Searching for a side hustle? In between jobs? Need more flexibility at work? You might turn to Uber Eats or DoorDash because you just hop in the car, accept orders, and deliver them. But how different are these two platforms? Do they pay well? Do drivers get the flexibility and earning potential they deserve?
Read more to learn about how Uber Eats and DoorDash work, differences, similarities, and a little inspiration if you’re looking for extra cash or a job that leaves you in control of your destiny.
The Food Delivery Renaissance
While DoorDash and Uber Eats came long before the COVID-19 pandemic, quarantines, self-isolation, stay-at-home orders and travel bans made these services more essential than ever before. While DoorDash and Uber Eats might have seemed like nice conveniences, they suddenly turned into one of the easiest and safest ways to order takeout or even groceries.
In fact, DoorDash and Uber Eats helped many smaller eateries reach their customers when dining rooms weren’t open.
However, the renaissance ended, jobs were lost and these services turned into great side hustles, in-between jobs and much more. Plus, DoorDash and Uber Eats have almost become verbs in our lexicon. “Why don’t we just DoorDash dinner” is not something you heard all that often in a pre-COVID world.
How Does Uber Eats Work?
Uber Eats is an arm of the Uber empire—that overwhelmed the ride-sharing economy. But, how does it work? Food delivery and ride-sharing are similar (and quite different). Drivers must:
- Apply through the app
- Send in a picture of their driver’s license
- Submit insurance information
- Submit a Social Security Number for verification
- Consent to a background check and await its completion
Using the app is just as simple. Hop in your car and go to the app. It will:
- Show you available orders
- Suggest areas or orders that might provide bonuses
- Ask you to tap to accept the order
Once you tap to accept the order, you go to the pickup location, await the order and pick it up when ready. At this point, the app asks you to complete verifications noting that you are on the way to pick up the order, awaiting the order, have picked up the order or are en-route to the customer.
You also tap to note that you have delivered the order. You may also need to indicate that you left the order in the right place or take a picture of the order to show that the delivery was successful.
Additionally, you can contact the customer in extenuating circumstances. For example, you might be lost, sitting in traffic or having trouble with the restaurant.
A few things to consider with Uber Eats:
- They don’t send you any delivery bags (but you can buy them in the Swag Store—which seems to defeat the purpose of going to work)
- All orders are already paid for
- You can stack deliveries (allowing you to handle 2 orders at a time)
How Does DoorDash Work?
DoorDash, as you might imagine, is quite similar to Uber Eats. You can apply in the app, upload a photo of your driver’s license, add your Social Security Number, consent to a background check, wait for your background check to clear you to work and set up your account.
DoorDash uses the same steps that you see above for Uber Eats. To grab orders, drivers must:
- Turn on the app
- Select an order
- Check for bonuses or challenges
- Pick up the order
- Deliver the order
- Complete the tasks listed in the app for pick up, transit and delivery
While Uber Eats orders are always paid for, certain DoorDash orders are not. In these cases, DoorDash sends “Dashers” a “Red Card'' that can be used for these specific orders and nothing else.
Additionally, DoorDash allows you to do something called “shift scheduling” that helps you lock in peak hours and orders. Complete these criteria so that you can schedule blocks that offer you the best chance to secure peak ordering times:
- Complete at least 95% of your deliveries with a rating of at least 4.6
- Have completed at least 5 orders since the previous Friday
- You have a history of 500 or more orders, completing 95% of them and with a rating of at least 4.6
Things to consider with DoorDash:
- They send you an insulated delivery bag
- They allow you to schedule time blocks
- You can stack deliveries
How Much Money Can You Make on DoorDash and Uber Eats?
While Uber Eats and DoorDash are completely different companies, they offer similar earning potential. You’re beholden to:
- How many orders are available
- Base pay for each order
- Consumer tips
Yes, you keep all your tips on both platforms. Both platforms show you how much the base pay is before you accept and pay may increase if your time or mileage are higher than anticipated.
Research indicates that an average driver for these companies can earn somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000 per year. However, these earnings depend heavily on how much you work, when and how much access you have to peak time orders.
To get paid on Uber Eats, you:
- Request an Instant Cash Out in the app for a $0.50 fee
- Set up your direct deposit information and account that will allow Uber Eats to send your earnings every Thursday. (Keep in mind that earnings close on Monday, process on Wednesday and deposit on Thursday.)
To get paid on DoorDash, you:
- Request a Fast Pay to your linked debit card, with a fee of $1.99. Plus, the first Fast Pay takes 7 days to process and you must complete 25 deliveries to qualify.
- Set up direct deposit and wait for direct deposits to be initiated on Monday—with your money coming in on Wednesday in most cases.
Earning More on Uber Eats and DoorDash
If drivers want to learn how to earn more money overall, they can use these tips to maximize their profits and streamline their workday:
- Choose your orders carefully
- Work peak hours
- Stack orders
- Offer incredible customer service
- Bring a co-driver who can help expedite each delivery
Frequently Asked Questions
How do DoorDash drivers get paid?
DoorDash drivers receive a weekly direct deposit for their total wages. This includes base pay for every delivery plus customer tips. Promotions may also be included along with payment for challenges completed.
How do Uber Eats drivers get paid?
Uber Eats drivers can go into the app, tap on Earnings and tap the Cash Out option to transfer their earnings to their linked account.