If you’re looking for a quick side hustle to start earning money right away, DoorDash is still a good side hustle as of this writing in March, 2022.
For my first initial review, please see my earlier article at: DoorDash Side Hustle Review October 2020.
But, there are pros and cons, just like with everything.
So, let’s jump right in and start with the “pros”.
The Pros of Door Dashing
The best thing about Door Dash is how quickly you can sign up and start making money. This may vary depending on your location and if there is a waiting list or not. Some areas may have too many dashers, others may have too little.
Note: Here is a video version if you prefer to watch or listen to this article while driving:
You Can Start Making Money within 24 Hours
In my case, when I signed up in 2020, I was approved and able to start making money within 24 hours.
If you would like to sign up now, please use my affiliate link which help supports articles like this: https://drd.sh/3krGmRH6UZE83CR1
Typically, once you are approved you can start doing deliveries while waiting for your activation kit to arrive in the mail.
If you do get approved, I recommend buying a mask and an insulated hot bag, as you’ll look more professional which usually results in higher tips.
Weekly and Instant Deposits
Another cool thing about DoorDash is they pay you once a week via direct deposit to your bank account. Usually you will get paid on a Monday, but this may be delayed due to bank holidays.
They also have a new feature which gives you instant deposits if you sign up for a DasherDirect Prepaid Account.
If you use your DasherDirect card at a gas station you get 2% cash back, which seems like a nice bonus.
Personally, I have not used this feature yet, so am including a recent review from YouTube below. I’ll try signing up soon and report back more details.
Another great thing about DoorDash is you can pretty much set your own schedule and work when you want. But, you need to keep in mind you will likely need to work during typical busy restaurant hours – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In theory if you want to, you can work one day a week or 7 days a week. You could work for an hour or two after your regular job or do dashes while running errands. The flexibility is very nice.
Listen to Music, Podcasts, Audiobooks while Dashing – Learn While you Dash!
Another nice thing about dashing is that overall it is pretty relaxed. You can listen to music, your favorite podcast or audiobook while making deliveries.
Another nice perk is you can wear your regular clothes while making deliveries. You don’t have to wear an embarrasing or uncomfortable outfit that makes you look like a clown. Just make sure have enough gas in your tank, bring your insulated hot bag, phone and charger, your red card and you’re ready to go.
However, in general the more professional you look, the better your tips will be. I recommend getting some of the gear from the DoorDash store such as a red hat, mask and make sure your insulated tote bag is red. Doing so will make deliveries more comfortable with customers and probably increase your tips.
So, those are the pros in a nutshell, now… let’s move to the Cons…
The Cons of Door Dashing
Over time you will discover all of the negatives of doing DoorDash deliveries, and these will vary depending on the location you are working at.
Your overall goal should be to maximize your earnings with the least effort as possible. In order to do that, you will need to learn a few hacks/tricks.
Some customers that order food may attempt to give you a low tip and my advice is to simply not do a delivery that isn’t making you at least $1 per mile. Sometimes I won’t accept orders unless they are minimum $6 or $8.
If you are brand new to DoorDash, I recommend you skip this advice and get some experience under your belt. Accept all deliveries and over time you will figure out which restaurants are the best to work with and which ones are the worst.
Overall, you want to become an expert at figuring out which orders to accept and which orders to not accept.
Here’s a recent video from “Your Driver Mike” on this topic:
Sometimes driving while doing deliveries can be dangerous, so always make safety your #1 priority no matter what!
Don’t speed, run red lights or do anything which could cause an accident. It’s not worth it.
I’ve found it is best to find an area you are comfortable and familiar with. Once you start dashing in an area you are unfamiliar with, driving becomes more hazardous and your delivery income will also go down. It may go down if you are wasting time because you took the wrong turn or get stuck in traffic for example.
One big complaint I have with the DoorDash app is when it tries to send you notifications while you are driving. This can be very distracting and can easily cause an accident. Best thing to do is simply ignore it and focus on driving.
If it is an alert for a new order, pull into the nearest parking lot, take a careful look at the order (more on that later) and then decide to accept or decline the order.
Getting Tricked by DoorDash
Overall, the goal of DoorDash is to make as much money (for them) as possible. Sometimes this means fooling or tricking delivery drivers. At least that’s how I see it.
They may try to give you multiple orders during one delivery for example. Sometimes this can work in your favor, other times it may work against you.
Before doing multiple deliveries at once, I would get comfortable with doing solo deliveries first. The problem I’ve found with multiple deliveries is you can end up picking up your first order, only to get stuck in traffic or have to wait to pick up your second order. Then the first customer that ordered might wonder why it’s taking so long and… there goes your tip.
The more familiar you are with a delivery area, the less of a problem this will become. It’s also easier if you have more than one hot bag with you so you don’t get orders mixed up.
Best advice is to look at new orders very carefully. If the amount seems too good to be true, make sure it isn’t a multiple delivery order before accepting it.
Look at Delivery Location Before Accepting an Order
Before you accept an order, look at the location you will be delivering to before accepting an order. Will you have to go through busy traffic to get to the destination? Is it a home or an apartment building?
Apartment buildings are typically the worst places to deliver to as building numbers can be difficult to read, you may have to climb stairs and use an access code to get into the apartment in the first place. All of which takes time.
The best delivery locations are homes, especially homes in wealthy neighborhoods.
Another tip – find wealthy neighborhoods near you, then hang out near restaurants that are likely to deliver to those locations. This is the best way to maximize your income from my experience.
Gas Prices, Wear and Tear on Car
Another downside of making deliveries is the constant wear and tear on your car as well as gas prices. Currently, gas prices are trending upwards which further cuts into your profits.
A user on Reddit made a very in depth post on how much it costs per mile/hour to operate your car every day that’s worth a read.
You need to factor in costs for oil change, tires, misc car parts, brakes, transmission and more.
Overall he calculates it to be about $7-8 per day or about $1 per hour. Keep in mind this was posted in 2018.
Overall there are many pros and cons to the DoorDash delivery side hustle. It’s a great gig if you want to keep it simple and make a couple deliveries or so per day or when you feel like it.
If you are trying to survive solely on DoorDash, it can be done but your stress/frustration level may go up if you are trying to reach a goal such as $100/day.
But, this all depends on your current life situation. If you’re single and don’t have a family to take care of, it may be a cakewalk for you.
If you’re trying to do this in your spare time while supporting a family, it’s a whole different story.
Since everyone’s life situation is different, I recommend to simply try it out and do about $100 or so worth of deliveries and judge for yourself. From there, you can set realistic goals and decide
if you want to pursue this gig full or part time. Good luck!