DoorDash vs Grubhub: What’s Best for Food Delivery Drivers?

Grubhub vs DoorDash – which should you deliver for? They both make it easy to make money on your own schedule, and both food delivery services are growing in large and small U.S. cities.

So, we’ll need to dig deeper into DoorDash and Grubhub experience to answer this question.

DoorDash vs Grubhub: Driver Pay

🏆  Winner: DoorDashbecause it’s more transparent and easy to determine.

The driver pay structures for both food delivery app jobs have changed as the services have grown, some for the better and others not so much.

DoorDash Pay Structure

DoorDash’s structure is easier to understand, so we’ll start there. Dashers get paid like this:

Base Pay + Promotional Pay + Tips = Total Earnings

  • Base Pay ranges per delivery, and depends on the distance you drive, duration of the order from start to finish, and order desirability.
  • Promotional Pay could add to your base pay if it’s a peak delivery time or if you’ve met a specific challenge like making three deliveries in one hour. DoorDash calls them Peak Pay and Challenge Bonuses, respectively.
  • Tips are self-explanatory. If your customer leaves a $3 tip, you keep 100 percent of it, increasing your earnings.

Grubhub Pay Structure

Grubhub’s pay structure resembles DoorDash’s but is a little more complex. They offer delivery pay, which includes applicable bonuses, a Grubhub contribution for certain drivers, and customer tips.

Here’s a look at how Grubhub pays:

Delivery pay + Grubhub contribution  + Tips + Missions and Special Offers = Total Pay

  • Delivery Pay is the total of your earnings for delivering an order and includes the base pay and any bonuses.
  • Grubhub Contribution is the equivalent of a guaranteed hourly rate for your market if you schedule a block ahead of time and meet the required criteria.
  • Tips are the same as DoorDash. You keep 100% of what customers pay for your service.
  • Missions and Special Offers encourage drivers to complete a certain number of orders in a specific amount of time, increasing your earnings.

DoorDash vs Grubhub: Driver Qualifications

🏆  Winner: Tie; both services have similar requirements, including age

  • If you’re 18 or older, you could drive with DoorDash.
  • If you’re 18 or older, you could drive with Grubhub.

Both food delivery services require a valid driver’s license and auto insurance, of course.

Neither service allows you to drive for them if you have major traffic violations on your background check, such as a DUI or a hit-and-run, as a couple of examples. These services also will not let you drive if you have a felony on your record.

DoorDash vs Grubhub: Tip Earnings

🏆  Winner: Tie, but with a nod to Grubhub for not needing a lawsuit to ensure drivers keep all tips.

Both food delivery apps now let you keep all of your tips. In 2019, DoorDash was sued in federal court. The lawsuit accused DoorDash of keeping a percentage of customer tips while implying the tips went to the driver.

In response, DoorDash changed its policy to direct 100 percent of tips to the driver. You can keep the tip whether the client pays with cash or a credit card.

DoorDash vs Grubhub: Pay for Waiting

🏆  Winner: Grubhub for the guaranteed pay.

Food delivery drivers with gig economy jobs had to eat most of their wait-time losses for a while. Whether a takeout order took 15 or 30 minutes to prepare, the driver had to wait for it without pay.

This was a problem back when I delivered for Postmates. Inevitably, I had to wait the longest during the busiest hours when I could have been making more money.

Now, Grubhub and DoorDash have addressed this problem within their pay structures, as saw in the above pay section:

  • Grubhub’s delivery pay includes mileage, delivery type, and delivery time, accounting for your waiting time.
  • DoorDash also builds wait time into your base pay for the delivery, including the duration in your pay.

A factor that sets Grubhub apart from DoorDash is the guaranteed pay. If deliveries don’t make you the guaranteed pay for the area and you pre-scheduled your shift, Grubhub guarantees your earnings, which means paying for your wait time.

DoorDash vs Grubhub: Self-Scheduling

🏆  Winner: DoorDash because they are more transparent about who can schedule shifts at what time.

The gig economy is great for earning money on your own schedule. If your plans with friends fall through, you can switch on the app and make a few deliveries for extra cash.

