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14 Secrets to Earning More Money with DoorDash

The Ultimate Guide to Making the Most Money on DoorDash

DoorDash is one of the most popular food delivery platforms in the world, operating in more than 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan.

If you are looking for a flexible and easy way to make money, becoming a Dasher might be a great option for you.

But how much can you really earn with DoorDash?

And what are the best strategies to maximize your income as a Dasher?

In this article, we will answer these questions and more.

We will share with you 18 proven tips and tricks to help you make the most money on DoorDash, based on the experiences of successful Dashers and experts in the gig economy.

But before we dive into the tips, let’s first understand how DoorDash works and how much it pays.

How Does DoorDash Work for Drivers?

As a Dasher, you are an independent contractor, not an employee of DoorDash.

This means you have the freedom to choose when, where, and how much you want to work.

You also have the responsibility to pay for your own expenses, such as gas, car maintenance, insurance, and taxes.

To start working as a Dasher, you need to meet some basic requirements, such as being at least 18 years old, having a valid driver’s license and insurance, and passing a background check.

You also need to have a smartphone with the DoorDash app installed.

Once you are approved, you can open the app and schedule a shift or “dash” on demand if there is a need for drivers in your area.

When you are online, the app will match you with orders from nearby restaurants.

You will see the details of each order, such as the pickup and drop-off locations, the estimated time, and the guaranteed base pay. You can accept or decline any order within 45 seconds.

If you accept an order, you will follow the instructions in the app to pick up the food from the restaurant and deliver it to the customer. You will also communicate with the customer if there are any issues or delays.

After you complete the delivery, you will rate the customer and the restaurant, and the customer will rate you.

How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make?

The amount of money you can make with DoorDash depends on various factors, such as the number of orders you complete, the distance and time of each delivery, the tips you receive, and the incentives and promotions offered by DoorDash.

According to DoorDash, the average base pay for Dashers is $2 to $10 per order, depending on the complexity and duration of the delivery.

However, this does not include tips, which are 100% yours to keep. Tips can vary widely depending on the customer, the order size, and the service quality. Some customers may tip generously, while others may not tip at all.

DoorDash also offers additional earnings opportunities, such as peak pay, challenges, and referrals.

Peak pay is a bonus that is added to your base pay when you deliver during busy times, such as lunch and dinner hours.

Challenges are goals that you can achieve to earn extra cash, such as completing a certain number of deliveries in a specific time frame.

Referrals are rewards that you can get when you invite your friends and family to sign up for DoorDash using your unique link.

According to Indeed, the average hourly pay for DoorDash drivers in the U.S. is $18.87, based on over 200,000 salaries reported.

However, this figure may not reflect the actual net income of Dashers, as it does not account for the expenses and taxes that they have to pay.

How to Make the Most Money on DoorDash: 14 Pro Tips

Now that you have a basic idea of how DoorDash works and how much it pays, let’s look at some of the best tips and tricks to help you make more money as a Dasher.

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These tips are based on four main strategies:

  • Treat this like a business, not a job
  • Be strategic about how you deliver and what deliveries you accept
  • Deliver quickly and efficiently
  • Keep the money you make from slipping out the back door

Let’s go over each strategy and the tips that fall under them.

Treat This Like a Business, Not a Job

As a Dasher, you are your own boss. You have the freedom to set your own schedule, choose your own orders, and manage your own finances.

However, you also have the responsibility to plan ahead, track your performance, and optimize your results.

Here are some tips to help you treat this like a business, not a job.

1. Think in terms of profit, not the money you get from DoorDash

The money you see in the app is not your actual income, as you have to deduct your expenses and taxes from it.

To calculate your profit, you need to keep track of your mileage, gas, car maintenance, insurance, phone plan, and other costs related to your delivery business.

You can use apps like Stride or Everlance to help you track your expenses and mileage automatically. You also need to set aside some money for taxes, as you will have to pay self-employment tax and income tax on your earnings.

You can use apps like QuickBooks Self-Employed or Hurdlr to help you estimate and pay your taxes quarterly.

2. Be goal-oriented

One of the benefits of being a Dasher is that you can work as much or as little as you want.

However, this also means that you have to be disciplined and motivated to achieve your desired income level.

To help you stay focused and motivated, you should set realistic and specific goals for yourself, such as how much you want to earn per week, per month, or per year.

You should also break down your goals into smaller and measurable steps, such as how many hours you need to work per day, how many orders you need to complete per hour, or how much you need to earn per order.

You should also track your progress and adjust your goals as needed.

3. Set your price

As a Dasher, you have the power to accept or decline any order that comes your way.

You should not feel obligated to take every order that is offered to you, especially if it is not worth your time or money.

