to complete every order that they accept. At times, you may have an error in a phone number or address. Simply contact the DoorDash Support in the app, and they should be able to help you complete your order.

Pros:

  • You don’t need a car – you can use a scooter or bike.
  • Bonus pay during peak hours
  • Available outside of the US (Canada, Australia)

Cons:

  • You’re an independent contractor, so no benefits
  • You need to pay self-employment tax
  • Vehicle expenses can add up

How Much Can You Make Working for DoorDash?

Dashers typically earn between $10-15 an hour, although it can go up to $20 during peak times. As a Dasher, you’re paid right after each delivery is completed. The payout for each delivery is calculated by this formula:

Base Pay + Promotions + Tips = Delivery Payout

Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing how much the tips are until your delivery is completed. DoorDash will sometimes default the tip to zero, so unless you have a vigilant person behind the order, the tip section may be left empty, leaving you without a tip for that delivery. However, most people are delighted to get their food quickly and will tip you generously.

Peak Pay

Peak pay is an incentive given to drivers for working during peak periods of the day. Dashers may be prompted with a message on their screen that says, “Earn $4 extra per order in San Francisco during the hours of 11 am – 2 pm if you accept 80% of delivery opportunities.” If you meet the criteria, you’ll be awarded the extra pay when you complete your shift.

How to Make the Most Money Delivering for DoorDash

To make the most money working for DoorDash, you’ll want to think about ways to maximize the number of orders you’re getting.

One way to do this is to stay in a central location for the majority of your shift. It’s a bonus if the area with restaurants is close to housing developments. You’ll be able to make short trips to deliver meals, shortening the time you spend on the road.

Your Dasher map in the app will also give you an idea of which areas are “hotspots” during your shift. Hanging out in those areas gives you a higher chance of landing back to back deliveries.

When dashing, you may end up in congested, high traffic areas. Once you start to get the lay of the land, it might benefit you to turn down orders from restaurants that are hard to get to.

This way, you will avoid wasting your time and accept more orders from restaurants in easy access areas. When you’re a Dasher, time is money, so don’t let it slip through your fingers!

DoorDash FAQ

How long does it take to sign up for DoorDash?

The signup process only takes a few minutes to complete. Once you’ve done this, it normally takes Dashers about 1-2 weeks to start their first shift.

Is DoorDash available in my area?

To find out if DoorDash is available in your area, visit the DoorDash website to check their food delivery availability.

Can I work for DoorDash and another delivery service at the same time?

Absolutely! DoorDash encourages its workers to apply if they already work for another delivery service. Working for multiple delivery services allows you to make the most out of your time.

Are there car requirements for delivering with DoorDash?

There are no car requirements for delivering with DoorDash! All you need is a valid driver’s license and car insurance, and you should be good to go.

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