Have you ever wanted to work for yourself, set your own hours, and make tips, all while exploring your city’s restaurants? This is the opportunity that working as a Grubhub driver provides.
There are a lot of food delivery apps out there: Postmates, Uber Eats, Amazon and Grubhub are just a few of the major players. In this article, we’re going to take a look at being a Grubhub driver. We’ll explore everything you need to about how (and why) to get started making deliveries and earning extra cash.
What Is Grubhub?
Grubhub is a food delivery service that was founded in 2004 by Matthew Maloney and Michael Evans, two software developers who were looking for an alternative to paper menus. In 2013, the company merged with food delivery pioneer Seamless, and today they work together with over 80,000 restaurant partners to provide food delivery in over 1,600 cities across the U.S. and U.K.
Today, Grubhub functions as an app that customers can use to place orders from local restaurants. They download the app, put in their payment information, and place their order. All payment is handled through the app, including tips for drivers.
Why Should I Deliver for Grubhub?
Of all the food delivery services out there, why should you choose Grubhub? Aside from the general benefits of being able to set your own hours and work for yourself, Grubhub has a few specific benefits that make it stand out:
- Lower minimum age requirement than Uber or Lyft — To be a ridesharing driver for Uber or Lyft, you need to be at least 21 (or 23 in some markets). A Grubhub driver, in contrast, only needs to be 19 (with the exception of Chicago, where drivers must be 21 or older). This makes it a valuable opportunity for younger drivers who aren’t able to drive for Uber or Lyft.
- Well-established company — Grubhub has been around for a while, and it has the reputation and recognition that come with that. While nothing is certain, Grubhub is likely to be more stable than other smaller food delivery startups that could fold overnight (or be acquired by a larger company like Grubhub).
- Most total orders of all the food delivery apps — According to Grubhub’s driver page, they receive “more orders than any other order platform.” This means you have more total opportunities to make deliveries, which translates into a higher earning potential.
How Much Can I Earn as a Grubhub Driver?
Speaking of earnings, how much can you make as a Grubhub driver? The precise amount varies depending on your city. In some cities, for example, local laws set a minimum amount that you must be paid per hour, regardless of the number of deliveries you complete.
These laws are designed to protect drivers from the volatility that can come from slow days. To see if this applies to your city, consult the “Grubhub Payment Terms” email that you’ll receive during the onboarding process (more on this below).
In general, however, Grubhub determines pay using the following formula:
Per order rate + $0.50 per mile from the restaurant to the customer + 100% of your tips
The per order rate varies based on the market. Cities with a higher cost of living will tend to have a higher per order rate.
To maximize your earnings, we recommend the following strategies:
- Operate in an area with a high volume of orders — This is something you’ll learn from experience or through talking to more experienced drivers. The more orders you can complete, the more you can earn.
- Provide excellent customer service — Tips are the part of your earnings that you have the most power to influence. To maximize tips, always be polite and prompt in your deliveries. Thank the customer for their order, smile, and wish them a pleasant day. These seem like small details, but they can make all the difference in how much the customer tips (and whether they tip at all).
Where Can I Deliver for Grubhub?
You can deliver for Grubhub in over 1,600 U.S. cities, including Portland, Denver, Boston, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, and Los Angeles (to name just a few). To see if Grubhub operates in your city, consult the full list on Grubhub.com.
What Are the Requirements to Be a Grubhub Driver?
In order to deliver food for Grubhub, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- 19 years of age or older (21 or older in Chicago)
- 2 or more years of driving experience
- Own an iPhone with iOS 10 or higher OR an Android with 4.0 or higher (with data plan)
- Drivers must have a valid driver’s license and auto insurance
- Bikers must have a valid state ID
- Checking account for direct deposit
- Pass a background check
Are Grubhub Drivers Employees?
No, Grubhub drivers and delivery partners are independent contractors. They are not employees of Grubhub, as a federal judge ruled in February 2018 in San Francisco after Grubhub driver Raef Lawson sued the company for back wages, overtime, and expense reimbursement.
This has raised considerable controversy, as it was the first “gig economy” case to come before a court. However, as Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney said in a statement to Ars Technica, “We’re extremely satisfied with today’s ruling in Lawson v. Grubhub, which validates the freedom our delivery partners enjoy from deciding when, where, and how frequently to perform deliveries.”
Whichever side you wish to take, the reality is that under present California law and federal law, Grubhub delivery drivers are classified as independent contractors. This comes with certain disadvantages, including the ones that came up in the Raef Lawson lawsuit. However, being an independent contractor does offer benefits when compared with traditional employment, like a flexible schedule.
