Dashing in San Francisco

If you’re looking to make extra money using your extra time or vehicle, then look no further than DoorDash.

DoorDash is an on-demand company that specializes in delivering food from restaurants to customers.  Using on-demand gig economy independent contractors to perform the delivery work, referred to as “Dashers”, DoorDash is able to meet the huge customer demand for hand-delivered catering orders.

Since being founded in 2013, DoorDash has grown to operate in 1,500 cities and has partnerships with more than 200,000 restaurants and they boast having more than half a million Dashers on board.

Aside from the lucrative signup bonuses the company is currently giving away, there’s plenty of information that you should know. So, we thought we’d take a look at what it’s like to be a DoorDash Dasher in San Francisco.

What San Francisco DoorDashers Love

There is a lot to love about Dashing in San Francisco from the workers’ point of view.  One of the main attractions is that since the service was founded here, they’re really well entrenched.  Customers know who they are and that keeps the Dashers quite busy.

Here are a few other things San Francisco-based dashers really like:

Scheduling

With DoorDash, drivers can (and should), schedule their shifts ahead of time. While you are allowed work even if you haven’t scheduled a time slot or shift (called Dash Now), DoorDash seems to give priority to those drivers who did commit to a pre-arranged schedule.

This is good as it helps ensure that the people who do pre-arrange their shifts will get enough work to make it worth their while and they won’t be competing against hundreds of other drivers when there’s not enough work to keep everybody busy.

Those who wish to “Dash Now” apparently will be put on the back row, so to speak, and will be available and standing by in case an order comes in that can’t be covered by a Dasher who pre-scheduled his shift.

Variety of Vehicles

San Francisco Dashers aren’t limited to just the use of cars. They can also use scooters, motorcycles and bicycles!  This is a dream for a lot of dashers since parking can be such a nightmare.  Although bicycles can be a nightmare on the hills!

But as far as parking goes, the ability to use scooters, motorcycles and bikes is a real advantage.  These vehicles can also alleviate some of the traffic problem as they’re more agile and able to weave in and out of traffic to get where they’re going quicker.

Guaranteed Minimums

Sometimes Dashers in San Francisco will get a text saying they’re qualified for a guaranteed hourly minimum. Although this happens less frequently now than it used to in SF, it can still happen when things get really busy.

For instance, during playoff games or the super bowl it can be 2-3 times busier than usual.  And even though more Dashers will come out than usual, it may not be enough to cover the huge extra demand.

This can happen during playoff games too.  And it happens during bad weather.  When it’s raining, more people would rather stay home and order in – so that’s a great time for Dashing!

These offers will usually be for amounts that are slightly higher than what you would usually make.  That’s because they need to coax you off your couch and into the streets so they’ll have plenty of Dashers available.

Pay

In San Francisco Dasher pay seems to be a little higher than in a lot of other cities. San Francisco Dashers report to Glassdoor that they’re averaging around $15 an hour (before expenses).

If you’re a rideshare driver, you can rejoice knowing there’s another way to earn money. Given that nearly half of all Uber drivers earn less than $10 an hour, you can see why DoorDash in San Francisco is a great option.

Work Companions

Although we’re not sure if DoorDash allows or forbids this practice, many Dashers take a friend or spouse or relative along for the ride. In a place like San Francisco, where parking is so tight, that means one can deliver while the other stays behind and guards the car from traffic.

Working out this method cuts down on parking fees and time spent out of the car, allowing for more orders fulfilled, and happier customers.

What San Francisco DoorDashers Hate

The things San Francisco drivers report that they most dislike about doing delivery work in San Francisco are:

Traffic

Without a doubt, traffic is the number one complaint; the enemy of Dashers.  Traffic wastes time getting to restaurants for pickups and it wastes time dropping off with the customer.

The more deliveries you can make in an hour the more you’ll make.  You don’t make anything when you’re stuck in traffic.  And San Francisco traffic is some of the worst anywhere.

Parking

It’s hard to say which drivers are more upset about traffic or parking. It seems to be a tie, and you can see why. To do delivery work, you have to get from Point A to Point B in traffic.  If there is a lot of traffic it will slow you down and you’ll earn less each hour.  But the other equally serious problem is parking.

Once you get to Point B you have to park somewhere in order to complete the delivery.  And San Francisco is notorious for its parking problems.  The main thing drivers have to avoid is getting parking tickets.  Because one parking ticket can wipe out several hours of work.

San Francisco parking tickets can range from $68 to $110 (with the average being around $97), so you can see how that could easily ruin a Dasher’s day.  $68 is enough to wipe out an entire shift.  And $110 could wipe out a whole day.

San Francisco Neighborhoods Where You’re Most Likely to Get Parking Tickets

According to Spotangels, the neighborhoods where you’re most likely to get a parking ticket are:

  • South of Market
  • Inner Richmond
  • Mission
  • Western Addition
  • Financial District
  • Downtown/Civic Center
  • Marina
  • North Beach
  • Outer Richmond
  • Haight Ashbury

San Francisco Blocks Where You’re Most Likely to Get Parking Tickets

Listed in order from most tickets issued to least, these are the blocks where the most tickets are issued in SF each year:

  • Townsend St. between 4th & 5th
  • Mission St. between 1st & 2nd
  • 1st between Folsom & Harrison
  • 200 Embarcadero South
  • Mission St. between 5th & 6th
  • Mission St. between 2nd & 3rd
  • 1st between Market & Mission
  • Mission St. between 6th & 7th
  • 300 Embarcadero North (Fishermans Wharf)
  • 4th between Townsend & King

Note that according to Spotangel, if you’re parking downtown, Mission Street gets more tickets than any other street or area.

Of course these are some of the prime DoorDash areas, so keep that in mind when you’re Dashing and be extra careful when you’re in these areas.

Busy Cities in the Bay Area

Some of the busiest areas for San Francisco Dashers are:

  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Oakland
  • Berkeley
  • Alameda
  • Mountain View / Sunnyvale
  • Palo Alto / Redwood City
  • San Mateo / Burlingame / Belmont

And the busiest times are usually between 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for lunch and 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. for dinner.