Maybe you’re a Dasher already, or perhaps you aspire to drive for the leading delivery app. In either case, there’s a lot for a DoorDash driver to know, and we have it all packed into this post. With pun fully intended, here’s what we’ll deliver:
- what do Dashers do?
- why DoorDash is so popular
- DoorDash driver requirements
- how to sign up
- pro tips for earning more with DoorDash
What do Dashers do?
Delivery jobs usually deal with one kind of product or another. You might deliver packages, go shopping for groceries, or simply fetch and drop off meals prepared at restaurants. The problem is that when you do delivery jobs like this long enough, it can get to be a grind.
Delivering with DoorDash is way different. It’s almost impossible to get bored, because there are so many different kinds of deliveries Dashers can do. The array of delivery categories varies depending on where you live, but here’s a typical list from a mid-sized city:
- restaurant meals
- convenience items
- pet supplies
- retail items
- beauty supplies
- last-mile delivery of shipped packages
- specialty items shipped from across the nation
You even have the option to skip doing any of the deliveries, especially convenience items and groceries, which require shopping. However, DoorDash points out that you’ll make more money with these orders than with straight meal deliveries.
In any case, the Dasher app will send you requests for deliveries. You choose whether to accept the request. If you do, you’ll be given directions to the pick up point. Once you retrieve the order, you’ll get back in your vehicle and deliver the goods to the customer.
Before going deeper into how to be a DoorDash driver, let’s learn a bit more about why so many gig workers sign up to be Dashers.
Why DoorDash is so popular
DoorDash has taken an undeniable lead in the delivery industry. According to a 2021 article from Forbes, the company has done this by mimicking another super dominant market force—Amazon. Amazon began by delivering books in a day or two, then it started to offer more items, and by now has expanded to delivering nearly everything just as quickly.
Much in the same way, DoorDash began by mastering the meal delivery business and has expanded its services to become the go-to app for people looking for home delivery of all kinds of foods, groceries, and other goods.
With so many services to offer its customers, DoorDash has a lot of work to offer its Dashers. Even better, working with DoorDash has a lot of positive points, including
- flexible scheduling. Dashers can select blocks or, if demand allows, choose to use the “dash now” feature to deliver on the spur of the moment.
- full- or part-time work. Many drivers deliver for DoorDash on a part-time basis, usually working at times when people have their meals.This practical strategy for earning some extra money is also a way to pull in Dasher cash while working with other services or side hustles. Full-time drivers, meanwhile, are able to earn a lot because options beyond meal delivery create diverse customer needs that span the entire course of the day and night.
- the superior quality of DoorDash technology. DoorDash has designed its app and its business structure to make it simple for the average Dasher, as well as the typical merchant or customer, to interact and get what they need. The website and the app include vast resources for customer service, including comprehensive FAQ sections. There are also ways to contact DoorDash support both online and in the app.
- simplicity of use. For Dashers, the DoorDash app operates in an exceptionally elegant and efficient way. There are tutorials to help Dashers get started, and you can even execute a demo order delivery right from your home. Here’s what that looks like in the app:
There’s no doubt that DoorDash has a lot more to offer than other delivery apps. But, if you want to experience it fully, you’ll need to know more details about how to be a DoorDash driver.
DoorDash driver requirements
What are the requirements to be a Dasher? It’s a bit easier to meet standards for delivery jobs in general because there are fewer restrictions about the vehicle you use compared to ridesharing. In fact, you can use any reliable car. Even with that bit of leeway, though, there are some strict requirements that you’ll need to meet. To be a Dasher, you must
- be at least 18 years of age
- have an iOS or Android smartphone capable of supporting the DoorDash app (according to a post on the DoorDash subreddit, the Dasher app needs at least 3 GB of RAM and 32GB storage to run smoothly)
- have a valid driver’s license
- carry insurance for the vehicle
- have a clean driving record
- pass a background check
Note: In many areas, you can work with DoorDash using a scooter or bicycle, or even deliver on foot. Once you sign up, contact support to determine the types of vehicles you can use. You have the option to alternate from one kind of vehicle to the next, as long as you register all of them through DoorDash support.
How to sign up for Doordash
Once you’re sure you can meet the requirements, you’ll need to download the Dasher app. You’ll find the DoorDash driver app in your Apple or Android store.
From there, sign up is very easy. These screenshots from the DoorDash website will walk you through the process.
First, let the app have access to your location, and it will fill it in for you. You might want to stop and read the agreements listed on this screen. They will tell you what independent contractor jobs entail, and that’s important to know before you go any further.
When you’re ready, click “Next” to fill in your information.
Once your account is set up, you’ll share your vehicle details.
The next screen is where you’ll scan your driver’s license and take a selfie to make sure you are who you say you are.
Then you’ll fill in the information for the background check:
You will also need to tell DoorDash how you want to get paid.
You will also set up your bank account info so the money can be deposited directly to you!