But these jobs work both ways. Sometimes, when you have time to work, the apps have too many delivery drivers, and you can’t get any deliveries.

To help with this problem, DoorDash and Grubhub let you schedule yourself in advance so you can claim your hours. This helps spread the workload, guarantee drivers are available to make deliveries, and make it easier for drivers to get hours.

  • DoorDash: You can claim shifts up to five days before the date you want to book. If you qualify for Early Access, you can access shifts six days beforehand, but you need an average rating of 4.6, a completion rate of 95%, and have at least five deliveries completed in the last week to qualify each week. You also still have the app’s spontaneous “Dash Now” button, which becomes available when the food delivery service needs more than just its scheduled drivers on the road.
  • Grubhub: You can also schedule blocks of time in advance on Grubhub, but you can also drive whenever you want by clicking the ‘taking offers’ button. Priority for deliveries will always go to the scheduled drivers, and Premier drivers get earlier access to shifts.

DoorDash vs Grubhub: Technical Requirements

🏆  Winner: DoorDash because it works on more phones.

To deliver takeout, you’ll need a reliable car and a smartphone. Seems simple enough, right?

But before you apply, you’ll want to be sure your phone can support the app.

  • Grubhub: You’ll need iOS 11 or higher or Android 5.0 or higher.
  • DoorDash: Works with any iPhone or Android device, but phones with more memory tend to cause the app to crash less.

You can expect fewer technical difficulties with newer phones on a reliable data network with either app. Occasionally, these apps glitch on any phone, which can be frustrating. Each delivery platform has decent customer service for drivers to solve technical problems.

DoorDash vs Grubhub: Accessing Pay

🏆  Winner: Tie,depending on how you want to receive your funds. Grubhub charges less for instant payouts, and DoorDash offers DasherDirect for free instant deposits and cash back on gas.

When you earn money with apps, whether Survey Junkie, Instacart, Postmates, or Uber Eats, translating your app balance to actual cash is important. The less friction, the better.

DoorDash and Grubhub are both reliable and seamless when payday rolls around.

  • Grubhub: Pays weekly on Thursdays via a direct deposit to your bank account. Grubhub offers an Instant Cash Out option, which costs $0.50 per transaction but is free if you are a Chase Bank customer.
  • DoorDash: Pays weekly via a direct deposit to your bank account. DoorDash offers a Fast Pay option, allowing you to get cash daily. This service costs $1.99 per withdrawal, and you must complete at least 25 deliveries and have been on the DoorDash platform for at least 14 days. DoorDash also offers DasherDirect, a prepaid debit card, allowing you to get earnings instantly with no fees, and you get 2% cashback on gas

DoorDash vs Grubhub: Market Share

🏆  Winner: Doordash, holding 65% more market share than Grubhub.

None of the Grubhub vs. DoorDash comparisons will matter if DoorDash or Grubhub doesn’t serve your city — or if either food delivery service has only a handful of independent restaurants they partner with in your area.

According to Statista, Grubhub owns a 9% market share in the online meal delivery service industry, while DoorDash holds 65%!

  • Grubhub: Works in more than 4,000 U.S. cities across all 50 states in North America.
  • DoorDash: Works in more than 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan.

If you’re unsure, just log on to either service’s website and start an order for takeout. If your area has delivery available, you should have options to become a delivery driver.

Both apps work with national chains like Taco Bell and Applebee’s and local restaurants that are unique to your area. Customers are limited mainly by the restaurants in their area, so you could be delivering fast food or caviar.

DoorDash vs Grubhub: At a Glance

DoorDash Grubhub
Age to Drive 18 or older 18 or older
Cities Available  +7,000 +4,000
Background Checks Yes Yes
Special Training Orientation Req. Orientation Req.
Driver Keeps Tips? 100% 100%
Paid for Mileage? Built-in Base Rate Built-in Base Rate
Paid for Waiting on Orders? Built-in Base Rate Built-in Base Rate
Promotional Pay Varies Varies
Payment Method Direct Deposit Direct Deposit

Frequently Asked Questions

You can get answers to some of these questions by experience or by reading the policies on Grubhub and DoorDash’s websites. But these are all good questions that come up when you’re considering driving for a food delivery service.

