11 Best Delivery Apps to Work For in 2021
If you’re looking for ways to make legit money on the side, delivering food on-demand is not only in demand, but easier than ever before. Actually, delivery jobs are becoming so popular some folks are making more money doing food delivery than they do at their regular day jobs, making this one of the ultimate side hustles!
Thanks to easy-to-use delivery service apps, you can work how you want, where you want, all while earning significant cash.
In addition to a base pay, most delivery jobs also come with additional incentives. And don’t forget about tips: studies show that most folks believe a $4 tip per order is a good amount to tip.
People are constantly looking for someone to deliver food from their favorite local restaurant and opting for grocery delivery, especially right now because of the pandemic, so there’s no better time to take a delivery driver job than now.
In this article, we’ll look at the 11 best delivery app jobs available today. With all the requirements and features in a single list, you can easily decide the best food delivery service to work for that suits your personal situation.
Let’s get to it!
11 Best Delivery App Jobs
DoorDash is a food delivery service popular with both drivers (known as Dashers) as well as customers. It is available in almost all cities and states across the United States.
DoorDash started mostly for fast food and restaurant orders, but recently expanded to include grocery delivery! Customers now can order groceries through the DoorDash app from partners including Smart and Final, Walmart, and Fresh Thyme. This has increased demand significantly for drivers, so it’s one of the best delivery app jobs around.
Another cool thing about DoorDash is that it typically doesn’t charge more than the store price for items (as other delivery apps do). So if a customer orders something from Walmart via DoorDash, they pay the same money they would if they went to the store. This also increases demand and order numbers, producing more jobs.
DoorDash will run background and DMV checks for new driver applications. Major violations, including assault and DUI, may disqualify you from working as a DoorDash driver. You also cannot have more than three violations over the past three years.
Compensation to Dashers comes in three ways: Base Pay + Promotions + Tips.
- Base Pay: This is the delivery fee and is calculated using time, distance, and desirability of delivery location. The DoorDash app will inform you what your base pay is before you accept a job.
- Promotions: Promotions include Peak Pay bonuses and special challenges such as completing a certain amount of deliveries within a specified time period.
- Tips: You get to keep 100% of the tips you receive from customers with DoorDash.
Pro tips for DoorDash: The mobile app shows “hotspots” where you’re more likely to get better and faster delivery jobs. Also, there’s a “promos” section that shows when Peak Pay time slots are available. These tools allow you to be more strategic about how and when you work.
- You have to be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license (where applicable)
- Have valid auto insurance
- Have a Social Security Number
- Have an Android or iOS (Apple) smartphone
With Instacart you can choose between working as a full-service shopper or an in-store shopper. There are a few differences between the two roles, making Instacart a somewhat more flexible delivery option.
As an in-store shopper, you don’t need to have a vehicle, and you’ll work as a part-time employee. You still get to set your own hours, and it’s nice that you’re also guaranteed a minimum wage. Your work is inside the stores all day, shopping and staging the orders ready for pick-up. It’s nice to know that you won’t have to worry about travel costs like gas prices. This is best suited for people who would like more steady paying and consistent work.
As a full-service Instacart shopper, you’ll work as an independent contractor—which is great if you want more control of your delivery business. You’ll accept orders from the app, do all the shopping, and deliver the orders right to the customer’s door. Because this job type has more flexibility, there is more room to create efficiencies and productivity hacks.
A full-service Instacart shopper is paid weekly via direct deposit to their bank account. The amount you make depends on the types of orders you complete within the week. Difficult and large orders pay the most money, and quick and easy jobs pay less money. Also, they pay more for peak and busy times when there is high demand. You can see all this pay information inside the Instacart app, and expected payment for each order is presented to you before accepting the job. And don’t forget—you get to keep 100% of your tips! So you can pick and choose the types of orders you want to work.
Instacart also runs background checks in accordance with the laws of the state in which you’re applying.
Instacart Full-Service Shopper Requirements:
- You have to be at least 18 years old
- Able to work in the United States
- Have access to a vehicle
- Have a smartphone
- Able to lift 50 pounds with or without assistance
Postmates is a general delivery app where you get to deliver anything from takeout orders and alcohol to office supplies, dry cleaning, and anything in between. It is available in all 50 states, with more than 400 cities listed. It’s really easy to get started: just download the Postmates app (called Postmates – Fleet) and you can manage everything right through the mobile app.
