DoorDash Review: Real Dashers Reveal How Much You Can Really Earn

doordash review

Finding ways to make money on the side while maintaining a flexible schedule can be challenging. But DoorDash made this ideal setup possible by creating a delivery program that uses people like you to make deliveries on behalf of local restaurants. Even better: you don’t need a car.

These perks led the on-demand delivery service to now boast over 75,000 “Dashers,” and the company claims there’s plenty of opportunity for more to join. The L.A. Times reported that, according to DoorDash, 80 percent of U.S. restaurants don’t have an in-house delivery service, meaning using an outside source such as DoorDash comes in handy for business.

The high demand for delivery service translates into potentially lucrative DoorDash jobs for those interested in finding a great side hustle, making some extra spending money, or paying down their student loan debt.

Here’s a full DoorDash review, including how much Dashers make.

DoorDash Review

DoorDash developed a business model that’s twofold. First, they partner with restaurants that don’t currently offer delivery services and then offer them third-party delivery men and women. That third party is comprised of anyone who signs up for DoorDash and wants to make deliveries on behalf of local eateries; they’re known as Dashers.

As a Dasher, you download the app, choose blocks of time you are available to make deliveries in your area, and then get assignments making deliveries on behalf of those local restaurants.

To become a Dasher, you must meet certain requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a smartphone to access the app for delivery assignments.
  • Have valid driver’s license, insurance, and good driving record (if applicable). Some locations don’t require that you have a car.
  • Provide your Social Security number for a background check.
Sign up for Doordash today

How much money do DoorDash delivery Dashers make?

Initially, DoorDash Dashers would receive a flat rate per order, which varied depending on your location, plus tips. As of July 21, 2017, DoorDash changed their payment model to reflect when a delivery is further or more difficult. A difficult delivery could include issues such as a long wait time at a restaurant.

As a Dasher, you make $1 plus what they call a “pay boost,” and all of the tip. The amount for that pay boost considers certain factors such as how far you have to drive, if there are parking problems or traffic, if you have to wait at the restaurant for a while, and the size of the order.

Luckily, you will know the exact amount you’d earn before accepting the order. Even better: DoorDash claims that most Dashers make more on average with their revamped model.

The company also stipulates that rates are subject to the city in which you are based, as with the previous model. For example, in Manhattan and Brooklyn, you are guaranteed to make at least $15 per delivery and an additional $25 if you have to deliver in another borough. That’s compared to Chicago where you’re promised at least $8 a delivery.

Armaye Ejigu of Washington D.C worked full-time in the school system and dashed on his lunch break, after work, and on weekends to help cover costs while his wife was in nursing school. “We didn’t want a ton of debt when she got out of school,” he said. “So, I started dashing and would make between $18 to $20 an hour, sometimes even $25 an hour.”

If Ejigu worked five or six days a week, he could make between $500 and $900 a week. During school breaks and the summer, he could make $1,000 a week working 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., six days a week.

“How much you can make can vary a ton depending on how much you work and when you work,” says Kevin Han of Minneapolis. “I do it on my bike and can bring in a few hundred a month just doing it a little bit after work and on weekends. Obviously, the more you work, the more you can make. I’d say $15 to $25 an hour is reasonable to expect.”

When we reached out to DoorDash, they confirmed that $15 to $25 per hour rate.

There are also other incentives to make more money, like making 30 deliveries in 30 days or getting a new Dasher to sign up. In New York, for example, you can make an extra $50 and $25, respectively. In Boston, you can make $100 for a referral.

Much like Uber’s peak period where rates for riders increase, DoorDash has a “Busy Pay” period where you can make even more during popular times.

When looking for DoorDash jobs, it’s important to look up your city’s rules, regulations, and rates to get a better sense of how much you could be making. This includes information on whether your market allows deliveries where a car isn’t necessary, since places such as New York permit cycling, scooting, and even walking for your deliveries.

Make some extra cash with doordash

Costs you should consider

While DoorDash is a great way to make some steady extra cash on your time, you’ll want to take some costs into consideration.