Your next question, a very reasonable one, might be: “How long does it take to become a DoorDash driver?” The answer is, it depends on how long the background check takes. The usual time is 5 to 7 business days, although it can take longer. Then again, it might not take that long. In either case, you can spend the waiting time looking at the many informative videos DoorDash offers. Once you are approved, they will show you how to use the app.
After completing your first delivery, you can request a welcome kit. This will include a thermal bag, a red card for order payments, and a getting started manual. You can Dash without a red card, but there will not be as many orders available, so be sure to get one as soon as you can.
There is a whole lot more that goes into how to be a DoorDash driver, and this Gridwise blog post gives you pro-level points about this rewarding gig. You’ll see how to schedule blocks, how to use the Dash Now feature, and how to get branded delivery equipment. And, if you want to know more about your potential earnings and the other fine points of being a Dasher, read this Gridwise post.
Pro tips for earning more with DoorDash
Now, let’s give you some insight that will show you how to be a DoorDash driver that makes lots of money! The key to making good money with DoorDash is to put yourself in a position where you will receive good delivery offers and benefit from all earning opportunities, including getting big tips. Here are some things you will want to do.
Maintain a high rating. According to DoorDash, these are the minimum numbers you need to maintain in order to be in good standing:
|Acceptance Rate||No minimum|
|On-time/Early Rate||Repeated lateness may result in deactivation|
While a 4.2 customer rating isn’t bad, you’ll want to have a much higher rating than that, more like 4.8 or 4.9. The higher your rating, the more priority the app will place on you when it assigns orders. Here are some ways you can keep that rating high:
- punctuality: When you accept an order, know that someone is waiting for their items to be delivered. Your customer will want you to come as close as possible to when the app is telling them you will arrive. You need to drive straight to the pickup, collect the items, and drive straight to the delivery destination. There’s no time to be on your phone, or to work a second app at the same time you’re supposed to be Dashing.
- communication: Few things irritate a customer more than experiencing delays and not knowing what’s going on. There are legitimate reasons for being late, such as long restaurant delays and traffic. When you keep the customer posted about any delays on each leg of your delivery journey, they appreciate it and will reward you accordingly.
- courtesy: Be mindful that you’ll be rated by the restaurants as well as the delivery customers you serve. Always go out of your way to be kind and accommodating, even if your kind gestures aren’t always reciprocated.
- routing: Know your territory and be aware of shortcuts that even the GPS doesn’t seem to know. Stay savvy to huge public events and other factors that affect traffic. Gridwise will help you avoid getting stuck in traffic snarls.
- completion: At all times, avoid accepting an order and then failing to complete it. Yes, it can be frustrating to wait for unreasonable amounts of time for food or other items to be ready for delivery. However, your failure to complete orders will adversely affect your rating. Communicate with your customer and be as patient as you can, within reason.
- timing: Whether you’re a full-time or part-time Dasher, you need to schedule times or go out with Dash Now when you will get lots of orders. Use the When to Drive feature from Gridwise to see when DoorDash is most lucrative in your area.
- location: Real estate isn’t the only business that varies based on location. With Dashing, you need to know where the most active spots are in your area. Then, you can go there at the times when you’re available. Where to Drive from Gridwise provides actual information from real drivers, showing you where the hottest areas are.
- bonuses and incentives: Take advantage of the many offers DoorDash makes to new and established drivers such as guaranteed earnings, which allow Dashers to earn a minimum amount of money for completing a certain number of trips. These are offered based on different locations, so check your app to see if they’re available to you. Delivery streaks allow you to earn more for doing several deliveries in a row, while Dasher Challenges pay you extra for completing a certain number of deliveries in a given time period. There is also Peak Pay, which adds to your earnings for accepting orders during busy times.
- referral program: Don’t forget that DoorDash has a referral program. Look for a banner in your app to see if one is available in your area. If the people you refer fill the requirements of the program, you can get big bonuses. Be sure to read the requirements on the DoorDash website.
- earn per order or by time: With DoorDash, you can choose to earn by active hour or per order. Experiment based on what works best for your schedule and whether you’re a part-time or full-time Dasher. You’ll be presented with these options when you go to your Dash Now screen:
- track mileage and expenses: Protect your take-home pay by tracking your deductible expenses, especially mileage. Remember, the DoorDash app only tracks your miles while you’re on trips. Read this blog post to see how important it is to track all your gig-related miles, and use Gridwise to track all the miles you clock while you’re delivering for DoorDash.
DoorDash offers a lot of opportunities for drivers, and if you’re very serious about earning lots of money, that’s possible as well. Check out this Gridwise post about how to make $1,000 a week with DoorDash, and you’ll see what we mean.
Gridwise makes it easy to navigate being a Dasher and offers all kinds of support for the important people who work at independent contractor jobs. Discover perks, deals, discounts, and even ways to get affordable medical care and insurance from the #1 assistant for rideshare and delivery drivers—Gridwise!