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  5. Is DoorDash Worth It? [Our Honest Thoughts Explained]

Is DoorDash Worth It? [Our Honest Thoughts Explained]

  • DoorDash offers flexible scheduling, ideal for those needing control over work hours.
  • Earnings range from $15.85 to $29.85 per hour, plus tips.
  • Managing expenses like fuel and maintenance is crucial for net income.
  • Best for those in high-demand areas; less viable in low-demand regions.

Is DoorDash Worth It? Final Verdict

DoorDash is a legit gig with real earning potential. Dashing is perfect for anyone who prioritizes flexibility and staying in control of their schedule above anything else.

You also have the potential for a decent income if you work in a busy or high-demand area. However, Dashing is only ideal for someone who can manage their own expenses and is comfortable with self-employment responsibilities.

You should also remember that the job involves friction with customers and you need to have basic customer service skills to get by.

Additionally, if you live in a low-demand area where DoorDash isn’t popular, you won’t get enough work to sustain a stable income.

Understanding the Role of a Dasher

Before diving into the details of today’s guide, you should first have a full understanding of the Dashers’ job. This includes their daily responsibilities and how to become one.

A Dasher is simply a nickname for any independent contractor who works as a delivery driver for DoorDash.

The main job of Dasher revolves around delivering food and meals to doorsteps. Yet, it can also involve beverages, groceries, and other goods.

Dashers typically work on their own vehicle, which can be a car, motorcycle scooter, or even a bicycle.

Here’s a brief overview of what a typical job as a Dasher looks like:

  • After launching the app, the Dasher will wait until they’re assigned an order by DoorDash, which typically takes a few minutes.
  • DoorDash will then assign the Dasher an order with some details like the restaurant name and total cost. The app shows whether there’s a tip but won’t display the delivery location.
  • While Dasher can’t choose their orders, they can accept or refuse the order here within a time limit (usually 45 seconds).
  • Once they accept an order, the app will navigate the Dasher to the merchant’s location. There, they can pick up the order and make sure it is complete and secure.
  • The app will then guide the Dasher to the customer’s delivery location, along with any delivery instructions (leaving the food on the door, ringing the bell, etc.)
  • After delivery, Dashers will earn a base pay for each job. Dashers also keep 100% of customer tips. They can track their earnings in the app.

How to Become a Dasher

Applying for DoorDash is a fairly easy process and has minimal requirements.

Before becoming a Dasher, you have to be at least 18 years old (even if your state laws offer a permit or license at a younger age) and have a smartphone that you can use for the Dasher app.

You also need to have a valid driver’s license along with active auto insurance. However, you don’t need to legally own the vehicle or have it registered to your name in the insurance company. You only need to have free access to the vehicle.

Additionally, you’ll also need to pass a fairly strict background check.

You must have a clean driving record (no driving under the influence or other alcohol/drug-related driving offenses).

Once accepted, you’ll need to complete the onboarding guide, which includes some essential tutorials to learn how to use the app.

Lastly, you’ll receive essential tools to get started, such as the DasherDirect card and the DoorDash Red Card.

Income Potential As a Dasher

While working conditions and the role of a Dasher are essential to make up your mind, the income potential remains the most critical aspect while considering the gig.

So let’s have a quick look at how much drivers earn dashing for DoorDash.

The average driver should make around $15.85 and up to $29.85 per hour dashing. This figure heavily depends on the quality and quantity of your work.

Your income is made up of three essential parts, including:

  • Base pay: This is what you earn for every job you accept. DoorDash system includes factors like estimated time, distance, and order volume while calculating it for each delivery.
  • Promotions and Incentives: This includes different bonuses and rewards that can increase your earning potential for certain deliveries. It can include incentives like working at rush times, completing a set of DoorDash challenges, the Top Dasher program, and more.
  • Customer tips: as previously established, you’ll keep all the tips you earn from Dashing. This one can vary significantly but it generally makes up a major chunk of your earnings.

In addition to these aspects, the location at which you work can also affect your earnings. This generally depends on the supply and demand for Dasher in the area.

Dashers can also a lucrative sign-up bonuses when new driver use their referral code to join DoorDash.

Flexible Scheduling is Nice to Have

Working as a Dasher boasts some of the most flexible scheduling you can find in the gig economy.

As a DoorDash driver, you don’t have to stick to set shifts or rigid schedules. This means that you’re in full control of when you dash, how long your daily shifts, vacations, etc.

