DoorDash Side Hustle Review October 2020

Recently my financial situation has been kind of weak, so I decided to try one of the food delivery companies to make some extra money.

I did a quick search on YouTube to try to figure out which company was currently the best to work for and it appeared that DoorDash was the current winner (at least in my area).

So I went ahead and signed up to see if it was legit or not and have been pleasantly surprised by the results.

How Long Does it Take to Get Approved for DoorDash?

The answer to this question likely varies depending on where you live and plan to deliver food in.  In my case I was very surprised at how quick and easy the process was.

In my case I was approved the same day!

I filled out a simple application, and had to do a background check which was almost instantly approved.  I figured it might take a few days or weeks for that to go through but I was cleared almost as soon as I hit the submit button.

Once the background check was complete I was ready to go!  No joke… I finished the application late at night, went to sleep and was able to start making money the next day.

In some locations you may have to go to a physical location to schedule an orientation, but it’s possible they may have put that on hold due to all the 2020 stuff.

I didn’t even have to wait for my activation kit to arrive in the mail.  I started doing deliveries the next day with zero supplies.

I took the initiative to go the extra mile and ended up buying an insulated thermal bag at Wal-Mart as I didn’t like the idea of bringing food to customers in a plastic bag.

So to summarize, I was up and running in less than 24 hours from beginning of application process to driving around making money.

But that’s not all.. it gets better….

How Long Does it Take to Get your First DoorDash Payment?

This was another shocker for me.  I started my first day on a Thursday and received my first deposit in the bank less than a week later on a Tuesday.  I’m pretty sure that is faster than any job I have ever worked.

So yes, if you are in a desperate situation in which you need money quickly, this is a great way to get real money coming in quickly… with very little hassle.

So the overall answer is it should take less than a week to receive your first payment, depending on what day of the week you start.   Sunday at midnight PST is the official end of the work week for all Dashers.  It takes about 2-3 days to get paid via direct deposit, so you will get paid by Wednesday at the latest.

But that’s not all… if you use Dasher Fast Pay you can get paid immediately with a small fee of $1.99.  I haven’t tried this yet, so will put this on my to-do list soon.  Fast Pay requires a debit card to use this feature.

What is it Like to Work for DoorDash?

So I’ve been dashing for about 3 weeks now and overall I’d give it a review of 4 out of 5 stars so far.  It takes a little while to figure out the ropes, but really it’s not that complicated.

Before I did my first delivery, I found a video on YouTube which was very helpful.  The channel is called Social Nope.

I recommend watching this first:

Here are some recommendations when starting out that should be helpful if you’re new:

1 – Restrict yourself to an area of your town that you are familiar with.  Your first goal will be to figure out how to do all aspects of your job, so you don’t want to be distracted by getting lost, etc.

2 – Make sure your car is clean and organized and you have everything you need.  Every time you begin to take deliveries, the app will ask you if you have enough gas, your phone is charged, have your Red Card and you have your thermal bag/space blanket.  I’m not sure what the space blanket is yet or if it’s a joke.

Make sure you bring a drink for yourself and snacks for energy.  I have a small plastic bucket that I simply throw everything in so I don’t have to fumble around – especially when it’s dark.  I put anything non work related in the bucket… such as keys, phone charger, hand sanitizer, etc.  I like to reserve the front seat for my food and don’t want to worry about something accidentally getting mixed with a delivery, so I keep the bucket in the back seat.

After a few deliveries you’ll figure out a system that works best for you and your vehicle.

Bonus tip – if you have a car with a seat warming option, you can turn on the passenger seat warmer to help keep the food extra toasty!  😎

3 – Drive to a hotspot to start receiving orders – This part will take longer to figure out and varies depending on the time and day of the week.  I’m still figuring this part out, but after almost 3 weeks I go to a Wal-Mart parking lot that is centrally located between several busy restaurants.  Once you are at your base you can then start the app and schedule a dash time.  If you do not see any time slots available, just wait a few minutes and more than likely the app will give you the option to “Dash Now”.  Go ahead and click that and wait.  If too much time passes and you haven’t received a delivery order, you may want to relocate to a busier section of town.

Which deliveries are the best?  Which ones should you avoid?

This is going to vary depending on what city you are working in, but here’s my current system:

1 – Only accept orders that are at least $6.  An order under $6 indicates a low tipper which usually results in a lower than average delivery experience.

