For food delivery drivers, Grubhub was the biggest delivery service in the US a few years back—but things have changed.
Grubhub conceded significant market share to DoorDash and Uber Eats, now placing third. Their reputation also suffered due to their treatment of partner restaurants.
In 2020, Grubhub sold to Europe’s Just Eat for $7.3 billion. But that didn’t change the trajectory. Grubhub has been unable to overtake DoorDash or Uber Eats.
Still, many drivers choose to drive for Grubhub as part of their business. Is that the right choice?
We wanted to know how much drivers are making and whether driving for Grubhub is worth it in 2022. To find the answer, we took a look at the real data from 250,000+ drivers using the Gridwise app. Here’s what we found:
How much does Grubhub pay?
Grubhub pay is based on the distance traveled, time spent on the road, customer tips, and any special offers on the order.
According to our data, Grubhub drivers earned an average of $10.28 per trip between January and March 2022. That’s the highest among all the food delivery apps on the list.
However, compared to DoorDash and Uber Eats’ hourly pay, Grubhub driver earnings per hour were the lowest at $15.65.
On average, Grubhub drivers received $4.92 in tips per trip, the highest among all food delivery apps.
Across all platforms, food delivery earnings were slightly better than rideshare and noticeably worse than the grocery delivery service Instacart.
The average monthly gross earnings for Grubhub drivers was $126.53 for Q1 2022.
It’s worth noting that Grubhub driver activity was also significantly lower than other platforms, including a weekly decline in the total trip count throughout March. Could this be due to the sharp rise in gas prices around the same time? We will explore that later in the article.
So, what’s the big picture? In the Grubhub vs. DoorDash and Grubhub vs. Uber Eats comparisons, here are the three clear conclusions we can draw from this Q1 data:
What factors impact Grubhub driver earnings?
- Location: Do you drive in an area where many people order food online? Is it a city with a high population and more restaurants? Dense, urban areas typically offer the best opportunity for higher earnings.
- Driver Promotions: Grubhub runs a lot of driver promotions (called Missions) that boost earnings for completing different milestones. You can unlock these Missions in the Earnings tab of the Grubhub drivers app.
- Driver Level: Your Grubhub driver level (Partner, Pro, or Premier) affects the quantity and quality of orders you receive. Higher levels unlock more opportunities for higher earnings.
- Schedule: Food delivery demand is typically limited to a few windows throughout the day. If you can adapt your schedule to deliver orders during busy hours, you can both deliver more and earn more per order through incentives.
What are the biggest expenses for Grubhub drivers?
Most driver pay reports you find online focus on gross earnings, but what really matters is how much you take home after deducting all your expenses.
That’s why knowing and tracking all the expenses is vital to deciding whether driving for a certain platform is worth it. Here’s a list of common expenses you should be tracking:
- Vehicle depreciation
- Fuel costs
- Maintenance and repairs
- Phone bill
- Self-employment tax and compliance expenses
- Medical expenses
Among these, the biggest are those related to your vehicle. According to a yearly analysis from AAA (American Automobile Association), the average annual cost of owning a new car was $9,666 in 2021.
On average, vehicle depreciation accounts for 40% of total ownership expenses, followed by fuel at 17%, maintenance at 15%, insurance at 14%, taxes at 7%, and car financing at 7%. Since delivery drivers use their vehicles more on average than regular car owners, yearly expenses could be much higher.
Tracking and deducting all the above expenses from your gross earnings helps you to know your actual income (and save at tax time). Failing to do so can result in an inaccurate picture of your earnings, meaning you’re losing out on cash in your pocket.
Many drivers in the gig economy don’t account adequately or at all for depreciation, resulting in vastly under estimated expenses.
Have the rising gas prices impacted driver earnings?
According to AAA, the national average price for regular gas went up from $2.863/gal a year ago to $4.073/gal in mid-April this year.
That represents a yearly increase of 42.26%. However, the average price was $4.316/gal a month ago, so the prices seem to be easing in the last few weeks.
The company said the pay increase will be sufficient enough to offset the average cost increase per mile due to gas prices. This is a welcome change, but you can further reduce the impact of gas prices on your earnings by:
- joining the Gridwise Gas program and getting get cash back on gas from GasBuddy
- following these tips on lowering fuel costs
How can Grubhub drivers earn more?
- Multi-apping: As the earnings data shows, there is no clear winner when it comes to food delivery driver pay. It’s better to use more than one app simultaneously to get a steady flow of orders with minimal waiting time.
- Rewards Programs: Grubhub runs a Driver Recognition Program to reward its best-performing drivers. Based on your attendance rate, order acceptance rate, and block drop rate, you can be placed in Partner, Pro, or Premier Grubhub driver levels. Higher levels offer more flexibility and access to larger orders.
- Drive with Gridwise: We built Gridwise to help drivers in the gig economy. Our app is filled with useful features for Grubhub drivers:
- Earnings and performance comparisons across different apps to see what’s working best for you
- Expense tracker and mileage tracker for Grubhub to save on taxes
- Information about when and where to drive for the best hours and neighborhoods
- Special discounts and offers from Gridwise partners
- Traffic, weather, events, and other alerts
So, is it worth driving for Grubhub in 2022?
Grubhub is in significantly fewer US cities when compared to DoorDash and Uber Eats. While its driver earnings are mostly on par with other food delivery services, the company has a smaller market share and, meaning fewer orders overall.
However, since it has marginally better earnings per trip and tips per trip, Grubhub is a good choice for drivers who want to deliver only a few orders and make as much as they can. We’d love to hear your experience as a driver. Join and share with our driver community on Facebook!