This flexibility allows you to work as much (or as little) as you want, which is ideal whether you’re seeking full-time work or you just want to earn some extra money on the side.

That being said, you might still be tempted to work at some peak hours. This is because they’re typically the best times to DoorDash in terms of earning potential.

Yet, you can make this up by working smart. For instance, you can focus on high-demand areas and stay near hotspots that include many restaurants and popular merchants.

Another advantage you get with flexible scheduling is that you can balance any life commitments with work.

For example, if you have a doctor’s appointment or you want a few hours off to work out or run personal errands, you can simply turn off the app.

Expenses and Overheads Can Cut Into Profits

You should always keep in mind that, as a DoorDasher, you’re technically a private contractor.

This means that expenses and overhead costs come out of your pocket and managing them is critical for your earning.

Here’s a brief breakdown of some of the expenses you’ll have to keep track of while Dashing:

  • Fuel: DoorDash doesn’t pay for gas. Optimize fuel efficiency by taking short routes. Use DasherDirect for 2% gas cashback.
  • Maintenance: Maintain regular vehicle check-ups to mitigate wear and tear.
  • Insurance: You’re on your own for insurance as a contractor. Ensure you have auto and health insurance for unforeseen events.
  • Taxes: Track and report earnings for taxes, consulting a specialist if needed.
  • Other Expenses: Monitor extra costs like mobile data, parking, tolls, and Dasher gear.

Comparing DoorDash with Other Delivery Services

DoorDash is one of the largest food delivery services out there. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has the best working conditions or earning potential.

According to Indeed, DoorDash drivers make slightly higher than GrubHub drivers, which make an average of $14.56 per hour.

Another report from Indeed shows that DoorDash drivers make relatively less than Instacart and Uber Eats drivers, who make around $18.00 and $17.68 per hour respectively.

Postmates drivers typically earn much more than DoorDash drivers, with an average of $24.32 per hour.

The main reason why DoorDash trails behind its competitors is the lack of promotional bonuses.

Keep in mind that the location where you dash can reflect different figures. That’s why you should also do localized research before making up your mind.

Pros and Cons of Dashing

Now that you have a better idea of your role as a dasher and the gig’s earning potential, here’s a summary of the advantages and drawbacks of DoorDashing.

Pros of Dashing

  • High Flexibility: As a dasher, you work whenever you want and as much as you want. You can adjust your schedule freely and create your own free time.
  • Basic Requirments: Being a Dasher doesn’t require any specific education or certification. You only need to be of legal age and have a clean record.
  • Simple Gig: After Dashing for a couple of days, you should have a pretty decent idea about work. This allows you to optimize your time and effort for maximum efficiency and earnings.
  • Plenty of Work: You’ll always get new orders when you’re ready for more, so you don’t have to worry about downtime.

Cons of Dashing

  • Various Overhead Costs: You’ll need to take care of gas costs, insurance, and other spending while on the job.
  • Lack of Job Security: Since you’re a private contractor, you have minimal job security. Ratings and customer complaints can also affect your work stability.

Dasher Experiences and Testimonials

A lot of people have tried DoorDashing and shared their experiences online. Before making up your mind, you should also consider their testimonials and hear their stories.

One example here is Mike, who has a YouTube channel talking about his experiences as a delivery driver. According to Mike, DoorDash is a mixed bag that you have to try yourself to see if it works for you.

Another testimonial comes from Meg, who tried DoorDash for the first time and shared her experience on YouTube.

Meg worked for around two to three hours and made around $39, although she had trouble getting orders in her small town.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Really Make Money on DoorDash?

While earning money on DoorDash is always possible, generating a decent income from Dashing still depends on various factors.

But generally speaking, if you manage your expenses and work in busy areas and rush hours, you should make up to around $30 per hour Dashing.

Why Do I Never Get DoorDash Orders?

You should typically receive orders consistently from DoorDash, especially if you work in a high-demand area.

However, there are some reasons that might affect your orders, such as app glitches, poor internet connection/weak signal, low demand time/location, etc.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, dashing can be quite a worthy consideration if you’re into food delivery gigs. It offers decent pay and remarkable flexibility when choosing your hours and work intensity.

That being said, the final decision here heavily depends on other aspects, such as the location where you live and whether you’re comfortable with independent contractor conditions.

All in all, you should always weigh the pros and cons based on your personal circumstances and goals before making up your mind.

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