First, since you are considered a contractor and not a full-time employee no matter how many hours you work, you’ll be in charge of withholding your taxes. When you get paid, which happens weekly, it will be a gross amount. Taxes and Social Security are not calculated.

If you earn $600 or more from DoorDash in a year, the company will use the banking and tax information on your account to send you a 1099 form by January 31.

Dashers also have the bonus of being able to get their earned money by the next day with the DailyPay program. However, you will have to pay an additional $1.25 per expedited transfer.

One of the biggest expenses many Dashers will have to incur are the costs associated with driving a car. This will not affect those who are on foot, bike, or scooter.

The most regular expenses to consider are gas and insurance. According to the The American Automobile Association (AAA), the average cost of fuel ranges from 3.68 cents per mile if you have an electric car to 13.88 cents per mile if you have a pickup truck.

Meanwhile, you’re required to have auto insurance, and those premiums cost an average of $1,318 per year ($109 a month). Maintenance will cost you $1,400 on average for the first 25,000 miles you drive your car, which works out to be about 5.6 cents per mile. Depreciation should also be taken into consideration. AAA estimates that a new car will lose about $15,000 worth of value in the first five years.

Lastly, you will have to cover any parking costs associated with your delivery. DoorDash’s new model promises to account for that as best as possible.

Why being a DoorDash Dasher is appealing

There are several factors about DoorDash that makes it appealing to people. Here are some of the top ones.

Flexibility: Making your schedule is a major selling point for those looking for an easy side hustle. You just log on to the app, see which time slots are available, and choose the one the best works in your schedule. Also, being able to decide which deliveries you want to take on means you can have better control over knowing how much you can make per day.

“Another nice advantage with DoorDash is that, unlike many other delivery platforms, DoorDash actually shows you where the order is going, which means that, if you’re smart, you can make it so that your deliveries are going in the direction you’re already headed,” Han added.

For example, if you’re leaving work, try to do deliveries that are already heading towards your house. This essentially helps you monetize your commute.

No need for a car: If you happen to live in one of the locations where a car is not necessary, such as New York or San Francisco, then you can still make money like the drivers without the added costs of a car. “In my market, I can do deliveries on my bike,” says Han. “It’s basically like I’m getting paid to exercise.”

No customer interaction: “I also liked that I didn’t have to deal with a customer,” says Ejigu. “When I tried Uber, I would have to sit with a passenger. With DoorDash, I just pick up the food at the restaurant and drop it off with the customer. I’m totally independent and don’t have to deal with the stress of long customer interactions.”

Safety: While every delivery is different and can come with some safety concerns since you’re approaching private homes at times, some Dashers believe it’s a very safe option.

In one DoorDash review, a Dasher named Maria Salazar said that not having to carry cash makes her less of a target than traditional delivery drivers who often have to handle transactions on the spot. Since payment is all done through the app, there’s no reason to carry large amounts of cash on you.

Tips and incentives: In addition to earning money from DoorDash for a delivery, Dashers like that they get to keep every penny of their tips. The incentives for making more deliveries and signing up other Dashers also makes this side hustle more appealing and lucrative.

Quick payments: Unlike with a traditional job where you have to wait two weeks to get paid or other contract work where it could take 30 days to receive payment, DoorDash pays you every week. This means you can have a steady flow of extra cash or collect it sooner if a sudden payment is due.

make dashing your new side gig with doordash

Cons of being a Dasher

While there are a number of positives to being a Dasher, there are some downsides to consider.

  • Outside costs: While DoorDash updated their payment formula to account for expenses like parking, you still are in charge of paying for those costs. Unfortunately, depending on where you work and live, these costs can be high if you’re constantly paying for street or garage parking.
  • Schedules can book up: You can choose which hours you want to work, but Dashers have complained that popular times get filled quickly.
  • Delivery times range: Sometimes your deliveries can be completed quickly, but you are at the whim of the restaurant’s schedule, too. So if they have a backlog or take a while to prepare a meal, you could be stuck waiting. The same goes for how long it will take to get to your delivery destination. Your drive could be 30 minutes or five to make a delivery.

Want to start making money with DoorDash? Head to our side hustle marketplace for easy-to-follow instructions.

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