If you don’t have a car, you can also deliver on a motorcycle, bicycle, or on foot. But keep in mind that Postmates promises delivery in one hour, so you’ll need to be quick on your feet if you would like to keep this particular gig going! If you’re late with a number of deliveries, you may not be offered new jobs for a while, so be careful.
As a Postmates delivery driver, you get paid weekly for your work via a direct deposit straight to your bank account.
Working as a Postmates driver back in 2017, I once experienced a small drop in income, which even if it wasn’t a big dent, could make a difference over time. You also will not get advance notice of the order drop-off point, making it hard to decide which jobs to accept and which ones to turn down.
On a good note, Postmates chips in a few bucks to cover your fee when a delivery job gets canceled unexpectedly.
A quick tip for new delivery drivers: most delivery apps offer very low pay for wait times. So it’s better to work jobs for restaurants and businesses with fast ordering processes. A food delivery job is sometimes faster than other types of general deliveries because restaurants want to get food out and churn orders as fast as possible and there’s less wait time.
Here’s something to keep in mind when deciding the best delivery app to work for. Grocery delivery jobs are becoming extremely popular because, unlike with restaurant delivery jobs, there are no waiting times for the food to be cooked. You get to control how fast the grocery shopping can be done, making it one of the best side hustle choices this year.
Another cool thing about Postmates compared to other delivery app jobs is that it doesn’t use a “star rating” system to rate a delivery order. This is great because if an order is wrong or the restaurant meal is screwed up, the Postmates delivery driver doesn’t get blamed for mistakes outside of their control.
- You have to be at least 18 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license (where applicable)
- Agree to a background check
Grubhub has been a real pioneer for the gig economy as one of the first food delivery service apps. Since starting, they have amassed a hefty list of different restaurants and tend to enjoy a healthy customer base in the locations they operate in. You can expect an average pay of about $13.50 per hour. This is based on mileage and time.
You can set your own hours in which you’re available for work, but one downside is that you’ll be restricted to your specific delivery zone. This is configured during the setup process in the mobile app. You can also cash out at any time with Instant Cash Out, so you can decide your own payday.
While Grubhub isn’t the most popular app for grocery delivery, they have a huge network of local markets, liquor shops, and convenience stores that customers love to order from. Since alcohol delivery is on the rise, this has created a lot of demand for Grubhub as a preferred app to work for. Not to mention, it’s a fun delivery gig. Since Grubhub is available whenever restaurants and convenience stores are open, some orders roll in late at night, sometimes after midnight. This makes it a great app to work for if you’re a night owl and prefer to work during the night.
Back in July of 2019, Grubhub introduced some changes to its payment structure that make some delivery areas not very profitable. On the bright side, you get to see the total payout amount as well as the destination before accepting an order. This can help you manage deliveries better, which can be a big plus.
Quick tip: You’ve probably already figured this out by now, but most delivery drivers work for multiple delivery apps. So even though Grubhub limits your delivery zone, you can still work for other apps and accept jobs outside of that zone if and when it suits you. Remember: you’re in control of your delivery business, so don’t feel bad about using the apps that give you a better advantage depending on the time you want to work, the city you live in, or customer trends in your area.
- You have to be 19 years or older
- Have a compatible smartphone (iOS and Android are both fine) with a data plan
- Driver’s license and auto insurance
- A checking account that accepts direct deposits
Best Side Hustles for 2021
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Based in San Francisco, California, Uber Eats is one of the best paying delivery driver jobs and maybe even the fastest-growing delivery company due to Uber’s mammoth customer base. They also offer new customers a nice gift card for their first order in most areas!
Uber Eats operates in over 500 cities across the United States. You can earn between $8 and $15 per hour delivering for Uber Eats with a flat amount per pick-up and drop-off. Depending on the city in which you’re driving, you may also get a per-mile/minute rate, and you also get to keep 100% of the tips.
Background checks are mandatory when you sign up as an Uber Eats driver. If you’re delivering by car, you will need to have a minimum of two doors, and the car needs to be a 1999 model or newer. Scooters must have an engine of 50cc or more, and enough room to carry your delivery bag without messing up the orders inside!
While delivering for Uber Eats a few years ago, I did experience a few drawbacks that included blind pickups, low pay (unless there’s an ongoing promotion), and the fact that tips are something of a rare occurrence.
