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8 min read

    8 min read

    One thing everyone wants to know: How much do DoorDash drivers make? Before we get into that, a few things you must know: every DoorDash city will be different! However, for the most part, you’ll make the most at lunch, on weekends and on Sundays all day.

    Below, I’ll break down what a typical DoorDash shift looks like so you’ll know what to expect. I’ll also cover how much I made delivering for DoorDash.

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    Interested in delivering for DoorDash? Click here to sign up

    DoorDash not as popular in your city? Try these other delivery options:

    • Postmates – similar to DoorDash but more popular in other cities
    • Instacart – primarily for grocery delivery, although you can also be a shopper (and not have to do delivery!)
    • Caviar – usually higher end delivery opportunities – aka more tips!
    • Uber Eats – very popular in almost every city, easy to get started with

    DoorDash Pay & My Experience

    I have covered DoorDash tips and tricks before, mostly talking about what it’s like overall being a DoorDash courier. However, below I wanted to go in-depth on what it looks like to be a Dasher and what DoorDash pay is like.

    I’ve been dashing for several years now, and in this time, Dasher earnings have changed dramatically. I’ll cover how much money you can make driving for DoorDash below, with a few caveats.

    Doordash Pay: How much can you make?

    How much do Doordash drivers make?

    DoorDash Driver Pay: Delivery Fee + Tips – My Experience

    The Dasher market is always local. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, customers have high disposable income (good), a tight labor market (good), and a culture that embraces techy things like ordering delivery through your phone (good).

    I imagine that our area is one of the highest-earning markets for Dashers, if not THE highest. Plus, what’s the point of making close to minimum wage when housing looks like THIS?

    Our area is busy enough that I can ‘Dash Now’ — spontaneously sign into a region – 99% of the time. Apparently, around here there’s ALWAYS a need for a few extra Dashers.

    There are other US markets where Dashers need to schedule their shifts several days in advance in order to secure a slot. It would make sense that those areas would earn somewhat less than what we’re making.

    Therefore, if the national average is $17.50/hr, then I should make that pretty easily. In fact, my own over/under for a successful shift is $20.00/hr. In 2019, I decided to try an experiment by Dashing at normal and unusual times to see what typical pay could range.

    How Much Can You Expect to Earn Delivering with DoorDash?

    This is a tough question for two reasons:

    • How much you earn depends on where you drive!

    Where I live, in northern California, we probably have the highest rates in the country. We’re lucky to have wealthier tech types that don’t care how much they order out because they have the salary (or the company checkbook) to pay!

    Other drivers, like those in Phoenix or other cities that are more spread out, won’t be able to execute as many deliveries as, say, I can because my city is more compact.

    If you’re driving 20 minutes to pick up food with DoorDash and then 20 minutes (whether due to traffic or to sheer distance) to deliver, you’re likely only going to be able to accomplish 1-2 deliveries an hour. This cuts into how much you can make delivering with DoorDash!

    This is why I highly recommend DoorDashers who do not live in compact cities only take the highest paying orders they can. You can’t guarantee the tip you’ll get, but at least you can somewhat control how much you may earn.

    Most DoorDash deliverers earn around $12-18.

    The second reason this is tough to answer is:

    • Everyone is ordering delivery right now!

    You’ve probably heard, but the coronavirus is here and is affecting drivers. People aren’t just magically becoming cooks overnight – many people are doubling down on ordering, and DoorDash (and more of the best gig jobs) are capitalizing on that demand.

    Right now, there’s no better time than to sign up for DoorDash and get started dashing.

    Can Dasher’s Earn $17.50/Hour?

    Clearly I had some good shifts, and some bad shifts too. Let’s add them all up:

    Yikes! $16.59/hour. This is less than DoorDash CEO Tony Xu’s $17.50 per hour statement and, remember, we’re in the Bay Area people! We know the Bay Area is one of the top-paying markets so I just don’t see how an average of $17.50 per hour is feasible. We call BS Tony – feel free to send us the data though and we can take a look 🙂

    However, YOU don’t need to Dash at 6am, nor at 11pm. So let’s look at my own earnings from January – that early Friday, May 3 shift listed above.

    Ahhhh, that’s more like it. $20.50/hr. I’ll take it. It’s not a living, but it’s okay for some extra cash.

    One more note: All things being equal, I strongly encourage you to work during the bonus periods. Watch what happens if I delivered without earning bonuses:

    $14.79/hr. Unacceptable! Similar to how drivers should only drive during surge or other bonus periods, Dashers should do the same. Work at lunch. Work at dinner. Work sports and Sundays. Work when they offer bonuses. It adds up.

    Salary/Income: How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make?

    In the experiment below, I decided to DoorDash on Sundays – typically a higher earning day to Dash. In total, I spent 6 hours making 12 deliveries. I made a total of $143.76 ($72 in delivery fees + $71.76 tips).

    My pay came out to $23.96/hour.

    I made nearly as much money in tips as I did in fees, which is rare. Thank you, wealthy people of Silicon Valley! That’s a good Sunday Dash!

    Doordash earnings statement

    Doordash pay: How much money I made

     

    Above is a table of all my Sunday deliveries. In my first year of Dashing, I averaged just over $18/hour in December, easily my lowest-earning month. So this Dash and my $23.49/hour on Thursday, 12/1 was a pleasant surprise. I received some high-dollar orders and good tips, but I was surprised by the short wait times.

    The Wait (mins) column in the above table is DEAD time that kills productivity. Sunday’s orders averaged a 2 minute wait and throughout last week, I only had one 10-minute wait in 21 deliveries. There’s no way to prevent or avoid restaurant waits. They happen or they don’t. I’m a good Dasher, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

    How You Can Earn More Than the Average DoorDash Courier

    We do have some strategies for how you can earn more than the average Dasher. While the pay algorithm for DoorDash has become more opaque in the last year, you can still beat out the average and earn more by following these tips:

    • Only accept large orders – tipping is based on the percentage system, so a bigger order should naturally net you a bigger tip. You can be picky up to a certain point – use it wisely!
    • Drive during big nights – is there a big game going on in your city? A huge television event, like the Grammys? Have we discovered another Game of Thrones that enthralls the whole country? Those are your money-making nights (you can always record the game/event for later!)
    • Drive strategically – much like how being a good rideshare driver depends on knowing where to go, being a good DoorDash courier and earning more than the average courier depends on you driving efficiently. I personally don’t take certain restaurant orders because I know parking is horrible – I’ll have to park and walk to pick it up, taking huge chunks of my efficiency. Pass!
    • Use multiple apps – the most successful Dashers aren’t just Dashers – they’re Uber Eats drivers, Postmates couriers, Instacart shoppers and more. Be a mercenary when it comes to earning money – take the biggest, most profitable orders from any company and turn off the others until they start earning you more!
    • Plus, you can save money using cash back apps

    Here are even more DoorDash tips and tricks, including information about maximizing your tips and more!

    Drive safely, Dashers!


    Have you started driving for DoorDash yet, and what has been the most successful driving day of the week for you?  If you’d like to sign up for DoorDash, please click here.

    -Dash @ RSG

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    Dash Bridges

    Dash Bridges

    Hey! I'm an independent contractor in Silicon Valley working Door Dash as a side hustle to my day job. I sincerely enjoy my work as a Dasher, but let there be no doubt, I am here to maximize earnings!

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