You should have a minimum amount that you are willing to accept for each order, based on your goals, expenses, and preferences.

You can use apps like Gridwise or Dash Utility to help you calculate your minimum acceptance rate and filter out low-paying orders.

Be Strategic About How You Deliver and What Deliveries You Accept

As a Dasher, you have to make smart decisions about how you deliver and what deliveries you accept.

You have to consider various factors, such as the demand and supply of orders, the location and distance of deliveries, the incentives and promotions offered by DoorDash, and the tips and ratings you can expect from customers.

Here are some tips to help you be strategic about how you deliver and what deliveries you accept.

4. Make good decisions about what deliveries to take

Not all deliveries are created equal. Some deliveries may pay more, take less time, or have higher tips than others.

You should evaluate each delivery based on the following criteria: the base pay, the tip potential, the distance and time, the restaurant and customer ratings, and the peak pay and challenges.

You should aim to take deliveries that have a high base pay, a high tip potential, a short distance and time, a high restaurant and customer rating, and a peak pay or challenge bonus.

You should avoid deliveries that have a low base pay, a low tip potential, a long distance and time, a low restaurant and customer rating, and no peak pay or challenge bonus.

5. Know when incentives make sense and when they don’t

DoorDash offers various incentives and promotions to encourage Dashers to deliver more, such as peak pay, challenges, and referrals.

However, these incentives may not always be worth your time or money. For example, peak pay may attract more Dashers to the same area, resulting in fewer orders and lower tips.

Challenges may require you to complete a certain number of deliveries in a specific time frame, which may not be feasible or profitable.

Referrals may reward you for inviting new Dashers, but they may also increase the competition and reduce the demand for orders.

You should weigh the pros and cons of each incentive and decide whether it makes sense for you to pursue them or not.

6. Multi-app

DoorDash is not the only food delivery platform out there.

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There are also other platforms, such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, Postmates, and Instacart, that you can sign up for and work for simultaneously.

By multi-apping, you can increase your chances of getting more orders, diversify your income sources, and compare the pay and conditions of different platforms.

However, multi-apping also comes with some challenges, such as managing multiple apps, juggling multiple orders, and avoiding late deliveries and cancellations.

You should be careful and responsible when multi-apping, and only take on as many orders as you can handle without compromising your service quality or ratings.

Deliver Quickly and Efficiently

As a Dasher, your time is money.

The faster and more efficiently you can deliver, the more money you can make.

You can increase your delivery speed and efficiency by improving your navigation skills, optimizing your routes, and communicating with the restaurants and customers.

Here are some tips to help you deliver quickly and efficiently.

7. Pick the right places to deliver

The location of your deliveries can have a big impact on your delivery speed and efficiency.

You should pick places that have a high demand for orders, a low supply of Dashers, a high concentration of restaurants a low traffic and parking difficulty, and a high tip potential.

You should avoid places that have a low demand for orders, a high supply of Dashers, a low concentration of restaurants, a high traffic and parking difficulty, and a low tip potential.

You can use the app’s map and heatmap to help you find the best places to deliver.

8. Use the best navigation app

The app’s built-in navigation system may not always be the most accurate or efficient.

You may want to use a different navigation app, such as Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps, to help you find the best routes and avoid traffic, road closures, and other obstacles.

You can also use apps like Speedify or Cloudflare to improve your internet connection and avoid losing signal or GPS.

You should also familiarize yourself with the area you are delivering in and learn the shortcuts and landmarks.

9. Optimize your routes

The order in which you deliver your orders can also affect your delivery speed and efficiency.

You should try to optimize your routes by grouping your orders by location, distance, and time. You should also consider the order size, the restaurant and customer ratings, and the tip potential when deciding which order to deliver first.

You should also avoid taking orders that are too far away, too complicated, or too risky. You can use apps like Route4Me or Circuit to help you plan and optimize your routes automatically.

10. Communicate with the restaurants and customers

Communication is key to a smooth and successful delivery.

You should communicate with the restaurants and customers to confirm the order details, the pickup and drop-off times, and the delivery instructions.

You should also inform them of any issues or delays that may arise during the delivery.

You should also be polite and professional in your communication, and use the app’s templates and features to make it easier and faster.

You can also use apps like TextExpander or PhraseExpress to create and use your own custom messages and shortcuts.

Keep the Money You Make from Slipping Out the Back Door

As a Dasher, you want to keep as much of the money you make as possible.

However, there are some factors that can reduce your earnings, such as expenses, taxes, ratings, and tips.

You should try to minimize these factors and maximize your earnings by saving money, paying less taxes, improving your ratings, and increasing your tips.

