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The Best Times to DoorDash in 2023: Maximize Your Income

Making a living as a DoorDash driver isn't easy, and getting timing is key. But what are the best times to DoorDash? Come explore when to drive now.

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DoorDash is a trusted online food ordering and delivery brand in the United States and a popular side hustle for gig workers. However, despite being a legit side hustle, earnings on this platform can range widely depending on when and where you Dash.

To make significant extra cash on this platform, you have to be selective with your DoorDash delivery. You don’t want to waste time delivering low-paying orders.

In other words, it is not only about increasing the number of deliveries you make; you have to properly manage the orders, prioritize higher-paying orders, and deliver them on time to earn tips and bonuses.

Key Takeaways

One of the easiest ways to maximize DoorDash earnings if driving during the times of the highest demand, which means increased demand and favorable earnings. These include:

  • Peak Meal Times: The busiest hours typically align with lunch (11am-2pm) and dinner (5pm-9pm), resulting in higher demand and potential earnings.
  • Weekend Surges: Fridays through Sundays usually see an uptick in orders, especially in the evenings, due to more people opting for meal deliveries.
  • Promotional Periods: DoorDash occasionally offers bonuses during certain hours or days. Driving during these “Peak Pay” times can increase earnings.
  • Bad Weather Boost: Inclement weather, like rain or snow, often leads to more people ordering in, making it a lucrative time for Dashers.
  • Local Events and Holidays: Understanding local events, holidays, or celebrations in your area can predict surges in demand, as people might order food for gatherings or when local restaurants are closed.

Why Driving at Peak Times Matters

If you are looking to get started with DoorDash, there are a few things you need to know.

As a DoorDash driver, you want to ensure there is a steady stream of orders coming your way.

You don’t want to waste time delivering poor-paying orders. This way, you will be able to accept orders that pay well and decline the rest.

In addition, you can become an independent contractor as DoorDash allows you to choose your desired work time.

This is great as it will enable you to select the most appropriate time when you know you can optimally deliver, thereby increasing the odds of getting tips. By working during known peak hours, you will find multiple orders, thereby allowing you to earn more.

Also, working during peak hours means you will have an opportunity to choose well-paying orders since there are many offers.

Before we discuss the best times to DoorDash as per advice from experienced drivers, let’s discuss the known peak hours for customers.

Pro Tip: Did you know that you can cash out at the end of every shift using DoorDash instant pay? It’s a great way to pad your pockets after a long day of work.

DoorDash Peak Hours for Customers

Of course, you want to be available for delivery service during the busiest hours to make more money.

So, what are the most active hours to Dash? Based on our research, here are the peak hours for customers:

6 PM – 9 AM

If you are a night owl and live in an urban area, night hours can be very profitable.

Many people order food late at night and during early morning hours. Thus, you can make good money working during these wee hours – one of my favorites when thinking about the best times to DoorDash.

You can get a lot of high-paying orders during night hours. And even if you are not available to work all night, wake up early. Many people order breakfast very early in the morning.

11 AM – 1 PM

Many people place their orders for lunch breaks at this time. Therefore, you can schedule yourself to complete a few food delivery orders during this short period.

5 PM – 9 PM

Many restaurants are often busy during this time, and you can land many gigs if you are available for food delivery service. You will find many experienced Dashers working during these timeframes. Of course, your best times to DoorDash will depend on your location.

If you live in a big city where you are busy all day, you can make money in the evening delivering dinner. Also, if you live in a town where people often order breakfast, you will have to wake up early to take advantage of this.

It is all about testing it out yourself to see what works in your area.

Keep in mind that this is the most popular time for many Dashers, and thus if you will be Dashing during these hours, make sure to book the hours in advance inside the Dasher app.

Let’s discuss the best times to DoorDash as per the DoorDash platform and discussions on popular platforms such as Reddit and Quora.

The Best Times to DoorDash, According to DoorDash

DoorDash, like any other organization, wants to retain its best Dashers. That’s why it wants you, as a DoorDash delivery driver, to maximize your payout so you don’t quit after a few weeks. That’s why they offer some suggestions on the best times to work for them.

The peak times to work at DoorDash, as per their platform recommendations, include: Lunch (11 AM to 2 PM) and Dinner (4:30 PM to 8 PM)

Remember that since these are often the busiest times to Dash, you need to secure your spot early enough as many other people are competing for the same.

