6 Tips To Increase GrubHub Driver Pay

For those who love making their own schedule and working on their own time, driving for a food delivery service is ideal. But how can you increase GrubHub driver pay to match the $20/hour number they promise at sign-up? There are lots of drivers who have posted info on the internet to confirm that number,...

For those who love making their own schedule and working on their own time, driving for a food delivery service is ideal. But how can you increase GrubHub driver pay to match the $20/hour number they promise at sign-up?

There are lots of drivers who have posted info on the internet to confirm that number, and some who say they have made over $30 an hour. But how?

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Is it really possible to earn $20 or more per hour picking up food orders and dropping them off? Pizza shop delivery guys certainly don’t make that much – so what makes GrubHub so special?

For starters, GrubHub drivers are independent contractors. They are not employees of a particular pizza shop or restaurant. And with that freedom comes the opportunity to increase your earnings in a variety of different ways.

Keep reading to learn six key tips and tricks that can help you make more money as a GrubHub driver.

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Conquering the GrubHub Payment Structure

Before we get into how you can earn more money, let’s talk first about how the GrubHub payment structure is set up. Drivers get paid a set fee per order. They also earn 50 cents per mile from the restaurant to the final delivery destination. So if the restaurant is 10 miles from the customer’s home, you’ll earn $5.00 for the mileage plus the set fee.

Drivers also have the ability to earn tips, and drivers get to keep 100% of those. Not all customers tip, but GrubHub suggests that customers tip 20%. From our research, GrubHub users tend to tip more than Uber Eats users.

You’re more likely to get tips on larger orders or orders from moderately priced or expensive restaurants. The less the total order is, the less of a tip you’ll make, if you get one at all. So by picking up larger orders from better restaurants, you have a better chance of earning a decent tip.

Keep in mind that drivers don’t get paid for any mileage it takes them to get to the restaurant. The mileage fee is accounted for only from the restaurant to the drop-off point. For this reason, most drivers prefer to accept requests for restaurants located nearby.

Drivers have the opportunity to accept or decline orders. So if you can stick with pickups that are in close proximity to your current location, you can increase your hourly earnings. Every minute counts and every mile spent driving to a restaurant is a waste to time.

One important thing to note: since drivers are independent contractors, GrubHub does not cover expenses. That means you have to pay for your own gas, health insurance, auto insurance, etc. They cover this during the onboarding sessions to become a driver specialist, but we thought we should mention it here as well because people often forget to factor in these costs. Just remember, the amount that is deposited into your checking account isn’t all profit.

Sometimes GrubHub also offers hourly guarantees – check out the next section for more info on driver guarantees and how they work.

Take Advantage of Hourly Guarantees

We hear a lot about the hourly guarantee – and if you have the opportunity to take advantage of it, you should. Working during hourly guarantee times is a great way to maximize your earnings and ensure that you’ll make some money during your shift.

On occasion, GrubHub offers hourly guarantees. They often do this when demand is high and there aren’t enough drivers working. It’s kind of like Uber with surge pricing, but more stable. When demand is high and driver supply is low, they entice drivers to get out there and work to satisfy the customer demands and keep clients happy.

Here’s how guaranteed pricing works.

GrubHub will offer drivers a minimum amount that they can make if they work during a certain period of hours. Usually, the rate is something like $11 per hour, which is near minimum wage in most states. But in order to make that rate, the driver has to accept a certain percentage of delivery requests. You can’t be that picky about the delivery offers you accept.

As long as you meet that acceptance rate, you will earn the guaranteed amount for the hour, regardless of how many deliveries you complete. In other words, if you get one order request and complete that delivery, you’ll earn the guaranteed minimum because you’re at 100% acceptance rate.

Related: An In-Depth Guide For GrubHub Delivery Drivers

If you earn more than the guaranteed minimum, you keep the extra. And, as always, you get to keep 100% of your tips.

But a guaranteed minimum of $11 an hour is a far cry from the $20 an hour that GrubHub claims drivers make. However, that $20 an hour figure is the typical max. Fees and rates vary among restaurants, cities, and the hours you work. And there will inevitably be hours where you only do one or two deliveries, in which case, you’ll probably earn less.

By taking advantage of guaranteed hours, you at least know that you’ll make that specified amount (plus tips) at the very minimum.

Schedule Delivery Blocks

As a GrubHub driver, you can sign into the app and work as much or as little as you want. That offers great flexibility, but if you want to make some serious, steady money, you’re best bet is to sign up for shifts. You can log in and work for an hour or two, or you can schedule a block of time – and that means you’ll get more orders and make more money.

It’s beneficial for GrubHub to know that a certain amount of drivers plans to work for a specified amount of time. So when you schedule a block of time, you get precedence over other drivers who didn’t schedule a time block.

When orders come in, drivers who have a block scheduled get first priority on picking up those orders. That means you can snag the closest orders or the more expensive ones – whatever you prefer.

GrubHub wants drivers to schedule time blocks – and that’s why they reward you for doing so. It’s best for them to know when and where drivers will be working. It’s beneficial for you because you’ll get a chance to pick and choose the better order requests.

