Considering driving for multiple delivery apps? It can be a profitable way to make more money in between (or instead of) rideshare driving. Today, RSG contributor Ezra Dubroff outlines a typical day of driving for multiple delivery apps, including his total payout.
As an independent contractor in the rideshare and delivery world, my approach to the work has always been “how can I make maximum cash by leveraging multiple apps?” Previously, I wrote about my favorite delivery apps and provided some background on the driver experience for GrubHub, DoorDash, UberEATS and others. Be sure to check out that post to learn the basics and then come back here to see how we can apply that information to real-world situations.
When I log into any rideshare or delivery app, I’m sent requests for rides or delivery jobs. What many drivers fail to take advantage of is the fact that we’re not obligated to accept those requests. Sure, some apps have incentives tied to accepting a certain percentage of orders, but in my experience, I often do better by freestyling and being selective about which requests I choose to accept.
Each app provides a different amount of info about the job in the order request — all apps provide the pickup location, but only some provide the drop off location, tip amount or total payout. That information is extremely valuable to me as a driver and I’m going to show you how I use it to decide which jobs to accept and which to decline or ignore.
Time To Deliver
On a recent Sunday, I hit the road with my focus set on doing a bunch of deliveries and making a bunch of cash. My plan was to utilize multiple delivery apps simultaneously and only accept the job requests that seemed like the best earnings opportunities.
Keep in mind that this is an advanced strategy and requires quickly switching between many apps and rejecting many orders while waiting for the best opportunities. If you drive for Uber and Lyft, you can use an app like Mystro (our code is RSGB3171) to automate this process but for delivery services, you have to do it manually (for now!).
Let’s take a look at my experience.
8:24 AM. I receive my first request of the day, a DoorDash order. This order would require quite a bit of driving with very low earnings potential ($5 flat rate payout plus maybe a $2 tip), so I decline the order and continue to wait for something better. The $10 subtotal you see indicates the order total, so a 20% tip would only be $2. And 15 miles of driving plus a pickup and drop off is way too much work for me to earn a measly $7. No thanks!
8:34 AM. My phone is dinging again and this time it’s a GrubHub order request with a nice payout so I accept it. With GrubHub, the amount displayed is the actual payout I’ll receive for completing the job. The customer has left a large tip so I’m excited to provide them with a great delivery experience. Since I know I’ll be busy with this delivery for a bit, I go offline with Postmates and pause my DoorDash “Dash” so I won’t be bothered with other requests.
(The blue dot represents my current location, the orange bag icon is the restaurant location and the green icon is the customer’s location.)
Just down the street, I arrive quickly at the restaurant expecting to wait a bit for the food to be ready since it’s a large order. After about fifteen minutes of waiting, the food is handed to me and I get it loaded safely and securely. Seatbelts are not legally required for pancakes and oatmeal but I like to go the extra mile for my passengers.Seatbelts are not legally required for pancakes and oatmeal but I like to go the extra mile for my passengers.Click To Tweet
On a weekday, getting to the drop off would take me a while due to traffic. But it’s Sunday morning and there’s no traffic, so it’s one of my favorite times to be on the road. I make the quick drive, get the order delivered and pop back online with all of the apps. $21.32 earned, I’m less than an hour into my day, and I’ve driven less than 4 miles.
9:20 AM. After getting back near a concentration of restaurants and declining a few unprofitable requests, I accept my second order of the morning. Another GrubHub run and this one should be quick and easy.
I wait a few minutes for the food, get it and I’m on my way. The drop off is only a few minutes away and just like that, I’ve completed my second delivery. Another $10.11 earned.
9:54 AM. I’ve been receiving and rejecting Postmates requests all morning, they’ve all been orders that are not what I’m looking for: one coffee, two donuts, etc… But now I get a Postmates request with some potential: 15 burritos!
Pro-tip: In your Postmates app, set your vehicle to “motorcycle.” This will allow you to see the contents of the order before deciding to skip or accept. Knowing the contents of the order allows me to estimate the order value. And the value of the order will likely dictate the tip, so this is important info to consider.
I quickly arrive to pick up the burritos and because it’s a large order, there’s about a 10-minute wait to get the food. To me, an additional 10 minutes of waiting for a large order (and potentially large tip) is preferred to delivering very small orders that might be ready quicker. Postmates doesn’t display the drop off location until I have the food loaded into my car and I begin the delivery. This delivery is a bit longer than average, but that’s okay because I know I’ll be paid for the mileage.
Even though it’s almost nine miles, the drive and delivery are quick and uneventful. The Postmates app shows me I’ve earned $12.44 for the delivery but what about the tip? Because customers tip AFTER the delivery with Postmates, sometimes you have to wait a few days (or weeks) to get your tips. This particular customer tipped within 48 hours and the tip certainly made the delivery worthwhile: $22.44 earned in 32 minutes while driving about 10 miles total to reach the restaurant and then the customer.
10:26 AM. I’m back online but not receiving many order requests. Between the slow speed of the requests and the rumbling in my belly, I decide it would be a good time to take a quick break and grab a bite to eat. Transporting all of this food has obviously made me hungry!
