With all of the different apps out there, it can be hard to figure out which one is the best food delivery service to work for.

    Which app pays the best? Which one’s the easiest to sign up for? Well, we did the digging so you don’t have to.

    At The Rideshare Guy, we’ve been covering rideshare and delivery apps since 2015. Not only have we talked to thousands of delivery drivers, we’ve done thousands of deliveries ourselves!

    Best Food Delivery Services To Work For in 2021

    1. DoorDash
    2. Instacart 
    3. Postmates

    We recommend signing up for multiple delivery apps to maximize your earnings.

    Our list of the best food delivery services based on 3 criteria:

    • Pay
    • Flexibility
    • Tips

    These are the three things that delivery drivers care about the most.

    Below, you’ll find our list of the best apps to work for, all vetted by full-time drivers.

    And if you’re still not convinced to try a delivery job, watch our recent video to learn why now is the time to get into delivery:

    Keep reading and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get tips and tricks for making the most money as a delivery driver.

    Best Food Delivery Services To Work For in 2021

    1. DoorDash
    2. Instacart
    3. Postmates

    We recommend signing up for multiple delivery apps to maximize your earnings.

    1) DoorDash

    DoorDash is the best delivery service app due to demand. In 2021, Second Measure found DoorDash had 56% of sales in January 2021 – more than Uber Eats and Postmates. Additionally, DoorDash offers high earnings for couriers: DoorDash drivers right now are earning $20-25 an hour.

    DoorDash demand increases at night and on the weekends (i.e. when most people order out). 

    DoorDash is one of the best delivery apps to work for because it pays a minimum rate per delivery and lets you keep all your tips. This means if your pay per delivery is below their threshold, DoorDash will make up the difference.

    How to Use the DoorDash Driver App, Guide and Tutorial for New Dashers in 2021:


    This is how DoorDash driver pay is calculated:

    how doordash pay is calculated

    Pros & Cons of Delivering with DoorDash

    • DoorDash provides the pickup location, drop-off location and total value of the order (NOT total payout like GrubHub) with the incoming order request. This allows a driver to “guesstimate” what the tip might be, although there’s no way of actually knowing the exact amount (see example below).
    • Doordash pay is pretty good. Plus DoorDash encourages generous tipping at the time the order is placed (see example below).
    • Per-job incentives are offered at the busiest times, sometimes as much as $3 extra per order with a minimum acceptance rate.
    • Delivery payouts are a low flat rate. Anytime there is a flat rate payout, someone is getting the short-end of the stick, and it’s usually the drivers. Because of this, I focus on orders with higher values since the tips will likely make the work worthwhile.
    • Driver support is through a chat function in the app and in my experience has been unhelpful and too slow.
    • Wild swings in demand in my market. Sometimes I’ll receive 2 requests a minute from DoorDash. Other times I’ll go 90 minutes without a request.
    • Scheduling is required: DoorDash’s scheduling system limits the number of drivers in a certain area at a certain time. If it’s busy enough, the app will allow me to go online whenever I want. But if it’s not busy, advanced planning and scheduling is required.

    Requirements to work for DoorDash:

    • 18 or older
    • Any car, scooter, or bicycle (in select cities)
    • Driver’s license number
    • Social security number (only in United States)
    • Final Step: consent to a background check

    Locations available: DoorDash is available nationwide.

    Sign up for DoorDash

    2) Instacart

    In our investigation of Instacart shopper pay, we found that Instacart pays shoppers $20+ per hour, including tips which are usually 5-20%+ of the order. Instacart shoppers keep 100% of tips. The most efficient Instacart shoppers are earning up to $45 per hour.

    With Instacart, you’ll spend your time delivering groceries instead of restaurant meals. Order requests come through on the app and when you accept one, you’ll be able to head to the store and start shopping for the customer’s items so they can be delivered.

    Watch our 2021 Instacart Shopper review here:

    Since you shop and deliver orders, each order will take longer, but this also means you’ll likely earn more per order than you would with say GrubHub or DoorDash.  Instacart is a great way to make $100 fast, which is why it’s one of the best food delivery services to work for.

