DoorDash Driver Pay: Everything You Need to Know Based on My Actual Experience
While previous DoorDash ads touted you could make $25 an hour delivering, in my experience, I’ve made closer to $15 an hour. However, there are lots of driver bonuses that can boost your pay when you sign up to drive for DoorDash. For instance, I’ve already received multiple opportunities for $20/hr guaranteed pay and bonus cash for certain shifts! I’ll explain how those work.
DoorDash Driver Pay Is Worth It, But First Here’s What To Know About Signing-Up
One of the reasons why I started looking into DoorDash is because they are in hundreds of cities and they are still growing, which means they need lots of drivers.
When I examined if driving for DoorDash is worth it, 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.
First, it’s important to know you need to sign up with from a referral given by a friend or current Dasher. It works two ways currently. Either the driver can send you a link via the Dasher app, or when you’re signing up, there’s a location to enter their phone number and that will work in place of a referral code. You can sign up to drive for DoorDash here.
Related article: Essential gear for food delivery drivers
DoorDash Driver 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’re not limited to driving in one city
The first step in the process is to submit some basic information here.
From there, it’ll take you to this page to continue signing up.
DoorDash Driver Sign Up Process – Application
After that, you’ll need to fill out the rest of the application:
- Detailed information about yourself
- Enter your social security number and agree to a background check
- Choose how you’d like to receive your Activation Kit — either pick it up at a local DoorDash office or have it mailed to you
The Process of Signing Up to Become a DoorDash Driver
Signing up with DoorDash was relatively easy except for a small issue with the background check. 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 [email protected], and they told me that I failed the background check.
DoorDash Rejection E-mail
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, and Postmates. I also never received an e-mail from Checkr. So I followed up with DoorDash and they told me to e-mail Checkr ([email protected]), 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. If you’ve having a problem with your background check, here some strategies to get activated or reactivated by background check companies like Checkr.
If you’d like to sign up for DoorDash, please click here.
Once you pass your background check, you’ll be in charge of completing orientation. Some markets allow you to do online orientation, while others require you to go to your local DoorDash office for a scheduled orientation. In the Minneapolis area, it is required to go into the local office.
DoorDash is 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.
DoorDash 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.
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 DoorDash Driver Shift
Here’s a note directly from the DoorDash website: “For each delivery, you will always receive at least $1 from DoorDash plus 100% of the customer tip. Where that sum is less than the guaranteed amount, DoorDash will provide a pay boost to make sure you receive the guaranteed amount. Where that sum is more than the guaranteed amount, you pocket the extra amount.”
RSG contributor Dash Bridges clarifies, “You’re given an order with a $9.00 guarantee.
If the customer tips $8, it’s possible that DD paid $1 and the other $8 came from the tip. If the customer tips $0, then DD paid all $9, which is higher than the $5 or $6 guaranteed in the past. My conclusion is that DD created the new structure to subsidize some of the poorer paying orders, and sand off the peaks of the really high paying orders.”
Customers set a tip amount when they place their order — not after it’s delivered — 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.
Related article: Essential gear for food delivery drivers
Also, here’s what it is like to use the DoorDash driver app:
Do You Make More Driving for DoorDash or Driving for Uber?
It depends! Here we break down if it’s more profitable to drive for Uber (rideshare driving) or drive for DoorDash (delivery):
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: [email protected]
Update: I’ve sent them a couple e-mails so far, and they’ve gotten back to me very quickly for non-urgent issues.
I’ve Only Delivered Passengers Before, Not Food! Are there a lot of differences between delivery and rideshare?
There aren’t many differences between delivery/rideshare driving, but there are some key things new delivery and DoorDash drivers should be aware of:
Doordash Driver Ratings
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. Though, this also does depend on how diligent you are about driving during peak times. Delivering when more people are ordering food is going to earn you more on average.
On their actual website, DoorDash breaks down earnings by area you live in. So, go to this link and click on your city to see how earnings are for you. In the Minneapolis area, this is what they say about pay: “Delivery pay is calculated as $1 + 100% of tip + pay boost. The pay boost amount will vary based on a variety of factors including the complexity of the order, distance to the restaurant, and orders you place yourself.”
Similar to Uber and Lyft, DoorDash offers added incentives during peak times to encourage their drivers to get out and deliver when they are needed most.
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:
- 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.
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.
Overall, I am pretty impressed with DoorDash, 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.
Is there a DoorDash driver sign up bonus?
Yes! There’s a driver sign-up bonus if you apply with a referral from an existing driver. In the Minneapolis area right now, there is an offer to earn $100 extra after completing your first 200 deliveries within 60 days (note: these sign up bonuses are subject to change).
On the other hand, if you’re a DoorDash driver in Minneapolis, the referral amount you could earn is significantly more. For referring someone, at the writing of this article, the existing Dasher could earn an extra $1,500 when the person they refer complete their first 200 deliveries within 60 days of applying.
Should You Sign Up to Become a DoorDash Driver?
Overall, I think it’s worth it to sign up to become a DoorDash driver, especially if your car doesn’t qualify to drive for Uber/Lyft, you’re not completely familiar with your city’s streets yet, you don’t like people, or you want to drive with a friend.
You can do all of those things as a delivery driver – you can’t as a rideshare driver. Food never talks back, but people do!
Plus, if you’re able to combine some of the busier hours with your regular day (i.e. delivering food during your lunch break from work, after work, or on the weekend), it’s an easy way to make extra cash during your free time anyway.
You can sign up to drive for DoorDash here – let me know how it goes in the comments!
Want More Tips? Deliver With DoorDashDashers receive tips on 97% of their deliveries. DoorDash has a tip button and encourages customers to setup "automatic" tips. Become a dasher here.
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