Applying for DoorDash is a simple process, and if everything goes well, you should be dashing within a few days.
However, some applicants find themselves on a waitlist.
Here is what you need to know if you’re currently on the DoorDash waitlist.
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What Is the DoorDash Waitlist?
DoorDash offers a fairly straightforward sign-up process for new drivers.
However, some users end up on the DoorDash waitlist after completing this process.
The waitlist is a system that DoorDash uses to manage the number of drivers who work in a specific market.
The goal of the San Francisco-based delivery service is to offer a positive experience to drivers by making sure there is plenty of work to go around based on the demand that exists for each market.
How Does the DoorDash Waitlist Work?
DoorDash doesn’t have any official resources regarding its waitlist.
But there are plenty of reports from users who went through the sign-up process only to receive an email stating that DoorDash had placed them on a waitlist.
It seems that DoorDash uses data about each market to measure several factors, such as the number of drivers available and how often they work.
DoorDash also uses data about the demand to track how many orders customers place.
This approach assesses how well the current DoorDash driver pool can meet the existing demand.
If DoorDash decides that there are enough drivers for a market, it will place new applicants on a waitlist.
These drivers will receive an invitation at a later point if they still want to become DoorDash drivers.
They will be able to complete the sign-up process, get their DoorDash Red Card, and start working.
It’s important to know that DoorDash uses other waitlists, like the Large Order Program waitlist.
In some markets, drivers can indicate that they would like to work on large orders and catering orders.
If DoorDash has enough drivers to pick up these orders or doesn’t offer this service in a specific market, drivers can join a waitlist but they can still work on other order types.
Related: How the Instacart waitlist works for drivers
How Long Is the DoorDash Waitlist?
The duration of the waitlist can vary a lot from one market to another.
Because the waitlist is a way of managing the pool of drivers for a specific market, you might be on it for a couple of days or a few months.
For instance, a market like New York City or Washington DC with high demand and high turnover for drivers should have a short waiting list.
However, the waitlist could be longer if you live in a small town since it might take a while for the local market to expand.
The good news is that DoorDash is a hugely successful delivery service.
It controlled 12% of the delivery market in 2018 for the United States and experts believe DoorDash will own 15% of the market shares for this industry by the end of 2022.
As more people use the app, the demand for drivers will continue to increase and the waitlist should keep getting shorter.
DoorDash is even expanding its services, for instance, with a pilot program that delivers meals to food banks in 900 cities.
The bad news is that the gig economy is growing as well and companies like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Instacart are seeing more applicants sign up.
In 2020, no less than 2 million Americans tried gig work for the first time, which means there is heightened competition among gig and freelance workers.
Why Do DoorDash Drivers Get Waitlisted?
DoorDash places new applicants on a waitlist because of the existing offer and demand for each market.
There is no sign that DoorDash would prioritize a delivery driver over another because of their profile.
A common reason for ending up on the DoorDash waitlist is market availability.
While Door Dash is a popular food delivery service, it’s not available everywhere.
If you live in an area where DoorDash isn’t available, you will end up on the waitlist until DoorDash expands to your zip code.
DoorDash is currently available in more than 7,000 cities in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Japan, but it might not be an option if you live in a more isolated area.
A good way to see if DoorDash is available where you live is to open the app.
You can look up a popular chain like Taco Bell to see if any restaurant partners pop up for your zip code.
Getting on the waitlist is a good thing since you’ll receive a notification as soon as DoorDash becomes available in your area, and you’ll get early access!
However, there is no way of knowing when or if DoorDash will become available.
DoorDash has a guaranteed earnings program in some areas that pays out a delivery fee if your earnings fall below a certain threshold, but the waitlist is another method the delivery service uses to make sure drivers have access to work.
There is no official guaranteed minimum for the amount of work available, but DoorDash can prevent market oversaturation with the waitlist.
You might end up on the waitlist if you apply to become a DoorDash delivery driver in a market that already has too many drivers.
It can happen in busy cities or in areas where DoorDash is a popular gig.
A common sign that your local market has become over-saturated is that DoorDash will stop offering a referral bonus for new dashers or if drivers earn less per hour.
