How to Make the Most Money with DoorDash | Complete Guide

In today’s gig economy, food delivery services like DoorDash have become increasingly popular, offering flexible work opportunities for those seeking to supplement their income or even make a full-time living. This comprehensive article will walk you through the ins and outs of maximizing your earnings as a DoorDash driver, or “Dasher.” 

From understanding the payment structure to implementing smart strategies, we’ll cover everything you need to know to boost your income and efficiency on the platform.

How to Make the Most Money with DoorDash

How Does DoorDash Earnings Work?

Before getting into strategies for maximizing your earnings, it’s crucial to understand how DoorDash calculates driver pay. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions about which orders to accept and how to manage your time effectively. DoorDash uses a complex algorithm that considers various factors to determine your earnings for each delivery.

Base Pay

Base pay is the foundation of your earnings and is calculated based on the estimated time, distance, and desirability of the order. It typically ranges from $2 to $10+ per delivery.

Basically, longer deliveries generally offer higher base pay, orders requiring more travel usually provide increased compensation, and less popular orders may have higher base pay to incentivize drivers.


Tips can significantly boost your earnings. Customers can add tips before or after the delivery, and 100% of the tip amount goes directly to you.

Pre-delivery tips: Visible when you receive the order offer.

Post-delivery tips: These can be added up to 30 days after delivery.


DoorDash offers various promotions to incentivize drivers during busy periods or in specific areas. Such as –

Peak Pay: Extra pay during high-demand times, usually $1-$5 per delivery.

Challenges: Complete a set number of deliveries in a given time for bonus pay.

Drive Orders: Large catering orders with higher payouts.

Promotion TypeTypical BonusRequirements
Peak Pay$1-$5 per deliveryDeliver during specified times
Challenges$10-$50+Complete set number of deliveries
Drive Orders$20+Qualify for large, catering orders

How Do You Make the Most Money with DoorDash?

Now that you understand how earnings are calculated, let’s explore strategies to maximize your income. Implementing these tips can help you work smarter, not harder, and increase your hourly rate as a Dasher. Remember, success often comes from a combination of efficient practices and excellent customer service.

1. Dash During Peak Hours

Identifying and working during peak hours is crucial for maximizing your earnings. These are typically lunch (11 AM – 2 PM) and dinner (5 PM – 9 PM) hours, but can vary by location.

Pro Tip: Use the heat map in the DoorDash app to identify high-demand areas during peak hours.

2. Sign Up for Multiple Delivery Apps

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Sign up for other delivery services like Uber Eats, Grubhub, or Instacart to maximize your earning potential during slower periods on DoorDash.

Sign Up for Multiple Delivery Apps

3. Enhance Your Customer Service Skills

Providing excellent customer service can lead to higher ratings and better tips. Be friendly, communicate clearly, and go the extra mile when possible.

For example, if a restaurant is out of a specific item, call the customer to offer alternatives instead of canceling the order.

4. Familiarize Yourself with Your Delivery Area

Knowledge of your delivery area can significantly improve your efficiency. Learn common routes, shortcuts, and parking spots to save time and fuel.

5. Maximize Your Tax Deductions

As an independent contractor, you’re eligible for various tax deductions. Keep track of your mileage, phone bills, and other work-related expenses.

Common DeductionsDetails
Mileage$0.65.5 per mile (2023 rate)
Phone and data plansPercentage used for work
Car maintenanceOil changes, repairs, etc.
Insulated bagsFor food delivery

6. Plan Your Shifts Ahead of Time

Schedule your shifts in advance to secure prime delivery times and potentially access higher-paying orders.

7. Take High-Paying Batch Orders

When possible, accept batch orders (multiple deliveries in one trip) to increase your earnings per hour.

8. Utilize DoorDash’s Earn by Time Mode

This feature guarantees a minimum hourly rate, which can be beneficial during slower periods or when you’re new to an area.

Utilize DoorDash's Earn by Time Mode

9. Use Fast Pay for Quick Access to Earnings

For a small fee, you can cash out your earnings daily instead of waiting for weekly deposits.

10. Maintain a Professional Appearance

First impressions matter. Dress neatly and maintain a clean vehicle to encourage positive customer interactions and ratings.

11. Adhere to Customer Instructions

Pay attention to delivery notes and follow them carefully. This attention to detail can lead to better ratings and tips.

12. Provide Status Updates to Customers

Keep customers informed about any delays or issues. Use the in-app messaging feature to communicate professionally.

13. Position Yourself Near Busy Hotspots

Stay close to popular restaurants or busy areas to increase your chances of receiving orders quickly.

14. Keep Track of Your Delivery Mileage

Use a mileage tracking app to accurately record your work-related driving for tax purposes.

15. Deliver in All Weather Conditions

Bad weather often means higher demand and fewer drivers, leading to increased earnings opportunities.

16. Work Towards Becoming a Top Dasher

Maintaining high customer ratings and completion rates can qualify you for the Top Dasher program, which offers perks like priority access to high-value orders.

Top Dasher RequirementsMinimum Threshold
Customer Rating4.7
Completion Rate95%
Acceptance Rate70%
100 Deliveries per monthYes
200 Lifetime DeliveriesYes

17. Strive for DoorDash Drive Program Eligibility

Large catering orders through the Drive program often come with higher payouts. Meet the eligibility requirements to access these orders.

18. Encourage Referrals

Refer friends to become Dashers and earn bonuses when they complete a certain number of deliveries.

Encourage Referrals

19. Join a Dasher Community

Connect with other Dashers online or in-person to share tips, experiences, and support.

20. Cancel Orders When Necessary

If an order seems unprofitable or problematic, don’t be afraid to unassign it. Just maintain a completion rate above 80% to avoid deactivation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for delivering with DoorDash?

To become a Dasher, you must – Be at least 18 years old. Have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance (if using a car). Have a smartphone capable of running the DoorDash app. Pass a background check.

How much do DoorDash drivers make?

Earnings vary widely based on location, hours worked, and individual strategies. According to DoorDash, Dashers nationally earn an average of $25 per hour they’re on a delivery. However, this doesn’t account for expenses or time spent waiting for orders.

How long does it take to make money with DoorDash?

You can start earning immediately after your account is approved and activated. However, it may take a few weeks to optimize your earnings as you learn the best strategies for your area.

End Note

Maximizing your earnings with DoorDash requires a combination of smart strategies, excellent customer service, and efficient time management. By implementing the tips outlined in this guide, you can significantly increase your income potential on the platform. Remember to continuously evaluate and adjust your approach based on your local market conditions and personal experiences. With dedication and the right tactics, DoorDash can be a lucrative opportunity for flexible work and substantial earnings.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top