    Pros & Cons of Working for Instacart

    • Instacart typically pays more per order than some of the other options on this list.
    • Their “Instant Cash Out” feature which allows you to get paid instantly for a $0.50 fee.
    • Drivers will see their earnings upfront along with where the grocery store is and how far away the customer’s location is.
    • Instacart drivers do schedule all shifts in advance which can be seen as a positive but it also means that you won’t be able to log onto the app and deliver whenever you want
    • You may have to lift and carry heavier bags when delivering groceries

    Requirements to work for Instacart:

    • At least 18 years old
    • Eligible to work in the United States
    • Consistent access to a vehicle
    • Consistent access to and be able to effectively use a recent smartphone (iPhone 6s / Android 5.0 or newer)
    • Ability to lift 50 lbs with or without accommodation

    Locations available: Instacart is available nationwide.

    Sign up for Instacart


    3) Postmates

    Postmates is one of the best delivery services to work for. Postmates was launched in San Francisco over 9 years ago and has grown into one of the best delivery apps to work for drivers and customers. Like many of these other delivery apps, Postmates also allows you to deliver orders by bike as well.

    Orders from Postmates often range from restaurant meals to groceries, alcohol and more. From our Postmates driver review and pay experience, Postmates couriers can make around $20 an hour.

    Pros & Cons of Delivering with Postmates

    • The most ordered requests of any app in my market (see example below).
    • Postmates couriers can go online and work in any Postmates market at any time.
    • The app encourages generous tipping post-delivery. I’ve received tips as high as $50 with Postmates because customers were pleased with the service I provided.
    • Deliveries are paid based on waiting time and mileage, plus the Blitz price-multiplier will be activated at times of high demand, increasing earnings potential.
    • Use a Postmates referral code to get a sign up bonus
    • Support is essentially non-existent. If there’s any confusion or problem, it’s best to get out of that delivery if you can because Postmates isn’t gonna help you. I’ve contacted Postmates a number of times for support over the years and can’t remember a single time they actually helped me or resolved an issue.
    • The app encourages generous tipping post-delivery. Yes, I included this as both a pro and a con. Since the Postmates app encourages tipping after the order is delivered, it creates an easy out for customers to leave no tip, since they’ll never have to see the driver again. Because of this, I find I earn more total tips with DoorDash, which require the tip to be added at the time the order is placed.
    • In addition to having the most order requests, Postmates also has the most “bad” order requests: Orders from Starbucks for one coffee, grocery stores, drug stores… These orders are generally time-consuming and not profitable, which is why I usually decline these jobs.
    • The only order information provided is the pickup location and the order contents (order contents visible if motorcycle mode is enabled).

    Requirements to work for Postmates:

    • 18 years of age or older
    • Ability to drive around food (this also means scooters and, in some cities, by foot)
    • Social Security Number
    • Background check after you set up a Postmates profile

    Locations available: Postmates is available nationwide.

    Sign up for Postmates



    Hot Savings – Gas Discount App

    You’ll definitely come out way ahead driving deliveries.  At the same time, it’s smart to reduce your expenses! 

    The best and easiest-to-use app we’ve researched is GetUpside.  Here at The RideShare Guy we use this app to automatically get gasoline discounts.  It’s worth it.

    Download GetUpside

    15¢/gal bonus offer included

    Why Start Delivering Now?

    It’s never been a better time to drive for delivery companies right now. People are becoming more accustomed to ordering online, it’s pretty cheap for customers, and for drivers, it’s a no-brainer to drive for delivery when rideshare is slow.

    Right now, because of the coronavirus and lack of demand for Uber and Lyft drivers, it’s never been a better time to drive for delivery. Drivers are making hundreds of dollars per week, but you’ll want to sign up sooner rather than later to get started.

    By now, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve officially entered the age of the on-demand economy.

    While I prefer working for certain apps and tend to avoid others, I know that each app offers unique advantages and disadvantages, so I try to keep an open mind and always evaluate the opportunities presented to me.

    You’re a Free Agent – Take Advantage

    My experience in the rideshare and delivery industry has taught me that no two days of driving are the same. One day DoorDash might be jumping and Postmates is dead.

    That’s why there’s not just one best delivery app to work for.

    It’s in my best interest to go online with a number of the apps I’m signed up with and then make informed decisions about which order requests I’d like to fulfill.

    Keep in mind that local conditions, pay and other factors vary from one market to the next and my favorite delivery apps might not be the same as those of another driver.

    Every market is different, so we recommend you sign up for all delivery companies in your city to see which one is the busiest and most profitable for you!

