Here at RSG, we always recommend delivery drivers deliver with multiple delivery apps. Why? You can earn more while on the road by picking and choosing the best deliveries across several platforms! But how does this actually work in the real world? RSG contributor Jeffrey Fike shares how you can drive for multiple delivery apps.
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Many drivers work for more than one app platform, but many aren’t sure if it’s permitted, or how to go about it. There are a number of different valid answers to these questions.
The simple answer: Yes, you can work for multiple apps or delivery platforms simultaneously, and in almost all cases it makes more sense to run multiple apps, in order to capitalize on your personal area of influence.
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What to Know Before Driving for Multiple Delivery Apps
Driving for multiple apps is pretty straightforward, and there are several different approaches. The main thing to remember is that UberEats and DoorDash (the two I drive for currently, and will use for illustration here) will not penalize you for a low acceptance rate. This is key, and though both services will “encourage” you via email, text, even push messages to increase your acceptance rate, it simply has no bearing on your status as a driver, with the exception of specific special promotions.
Before you start driving, be aware of the restrictions on each app’s limitations. DoorDash and other apps have extremely narrow delivery zones for drivers, while Uber Eats has extremely large delivery areas.
If you drive in a smaller market, this can be a big deal – you do not want to log off, especially if approaching the border of a delivery area, or at non-peak hours. Instead, pause your delivery requests.
You may also choose to ignore requests, but if we’re being honest here, every driver has taken a ping they weren’t planning on, due to the temptation of high dollars for low miles, so just pause.
Also, remember that on certain delivery apps (DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart), drivers must schedule most non-peak driving shifts, meaning if you completely log off, you may not be able to log back on at all, even if within the narrow confines of delivery area.
Despite the differences in delivery app appearances, and delivery areas, altogether, these apps are more similar than different, and which you choose to drive for will depend entirely upon your individual market, no matter what you see on social media, one is not inherently better than the other.
Looking for the best apps for delivery drivers? Download these recommended delivery apps! 11 Apps That Delivery Drivers Must Have In 2022 (Uber Eats, Doordash, Instacart)
How to Drive for Multiple Delivery Apps
The first driving decision you, as a driver, must make is this: One phone or multiple? I have tried the two (multiple) phone method and it has some advantages, but also some drawbacks.
The first drawback for me is that DoorDash must run on your primary phone. Secondly, Uber Eats can run from another phone or tablet, but must still be logged in (for text messaging and push communications) on your primary phone.
The work-around here is to switch your phone number for one of the apps to your secondary phone, which can also bring some complications.
Thirdly, and this may not matter to many, it takes a degree of organization, coordination, and gracefulness to run two phones, and that’s just not me. I am a one-phone driver through and through.
Other devices run music and sometimes even GPS to keep the CPU load, heat and battery usage down on the main working phone. However, all said, the two-phone learning curve is not too steep, so give it a whirl if you have the patience to learn and adapt.
To begin, log on to your apps, and wait for your first ping, or drive to your favorite sweet spot. Once you get that first acceptable ping – keeping in mind that the first minute or two when you log on you’ll be getting, and sometimes even be barraged with, distant orders, large orders with small pay, and difficult to pick up or deliver orders. I usually decline the first few pings, almost without fail.
Keeping your miles and when possible items down, dollars up is the name of the game. This is especially important when driving for multiple apps, and even more so still in busy markets, or at peak times. For me, it’s usually going to take $1-$2/mile to get me moving. I’ve been told I’m overly choosy, but I nearly always make my goal, which is $25/hour+.
You’ve gotten your first ping! What do you do? Many expert drivers I’ve spoken to leave both apps running and try to pick up another delivery on the way to or heading to the same area as first.
Not me, never. This is playing with fire. Especially in these days of long lines at drive throughs and slow service at many stores and restaurants, one slow down in your speed of service can be a ratings killer.