How to Check Your DoorDash Waitlist Status
DoorDash doesn’t provide users with a way of checking their waitlist status via the official website or DoorDash app.
Instead, you’ll have to wait to receive an email with an update.
However, you can check your application status to make sure you have completed all the steps:
- Visit doordash.com/dash. Log in and select the link that says ‘Already started signing up?’ If you didn’t finish this process, the website will take you to the next step you need to complete to become a DoorDash dasher.
- Check your emails. DoorDash will send you confirmation emails after you complete the activation step and the background check. If DoorDash needs more information from you, these emails will contain thel instructions to follow.
Can You Get Off the DoorDash Waitlist?
Your best option is to deactivate your DoorDash account.
Note that you’ll have to start the application process again from scratch if you change your mind later.
You might have to reach out to DoorDash Support to apply again.
You’ll have to contact DoorDash Support and ask them to deactivate your account if you no longer want to be on the waitlist.
It’s the only way of getting DoorDash to forget your personal information.
Another option is to unsubscribe from emails from DoorDash.
Open any email that DoorDash sent you, scroll to the bottom, and look for a link that says ‘Unsubscribe.’
Keep in mind that you’re an independent contractor for DoorDash.
If you receive an email that you can start dashing, there are no obligations of ever picking up a delivery order for this food delivery app.
What to Do if You Get Waitlisted
Signing up for DoorDash and getting an email that says you’re on the waitlist can be a frustrating experience.
Here are your options if you end up on the waitlist.
1. Wait It Out
If you end up on the waitlist because DoorDash isn’t available in your area, you can wait and see if the delivery service expands to your city.
If you’re in an over-saturated market, you can wait until DoorDash accepts demands.
DoorDash will let you commence work if demand increases and the current driver pool is no longer sufficient or if enough drivers stop working.
Note that the driver pool can vary over time because of different factors.
For instance, poor road conditions can cause some drivers to take a break from dashing in the winter to avoid driving on the ice and snow.
2. Sign Up in Another Market or Region
Another option is to drive in a nearby city where DoorDash is available or where the market isn’t over-saturated.
Driving to another city or region can add to your expenses in terms of gas, but it can be worth it if there aren’t many opportunities for gig work where you live.
3. Try Another Food Delivery Service
You can also sign up for another food delivery service.
Uber Eats is a suitable alternative, and this service is available in over 6,000 cities worldwide.
The downside is that Uber Eats doesn’t have a rewards program like DoorDash.
You should also think about exploring other driving and delivery apps:
- Instacart is a popular delivery platform for ordering takeout from a local restaurant and items from local businesses.
- Postmates is like Instacart and might be a good option for a grocery delivery gig.
- With Shipt, you can earn money by picking items from the grocery store and delivering them.
- Uber is a good way of earning some extra money by transporting riders.
- Amazon also offers gig opportunities through Amazon Flex where drivers deliver packages to earn some extra cash.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read on to learn more about the DoorDash waitlist.
How long is the normal DoorDash onboarding process?
You can complete the online application within a few minutes.
There is a background check step, but it usually takes a few seconds.
DoorDash should process your application and send you a confirmation email within the same day.
It usually takes three to four days to get these items in the mail.
You can’t start working without these items since the Red Card is a credit card you use to pay for most orders.
Restaurant partners have integrations through their POS to accept this card and bill DoorDash directly for the order.
Can you get rejected from DoorDash?
DoorDash can reject applicants.
There is a background check that will inform DoorDash of any prior traffic violations or other issues.
DoorDash can either reject you or request more information to consider your status.
If you get a rejection email, you’ll receive an explanation in the email.
You’ll also have an opportunity to submit more information and dispute the decision.
The DoorDash waitlist is a useful tool to ensure that there is enough work to go around for drivers, but it can be frustrating to apply and find yourself on the waitlist.
Thankfully, there are other opportunities for gig work drivers.
Look at the related articles we have published on Ridester to learn more about these options.
We also have some great resources about using these delivery apps, including tips for saving money, using a gift card to order, and more!