DoorDash vs. Uber Eats: Which Is the Better Food Delivery Service for Drivers?
Let’s take a look at how they compare to see why both food delivery apps should be on your mobile device.
What Is DoorDash?
DoorDash is a food delivery app covering more than 4,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Puerto Rico. The company is now in its ninth year in business and has a solid track record.
When using DoorDash, customers can select from a variety of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even late-night munchies. DoorDash operates 24/7, but hours depend on local establishments.
DoorDash driver requirements
- Be at least 18
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have a Social Security number
- Own a car, bike, or scooter
- Pass a background check
Here are some of the reasons why drivers looking to make quick cash work for DoorDash.
Set your own hours
DoorDash lets you set your own hours. You can work as much or as little as you want. If that sounds awesome, that’s because it is.
Delivery drivers typically wait until the busiest time of day — like lunch or dinner — to work. If you opt to do the same, keep in mind that, while it’s good to be on the road during peak pay times, you’ll also be competing against other drivers for pickups.
If you want to make decent money as a DoorDash driver, and you have the time, get out there and hustle. Maximize the in-between hours and you’re bound to earn more income.
How to schedule hours with DoorDash
There are two ways to make deliveries using DoorDash.
The most flexible way to be a DoorDash driver is with Dash Now. If you’re looking for convenience, simply log in and make deliveries at your leisure.
The only downside is that this option isn’t always available. It depends on local demand and how many other drivers are active in your area.
The other way to work with DoorDash is to schedule shifts with set hours. You can reserve blocks of hours for any given day — and up to six days in advance.
By scheduling hours, you can guarantee the delivery time and avoid getting shut out due to low demand.
If gamification motivates you, then Dasher Challenges may be right up your alley.
Challenges let you earn extra money when you complete a certain number of deliveries in a set period of time. For example, one challenge might involve earning an extra $20 for completing 15 deliveries over five days.
Dasher Challenges are optional, but enrollment is automatic. Either participate and push yourself or go at your own pace. No worries either way.
You can drive for DoorDash in any city where the app is active and where you can legally drive and work.
This is helpful if you’re going away to school, moving to a new city, or trying to finance a cross-country trip. This flexibility gives you a great way to find work in a new place immediately, without having to waste time applying for jobs.
Pros and cons of DoorDash
- Be your own boss
- Use your own vehicle
- Work when and where you want
- Bring in extra money with Challenges
- Predictable pay
- Limited benefits through Stride Health
- On-demand feature depends on availability
- Car maintenance, gas, and parking fees add up
- No job security as an independent contractor
Now that you have a better idea about the ins and outs of DoorDash, let’s turn our attention to another hugely popular delivery service: Uber Eats.
What Is Uber Eats?
Uber Eats is Uber’s food delivery app. The service is now available in more than 6,000 cities across 45 countries.
Uber Eats is very similar to DoorDash. The app aggregates menus and processes orders from local restaurants. You can make money picking up orders and delivering them to customers in your local area.
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Uber driver requirements
- Own a car, scooter, or bike
- Scooters must have a motor of 50cc or less and can’t go faster than 30 mph
- Valid driver’s license
- Car insurance
- At least one year of driving experience
Uber Eats features
Set your own schedule
Uber Eats lets you set your schedule. Unlike DoorDash, there’s no advanced scheduling component. However, the company does cap the number of drivers for local areas. So,if you’re in a busy area, the service might not always be available.
If there isn’t any availability in your local area, you can either travel to another nearby town or simply wait until the number of drivers decreases.
Pro tip: If Uber Eats isn’t available, fire up a different food delivery app to keep your business humming along.
Uber has an instant payout feature for drivers. For a fee of 50 cents, you can instantly cash out all earnings including tips. Or you can avoid the fee and wait until the end of the week. The money will automatically transfer into your bank account.
Instant pay isn’t available for new drivers. To receive instant payouts, make at least 25 deliveries with Uber Eats.