How to Apply to Be a Grubhub Driver
Assuming you meet all the requirements we outlined above, applying to be a Grubhub driver is easy. To streamline the process, we recommend having the following at hand before you start your application:
- Driver’s license (if applying to make deliveries using a motor vehicle) or state ID (if applying to make deliveries by bike)
- Proof of car insurance
- Bank account information (Grubhub will need this to pay you)
From there, you can begin your application by filling out the form on Grubhub’s website. The form will ask you to provide the following information:
- Full name
- Email address
- Mobile phone number
- Vehicle type — you can choose from car, scooter, motorcycle, or bike (note that not all vehicle types are eligible for delivery use in all cities)
- How you heard about Grubhub
From there, you’ll continue to the rest of the application.
At this point, Grubhub will ask you for your direct deposit information. This is why we recommend having your bank account info handy before you start the application. You’ll supply your bank account number and routing number so that Grubhub can pay you. Payments are made every Thursday.
After you enter your payment info, you’ll have to provide more information about your vehicle in order to verify that it is suitable for use as a Grubhub driver. Don’t worry: The requirements are far less strict than ridesharing services like Lyft or Uber, since you’re not transporting passengers. As long as the vehicle is in working condition and will allow you to reliably make deliveries, it will meet the requirements.
Next, you’ll need to supply your vehicle registration and proof of insurance. There’s no need to have commercial insurance; your personal auto insurance policy will work.
Finally, you’ll have to enter your Social Security number and consent to a background check.
Assuming you pass the background check and meet the other basic requirements, you should receive a notification inviting you to attend an onboarding session. Depending on your market, this onboarding may occur in person or online.
The onboarding session will allow you to ask questions you have about delivering for Grubhub, as well as provide you with more information on your local market and best practices for making deliveries.
You’ll also be able to get the gear you need to complete deliveries. If you have your own insulated bag to hold food, you can feel free to use it. If not, Grubhub can provide you with one free of charge, though it can take a few days to arrive if you don’t have a local Grubhub office near you to pick one up.
Note: Per Grubhub’s requirements, you must use an insulated bag to make deliveries; you cannot start delivering until you have one.
How to Make Your First Delivery as a Grubhub Driver
Once you’ve completed onboarding and have your insulated bag, you’re ready to begin making deliveries as a Grubhub driver. The process is quite straightforward.
First, you’ll need to make sure you have the latest version of the Grubhub for Drivers app. You’ll receive an email with a link to download the app after you’ve completed your onboarding (the Drivers app is not available in the App Store or Google Play Store).
Open the email on your phone, and click “Download.” The app will download to your phone. Open the app, and then enter the email address you used when you signed up for Grubhub.
You’ll then need to get a temporary password. Tap “Get New Password” and check your email for a temporary code from Grubhub. Enter this code, and then choose a new password you can remember.
Once you’ve done that, all you have to do is give the app permission to access your location. This is necessary for Grubhub to pair you with available deliveries.
By default, your status in the app will be set to “Unavailable.” When you’re ready to start accepting orders, simply set your status to “Available.” You should then begin receiving order offers. Once you receive an offer, you can choose to accept or reject it by tapping “Accept Offer” or “Reject Offer.”
When you accept an order, you’ll receive directions to the restaurant to pick it up. Make sure to check for any special pickup instructions from the restaurant; often they have a designated place for you to park or a particular area of the counter to collect the order.
Upon arriving at the restaurant, go in and collect the food. Make sure that the order is correct; don’t be afraid to point it out if something is missing. Always be polite and courteous to the restaurant employees — their main job is not to coordinate with delivery drivers. There’s no need to worry about payment; Grubhub handles all payments for you via their restaurant partnerships.
Now, place the food in your insulated bag and proceed to the customer’s location. Once again, check the app for any special delivery instructions. This is especially important if delivering to an apartment complex, gated community, or another place with multiple dwelling units. If you’re ever unsure about where to take the food, you can contact the customer through the app.
All that’s left now is to give the customer their food. Make sure to be polite and friendly, as this increases your chance of receiving tips (and is just the right thing to do). From there, head back to your vehicle and repeat the process.
What Are Schedule Blocks?
The process described above is all you need to do to complete orders. However, in order to give drivers the opportunity to maximize their earnings and avoid oversaturating particular times with too many drivers, Grubhub also allows drivers to schedule their hours in advance through the Grubhub for Drivers app.
These pre-scheduled time slots are called blocks. To sign up for a block, open the Drivers app and tap on “Scheduling” in the menu. You’ll be able to see available blocks and select the ones you want by tapping on them. You can schedule blocks up to a week in advance; Grubhub will text you a notification when blocks for the week are available.
You aren’t required to schedule blocks to make deliveries, but note that Grubhub does give scheduled drivers priority when it comes to offering orders. This means that it’s in your best interest to schedule blocks in advance when you can.
Start Working as a Grubhub Driver Today
We hope this guide has given you everything you need to know about how to be a Grubhub driver. It’s an exciting opportunity to earn extra cash while working a flexible schedule, one that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago.
Click here to apply to be a Grubhub driver.
Happy (and safe) driving!