2 – Think twice about doing deliveries for Wal-Mart 🤣

Actually I recommend doing a couple so you can see what they are like.  But in my experience they aren’t worth doing compared to food deliveries.  Sometimes the orders look deceiving.  My first Wal-Mart delivery sounded good, but ended up being two separate deliveries to two different apartments.  Lugging groceries up multiple flights, trying to find the right apartment building/number.  No fun at all compared to food deliveries.

Overall it seems that Wal-Mart deliveries offer the lowest pay and to make matters worse, sometimes you have to wait a long time to pick up whatever you are delivering in the first place.

3 – In general, you’ll make more money by hanging out near expensive restaurants.  Be sure to install the regular DoorDash app as if you were a customer ordering food to see what restaurants are available in your area.  Take note of which restaurants are at the top or recommended.  Which ones have a short delivery time?

Believe it or not regular fast food restaurants can be a goldmine.  Honestly, my favorites are the ones that have a very organized pick-up system.  Where I live some great restaurants include McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Wingstop, Little Caesars Pizza, Chipotle as they are usually quick and the pick up process is super simple – sometimes not requiring any interaction at all.

One YouTuber recommended Chipotle as a great spot as you can hang out, do a delivery, go back to Chipotle and repeat the process.  Check it out…

Anyway, you’ll eventually figure out which restaurants are the best and which ones are not so good, but it will take some trial and error.

Other DoorDash Tips, Tricks and Suggestions

I’m going to wrap this article up pretty soon, but will end with some miscellaneous tips in no particular order…

1 – Safety – one thing I noticed when delivering is driving does seem to be more dangerous.  It’s easy to get distracted and sometimes the app will send you new delivery alerts while you are driving.  Don’t worry about missing a delivery – put safety at the top of your list first and pay attention to your driving.

Also, avoid deliveries in bad neighborhoods and you may want to bring some form of protection such as pepper spray just to be on the safe side.

2 – Join the DoorDash subreddit at – also search YouTube as there are tons of informative videos which will help you maximize your delivery profits.

3 – Wear and Tear on your Car – Don’t forget that every mile you put on your vehicle is more wear and tear on your car.  It’s easy to blow this off, but don’t forget to factor this in… especially if you plan to do this full time.

4 – Taxes.  When you do deliveries for DoorDash you are essentially your own business.   You have to fill out a 1099 form when you sign up so this means at the end of the year you may have a tax bill, as they don’t  automatically take money out for you.  To be on the safe side, set aside 25% of whatever you make so you won’t have an unpleasant surprise when April rolls around.

5 – Prevent delivery scams – To make sure you get paid, follow instructions on each delivery.  Make sure you listen/read the instructions as some people want a no contact delivery while others may want food delivered in person (hand to the customer).  For no contact deliveries, be sure to take a photo of the food where you left it – usually the front door.

6 – Night delivery safety tip – One more important note.  If delivering at night, put safety ahead of food delivery.  The other night I had a delivery to a house but was difficult to verify the address.  The house that looked like the correct location had no lights on.  If you are in a situation like this try contacting the customer through the app to verify you are at the right location.  The last thing you want to do is bring food to the wrong house at night and end up having them call the police or something worse.  For a night delivery, make 100% sure you know you are at the right location.

7 – Apartments – Apartments can be a nightmare.  You may have to use a special gate code to get into an apartment complex, or drive around trying to find the correct building number on an apartment.  All of these things can eat up a lot of time, which could mean less money for you.   At first apartments may be frustrating, but the good news is the more you deliver to them, the more familiar you become.  The hardest part is usually finding the correct building numbers.  Over time you will probably develop a love/hate relationship with apartments.  🤣


To conclude this article, I can definitely recommend becoming a DoorDash delivery driver as a side hustle or even as a full time job.

At the very least, you should try it for a day or two if you are still wondering after reading this.  Give a shot and see for yourself.

As mentioned earlier, there is a bit of trial and error to figuring out how to maximize your time and profits, but it really only takes a week or so until you get the hang of it.

If you enjoyed this article and want to sign up as a DoorDash driver, use my affiliate link below and I’ll receive a commission:

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If you have any comments, questions or suggestions on anything I can add to this post, feel free to contact me and let me know.

Good luck and happy dashing!