Uber makes it easy to see exactly how much money is on the table before you take a trip. If the payout doesn’t look good or the drive looks too complicated, you can pass without penalty.
Pros and cons of Uber Eats
- Be your own boss
- Use your own vehicle
- Accept or decline rides
- Instant payout option after 25 rides
- No benefits for food delivery drivers
- Work depends on local demand
- No job security
- Vehicle wear and tear
DoorDash vs. Uber Eats: How They Compare
While there’s no rule that says you can’t work for both DoorDash and Uber Eats, it’s worth figuring out which food delivery app deserves more of your time. Here are some things to consider as you make that determination.
DoorDash doesn’t have any specific vehicle requirements. Uber Eats is a bit more restrictive. Your car has to have been made within the last 20 years. Also, it has to have at least two doors. If you happen to own a BMW Isetta, you’re out of luck.
Both DoorDash and Uber Eats work with iOS (iPhone) and Android devices. Both apps are also designed well and easy to navigate.
In addition, Uber Eats and DoorDash let you choose your default mapping service. Most users prefer Google Maps or Waze.
For what it’s worth, Uber Eats doesn’t allow MapQuest or Apple Maps.
When Uber first launched, the company famously shunned phone support. After years of complaints and negative publicity, the company finally added phone support for its services — which now includes Uber Eats drivers.
If you need help while working with Uber Eats, you can get in touch with a live agent when you need assistance.
DoorDash offers a bit more support, with both a call center and a live chat feature.
Promos and incentives
DoorDash and Uber Eats offer driver perks to encourage folks to participate.
Top Dasher is a DoorDash rewards program that recognizes the best drivers.
To qualify, you have to have a customer rating of at least 4.7, an acceptance rate of at least 70%, and a completion rate of 95%. You also need to have completed 100 deliveries within the last month, and 200 deliveries over your time with DoorDash.
If you qualify, you can access the Dash Anytime feature and drive at any time regardless of whether it’s busy. As an added bonus, you’ll also get more deliveries by getting priority over other drivers when it’s slow.
Uber Eats Pro
Uber has a slight edge here with Uber Eats Pro. The program offers actual rewards instead of just opportunities to drive more.
Examples include 100% tuition coverage at Arizona State University Online for you or an eligible family member. You can also get 25% discounted car maintenance and 5% back at any gas station — which is a big deal if you drive a lot!
To qualify, simply deliver food with Uber Eats and earn points as you go along. You can also collect points by maintaining a satisfaction rating of at least 85%. You’ll get one point for every completed delivery, two points during lunch hours, and six points during dinner hours from 5 to 9 p.m.
Both companies offer referral programs. So if you have a buddy who spends too much time playing video games, you both can benefit.
Both referral amounts and delivery requirements vary by location. If you’ve got friends looking for flexible work, you might be able to generate some decent cash.
Uber Eats doesn’t offer medical or financial benefits to drivers. If you’re working full-time as an independent contractor, you won’t be able to access benefits through the company.
On the flipside, DoorDash partners with Stride Health to give drivers some medical benefits. If you’re unfamiliar, Stride helps individuals find affordable health coverage.
When you drive for DoorDash, you can receive personalized healthcare recommendations and limited dental and vision coverage.
Neither Uber Eats nor DoorDash has a lengthy application process.
Both companies make you submit to a background check before you can drive. If you’re cool with that, consent to the background check at signup and wait a few days to hear back. Assuming the background check clears and you meet the requirements, you can start driving for both companies pretty quickly.
The only reason you might experience a delay after approval is because of low availability. If that’s the case, just be patient and wait for a spot to open up.
If you’re using DoorDash, simply reserve some time blocks the following week.
Most restaurants that use DoorDash and Uber Eats have a delivery radius of about five miles. However, some restaurant deliveries can go much further. One former contractor at DoorDash tells about making deliveries up to 29 miles from his location to the dropoff zone.