    Final Words

    Overall, given the pros and cons listed above, it’s clear that there’s no one size fit all app when it comes to delivering food, packages, snacks, and household items in the gig economy.

    My favorite thing about delivering for multiple shopping apps is that I have options. Delivery apps are a great option to have when Uber or Lyft are slow, and delivering also enables people who have children they need to bring along to still work in the gig economy.

    If you don’t want to deliver restaurant meals, you can try delivering packages for Amazon Flex or groceries with Instacart.

    It probably won’t hurt to sign up for a few of these apps, that way you can test out the features for yourself and see how much you’re able to earn in your market.

    Do you have more questions about choosing the best delivery app to work for? Do you drive for any delivery companies? Let us know in the comments below!

    FAQs for the Best Food Delivery Services

    GrubHub vs DoorDash

    Wondering which company pays better: GrubHub or DoorDash? Grubhub drivers can earn $12-13 an hour, although the more proficient you become at driving, the more you can earn. Compare this to DoorDash, where you can make $20 to $25 per hour.

    Grubhub’s base salary for drivers is currently $4 per order, but it does vary on the market you drive in. The earnings are also based on the mileage and time it takes you to pick up an order from a restaurant and drop it off at a customer’s house.

    DoorDash driver pay is calculated as follows: base pay + promotions + tips = earnings. Base pay ranges from $2-10 depending on the following factors: time, distance, desirability. Deliveries that are less popular with Dashers, for instance, will have a higher base pay.

    DoorDash promotions give drivers an opportunity to earn more but aren’t guaranteed for every order. When it’s busy, peak pay could be in effect, which means you’ll earn more money on each delivery.

    Tips with DoorDash are the same as GrubHub: you get to keep 100% of the tip a customer leaves.

    Which delivery app pays the most?

    Instacart is one of the highest paying delivery apps, with drivers making $20 to $25 an hour.

    To earn more with Instacart, be sure to look for bigger orders (which usually means a better tip) and shop at stores you’re familiar with.

    Don’t like grocery shopping? DoorDash or Postmates are excellent choices for delivery apps that pay the most. DoorDash drivers earn between $20-25 an hour. Postmates couriers can earn around $20 an hour.

    How do the best delivery apps compare to each other?

    It depends on what you’re looking to do! For grocery shopping, Instacart and Shipt are your best choices. Between the two, Instacart pays more and is, in most cities, more well known than Shipt.

    However, you should always sign up for both to see which company is more popular with shoppers, and which ones pay more. Instacart shoppers can earn $20 to $25 an hour and up.

    For food delivery services, some of the big names include Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates and Caviar. Uber Eats is probably among the most well known, but from couriers we’ve talked to, DoorDash and Postmates currently pay drivers better than Uber Eats.

    For a higher end experience, there’s Caviar. However, you may be less busy delivering for Caviar since it tends to cater to more expensive restaurants, so sign up for all of the above to make sure you’re constantly busy while you’re ‘on app’.

    What’s the best food delivery app to work for?

    The best food delivery app is the one that’s most popular and pays the best in your market! In general, those food delivery services are Instacart, DoorDash and Postmates.
    Uber Eats is usually one of the more popular delivery apps in most cities, but it usually doesn’t pay well. It’s a good add on in addition to the services mentioned above, but if you get a DoorDash ping and an Uber Eats ping at the same time, typically the DoorDash ping will be more ‘worth it.’

    What skills do you need for delivery driver jobs?

    Not a ton! If you’re driving for grocery delivery services like Instacart or Shipt, you will want to be familiar with the layout of local grocery stores. As drivers have told us, the quicker you can find items and get out, the more you will earn hourly!

    You will also want to be familiar with the layout of your city as a delivery driver. If you know the easy places to park, know your city streets well, know how to get around traffic diversions and the like, the faster you will be able to deliver. This will also increase your per-hour earnings.

    Can you drive for multiple services?

    Yes, absolutely! We break down how to drive for multiple delivery apps here.

    Ready to get started? Sign up for the top 3 below!

    1. DoorDash
    2. Instacart
    3. Postmates

      Then check out the best cash back apps if you want to save some money.
    Harry Campbell

    Harry Campbell

    I'm Harry, the owner and founder of The Rideshare Guy Blog and Podcast. I used to be a full-time engineer but now I'm a rideshare blogger! I write about my experience driving for Uber, Lyft, and other services and my goal is to help drivers earn more money by working smarter, not harder.