While I’m eating and then heading back to my favorite delivery area, I receive several DoorDash requests, but none I would consider accepting. Who in their right mind would accept these runs?? Eight miles of driving for an order that totals less than $5 will never end well for the driver.
11:26 AM. Sunday brunch is in full swing. I get a GrubHub request stacked with two orders and decide to accept it. Most of these apps have features that allow drivers to deliver multiple orders at once, but I find GrubHub pays the best for these, since I’ll receive two delivery payouts, two mileage payouts and two tips.
11:56 AM. I’ve delivered both orders and earned $17.99 in 30 minutes while driving less than two miles. I decide to turn off my apps and head home. I’ll go back online later for the dinner rush.
5:45 PM. I’m back online as the Sunday dinner rush begins, just waiting for the right order that will motivate me to get off my butt. The first request I get is another terrible one from DoorDash. It doesn’t get much worse than this: Over 6 miles of driving to deliver $4 worth of melting ice cream. Decline.
6:07 PM. Maybe it’s still a little too early for dinner. Requests are slow, so I head to the downtown area hoping to land something. Though the delivery is far away, I decide to accept this GrubHub order because the payout is pretty good.
6:42 PM. I’ve completed this delivery and I’m expecting to have to deadhead back to the downtown area to get more requests. But I get lucky and get two GrubHub requests from the same restaurant and I can see the deliveries will take me back to where I want to go and I’ll get paid to do it. Score!
Even though the GrubHub app is telling me to pickup and deliver the first order, then come back and pick up the second order, I make an executive decision to wait for both orders and then go out and deliver both at the same time. I go in the restaurant to pick up the orders and I’m met with my first crisis of the day. The restaurant employee tells me that one of the customers left a note requesting chicken be added to his pasta, but he hasn’t been charged for the chicken. Most likely, this is caused by the restaurant not setting up their GrubHub menu properly, but that doesn’t matter at this point.
The employee refuses to hand me the order until I can come up with the $2.73 for the chicken. Thankfully, GrubHub has live, US-based phone support for drivers. So I call support, explain the situation, get the total adjusted and the chicken pasta hostage standoff has now come to a peaceful resolution. I’m out the door and ready to deliver these two orders.
I reach the first dropoff and ring the bell but there’s no answer. I call the customer and find out that I’m at his old place and he forgot to update his address. What to do? I could call support and see what they say, but his new place is close enough that it would be easier to just deliver it there and move on without contacting support. Plus the new drop off is on the way to my second delivery, so a disaster is avoided. Upon delivery, the customer is very nice and apologetic and gives me a few dollars extra for my efforts. I make the second delivery a few minutes later and now I’m back online at the height of the dinner rush.
7:39 PM. Over the next hour, I accept and complete two more GrubHub orders with short delivery distances and generous tips. These are both quick and easy jobs that pay well, exactly what I’m looking for.
8:34 PM. I’m back online, but things are slowing down. I’m ready to call it a night but I get one more GrubHub request that I just can’t turn down. It’s a stacked order with a bit of driving involved, but also a $24 payout to make it worth my time.
I arrive quickly to the restaurant but they tell me the orders won’t be ready for another 15 minutes. Not the news I wanted to hear, so I decide to make the most of the situation by grabbing dinner at Subway next door with my newfound free time. A footlong toasted Veggie Delight on Honey Oat is exactly what I need to power through the rest of the evening. Upon finishing my delicious sando and washing up, I head back to the restaurant to pick up the orders.
The first delivery is to a hotel. I pull into the valet and ask if there’s somewhere I can please park to make a quick delivery. “Sure, park in that spot over there,” says the valet. I head up to the 5th floor to make the drop and three minutes later I’m back in my ride and on my way to my next and final drop.
Of course, the final delivery of the night brings me to the apartment complex from hell: massive grounds, no signs anywhere, no parking anywhere. But what fun would this be without a little challenge? After about 15 minutes of walking and searching, I find the customer and make the delivery.
9:34 PM. I’m tired, have some cash in my (virtual) pocket from all of those deliveries and decide to call it a day.
Let’s Crunch The Numbers
Over the course of 7 hours covering both brunch and dinner, I delivered 13 orders and grossed $170.87 while driving a total of 67 miles. Sure, I’ve had better days, but I’m pretty happy with those earnings.
When I initially set out to deliver for the day with this post in mind, I didn’t envision that 12 out of the 13 orders I would deliver would be for GrubHub. I had hoped to show more of variety and how the different apps make for different challenges and successes. But the world of rideshare is unpredictable and these GrubHub orders turned out to be the best opportunities for me on this day. I’ve had days where the DoorDash orders were the most lucrative and other days where I found success with UberEATS and Postmates.
Welcome to the wonderful world of freestyle app delivery driving. You never know exactly what awaits, but I can promise that it won’t be boring!
Do you drive for delivery apps and, if so, which ones are most lucrative for you?
Make Every Mile CountDid you know that every 1,000 business miles can generate $535 in tax deductions? Never miss another mile with the new QuickBooks Self-Employed automatic mileage tracker.
-Ezra @ RSG