Can You Really Make Money With Doordash?

Most people nowadays are familiar (or are getting familiar) with the concept of food delivery marketplaces like Doordash.

And if Doordash is in your area, you might be thinking about earning some extra cash by hopping on board as a delivery driver.

But can you really make money with Doordash? As a Dasher, you can reasonably expect to earn an average of $15 per hour (some earn up to $25 per hour) depending on how many deliveries you complete, your tips, the times you’re working, and if you’re earning Peak Pay or Challenge incentives.

Read on for a breakdown of the newly updated pay structure, details on how and when you get paid, if you should deliver with Doordash or a different food delivery company, and more!

How Much Money Do Doordash Drivers Make?

Doing deliveries for Doordash, you can reasonably expect to earn anywhere from $10-$20 per hour, with most people claiming to average out at around $15 per hour.

How much you earn with Doordash is inextricably linked to how many deliveries you complete – the more you do, the more you’ll make.

To get technical, there are three main things that affect a Dasher’s overall total earnings for each delivery:

  1. Base Pay
  2. Promotions
  3. Tips

Each of those three things have different factors that contribute to how much they amount out to.

Base Pay

The base pay is the amount that a Dasher will get paid no matter what. So even if there aren’t any promotions going on and, for some reason, there wasn’t a tip, you would still get the base pay amount.

There are three main factors that are used to calculate what this amount will be:

  • Estimated Duration
  • Estimated Distance
  • Desirability

If a delivery is far away from you (or the place where it is to be delivered is far from the restaurant), they’ll up the pay.

Likewise, if a delivery is expected to take more time (due to the distance, size of the order, etc.), you’ll get paid more as well.

Orders that aren’t as popular among Dashers will also pay a higher amount to try and incentivize you to accept the order.

According to Doordash’s website, the base pay can range wildly from $2 all the way up to $10 or more.


There are two main promotions Doordash offers that will often help boost earnings:

  • Peak Pay
  • Challenges

Peak Pay is when Doordash will offer a bonus – usually anywhere from $0.50 to $4.00 – on top of the base pay for each order during busy (or “peak”) times.

Speaking from experience when I was a Doordash driver, Peak Pay made a huge difference in my personal earnings. During Peak Pay periods (which were honestly pretty frequent), the goal would be to accept as many orders as possible during that time frame.

Usually these periods are around busy times, like lunch (generally 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) and dinner.

Doordash Challenges are relatively new. Basically, they offer active Dashers bonuses if they complete a certain number of deliveries in a given day.

So, for example, in a week’s time, if you completed 15 deliveries, you would get an extra $20 bonus.


Doordash lets Dashers keep 100% of their tips.

On rare occasions, customers will tip you in cash when you deliver their order. But most of the time, they’ll just add in their tip at the time of checkout. And you do get to see what the tip is before you accept an order.

However, Doordash does sometimes let its customers adjust their tip after they get their delivery. Which makes sense, because tips are supposed to be based on the overall experience of the customer.

When and How Do Dashers Get Paid?

Doordash drivers can get paid in two ways:

  • Direct Deposit
  • Fast Pay

Direct Deposit is the standard way which Dashers get paid. Once a week, on Sunday at midnight Pacific Standard Time, you’ll get paid for all the deliveries made the week before (Monday through Sunday).

They’ll get directly deposited into whatever bank account they have on file. Sometimes this process can take a few days to go through, though, so you might not see any money in your account until Wednesday.

Although this process is slower than Fast Pay, there aren’t any fees associated with it.

Doordash does also offer a way to get paid daily via Fast Pay.

There are certain requirements you have to meet to be eligible for this, such as:

  • Dashed for at least two weeks
  • Completed more than 25 deliveries
  • Being in a U.S. market
  • Have a debit card (a prepaid card does not qualify)

This is a good option if you need the money soon or if an emergency situation came up, but it shouldn’t be the option you commonly rely on, because they charge a $1.99 fee each time you use it – and that can really add up!

How Does Doordash Work?

As a driver for Doordash (called a “Dasher”), you’ll start your day by going on the Dasher app and becoming available once you’re in the area limits.

Soon, an order will appear on your screen, which you’ll then have the option to either accept or decline within a certain timeframe.

On the screen, you’ll be able to see information about the order, such as:

  • How much it will pay
  • Which restaurant it’s at
  • Estimated mileage

If you accept it, then you’ll be able to open up your GPS and go to the restaurant that’s making the order.

Ideally, by the time you show up at the restaurant, the order will be ready to go. Certain restaurants – like McDonalds – require you to order once you get to the restaurant and pay with the red card that Doordash gives you.

Once you’ve picked up your order, you can put the delivery address into your GPS and head over to the customer.

Once you’ve dropped it off, you mark on the app that the order has been completed. Any extra bonuses will pop up on the screen if applicable.

Then you wait for another order and do it again!

How Does Doordash Compare to its Competitors?

Doordash has two main competitors in the space: Grubhub (the original food delivery marketplace) and Postmates.

As far as base pay is concerned, Doordash is honestly a little bit behind the other two. Doordash also trails when it comes to tips, especially when compared to Grubhub.

But Doordash’s incentives – especially Peak Pay – make up for a lot of the monetary differences.

Also, out of the three, Doordash tends to have more deliveries for you to do when compared to the other two (although Grubhub is a close second).

The only major negative that affects both GrubHub and Doordash, but not so much PostMates, is that there tends to be a lot longer waits at the restaurants. 

This can, overall, affect your pay because the longer it takes you to complete a delivery, the less you can ultimately do.

Overall, in my opinion, Doordash and GrubHub are tied. They can both provide enough consistent work for either part-time or even full-time income.

Plus, if you and a friend (or a spouse) teamed up and did both at the same time, then you could easily turn it into a full-time job. 

Full disclaimer, though: I don’t know if you’re technically “supposed” to do that or not. Although I feel like, as long as you don’t let it affect the customer’s experience or quality of your service, it isn’t a big deal.


In the end, you can reasonably expect to make about $15 per hour as a Doordash delivery driver.

Doordash is also one of the few that offers consistent work – you can expect to get 2-3 deliveries per hour during lunch and dinner times, even into late evening in certain markets.

There’s even enough work in some markets to make this a full-time job, although there still is a little bit of uncertainty involved because you’re never guaranteed a certain amount per delivery or a certain amount of deliveries per day.

Either way, it wouldn’t hurt to give this a try, especially just as a side hustle if it’s in your area!

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