Imagine the same slow down affecting multiple deliveries, and, well, you can imagine the carnage. In this case, I just switch off the other app until I am at the first pick up. No sense in fretting over missing a huge delivery going 12 miles in the opposite direction, when it wasn’t meant to be.
Could you leave that second phone (or third, or…) running? Sure, but in many cases after a certain number of missed (or in the past declined) pings, you’ll get automatically taken offline anyway, and in some cases even logged completely out of the app, which can end up wasting a lot of time re-opening and getting online, or worse yet, logged completely back in.
It all really boils down to this point. You could call everything else technical details, or personal preferences.
You can, as I recommend, stay logged in, offline/paused until you’ve picked up, or even more conservatively stay offline until you’ve dropped off your first order. Or you can log back on near pick up and hope to get another pick up at (or if you’re a risk-taker, near) the same location as your first pick up. However, again, this can be playing with fire.
For me, once I’ve picked up the order, for short <5 minute deliveries, it’s time to log back on, or in the case of DoorDash unpause deliveries. I wait until I’ve delivered for longer deliveries before logging back on.
Generally getting back on to both apps before dropping off will help to keep your miles to pick up and delivery distances shorter, and keep you in a more concentrated, smaller area. On the other hand, if you’re nowhere near where you’d like to be driving, or ending your journey, pause or ignore/decline your requests until you are where you’d like to be.
On the whole, running multiple delivery apps, if done consistently and efficiently can help to raise your overall pay, significantly reduce down time or slow periods, and help you achieve your driving goals, whatever they may be.
Multiple Food Delivery Driving Strategies
Strategies are not always one size fits all, but try out some of the ones that have worked out for me below. You never know what will be the key to your market until you test out new money-making strategies!
Strategy 1: Prepare
Being at least familiar with your delivery area is a great way to prepare. Sure, you can deliver anywhere, but if you’ve got a sweet spot where you know all the shortcuts, hotspots, and the ins and outs of local businesses, you are ahead of the game. And remember, GPS only goes so far and is fallible.
There are bound to be some unpleasant folks you encounter most weeks. Customers can be very demanding, and store employees may be less than helpful, standoffish, and even rude. Prepare to deal with people.
Strategy 2: Plan
Many drivers like having a somewhat regular schedule—driving the same times, the same days of the week, or the same areas. Find out what helps maximize your efforts.
If you find that you feel hurried or under pressure at a certain time because of obligations in a few hours, then have a definite end time set, and stick to it.
If you find that you are always busy Monday nights, but also disappointed in your net earnings, miles driven, etc., then maybe Monday nights in that area aren’t for you. Another area nearby might be.
Strategy 3: Practicing Patience
“Practice makes perfect.” You’ve heard it a million times, and know it’s true. In delivery, practice can mean simply going out and delivering, or it can mean refining your approach, developing new tactics, even entire strategies based upon your previous results. Without practice, you are essentially driving blind.
As you repeat every aspect of delivery—from preparation to execution—certain aspects may seem to always be troublesome, annoying, or difficult. It’s important to evaluate whether these areas are inherently problematic, or if you can make adjustments to improve your performance.
Strategy 4: Persistence
Many people confuse persistence with patience. While the two are intertwined, they are not the same.
If you persist, that is keep on going—despite slowness, setbacks, quiet periods, frustrations—you will usually reach reasonable goals and success. If you give up in the face of frustrating, low-paying, or slow sessions, you will contribute to your own long-term failure.
Learn more about the 4 Ps in my article The 4 Most Important Strategies All Delivery Drivers Need.
Yes, you can and should drive for multiple delivery apps. Here are my top recommendations:
- You can use a second (or more!) phones to drive for multiple companies, but it comes with hassles
- Keep your miles and items down, dollars up is my motto
- Go offline or pause the other app once you’ve accepted a delivery
- If you’re not where you want to be, remain offline until you’re in an area you want to drive/deliver in
Do you drive for multiple delivery apps? What’s your #1 tip for delivering with multiple apps?
-Jeffrey @ RSG