I love unusual ways to make extra money while still maintaining the freedom that comes with Independent Contractor status. DoorDash was founded in 2013 with a mission to support local economies. They partner with local restaurants that may not be able to offer delivery service on their own and contract with local freelancers to make those food deliveries.
Moonlighting with an opportunity like working for DoorDash can be a great way to earn some extra cash. Not only that, there are some other great benefits as well.
How Does DoorDash Work?
Once contracted as a “Dasher,” you will be able to sign up for available shifts in your desired location – DoorDash is currently available in many major cities. During your shift, you may be assigned to wait near a partner restaurant for orders to roll in. Once an order is placed by a customer, the process is pretty simple:
- Order is placed
- Wait for order
- Deliver order
What are the Benefits of Being a Dasher?
There are several reasons these driver gigs are appealing:
1. Flexible Schedule
Isn't this one of the most important aspects we're all looking for in a side hustle? Luckily, most of these app-based opportunities allow for you to pick up work whenever you want or need to.
2. Fast Payment
DoorDash pays weekly. Fast Pay is also available if you need your money quicker. You can request payment daily if you want for a $1.99 fee. You need to be in a Fast Pay city, complete at least 25 deliveries and have been a Dasher for at least two weeks to qualify for this program.
3. You May Not Need a Car (or a new car anyway)
In some markets, DoorDash allows Dashers to make deliveries by motorcycle, scooter, bike or even walk. You will see the options when signing up. Even if a car is required in your market, it can be any car. They don't have any make, model or year restrictions.
4. You Don't Have to Let People in Your Car
This has been a big concern with many members of my community when talking about gigs like Lyft where you are chauffering people from place to place. Luckily, with DoorDash, you only have to allow their food in your car.
There are a lot of people out there who love working for tips – myself included. DoorDash allows you to keep 100% of tips left by customers.
What are the Requirements?
DoorDash's requirements are pretty standard for this industry:
- Drivers must be 18 or older
- Drivers cannot have any major violations in the last 7 years, including: DUI, Reckless Driving, Homicide or Assault, Driving with a suspended license, failure to stop or report and driving with a license that is suspended or expired
- Drivers cannot have more than 3 incidents* in the last 3 years
After you are conditionally approved to be onboarded, DoorDash will run a criminal background check with your consent.
How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make?
For each order available in the app you will see a guaranteed minimum you will be paid for accepting the delivery. This amount is based upon the driving distance, whether you have to place the order in person and wait, the size of the order, traffic, parking, etc.
Even if the customer leaves no tip or a very small tip, you are guaranteed that amount. In those instances, DoorDash will pick up the difference in the form of a “pay boost.” If the customer's tip takes you over that guaranteed rate, you get to keep the difference. You always get 100% of the tip plus DoorDash will pay at least $1 for every delivery.
Sometimes, “busy pay” is also available which will be added on top of the guaranteed minimum. Those announcements will be sent to Dashers via the app, text or email. Read those details! Incentives may require you to accept all orders, check in on time, or do a specified number of dashes.
Keep in mind, as an Independent Contractor, you are responsible for gas and maintenance of your vehicle. Always consider your expenses in relation to the pay.
DoorDash makes no promises of income potential on the site. If you would like to get some idea of what other Dashers are earning, reddit has a pretty active DoorDash subreddit.
DoorDash Driver Review
Today, we have the pleasure of having Maria Salazar stopping over to share her DoorDash review and how she is making money as a food delivery driver at the company.
What was your motivation to become a DoorDash Driver?
I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Not wanting to miss any moment in my kids life I decided to be a stay at home mom and for the past 6 years I have enjoyed it, but like everything my joy came to an end when they started to go to school full time and that is when I decided I needed to do something while they were in school.
I started searching until I found DoorDash, I read about it and I put my name and number and the next day I received a call from Mike Henry to conduct a phone interview, I sent him all of my paperwork and we scheduled orientation, I went to the office and the more I sat there and listen to Mike the more I felt DoorDash would be a great fit for me.
I took the gig and I started with them since day one, it was the best decision of my life, I don’t consider them as a way to make money but as my family because that is how I get treated.
Tell us about a typical day in the life of a Dasher.
I get to pick my own hours, the days I want to work, the area I want to be at. I work the morning from 11:00 to 2:30 and then again the afternoon from 4:30 to 9:30 or depending on the homework load my kids have.
How and when do you get paid?
I get paid every week – by Wednesday night – for what I worked from the previous week. We get paid per delivery plus 100% of our tips. “Pay boosts” and guaranteed pay offers are also sometimes available.
Safety is always a concern. Would you recommend this gig to your female friends?
DoorDash is very safe to work for, I have never had any problems or heard of anyone having any kind of safety issues, we don’t carry any cash with us and all of our customers are very nice. I definitely recommend Door Dash to all of my female friends.
What tips do you have for those wanting to join DoorDash?
The tips I can give our future Dashers are to always have a smile on your face no matter how rough it gets, be kind and friendly to everyone you come across; restaurant staff, doormen, valet parkers, even the police trust me. The friendlier you are the easier your job will be. Be nice and courteous and always keep open communication with your Manager. DoorDash is one big happy family and I am very thankful to Mike Henry for giving me the opportunity to become part of it.
And make sure you have a good bookkeeping system in place. A tool QuickBooks Self-Employed can help you easily track your income, expenses and mileage for tax reporting. It's so important that you keep track of receipts and mileage as you will want those deductions. An accounting system developed with this type of work in mind can save you a lot of time and headache when it comes to tax time.
DoorDash is currently operating in over 50 US cities. Visit the site to learn more about this opportunity.
Looking for more opportunities like this one? Check out this list of jobs like Uber.
First published in March 2015. Updated May 2019.