Here are some tips to help you keep the money you make from slipping out the back door.

11. Save money on gas

Gas is one of the biggest expenses for Dashers, as it directly affects your profit margin.

You should try to save money on gas by driving more efficiently, using less gas, and finding cheaper gas.

You can drive more efficiently by avoiding speeding, braking, and accelerating too hard, and by maintaining a steady speed and following the traffic flow.

You can use less gas by reducing your idle time, turning off your engine when waiting, and avoiding unnecessary detours.

You can find cheaper gas by comparing the prices of different gas stations, using apps like GasBuddy or GetUpside, or using loyalty programs or credit cards that offer discounts or cashback on gas purchases.

12. Pay less taxes

Taxes are another big expense for Dashers, as they have to pay both self-employment tax and income tax on their earnings.

You should try to pay less taxes by deducting your business expenses, such as mileage, gas, car maintenance, insurance, phone plan, and other costs related to your delivery business.

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You should also keep track of your income and expenses, and file and pay your taxes quarterly. You can use apps like Stride or Everlance to help you track your expenses and mileage automatically.

You can use apps like QuickBooks Self-Employed or Hurdlr to help you estimate and pay your taxes quarterly. You can also consult a tax professional or use online tax services to help you prepare and file your tax returns.

13. Improve your ratings

Ratings are important for Dashers, as they affect your reputation, your customer satisfaction, and your access to incentives and promotions.

You should try to improve your ratings by delivering high-quality service, such as being on time, being friendly, being professional, and following the delivery instructions.

You should also avoid common mistakes, such as forgetting items, mixing up orders, spilling food, or delivering to the wrong address.

You should also respond to customer feedback, and apologize and resolve any issues or complaints. You can also use apps like Gridwise or Dash Utility to help you monitor and improve your ratings.

14. Increase your tips

Tips are a major source of income for Dashers, as they can significantly boost your earnings.

You should try to increase your tips by providing excellent service, such as being on time, being friendly, being professional, and following the delivery instructions.

You should also personalize your service, such as greeting the customer by name, thanking them for their order, or adding a handwritten note or a small gift.

You should also ask for tips, either verbally or through the app, and remind the customer that tips are appreciated and 100% yours to keep.

You can also use apps like Gridwise or Dash Utility to help you estimate and increase your tips.

Conclusion

DoorDash is a great way to make money as a food delivery driver, but it also requires some skills and strategies to maximize your income.

By following the tips and tricks we shared in this article, you can make the most money on DoorDash and enjoy the benefits of being a Dasher.

We hope you found this article helpful and informative.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to leave them below.

We would love to hear from you.


FAQs

1. How do I sign up for DoorDash?

Signing up for DoorDash is easy and fast.

You just need to meet some basic requirements, such as being at least 18 years old, having a valid driver’s license and insurance, and passing a background check.

You also need to have a smartphone with the DoorDash app installed.

To start the sign-up process, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to this link and enter your email address, phone number, and zip code to register.
  • Submit your profile information, such as your full name and password.
  • Select your vehicle type and enter your vehicle details if applicable.
  • Complete an identity verification process by uploading a valid government ID and taking a selfie.
  • Submit a background check by providing your Social Security number and consenting to a screening.
  • Choose your preferred payout method, either instantly or weekly, by adding your bank account information or signing up for DasherDirect.
  • Download the Dasher app and start your first dash.

You can also check your progress and continue the sign-up process by logging in to this link with the email and phone number you used to sign up. If you have any questions, you can visit this page for more information.

2. How long does it take to get approved as a Dasher?

The approval process for becoming a Dasher can vary depending on several factors, such as the demand and supply of orders, the complexity and duration of the background check, and the availability of the activation kit.

According to DoorDash, the average time to get approved as a Dasher is 2 to 10 days.

However, some Dashers may get approved faster or slower than others, depending on their individual circumstances.

If you have any questions or issues with your application, you can contact DoorDash support for assistance.

3. How do I check my application status on DoorDash?

To check your application status on DoorDash, you can follow these steps:

  • Go to this link and enter the email and phone number you used to sign up as a Dasher.
  • Log in to your account and click on the “My Applications” tab.
  • You will see an overview of the status of your application, such as the background check, the activation kit, and the Dasher app.
  • If you have any questions or issues, you can contact DoorDash support for assistance.

4. Can I work for other delivery apps while being a Dasher?

Yes, you can work for other delivery apps while being a Dasher.

This is called multi-apping, and it can help you increase your income and flexibility by choosing the best orders from different platforms.

However, multi-apping also requires some skills and strategies to manage multiple apps, orders, and customers without compromising your service quality or ratings.

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