Best Ways to Boost Your Income as a Grubhub Delivery Driver

Deliver with Grubhub


Hungry, but don’t want to leave the couch? Try Grubhub!

Grubhub has become a leader in today’s gig economy and food delivery industry. Founded in 2004 by two web developers, Grubhub (GH) has grown and now partners with over 225,000 restaurants in the U.S. alone.

As with most delivery apps, the independent drivers are at the heart of what makes this business tick. With 65,000 drivers in 300 U.S. cities, the delivery leader is able to process 647,000 orders daily, and has sent more than $3 million in tips to drivers. With these numbers, this may be a gig you want to get in on!

Requirements to drive for Grubhub

Requirements to drive for Grubhub are few, but non-negotiable. No formal driving experience is needed, but applicants must provide proof of their current driver’s license and auto insurance. If you are driving uninsured, the good news is that can help you easily compare rates for auto insurance. Just be aware that if you start driving for Grubhub (or another gig job like Uber or Lyft), you may need to contact your insurance company to get special coverage for ridesharing.

In addition, potential drivers must be 19+ years of age (21+ in Chicago and Las Vegas) and able to pass a criminal background check. A smartphone (iPhone with iOS 8 or higher, or Android with 4.0 or higher) with a regular data plan, and a checking account (for direct deposit) are also required.

Unlike some driving apps where passengers are involved, you can use any vehicle (as long as it’s legal), regardless of the year or condition. Once on the road, drivers are required and reminded via email to submit current documentation each year.

How to get started as a Grubhub Driver

To sign up to become a driver, simply do a quick search using the term “grubhub for drivers” and you will be taken right to Grubhub’s official website. Select the drop-down box in the top right-hand corner of the landing page, and then select the blue “apply to drive” box.

Proceed to fill out the online application form. You will be asked to submit proof of driver’s license and insurance via photo verification within the form.

Next up, download the Grubhub driver’s app and then… you wait. At no cost to the applicant, Grubhub will run your background check and verify all of your personal information.

Note: the time it takes applications to process will vary, but you can be approved (or denied) to drive anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks (depending on individual circumstances).

Before you can deliver, you will also have to wait to receive your Grubhub driver card via snail mail. This is a company credit card that a driver uses to pay for orders when indicated on the driver app. Thermal carrying bags will also be provided free of charge, but GH allows drivers to use their own bags in the meantime.

There are no interviews, and virtually no human contact prior to being hired (with the exception of maybe a GH customer care call). There is also no official training period, but Grubhub offers and recommends an optional onboarding web tutorial to learn the ropes.

Once verified and equipped with a driver card and insulated bags, you are good to get on the road.

What to expect as a Grubhub driver

On your first trip driving for Grubhub, you will log onto the app and indicate that you are ready to accept orders by toggling over to “available.” When an order comes in, you will be shown the total amount you will be paid for the delivery, which includes the base pay (Grubhub’s own calculation using mileage and time spent driving) and 100% of your tips.

An image with a map and the destination points is also shown (until the order is accepted, the addresses are withheld). You have the option to accept or reject any/all orders.

Payments are sent out Thursday via direct deposit and, depending on your bank, they may take up to 3 days to process.

However, if you need money fast, the app has recently added a feature where you can withdraw your earnings on the same day you make them with a maximum set at $500/day. GH charges a .50 fee for each of these instant transactions, but if you use a Chase checking account the fees are waived.

The pros of driving for Grubhub are you can work as few or as many hours as you’d like, making it a flexible side hustle for an already full-time worker. In addition, if you are in a pinch for some fun money, you can have it that night.

The cons are the obvious offenders when it comes to contractor work. You will be responsible for setting aside your tax dollars, and handling all of your own fuel and car repairs. Bad weather could be something to contend with when it comes to how busy your region is and your driving safety, so be sure to check out some safe driving tips before you get on the road.

How much can you make driving for Grubhub?

The amount of money you can make with Grubhub varies depending on your area, the hours of day you work, and how saturated your region is with drivers. Glassdoor and Indeed report salaries somewhere between $11-$12/hour, while Grubhub attempts to lure new drivers in by advertising on job boards with numbers more like $16-$20/hr.

The author of this article has experimented with Grubhub as a side hustle for over a year now, and I typically earn somewhere between $13-$20 an hour during weekend, dinner hours.

At most, I’ve made $400/week, working 3-4 days, at 15-20 hours. If you think this could be your calling though, never fear because there are reports of drivers in bigger cities making thousands of dollars a week as a full-time hustle.

How to make the most money with Grubhub

The best advice for new drivers who want to make the most money is to experiment. There’s an age-old argument between drivers in Facebook groups everywhere over whether to take every offer that comes in (like a good employee would) or to stand firm in your independent contractor status and cherry pick the only best offers.

As mentioned, drivers have the option to accept or reject any of the offers they receive (an offer can be rejected even after you have accepted it). I myself opt for the cherry picker route to optimize my earnings and refuse to take offers below a certain price point (oh say, $10).

In addition to accepting or rejecting orders, you have the option of signing up for blocks of time, which are basically just mini schedules. You can add or drop blocks at any time – even in the midst of working in one.

Although you are not required to be “on a block” to drive, rumor has it if your area is slow, you won’t get orders unless you are scheduled on a block.

Now here’s the kicker, if you don’t accept every order that Grubhub sends you, your acceptance rate goes down. If you drop blocks or leave a block early, your attendance rate also goes down.

These performance metrics ultimately place you in a driver ranking system that is updated every 30 days. At the top, you are a Premier driver and have first access to scheduling blocks, driver rewards and catering orders. Mid-level is Pro, with the same incentives but second access to blocks and catering orders. At the lowest rank, Partner, you get last dibs on scheduling blocks each Saturday.

In my case, for the most part, this structure doesn’t lend to many problems, even if you’re just a Partner. You may miss out on the best block or get fewer orders on occasion, but again, this could vary depending on how busy your area is overall. If your region is a popular one, Grubhub will take all the help they can get – on or off the block.

The best (and busiest) times to drive are the obvious weekend and dinner hours, but you may find you make good money on a Tuesday or at lunchtime.

Holidays can be very busy, or very slow. Try signing up for blocks and working off the block. Don’t be afraid to reject low paying offers, but keep an eye on your performance rate if you’re not sure you want to be on team cherry picker.

Try out a few different times and strategies and see what works best for you.

Grubhub FAQ

How long does it take to sign up to be a Grubhub driver?

Signing up takes about a half hour, but processing time varies between 3 days to 2 weeks.

Is Grubhub available in my area?

To find out, head to Grubhub’s homepage and enter your address in the search field to get your results.

Can I drive for Grubhub and other delivery apps at the same time?

While Grubhub may inadvertently discourage it, you are ultimately an independent contractor and will not be breaking any rules if you opt to run multiple apps. Some drivers do, and are able to juggle and maximize their earnings.

What’s the difference between Grubhub and other delivery apps?

The most popular food delivery apps have many similarities, but you may want to look at the stats when trying to decide which gig will bring in the most extra cash. DoorDash and Grubhub both boast an extensive reach, but the most current reports cite DoorDash as paying a couple dollars more an hour on average, and having more opportunity for promotions.

Is my car nice enough to drive for Grubhub?

Unlike some of the other driving apps where you carry passengers, Grubhub has no requirements in regards to the year or condition of your vehicle. That clunker will work just fine, but also be sure to check out some of the best commuter cars on the road if you want something more reliable.

How do I reach Grubhub customer service?

You can reach Grubhub care by dialing their toll free number 1-877-585-1085 or by signing into your app and utilizing the online chat option.

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