Do I get paid even when it’s a free delivery?

Both DoorDash and Grubhub offer free delivery on a customer’s first order as a promotion to get new customers in new markets. Even when a customer takes advantage of this offer — or any other promo codes drivers get paid the same amount.

Do I earn any of the delivery fees?

Customers pay delivery and service fees when they order from their favorite restaurants. In addition, they can add a tip to the order. As a delivery driver, you will receive only the tip directly. Funds from the other fees help pay your base and promotional pay.

Can I use my iPad to deliver food?

No, you’ll need a smartphone with location-enabled and a data plan to deliver food. The Grubhub or Doordash app must be downloaded on your smartphone.

Do food delivery apps deliver alcohol?

This will depend on your state and local laws. Some areas allow Postmates drivers, DoorDash, and Grubhub drivers to deliver alcohol.

Do I get paid when it’s a subscription service order?

As more people discover food delivery apps — either because of the pandemic or simple word of mouth — these services have started subscription services to build brand loyalty. Uber Eats Pass is one of the biggest. If your customer has Dashpass or Postmates Unlimited and gets a lower cost on the order delivery, this shouldn’t cut into your earnings. In fact, it could increase your earnings. A customer who pays a lower price should have more money for your tip!

Does Grubhub or DoorDash take cash?

No. As a delivery person, you’ll never be required to handle cash. But the customer could choose to tip in cash.

Can I see my tip in advance of taking the order?

Yes, customers enter a tip amount when they order food. They may also enter “tip in cash, ” meaning you won’t know the tip amount — or whether the customer will tip at all — until you arrive.

Are there any vehicle requirements?

No, unlike Uber and Lyft, which must consider passenger comfort, Grubhub and DoorDash do not have minimum vehicle requirements. You should have a reliable vehicle with great gas mileage to keep your costs low.

What’s up with the orientation?

Both Grubhub and DoorDash require drivers to take a short orientation. This was often in-person before the coronavirus pandemic but is now available online. It’s not a huge deal. The company just wants to make sure you can use the app so you can focus on achieving great delivery times without having to figure out the app as you go. The orientation will also cover how to get paid and how to deal with customers.

Grubhub vs DoorDash: Which Food Delivery Service Should You Drive For?

When comparing Grubhub vs DoorDash, you can do well with either one. If I had to choose, I’d go with DoorDash because of its massive market share in the food delivery service, promotional pay, and accelerated payday option. But, as you may already know, you don’t have to choose. You can deliver for both food delivery services.

To make money fast in the shortest amount of time, I’d use just about any food delivery app that offers a fair and reasonable payment model. Uber Eats has been growing, especially for fast food orders. Postmates is still a good delivery company. I delivered for Postmates in Chicago and earned enough to buy an engagement ring.

If you live in a huge city like New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, you could do fine as a delivery person for one app. But if you live in a smaller market like Roanoke, VA., Green Bay, WI., or Salinas, CA. — all of which joined the Grubhub family last year — you’ll do a lot better working for more than one service simultaneously.

You have other options, too. Instacart pays you for orders from grocery stores, and if you don’t mind delivering people to their destinations, you could add Uber and Lyft to your smartphone and optimize your time on the road.

Just don’t overdo it and try to combine trips. You’d have to sacrifice quality at some point, which isn’t good for your earning potential.

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  • Comment Author image blank
    You may want to update the information. Grub hub no longer requires people to tip in California. So it cuts into what people are making. Sometimes we wait a very long time for food to be cooked and there is no change in pay as to whether it's 5 minutes or 45 minutes. You also may want to speak to some of the drivers, because a lot of this information is not correct. It may be what they say, but it's not actual. Grub Hub used to pay .50 per mile for gas. I think they should take the don't have to tip away and let people decide whether they are going to tip or not. Some people ask us to do ridiculous things and for no tip. Like when there is no parking and you want us to double park and get tickets. Now not only are we out of that pay, we are out of extra money to pay for the ticket. And when it's night time we have to search for an address because the address is not visible or the lite isn't on etc.... Or the wise guy who decides to make the delivery a maze game and again for low pay and no tip. And if you don't except the low pays you get penalized