Big budgets mean big names. If you’re in the food delivery game, you already know about Grubhub, Uber Eats, and DoorDash. But do the delivery giants provide the best opportunities for drivers? Or are they just banking on their publicity to keep them going?
In today’s age of supporting local businesses, there’s an abundance of other opportunities for drivers to diversify their earnings and find a delivery opportunity that fits their business best.
To help you find the right fit, we’re taking a look at some of the quieter voices in delivery: Caviar, Seamless, Bite Squad, and EatStreet.
We’ll break each one down to find out:
- Who they are
- Where they’re available
- How they’re different from larger names
- The benefits and driver perks of each company
Here’s to the little guy! Let’s give ‘em a chance… oh, and be sure to stick around to the end of this post because EatStreet has a surprise in store.
DoorDash acquired Caviar at the end of 2019. As of August 24, 2020, all Caviar opportunities come through the Dasher app.
Caviar itself was founded in 2012 as a food delivery logistics platform that connects drivers, merchants, and customers to facilitate order delivery.
Caviar still onboards new restaurants in its service regions, including:
|Brooklyn and Queens, NY||Sacremento|
|Los Angeles||Washington, D.C.|
|Manhattan||Marin County (Northern California)|
How Caviar is different
Well, it isn’t really. Since being acquired, Caviar provides essentially the same service as DoorDash would on its own. Customers can order directly through Caviar, but all deliveries come through the Dasher app, which means more delivery opportunities for drivers.
Caviar for drivers
Drivers with DoorDash can accept Caviar deliveries directly through the Dasher app. This is good news since again, it means more opportunities to earn and potentially higher delivery volume if you live in one of Caviar’s service areas.
Benefits and earnings for drivers remain the same as they are for all Dashers whether you’re delivering a Caviar or a DoorDash order.
For drivers already delivering with Caviar, the influx of capital provided by the acquisition should offer an easy transition over to the Dasher platform.
Seamless is to Grubhub as Caviar is to DoorDash. No, that’s not an ACT question. Seamless is proudly “powered by Grubhub” and is a delivery platform that seamlessly (get it?) connects hungry people with delicious food.
Orders placed with Seamless and Grubhub are both offered to drivers through the Grubhub driver app.
Grubhub is one of the largest on-demand food delivery services, servicing more than 4,000 cities across the U.S. Seamless, meanwhile, is only available in about 450 cities. That’s still no small number, and having both seamless and Grubhub in your city could mean a higher demand for food delivery.
How Seamless is different
Apart from the smaller service area, Seamless seems to suffer in two key ways. First, customers tend to prefer Grubhub because it’s so widely known, despite the apps having an identical interface. Restaurants also prefer listing themselves on Grubhub over Seamless and have actively requested customers not to order through Seamless on various occasions.
Collectively, these differences won’t have much of an impact on Seamless (Grubhub) drivers since all orders are processed through the Grubhub driver app. However, some evidence suggests that tips are smaller with Seamless orders due to its lesser popularity.
Seamless for drivers
With the potential for smaller tips and the backlash of restaurants against the Seamless platform, it doesn’t look like a great option for drivers. Thankfully, there isn’t much choice to be made as both Grubhub and Seamless deliveries are available in the driver app.
All in all, Seamless just provides another avenue for customers to place orders, which hopefully means more opportunities to earn.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Bite Squad is a standalone food delivery app, but does it have what it takes to make it independently? Let’s see…
Waitr acquired Minneapolis-based Bite Squad at the end of 2018. Based on Waitr’s recent financial report, the future success of Bite Squad is uncertain at best. The company already announced plans to stop services in certain areas after struggling to claim any more than a single-digit market share.
Currently, Bite Squad offers delivery opportunities for drivers located in:
|Northern California||South Dakota|
How Bite Squad is different
Unlike Seamless and Caviar, Bite Squad is a true competitor of some big names in on-demand food delivery. Bite Squad drivers are actually employed through a third-party company called Delivery Logistics that serves both Bite Squad and its parent company, Waitr.
According to Glassdoor, the Bite Squad pay out for drivers averages at $12/hour, which is a bit below the average for most rideshare and delivery drivers around the country.
Bite Squad for drivers
Choosing a delivery app to drive for can be tricky, and there’s really no way to know how it will perform in your area until you give it a try.
If you’re looking to pick up more orders, and if Bite Squad serves your city, it might be worth downloading the app and giving it a try. The platform promises same-day approval for drivers to get you on the road fast.
However, due to its slipping market share and recent pullback from some markets, we don’t recommend making Bite Squad your primary source of income.
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, EatStreet is starting to make a name for itself in food delivery. The platform announced its place as the official food delivery partner of the NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks.
While this might not seem like a big deal, particularly if you’re not an NBA fan, it does show that EatStreet is serious about growing its services to take on larger delivery companies.
EatStreet is currently available in 39 states and nearly 100 cities throughout the U.S. For a complete list, check out its website.
How EatStreet is different
EatStreet is the only platform on our list that is still in control of its own operations and has not been acquired by a larger company. In the highly competitive world of food delivery, that is quite a feat.
EatStreet for drivers
Here’s the big news … EatStreet drivers are actual employees of the company. Drivers receive regular bonuses, earn overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week, and even have access to employee break rooms in some markets. Plus, delivery areas are defined to avoid unnecessary travel.
One potential drawback is that EatStreet still isn’t as well known as the larger platforms, so delivery volume can be low. However, with the battle over driver’s rights raging (consider California’s recent decision on Prop 22), actually employing drivers could prove to be a major leg up for EatStreet moving forward.
While not every small name has been able to break into the market in a big way, the massive growth opportunities for business in on-demand delivery has forced companies to get creative. This leads to new opportunities for drivers to earn and might force major market changes to overhaul what it means to be a gig driver.
If these apps are available in your area, it’s worth taking a look to see if they offer the added delivery opportunities that can help you earn more.
Track all of your important stats with Gridwise!
Making a full-time or even part-time income from delivery and rideshare apps usually requires you to perform quite a balancing act. Drivers operating on multiple platforms need a way to easily track all of their earnings and mileage to get an accurate picture of how they’re performing.
If you’re looking for a spotter, look no further than Gridwise! The #1 gig-driving assistant pulls together all of your driver data, so you can see exactly how much you’re earning at a glance, all in one centralized location.
And if you have experience driving with one of these companies, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below or join our Facebook Group!