It’s great driving and working without a set schedule – but if you can commit to working a few hours ahead of time, you can definitely make more money. To sign up for a block just log into the app and tap “scheduling.” You’ll see available blocks of time and you can add yourself to the schedule.

In some cities, blocks fill up quickly, so if there aren’t any blocks available, you can ask GrubHub to text you once one opens up.

If you schedule a block and can’t work it, that’s fine – you can cancel it. But keep in mind that affects your program level and your ability to schedule additional blocks in the future. So if you’re not sure that you’ll be able to work, it’s best not to schedule a block of time.

Keep reading for more details on program levels and what you need to maintain higher levels and more earning opportunities.

Reach Premier Level

Scheduling blocks is crucial, but your ability to do so depends on your program level. The higher your level, the more access you’ll have to blocks and the earlier you can schedule them.

If you want to make the most money with GrubHub, you should aim to reach the “premier” program level.

You can only pick up a block if you have a certain GrubHub status level. At the “partner” level (the lowest level) you’ll be in the biggest pool of drivers and will have the least amount of opportunities to schedule blocks of time.

At the “pro” level, you’ll have 2nd access to new blocks and must maintain a 100% attendance rating and an 85% acceptance rate.

At the “premier” level you have first access to new blocks but must maintain a 95% acceptance rate and a block drop rate of less than 10%.

A screenshot of grub hub delivery driver levels

There are a variety of other perks that come with being a premier level driver. In addition to the best block access, you’ll also have access to referral programs and access to deliver catering orders. Catering orders are a great way to earn more money because you can deliver one big order (and get a nice big tip) by doing one large delivery. Catering is not available in all areas, but if it’s eligible in yours, it’s a great reason to reach the premier status level.

Premier level drivers are the best drivers GrubHub has. Levels depend on stats and are updated every 30 days. For new drivers, you’ll need to complete a minimum of 20 orders in order to reach your first level.

The other big perk to being a premier level driver is the ability to earn extra money through referrals. Through the referral program, you can earn money just by getting friends to sign up to drive for GrubHub.

Work on the Weekends

There’s no question about it – weekends are the busiest days for GrubHub delivery. Weekends are also the times where you’re most likely to see guaranteed minimums.

But unless you’re at the premier status level, scheduling a time block on the weekends isn’t easy. The level system favors premier and pro level drivers, so if you’re a new driver or a partner level driver, you probably won’t get a block. The best thing to do is to keep the app open and be ready to hit the road whenever you see orders coming in.

Even without a block, you’ll be able to snag some orders on busy Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday afternoons during football season are also quite busy. So the trick is to be available during those hours. Drive when it’s busy and you should be able to make some decent money.

Fill Downtime with Other Delivery or Rideshare Apps

Downtime results in one thing – no money in your pocket. If you’re a driver for GrubHub, the best way to maximize your earnings is by filling your downtime by finding work through other apps.

If you schedule a block for GrubHub, stick to it. Don’t juggle other apps or bounce back and forth between gigs if you’ve got a set block. Treat it the same as any other job you would have where you were working a set shift.

But without a block, when it’s slow or quiet, you may as well try to add some more dollars to your bank account with other apps. If your car qualifies, amp your your rideshare driving experience by signing up for Uber and Lyft. Lyft and Uber drivers take home some great pay during busy periods, so it’s worth checking out.

Postmates and Grub Earnings Combined. Image via u/JimmyLeeMusic on Reddit

Sign up for other food delivery apps like DoorDash, Seamleass, UberEats, Postmates or even Amazon Fresh. Just remember, if you bounce back and forth between apps, you’ve got to log out of one when you accept a ride for the other.

If you don’t log out, you can get orders and requests that you can’t fill because you’re working on another job. By turning down orders, you’ll hurt your acceptance rate; and having strong stats and acceptance rates is key to climbing the ranks and levels and having the chance to enjoy more money and more perks.

It is possible to increase earnings while maintaining the freedom that comes with making your own schedule and working on your own terms. So you’ve got to be smart about it and know the tricks that will put more money in your pocket.

One of the best ways to maximize profits is to take advantage of hourly guarantees. You’ll know that you’re at least going to earn a set minimum, and that’s always better than driving around idly or sitting and waiting for orders to come in.

It’s also best to schedule delivery blocks. By scheduling a block of time, you’ll get the first crack at the best jobs and the biggest orders – which means more money and more tips in your pocket.

To get access to the best delivery blocks, you’ll need to be at premier level. You’ll need to maintain a 100% attendance rate, a 95% + order acceptance rate, and a block drop rate of less than 10%. At the premier level, you’ll also enjoy access to catering orders and referral programs where you can earn extra money for every GrubHub delivery driver you recruit.

And the best way to keep busy is to work lunch hours, dinner hours, and weekend shifts when most customers place orders. If you work other times and have to deal with a lot of downtime, consider juggling your time between other apps to compensate for a lack of GrubHub orders.

Our best advice on how to make money with GrubHub is to take it seriously. Be efficient. Be responsible. Deliver as many orders as you can. Refuse as few as possible. The better your stats are, the more money you’ll be able to make.

Brett Helling

Brett Helling is the owner of He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.


The mileage is calculated as a straight line between the restaurant and the customer, not the actual mileage the driver actually drive to get there.