If you are available for several days, you can book your place for delivery during lunch or dinner hours by scheduling a Dash up to five days in advance. This is per DoorDash research.

Let’s discuss the best hours to DoorDash as per couriers.

The Best Times to DoorDash, According to Reddit

Sometimes sourcing information from the horse’s mouth is the best way to know the truth. As per the discussions on Reddit, there were a few suggestions.

screenshot showing doordash peak hours and the best times to doordash
Image credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/doordash/comments/8k6kn3/do_2_orders_close_by_then_this_steals_my_peak_pay/

One driver, who also works with different food delivery apps such as Uber Eats and Grubhub, indicated the best times to Dash are 11 AM – 2 PM and 4:30 PM – 8 PM. Several other Dashers seconded this.

Another delivery driver who also works with Postmates and Instacart claimed it depends on their region.

He suggested busy areas with many college kids and late-night corporate employees tend to have many Dashers working at night. This makes it challenging to get well-paying delivery gigs at night.

His suggestions were 12 PM – 2 PM for lunch and 6 PM – 8 PM for the dinner rush.

There is always a pattern that you will discover after Dashing for a few weeks, which will help you maximize your payout.

The Best Times to DoorDash, According to Quora

As per discussions on Quora, many suggestions leaned towards lunchtime and dinner rush times and during the night on Fridays and Saturdays. Also, there were suggestions that busy areas with many tech workers tend to order more than other workers.

During weekends, evening hours (5 PM – 9 PM) were said to be the peak hours for many food delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, which means it applies to DoorDash as well.

Again, many drivers concluded that the best times for DoorDash varies from one region to another. Thus, you have to track your orders for some time to know the best time to Dash in your locality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you question yourself too hard on what the best times to DoorDash are, take a look at the commonly asked questions below.

What Time Is DoorDash Busiest?

According to the company’s data, the best times to get multiple orders are often during lunch, between 11 AM and 2 PM, and dinner hours between 4:30 PM and 8 PM.

The company also indicates certain events, such as the current pandemic, and holidays, such as Mother’s Day, Halloween, Black Friday, Father’s Day, etc., increases demand for food deliveries.

Does DoorDash Pay Mileage?

Unlike services such as Lyft, DoorDash does not pay for your driving expenses, including gas, which means you have to track your mileage for taxation purposes.

How Much Can You Make Working as a Dasher?

Well, how much money you can make on DoorDash depends on several factors tied to their pay model, including:

Base Pay

First, there is the amount that DoorDash pays you for successfully delivering an order. The base pay depends on the distance covered, time, and order desirability.

Overall, you will be paid more for orders that require you to travel a long distance or to less popular hotspots.


Promotions are the bonus amount DoorDash pays on top of the base pay. They can include challenge bonuses or peak pay given when you deliver orders during the busiest times when the roads are extra busy. The bonuses are a way of rewarding Dashers for their extra effort.


Customers have an option to tip their Dashers when checking out or after their order has been delivered. You are given 100% of your DoorDash tips in addition to your base pay and promotions.

A summation of the three should give you the total earning from each delivery that is sent to your bank account.

In terms of payment, Dashers are paid every week, with the amount deposited directly to one’s bank account through a direct deposit.

How Do I Make the Most Money With DoorDash?

Here are a few tips to help you earn more working as a DoorDash driver:

Be Selective With Your Choice of Orders

Finding the best times to DoorDash is critical to your success.

DoorDash gives you the flexibility to accept or decline an order assignment, and you should take advantage of this freedom.

Dashers are provided with crucial data tips to guide them on whether or not to take a particular job.

Therefore, to earn more, avoid poor-paying orders and opt for high-paying ones.

However, remember that although DoorDash doesn’t penalize you for declining to deliver certain orders, they do offer incentives and rewards for maintaining a high acceptance rate or completion rate (above 70%).

Generally, don’t hesitate to decline low-paying orders.

Take Advantage of Peak Pay

If you deliver during peak hours, DoorDash often pays extra money on top of your base pay, promotions, and tips.

You can find Peak Pay time slots in the “Promos” tab in your DoorDash app.

These slots tend to appear during busy hours such as lunchtime, dinner rush, during weekends, or during holidays when many people order food.

Make sure to take advantage of this option whenever it’s available.

Take Up Multiple Delivery Requests Simultaneously

To get more deliveries on DoorDash, you need to plan your routes wisely and take orders meant to be delivered along your routes.

