Dashing for Doordash
DoorDash developed a business model that’s twofold. First, they partner with restaurants that don’t currently offer delivery services and then offer them third-party delivery workers. That third party consists of anyone who signs up for DoorDash and wants to make deliveries on behalf of local eateries; they’re known as Dashers.
As a Dasher, you download the app, choose blocks of time you are available to make deliveries in your area and then get assignments making deliveries on behalf of those local restaurants.
To become a Dasher, you must meet certain requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a smartphone to access the app for delivery assignments.
- Have a valid driver’s license, insurance and a good driving record (if applicable). Some locations don’t require that you have a car.
- Provide your Social Security number for a background check.
How much money can DoorDash delivery ‘Dashers’ make?
Dashers are paid for each delivery based on their location. They also receive tips. They will also get paid extra if a delivery requires a long travel distance or is especially difficult (for instance, if it requires a long wait time at a restaurant).
As a Dasher, you make $2 to $10+ per order, plus additional pay for promotions and 100% of the tip. You could get extra promotional pay if you work during peak hours, have to drive to deliver your order or meet certain challenges, such as completing a certain number of deliveries in a set period of time. Luckily, you will know the minimum amount you can earn before accepting an order.
“We didn’t want a ton of debt when she got out of school,” said Armaye Ejigu of Washington D.C. “So, I started dashing and would make between $18 to $20 an hour, sometimes even $25 an hour.”
“How much you can make can vary a ton depending on how much you work and when you work,” said Kevin Han of Minneapolis. “I do it on my bike and can bring in a few hundred a month just doing it a little bit after work and on weekends. Obviously, the more you work, the more you can make. I’d say $15 to $25 an hour is reasonable to expect.”
Does DoorDash offer any bonus incentives?
There are also other incentives to make more money, like making lots of deliveries in a certain amount of time or getting a new Dasher to sign up. Much like Uber’s peak period where rates for riders increase, DoorDash has a “Peak Pay” period where you can make even more during popular times.
When looking for DoorDash jobs, it’s important to look up your city’s rules, regulations and rates to get a better sense of how much you could be making. This includes information on whether your market allows deliveries where a car isn’t necessary, since places such as New York permit cycling, scooting or even walking for your deliveries.
What are the costs involved for Dashers?
While DoorDash is a great way to make some steady extra cash on your time, you’ll want to take some costs into consideration.
First, since you are considered a contractor and not a full-time employee no matter how many hours you work, you’ll be in charge of withholding your taxes. When you get paid, which happens weekly, it will be a gross amount. Taxes and Social Security are not calculated.
If you earn $600 or more from DoorDash in a year, the company will use the banking and tax information on your account to send you a 1099 form by Jan. 31.
Dashers also have the option of getting their earned money by the next day with the Fast Pay program. However, you will have to pay an additional $1.99 per expedited transfer.
One of the biggest expenses many Dashers will have to incur are the costs associated with driving a car. This will not affect those who are on foot, bike, or scooter.
The most regular expenses to consider are gas and insurance. You’ll likely also have to cover maintenance costs for your vehicle, and should take depreciation into consideration, as well.
Lastly, you may have to cover any parking costs associated with your delivery. DoorDash does not reimburse for parking fees, tolls or tickets.
What are the pros of being a DoorDash Dasher?
There are several factors about DoorDash that make it appealing to people. Here are some of the top ones.
- Flexibility: Making your schedule is a major selling point for those looking for an easy side hustle. You just log on to the app, see which time slots are available and choose the one the best works in your schedule. Also, being able to decide which deliveries you want to take on means you can have better control over knowing how much you can make per day.
“Another nice advantage with DoorDash is that, unlike many other delivery platforms, DoorDash actually shows you where the order is going, which means that, if you’re smart, you can make it so that your deliveries are going in the direction you’re already headed,” Han said.
For example, if you’re leaving work, try to do deliveries that are already heading towards your house. This essentially helps you monetize your commute.
- No need for a car: If you happen to live in one of the locations where a car is not necessary, such as New York or San Francisco, then you can still make money like the drivers without the added costs of a car. “In my market, I can do deliveries on my bike,” says Han. “It’s basically like I’m getting paid to exercise.”
- No customer interaction: “I also liked that I didn’t have to deal with a customer,” says Ejigu. “When I tried Uber, I would have to sit with a passenger. With DoorDash, I just pick up the food at the restaurant and drop it off with the customer. I’m totally independent and don’t have to deal with the stress of long customer interactions.”
- Safety: While every delivery is different and can come with some safety concerns since you’re approaching private homes at times, some Dashers believe it’s a very safe option. In one DoorDash review, a Dasher named Maria Salazar said that not having to carry cash makes her less of a target than traditional delivery drivers who often have to handle transactions on the spot. Since payment is all done through the app, there’s no reason to carry large amounts of cash on you.
- Tips and incentives: In addition to earning money from DoorDash for a delivery, Dashers like that they get to keep every penny of their tips. The incentives for making more deliveries and signing up other Dashers also makes this side hustle more appealing and lucrative.
- Quick payments: Unlike with a traditional job where you have to wait two weeks to get paid or other contract work where it could take 30 days to receive payment, DoorDash pays you every week. This means you can have a steady flow of extra cash or collect it sooner if a sudden payment is due.
What are the cons of being a DoorDash Dasher?
While there are a number of positives to being a Dasher, there are some downsides to consider.
- Outside costs: Depending on where you work and live, costs for parking, bike or car maintenance could add up.
- Schedules can book up: You can choose which hours you want to work, but Dashers have complained that popular times get filled quickly.
- Delivery times range: Sometimes your deliveries can be completed quickly, but you are at the whim of the restaurant’s schedule, too. So if they have a backlog or take a while to prepare a meal, you could be stuck waiting. The same goes for how long it will take to get to your delivery destination. Your drive could be 30 minutes or five to make a delivery.
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