Just wanna sign up? Here’s my sign-up link.
As you guys know, I’m always looking for new opportunities when it comes to the rideshare game. When I first started driving for Uber and Lyft in 2014, I was making $20-$30/hr every time I went out but I knew that wouldn’t last. I was actually making more per hour from driving for Uber than I was at my day job as an engineer. But after a few rate cuts, things have obviously changed. I still go out and make decent money, but it’s about in line with what you’d expect an Uber driver to make.
I learned a lot from the entire experience though, and one of the big takeaways for me was that a lot of these companies provide the best opportunity when they’re just getting started. If you’ve talked to founding Lyft drivers or OG Uber drivers, you know that companies have a lot to spend in the beginning and they’re not really worried about profitability, so that’s why you see big sign-up bonuses, guaranteed pay, etc.
One of the reasons why I started looking into DoorDash is because even though they’re only in a handful of cities right now, they are growing as rapidly today as Uber and Lyft were in 2014. That means they need lots of drivers, and there’s probably a lot of opportunity, so that’s why I decided to sign up. In my last article, I talked about why so many drivers are signing up for DoorDash. Today I’m going to detail what that actual sign-up process is like, and tell you about what I learned at my DoorDash orientation.
DoorDash Sign-Up Process
DoorDash has a similar process to many on-demand companies, but they actually have looser requirements than a lot of the rideshare companies:
- There are no stipulations on vehicle condition, age or number of doors
- You can even use a scooter, bicycle or motorcycle depending on the city
- You only need to be 18 to work for DoorDash
- You need an iPhone or Android to do this job
- You still have to pass a background check
- You can only drive in one city (So if you live in LA but want to drive in Orange County, you won’t be able to do that like you can with other services)
The first step in the process is to submit some basic information here.
After that, you’ll need to fill out the rest of the application which includes four parts:
- Detailed information about yourself
- Enter your social security number and agree to a background check
- Vehicle details (if you’ll be using a car)
- Schedule an orientation (they’ll send you an e-mail when they’re ready for this part) – this is really more of a confirmation page.
Here’s what the first page of the detailed application looks like:
My Experience Signing Up
I actually signed up for DoorDash a couple weeks ago and the process was pretty easy. I signed up in Orange County since Long Beach is part of DoorDash Orange County (technically LB is part of Los Angeles). My application hit a small snafu with the background check though.
Normally, background checks take a few days to process but since I hadn’t heard from DoorDash in a few days, I sent an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and they told me that I failed the background check.
Right off the bat, I knew something was wrong since I have a clean background check and I had already been approved for Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and Postmates. And I also never received an e-mail from Checkr. So I followed up with DoorDash and they told me to e-mail Checkr (email@example.com), the company that processes background checks. Once I did, Checkr got back to me quickly, and it turned out that the picture of my driver’s license that I submitted was too fuzzy. Once I re-uploaded that document to Checkr, I was good to go and was approved to become a Dasher.
One thing I’ll say is that I’ve never been denied work from any of these on demand companies, but I know many drivers who have and it can be a real PITA to find out why. In this case, if I hadn’t followed up with DoorDash and e-mailed Checkr, I may have never became a Dasher. It’s clear these companies have to work out some of the kinks with the application process, but for potential applicants you should also make sure that you are persistent with your application. I recommend the following:
- Most background checks process in 3-5 days, so if you don’t hear back from DoorDash within a few days of submitting your application, follow up with firstname.lastname@example.org
- You can also follow up with Checkr (email@example.com) at the same time to see if your background check has finished processing. If it has, you know the ball should be in DoorDash’s court
- If you are rejected due to a background check, make sure you follow up with Checkr and get a copy of your background check so you can find out why. You can see in the e-mail correspondence above, I was supposed to get an e-mail copy of my BG check, but I never got one
- Also, last resort is to take to social media to reach out to these companies. You deserve to know why you were denied employment so don’t let a casual CSR tell you otherwise
If you’d like to sign up for DoorDash using my link, please click here.
For OC Dashers, orientations are at an office park in Newport Beach. I went in on a weekday at 10:30 am and I thought they did a pretty thorough job with orientation. You don’t need to bring anything but you do need to fill out a W9 when you get there, and sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) (which is pretty typical). You’ll also need to download the Dasher App on your phone (Android & iOS download links) before you get there or during orientation.
There were a couple guys from DoorDash at my orientation and they went through the basics of what it is like to be a Dasher on a PowerPoint presentation and covered pretty much everything that needed to be covered. Here’s what I took away from orientation…
Lots Of Responsibility
As Dashers, you’re obviously representing yourself and DoorDash, but you’re also representing the restaurants you’re delivering from. So if you show up with a spilled container of food because you were driving like a maniac, that reflects poorly on everyone. Delivery companies have actually gotten into some trouble with restaurants for this very reason, so it’s important to keep this in mind.
Driver Scheduling & Utilization
DoorDash uses a scheduling system whereby drivers can only work if they are scheduled to work. You can reserve shifts through the Dasher app but you can still book shifts in real-time if they’re available.
The other nuance that is important with DoorDash is that cities are broken up into multiple regions. So for Orange Country drivers, not only do you have to find a shift that meets your schedule, but you also need to find a shift that is in the region you want to start in. And you can only start a shift if you’re physically in that area.