The great part is that you always have the choice to accept or decline any potential delivery. If you want to drive more, you’ll earn more. If not, you can stay local to save gas and limit vehicle wear and tear. Either way, it’s up to you.
Some people prefer having a set work schedule, and that’s perfectly OK.
If you’re the type of person who likes to work the same hours each week, DoorDash may be the better option. You can reserve blocks of time in advance, so you’ll know exactly when you’ll be on the road during the week.
The latest data shows DoorDash has a slight market edge over Uber Eats, commanding 45% of the entire food delivery market compared to Uber Eats’ 30%.
However, both companies are doing better than competitor Grubhub, which is hovering around 20%.
Just because both apps are popular doesn’t mean they are popular in your area. So you’ll need to think about local availability.
For example, Uber Eats has a larger footprint than DoorDash, especially on an international scale. In this light, one service may be more popular than the other in your area.
DoorDash and Uber Eats have different methods for calculating pay.
Uber Eats pays you based on a few different factors — like picking up an order, dropping off an order, how far you travel, and the amount of time it takes to drop off the food.
You’ll also receive tips, which can add up if you drive a lot. When factoring in tips, the pay can jump to the $20-per-hour range — or even more. That said, Uber Eats takes a 25% commission.
DoorDash pay varies from location to location. In certain areas, you may be able to benefit from a guaranteed hourly minimum rate. DoorDash also takes a subtotal commission. But at 20%, it’s less than what Uber Eats charges.
DoorDash drivers can earn upwards of $25 per hour after factoring in tips. Not bad if you need money fast.
Other Online Food Delivery Apps to Consider
Grubhub is a top fast-food delivery provider. The company has nationwide coverage, with service across more than 4,000 U.S. cities.
With Grubhub, you can access a wide range of restaurants and make about $17 to $26 per hour depending on your location and how much you work.
Postmates lets you expand beyond food delivery.
When driving for Postmates, you can drop off additional items beyond food orders.
Postmates supports grocery delivery and delivery of household items. The service is available in roughly 3,500 cities across the U.S., and drivers earn about $18 per hour on average using it.
Saucey is a small alcohol delivery service.
The company has a growing presence in cities like Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, San Diego, Orlando, Dallas, Austin, and Washington, DC.
If you want to be the hero of the party and keep drunk drivers off the road, this could be an ideal choice. You’ll make around $10 per hour on average. But the conversations you’ll have will be priceless.
Amazon Flex allows delivery drivers to earn flexible income by delivering Amazon packages.
You can use your own car and set your own hours with Amazon Flex, which pays $18 to $25 per hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is working as a delivery driver worth it?
It depends on a few different factors.
For starters, your location matters. Drivers in big cities like New York City and Chicago benefit from a larger customer base and shorter delivery routes (although they might have to combat more traffic). Plus, there are more opportunities to make money outside peak hours.
When determining whether to drive for delivery apps, you also need to factor in skills and availability. It’s possible that you could make better use of your time and talents by taking on other side hustles or full-time jobs.
How do food delivery drivers make money?
Pricing and payment models tend to vary across different delivery companies.
DoorDash drivers can now keep 100% of the delivery fee in addition to tips.
Uber Eats keeps part of the fee (a combination of a service fee and delivery fee) and drivers get a small percentage of the profits.
Make sure to read each company’s policy before you get behind the wheel to avoid confusion.
The Bottom Line
The food delivery market skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic. All signs indicate the market will continue rolling as we move further into the future.
Some cities like New York and San Francisco are also considering capping delivery fees to prevent providers like Uber Eats and DoorDash from gouging customers. Limiting fees should help drivers by preventing customer churn and encouraging new customers to give delivery a shot.
On top of money, both apps also come with some nice benefits. While you have to hustle and work long hours, the work isn’t especially difficult. You don’t have to handle cash with apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash, as all transactions take place online using credit cards or debit cards. This fast pay system is safer for drivers and more convenient.