14 min read

    14 min read

    Food delivery is booming right now, with companies like Instacart hiring hundreds of thousands of drivers in recent weeks. RSG contributor Chonce Maddox-Rhea spoke to drivers earning $4,000 a month and up driving for delivery companies, and they share their top tips for the best paying delivery jobs here.

    Have you ever wondered how feasible it is to earn a sizeable monthly income from food delivery apps? The food delivery industry is booming right now but just like with rideshare driving, how much you can earn heavily depends on your strategy and ability to utilize the cards you’re dealt with.


    I interviewed three food delivery drivers who have been finding success with apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash. Whether you’re looking to work part-time with food delivery apps or even full-time, it’s possible with these tips and strategies.

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    Quick links:

    • Main takeaways: sign up for multiple food delivery companies to stay busy and earn more
    • Fridays – Sundays are typically the busiest days – make sure to log on then to earn the most!
    • Get to know your city well – efficient ways to get to popular restaurants and busy neighborhoods

    “Uber Eats and Grubhub Made Me Almost $5,000 Last Month”

    Blake M. is a driver in Omaha, Nebraska who delivers for both Uber Eats and Grubhub. Driving for more than one delivery app is a smart move because there are so many options out there. Plus it can help improve your chances of getting a delivery order quickly. If one app is not busy, just switch to the other one.

    “A big part of my strategy on the road is to be close to restaurants that generally lead to decent tips,” Blake says. “Uber is obviously very difficult with that since we don’t see the entire pay upfront. Still, I’ve found with Uber, avoiding fast food as much as possible can lead to better tips.”

    Blake says he looks for bigger payouts that will be well worth his time. While delivery drivers can’t control which order requests they get, you can control which areas you drive in.

    Apps like UberEats and Grubhub track your location when you’re logged in so they can send you orders at restaurants that are nearby.

    If you don’t want to do fast food orders, you may want to drive away from certain fast-food restaurants in your area to minimize your chances of getting an order request from there.

    “With Grubhub, sometimes I am willing to take lower-paying orders if it’s going to take me toward restaurants that I’ve gotten larger orders from in the past.”

    Income Goals and Expenses

    Blake usually sets a weekly income goal of $1,000 with Uber Eats and Grubhub before factoring in gas. On a great month like last month, Blake brought home almost $5,000 from both apps.

    What’s motivating him right now is the fact that he wants to be able to cover living expenses and also pay off some of his debt.

    Best Time to Drive for Uber Eats and Grubhub

    With food delivery apps, some of the best times to drive are often during meal times – especially dinner so evenings can be pretty profitable. Blake says he’s gotten lucky during the last few Sundays working through dinner time because he’s gotten some high-paying orders and tips.

    “The biggest thing I would suggest is to know your market and know what works for you,” he added. “There’s no secret to doing this. If you are patient and get lucky with some orders, there’s obviously some money to be made.”

    Staying Safe

    In light of COVID-19, Blake said he’s definitely been washing his hands more and taking 2 showers per day when he’s delivering. Contactless deliveries are helping as well along with the fact that many of the restaurants in his area have curbside pickup or drive-thru only.

    “I’m Making $25/hr With DoorDash Driving Part-Time”

    Holly S. is a DoorDash driver near Thornton, Colorado who recently signed up for DoorDash but is already earning $25/hr on average with the app.

    “I work full-time from 8-5 and used to drive for Lyft on weekends making $300 – $500 per week but due to COVID-19, I paused driving for Lyft to protect my family at home,” Holly said. “I signed up for DoorDash last month and took me less than 2 hours to get approved and ready to get on the road.”

    Advice For Delivery Driving Newbies

    The best advice Holly has for new delivery drivers is to learn your area. Don’t spend too much time trying to strategize on the app when you could be accepting orders and making money.

    Even if you make mistakes in the beginning, you’re still gaining valuable experience and learning to put a routine in place.

    “Sometimes the food delivery app you’re using may suggest ‘hot spot’ areas to head to but it’s important to develop your own,” Holly says. “Those proposed hot spot areas may be swarming with other drivers or be near restaurants that have super long wait times. This is why it pays to get out there and learn which areas and orders will truly help you earn more money.

    Also, don’t be afraid to message the customer through the app to provide an update. This is not always necessary, but Holly says when a restaurant is running behind on her order, she messages the customer through the app to let them know, and this often leads to an increase in her tips.

    Best Money-Making Advice For DoorDash Drivers Right Now

    Holly is still a newer DoorDash driver herself, but she still had some great advice that anyone can apply right now. The key to Holly earning $25/hr with DoorDash boils down to taking advantage of bonus opportunities and driving in different zones.

    “I drive on Fridays and Saturdays only for about 4-5 hours per night,” she shared. “I usually wait for DoorDash to offer a bonus of $3 or more per delivery.”

    Friday and Saturday nights are often busy times on the app so DoorDash may offer an extra bonus to entice drivers to go online. Holly has been able to earn as much as a $6 bonus per order when she drives on weekends.

    This means she earns the DoorDash base pay + the customer tip + $6 for every order completed. Another tip Holly shared was to watch your acceptance rate.

    “I have a very high acceptance rate which means I can drive in other zones (cities/areas) where DoorDash may be paying higher bonuses. If your acceptance rate falls below a certain threshold, you will be locked into driving only in your home zone.”

    “Driving For Multiple Apps Helped Me Earn $4,000+ Last Month”

    Ronald R. has been driving for Uber and Lyft for 4.5 years, but he’s also worked for food delivery apps on the side. Recently, he’s shifted his focus to working more on food delivery apps and earned $4,392 in delivery income alone last month.

    “In March I used apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, Curri, and Roadie,” Ronald said. “I’ve started Postmates and Instacart for April and believe you should always be active on multiple apps”

    Income Goals and Expenses

    Ronald says the most he’s made with food delivery apps to date is around $5,000 per month.

    I have a goal of $150 a day, which gets me to $1000 a week. I work almost every day because I’m single with no kids so I get bored sitting at home.”

    Best Advice For Delivery Newbies

    Ronald also agrees that the more experience you get with food delivery apps, the more efficient you’ll be when it comes to earning more money.

    Always try to do one more. When you think it’s time to stop for the day, do one more. It makes a difference at the end of the week. Also, give a good service.”

    “Learn where most of your restaurant zones are in your town and just know your city overall. I’ve lived in my city since infancy, so I know how to get around.”

    Advice For Getting Bigger Tips with Food Delivery Apps

    If you want to get bigger tips, it’s not really boiled down to a science since you can’t control who tips and how much they decide to tip. However, you can test out different strategies and practice improving your level of customer service in an effort to get more tips.

    “Make sure to use your hot bags and make sure your customers see your badge when you deliver,” Ronald recommends. “Also smile and greet the customer by name and ask how they’re doing.”

    Maximizing Your Earnings While Driving for Delivery Companies

    There are still opportunities to earn money right now with gig jobs, especially when it comes to food delivery. Food delivery is fairly easy, and contactless delivery options make it safer especially during these challenging times.

    Signing up for multiple food delivery apps can help, as well as exploring your area and finding out where all the popular restaurants are that are getting orders right now.

    Have you signed up for food delivery yet?

    -Chonce @ RSG

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    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Chonce Maddox Rhea

    Choncé is a freelance writer who’s obsessed with living well on a budget and loves encouraging people to make extra money so they can meet their financial goals. She is happily married to one of the best Uber drivers in the Chicago metro area, who currently has 2,800+ trips under his belt.