So if I book a shift for 10 am in Long Beach (which is a subset of DoorDash Orange County), I have to physically be in Long Beach in order to log on to my shift and start getting jobs. Now, I can be pulled out of Long Beach, but DoorDash uses this method to ensure that drivers are evenly spread out (at least to start).
I’ll be curious to see how it plays out in reality though, and if I’ll actually stay in Long Beach if I sign up for that shift or if I will be pulled into other regions. Obviously for drivers’ sake, you want to stay as local as possible, since this means less wear and tear on your car and lower overall expenses.
While You’re On A Shift
Dashers are paid $5 per delivery but there is often ‘Boost Pay’ if the delivery is a little farther than normal. DoorDash takes its cut directly from the customer, so you get to keep the entire delivery fee and 100% of tips. Customers set a tip amount when they place their order, but if they offer a cash tip at the end of the job, you are allowed to accept it.
DoorDash also allows for batched orders, which basically means that you can get multiple jobs at once, that in theory, should increase your earnings and be more efficient for everyone.
Paying For Jobs
DoorDash issues a credit card that you can use at all non-partner restaurants. At partner restaurants (indicated on the app), you don’t have to worry about payment and all you have to do is go pick up the food.
You aren’t a licensed food handler as a Dasher, so you can’t open the containers to check the accuracy of the orders, but you can still do a rough check to make sure the quantities line up and the receipt matches the app.
While you’re on a job, you can text, live chat or call support. I like that there are multiple options for Dashers, but again, I’ll need to see how they play out in real time before I say how useful they are or aren’t.
You can contact the customer through the app by calling or texting but obviously the latter is much less obtrusive. E-mail support is available any time at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: I’ve sent them a couple e-mails so far, and they’ve gotten back to me very quickly for non-urgent issues.
DoorDash uses a 1 to 5 rating system and also tracks drivers performance based on:
- No show rate – if you don’t show up for a scheduled shift
- Late check-ins – if you show up late for a shift
- Early check-outs – if you leave a shift early
- Late deliveries – if you take too long to get to the customer
- Missing items – if the customer reports missing items
DoorDash advertises $25/hr as potential earnings for drivers, but I’m not sold. At orientation, the DoorDash employee also recited this number, but when he showed us an actual pay statement on the next page, I calculated the hourly earnings to be around $15/hr.
Unfortunately, inflated numbers are all too common in this industry, and I’d say a more realistic expectation of earnings is in the $10-$15/hr range. Still, there’s only one way to find out, and I’ll be sharing more articles in the future on how much you can make once I start actually delivering for them.
Drivers are paid out every Wednesday for all the jobs from the previous week (Monday-Sunday).
DoorDash vs. Postmates
Postmates came up more than a few times at orientation so I’m glad to see DoorDash isn’t oblivious to the fact that most drivers are working for multiple services. But I noticed a few glaring differences from my Postmates orientation and experience:
- More Organized: If you’ve read my review of Postmates orientation, you know that I wasn’t super happy about sitting there for two hours listening to their boring presentation. Now granted, that was almost 6 months ago so I suspect they’ve improved, but DoorDash had a pretty impressive orientation and covered everything I wanted to know. I only had one question at the end too 🙂
- Driver Dispatch: On Postmates, drivers are matched with jobs as soon as the customer places the order. This can be frustrating for the customer since they have to wait minutes sometimes to get matched and it means the driver might show up at a restaurant before the food is ready. DoorDash accepts customer orders instantly but won’t assign them to a driver until the food is actually close to being ready. This really saves time at restaurants where you know it takes longer than normal to prepare food (I’m looking at you, Bay Cities in LA – also my favorite sandwich shop in the world).
- Scheduling: Postmates uses a scheduling system but you can also log in at any time you want. Scheduled drivers are given priority but if you log on during busy lunch hours for example, you’re still pretty likely to still get a job.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do you get free DoorDash credit to order food as a Dasher?
No unfortunately you don’t get free credit for food as a Dasher but you can earn free credit by referring new customers. I’ve already racked up lots of free credit, and the nice thing about DoorDash credit is that you can apply it to the delivery fee, tax and the cost of food. If you want to give DoorDash a try as a customer, sign up here to get your first delivery free and $5 off your order.
2. How should you dress for DoorDash orientation?
Most people were dressed pretty casual but I think it’s always best to dress to impress. So in this case, I’d recommend business casual. Once you’ve made it in life, you can wear whatever the heck you want!
Overall, I was pretty impressed with DoorDash orientation, and I’m looking forward to trying them out. I think a lot of drivers need to realize that opportunity comes and goes quickly in this industry and when services like DoorDash launch in your city, you need to be ready to take advantage of them. In just a few days of being a Dasher, I’ve already received a bunch of offers for $20/hr guaranteed pay, bonus cash for doing certain shifts, etc. Now this may not be a sustainable business model, but I’m going to take advantage of it while it lasts.
If you’d like to sign up for DoorDash using my link, please click here.
Drivers, what do you think about my DoorDash orientation experience? What questions do you have about driving for DoorDash and what topics would you like to see me cover about them in the future?
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-Harry @ RSG
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