The good news is that customers meet you at the curb for a completely contactless delivery. Also, the Uber Eats app has an automatic default tipping option which is quite generous! It’s always good when the customers are encouraged to tip while they are placing their order.
Everything is handled via the Uber Eats app, a very similar experience for current Uber drivers. Also, you do not have to carry an Uber Eats credit card with all payments handled online.
Uber Eats hasn’t quite transitioned to fully offering grocery delivery yet to its customers. So the majority of work will be for fast food, convenience store pick-ups, including alcohol delivery in select areas. I’m excited to see how this service will grow as the pandemic starts getting more under control. As people start to use Uber more for regular transportation, demand within the app will increase also and more jobs will become available as a result.
Uber Eats Requirements:
- Minimum driving age in your city (if driving)
- 18 years or older if biking
- Must be over 19 to deliver via electric scooter
- Driver’s license or a government-issued ID
- Registration papers
- Proof of residency
With Shipt Shopper, you get to shop for and deliver groceries where you can make as much as $22 per hour. The hourly rate will largely depend on the city (It’s available in pretty every state except for West Virginia and Alaska).
One thing I love about this type of delivery service is that you can get faster and faster as you get more familiar with where items are located inside the grocery store. I’ve gotten to know my local Costco and Trader Joe’s like the back of my hand. I know exactly which aisles to run to when I arrive, making a regular 20-minute grocery trip only a 10-minute visit. Knowing your way around the common stores really makes your time more profitable.
To make things easier for you, Shipt will also recommend which store you should shop from according to the location of the customer. You are allowed to accept multiple jobs at the same time, so you can be even more efficient vs. just running an individual delivery request. This is an important feature for any grocery delivery app that you are considering working for.
Remember: driving is the biggest sunk cost for a delivery person, in both time and money. Keep this in mind when choosing your delivery area. Also, another warning is to only accept multiple orders if you know that you can fill them all. It can be tempting to accept every delivery request you can during peak times, but you might bite off more than you can chew. It’s best to start slow and learn the process before working out ways to be more efficient.
With Shipt, you’ll get paid every week on a Friday, giving you cash in time for the weekend! Also, you get a free membership to sweeten the deal, as well as a free Shipt t-shirt (which they encourage you to wear while you work, but many drivers don’t). Get more details and sign up on the Shipt website here.
Shipt Shopper Requirements:
- 18 years of age or older
- A vehicle from 1997 or newer
- A valid driver’s license
- Lift 40 pounds
- Knowledge of produce
- A compatible smartphone with Android or iOS
Favor Delivery is a Texas-based food and essentials delivery app. It is available in a number of cities across the state, but it is not as widespread as some of the other delivery service apps discussed here. Most Favor runners earn between $10 to $18 per hour, and you can choose whether you want to work on a full-time or part-time basis.
Scheduled hours have a guaranteed minimum pay rate, which can make it easier for you to plan ahead. You also get to keep all of the tips, which can give your income through this app a bit of a boost. But, keep in mind that tips heavily depend on the area and type of customer base you deliver to. It really pays to know your local ordering trends and the type of tipping culture in your town.
In some of the major Texas cities, you are able to sign up and make deliveries by bicycle. This is really popular in cities like Austin, so if you don’t have a reliable vehicle (or even a driver’s license) you can still work doing food delivery, or other Favor jobs. You’ll still need to produce some form of valid ID, as well as pass a thorough background check before beginning.
Favor Runners don’t just do food delivery. Much of what the company offers is more like personal assistant services. This is a great fit for people looking to keep things interesting, while also earning one of the highest wages for delivery service.
Since Texas is the fastest-growing state in the country, there is a constant growing demand for gig economy jobs like this. Although Favor isn’t a big name outside of the state, usually smaller niche companies like this have a healthy and loyal customer base. Get more details and sign up as a Favor Runner here.
Favor Delivery Requirements:
- Have an Android smartphone or an iPhone
- Have reliable transportation at your disposal
- Pass a background check
- Be at least 18 years old
Caviar announced a few years back that it was being bought out by DoorDash for $410 million! So although this delivery service app sounds more boutique, it’s got backing now by one of the largest companies in the industry.
Caviar is a food delivery app offering its couriers as much as $25 per hour. You get to keep 100% of your tips, and you can even choose to get paid instantly after a delivery is completed. Earnings are managed through the Cash App that comes with a Cash debit card. You can use the card for free ATM withdrawals, as well as cashback offers.