You can do this easily by targeting hotspots with several popular restaurants.

For example, you can take up multiple orders from two popular restaurants nearby to deliver to buildings in one location.

DoorDash makes it easier for delivery drivers to batch multiple orders meant for delivery on the same router by having the “Add Order to Route” option.

They even have color codes in the Dasher app to make it easier to identify such orders.

Remember to stay organized when managing multiple orders to eliminate confusion that comes by delivering similar batched orders.

You can invest in a cooler bag with different compartments to make it easier to carry multiple packages at once, especially if you are traveling by bike or on foot.

Also, label all your orders to avoid confusion.

Increase Chances of Being Tipped

Earning more customer tips is a surefire way of boosting your earnings as a DoorDash driver.

There are several things you can do to gather more tips.

One way is to look professional.

While Dashers do not need to dress up for deliveries, looking presentable will help increase tips.

Also, avoid orders that are running late as they are less likely to attract a tip.

In addition, keep a few ketchup packets, a few extra straws, and other frequently-ordered necessities in your delivery vehicle in case a customer requests extra.

Also, opt for expensive orders as they attract higher customer tips.

DoorDash app recommends tipping to be done as a percentage of the overall cost of the order.

Therefore, you will receive higher tips for expensive orders.

Another important trick is to maintain good communication with your customers to get a higher customer rating.

Giving your customers delivery updates and being courteous can go a long way.

However, avoid over-communicating as your customers receive live updates regarding their orders from the DoorDash app.

Wrapping Up

Earnings on DoorDash vary widely depending on when, where, and how you deliver orders.

By being selective of the orders you pick, operating during peak hours, managing multiple orders, prioritizing high-traffic areas, and taking up expensive orders, you will be able to maximize your earnings.

If you would like to earn some extra money completing food delivery orders or become an independent contractor, DoorDashing is a great side hustle as well as a full-time job you can try. Sign up for free!

5 thoughts on “The Best Times to DoorDash in 2023: Maximize Your Income”

  1. Can someone please explain how you take up expensive orders, because I can’t find where it shows you what the customer paid for their order in the app. It also does not tell you how many items you’re picking up unless I accept it. Also, it tells me how far I’m driving to the restaurant but does not tell me the miles to the delivery. Taking all of this into account it makes a little more difficult to choose orders wisely. I also have no idea how to take multiple orders at once. Now some of this is important to know before you except an order but only having 45 seconds to accept or decline doesn’t leave much time to try to find all of this information to help with my decision. Can someone please help me with all of this?

  2. Busiest times, especially on the dinner runs, varies with time of the year also. When it was dark early and cold outside, 4:30-8:00 was a good estimate. However, with longer and warmer days, things often don’t start picking up until after 6:00, and really get busy around 8:00. On Friday and Saturday nights, the busy period keeps going until much later, often 11:00.

    It seems busiest when the weather is slightly bad, but not terrible. Light rain is perfect on a weekend lunchtime dash, as some people don’t want to get out of bed and get their day started. Be careful, however, of really bad weather, since the food can get wet, or blow away. It helps to use your own plastic bags, either to wrap the store bag another time, or leave underneath the food bag, depending on size and shape.

  3. Actually DD DOES penalize you for declining orders-you receive a demotion in your acceptance rating (a punishment of sorts) which can lead to a driver receiving only the poorest paying undesirable offers available. My understanding is that this is not only against the DD Terms of Service but also contradicts the rules that govern contracted employees- but there it is. They do it anyway. It’s a method of manipulating drivers to accept offers that aren’t financially feasible for them ie no/low tip, payout isn’t enough to cover time and distance, order takes Dasher out of zone and doesn’t compensate them for the expense of returning to starting zone in order to receive more offers – a really unfair situation esp
    with gas prices being what they are. Drivers must return to their zone at their own expense. Perhaps the offer is to an area that you feel unsafe in. Too bad. Should you decline it, your acceptance rate is lowered. Acceptance rates also take hits due to situations outside the drivers control, ie the app glitches (which is way more often than it should) and driver doesn’t receive an audio or visual notice of the offer due to some technical issue on DD side, the drivers acceptance rate is affected even though they were unaware of an offer being presented. The same goes for car issues (ie dead battery, flat tire), personal injury (a fall perhaps), sudden sickness, emergencies, or car accidents. In fact there are few if any situations that will not lower your acceptance rate if an offer is declined.


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