Before becoming a Caviar courier, you will need to pass a background check and have been driving for at least two years. All order delivery information, including earnings, pick-up point, and destination, is made available on the driver app before accepting the order. This is a huge benefit because you can decide which orders best suit your criteria for the best value pay.
Since the DoorDash acquisition, Caviar has added a ton of new restaurants and fast food chains to their menu. It began as a higher-end food service company but appears to now be catering more towards convenience as a courier job. As a Caviar Courier, this means a higher number of orders and a growing customer base. You can sign up to be a Caviar Courier here.
They also have a courier support team ready to help you out should you need assistance. You’ll find with any of these delivery app jobs, it’s important to have fast customer support to resolve issues, dispute any incorrect payments, and provide feedback.
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a vehicle (cars, trucks, bikes, scooters, and motorcycles are all fine under the vehicle requirement)
- Own a smartphone
- Have been driving for at least two years
Saucey is an alcoholic beverage delivery app operating in a growing list of major cities. They promise deliveries within 30 minutes with delivery service available between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. This is awesome for people who prefer doing deliveries in the late-night window!
You can expect to make over $10 per hour delivering for Saucey. There’s also a payment per item delivered. As you’ll be delivering alcohol, you will need to check the customer’s IDs before handing everything over.
Alcohol delivery is a growing trend within the gig economy, and many delivery apps have started to integrate beer, wine, and liquor into their convenience menus. Needless to say, delivering alcoholic beverages is a serious responsibility, so remember to be professional and follow all the rules and company guidelines when on the job.
If you’re over 21, check out the Saucy website here!
- Be 21 years or older
- Drive an insured vehicle that’s a 2007 model or newer
- Have a compatible smartphone
- Clean driving record
Eaze offers cannabis delivery in California. As a delivery specialist, you’ll be helping licensed retailers deliver cannabis products to customers. Driving with this delivery app, you can expect a guaranteed hourly wage of anywhere between $18 and $26 per hour. This includes any applicable mileage reimbursements.
You’ll also need to consent to Eaze running a criminal background check on you. This can take several weeks to get approved, so it’s not one of those delivery app jobs you can just sign up for and make money the next day. They have the strictest requirements, as weed is a heavily regulated industry. See full details on the Eaze website here.
With many states legalizing recreational cannabis, I’m guessing hundreds of new delivery service apps will hit the market soon in this space. That’s great news if you already have experience and know the ins and outs of this type of job. Understanding customer trends, common delivery times, and knowing all the app rules is a big part of optimization and finding ways to maximize the money you get paid.
With the industry experiencing growth, this could be a good opportunity for those looking to make some money on delivering other types of products.
- Be 21 years or older
- Have a vehicle that’s a 2005 model or newer
- The vehicle must be registered in your name
- Have a driver’s license
- Have insurance on your name
Amazon got into the food business many years ago when it acquired the popular grocery store chain Whole Foods. Amazon Fresh is a huge growing arm of their business, and they also offer restaurant and food delivery. But probably the coolest thing about Amazon Flex is that you also have the option to deliver Amazon packages as a driver. This is really unique compared to the other grocery delivery jobs we’ve talked about.
Working for Amazon Flex, you can earn between $18 and $25 per hour. But, if you’re only delivering packages, you most likely won’t be earning any big tips. Delivering for their food services (Amazon Fresh and Amazon Restaurants orders) you have a higher likelihood of making the most cash. Check out all the driving and earning possibilities on the Amazon Flex website.
For regular Amazon package deliveries, it definitely helps to have a large vehicle so you can take many packages on your delivery route. And as with any delivery app, they pay a little more money for working in higher peak times when there’s more customer demand. You do get to choose your hours in advance, but there’s typically a minimum time commitment or a certain block of hours you need to commit to, like three or six hours.
Amazon Flex Requirements:
- Be 21 years or older
- Have a reliable car (needs 4 doors for Prime deliveries)
- Have a smartphone with a data plan
- Pass a background check
What Skills Do You Need for Delivery Jobs?
Generally speaking, there are no hard skills required for delivery driver jobs. Customer service skills can help you get better tips and better ratings, and of course, driving skills are desirable.
Although these skills aren’t necessary, here are a couple of things that will help you out as a delivery person:
- Being familiar with store layout: If you’re working for a food or grocery delivery job that requires you to shop inside the grocery store (like InstaCart), it helps a lot if you know where all the items are in the store.
- Multitasking, or working multiple apps: Instead of just working for one delivery business, you can maximize your earnings by working multiple delivery apps at the same time. This can be confusing though, so you need to be good at multitasking.
- Local consumer trends knowledge: To maximize your earnings, it’s extremely helpful to know what types of trends are growing in your area. Also, understanding how your customers tip is a big part of being a gig worker.
Delivery app jobs that have specific skills requirements will list them during the application process, but most people should easily be able to fulfill these.
How to Choose the Best Delivery App Job
It can be difficult trying to choose between several delivery app jobs, because there are so many good ones! The best one is going to be the one that best meets your requirements, which can be anything from flexibility to the potential to make the most money. Having said that, here are a few things to consider before choosing the best delivery app job for you.
Is it available in my city? Not all delivery service apps are available in all U.S. cities. Make sure the services of the delivery app are offered in your region (and is popular there with high demand).
Do I meet the minimum requirements? Not all apps have the same requirements. For some, you need to be 18 years old. Others bump up the minimum age to 21. Driving experience is needed for some, but not others. Check the requirements and make sure you qualify.
Does it fit my lifestyle? Most apps offer total flexibility when it comes to working hours, but this might not always be the case. For example, restaurant delivery is mostly in demand during lunch and dinner hours. Alcohol and cannabis delivery services cater to late-night hours.
Am I familiar with the area? Being able to deliver quickly means better income potential. Some apps also promise deliveries in 30 minutes or in one hour. This means you need to be familiar with the area to be successful.
Also, keep in mind you can work for two to three companies at the same time. So if you’re tossing a coin between a few delivery service apps that look good to you, why not try them all?
What Delivery App Jobs Pay the Most?
Doordash, Caviar and Amazon Flex pay the most for delivery app jobs, at around $20 to $30 per hour based on our research and experience. Eaze also pays well but they’re only available in California.
How Do You Earn Extra Tips as a Delivery Driver?
- Order delivery for yourself. There’s a lot you can learn from going through the experience as a customer. Learn what other drivers are doing well, what they’re doing that’s not so good, and make note of anything memorable.
- Show your customers you care. Customers mostly care that their food delivery arrives on time and in good condition. So if the delivery will be late, give the customer a heads up and apologize for the delay. Let them know that you’re putting in the best effort you can and try to be considerate. To ensure the food arrives in good condition, ensure your car or bike has a secure place to hold the food. This may require an investment in some straps or a box, but you’ll make that money back in tips!
- Compliment the customer. If you notice a cute dog or nice holiday decoration, compliment them on it! Keep it short and sweet and you’ll appear more likable for showing appreciation for things they love or have spent time creating.
- Don’t take things personally. Sometimes customers forget to tip, aren’t the tipping type, or are just having a bad day. Be mindful that it may not be about you and never let that change your considerate attitude.
Which Food Delivery Service Should You Work For?
With so many different delivery app jobs available, finding one that suits your schedule and expectations shouldn’t be too hard. There is nothing stopping you from signing up for multiple apps either, but make sure you can fulfill any commitments you sign up for. If you fail to do so, it can backfire and see you getting less and less work, so ultimately, it isn’t worth it.
Becoming a delivery driver right now is such a great idea, with so many people depending on meal delivery service because of the coronavirus. Also, many small businesses are looking for third-party delivery due to closing or downsizing their in-person shopping or eating locations. It’s cost-prohibitive for small independent restaurants to hire their own delivery personnel, so a third-party delivery service is a cheap way for them to expand their customer base.
Fast food is so popular in the United States, and delivery apps are definitely here to stay as they provide a hassle-free way of getting the food from the restaurants you love delivered to your door. It’s all about convenience for people, whether they’re in New York or San Francisco—which is good news for anyone considering a delivery app job.
There are many side hustles to consider if you’re looking to make some extra cash on the side. Delivery app jobs are one of the best because of their flexible schedule and high earning potential.
If you’re interested in other ways you could earn a side income with driving jobs, you may want to check out things like becoming a Lyft or Uber driver. Each company (including delivery apps) will be introducing health and safety measures right now because of the coronavirus, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them before you apply.