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Is DoorDash A Good Job? Pros, Cons, & Our Honest Thoughts

Key Takeaways

  • Flexible schedule offers balance, but lacks guaranteed stable income.
  • Earnings vary with location, time, and order frequency; costs not covered.
  • Great for part-time, but lacks long-term career growth and benefits.
  • Comparatively strong in market share, yet faces stiff competition from rivals.

There are several reasons why there’s a growing surge of food delivery options, including DoorDash.

From the high-profit potential and scalable growth to the round-the-clock operations and expansion opportunities, food delivery is becoming the it-venture in this gig economy.

As someone willing to earn extra money on the side, you might be wondering, “Is DoorDash a good job?” Well, the job is perfect for a part-time position because of its short-term contract and quick earning potential.

As a full-time position? That’s a different story. Stick around to learn if being a dasher is a worthwhile career step for you.

Understanding the Role of a Dasher

Before making your decision about applying to drive with DoorDash, you’ll want to have a clearer idea of what you’re getting into. In essence, the job involves picking up orders from merchants and dropping them off to customers.

In a more detailed sense, dashers must communicate with dispatchers and customers regarding their drop-off, location, phone numbers, order numbers, and customer names.

The role also entails navigating through routes provided by the DoorDash app while adhering to traffic laws. Dashers will have to track their daily mileage, number of orders, and transit time.

All of these duties require both hard and soft skills, including navigating through delivery routes, communication, customer service, time management, and vehicle maintenance.

Financial Aspects: Earnings and Expenses

One of the first aspects you’ve likely thought about before considering the food delivery job is the DoorDash driver pay. Income aside, you must also factor in the additional expenses that come from vehicle maintenance, fuel, and more.

Potential Earnings for Dashers

According to the DoorDash website, your pay revolves around a few main aspects. Those include your location, timing, and frequency of your delivery. On average, dashers tend to earn between $15 and $19 per hour.

Now, how are these earnings calculated? Well, here’s a brief outlook on the payment scheme:

  • Base Pay: Your pay starts with this amount. The app calculates it based on the delivery’s desirability, distance, and time. For instance, you can start with $4.
  • Customer Tips: Drivers usually receive a tip after each delivery. DoorDash gives you 100% of that tip.
  • Promotions: These can include Peak Pay and Challenges. With Peak Pay, for example, DoorDash encourages dashers to deliver in in-demand areas by boosting earnings.

You’ll reap a higher reward once you take advantage of the best times to DoorDash. Besides that, dashers typically get their pay every week. You can opt for a Fast Pay transaction, where you’ll be getting paid instantly, but it’ll cost you a $1.99 fee.

Associated Costs for Dashers

While the earnings may seem promising for a dasher, there are still a hefty number of costs worth considering.

  • Vehicle Maintenance: You’re in charge of your vehicle’s upkeep. Since you’re going to be delivering consistently, your mode of transport will likely sustain lots of wear and tear, costing you extra.
  • Tolls: DoorDash doesn’t reimburse its dashers for tolls, parking fees, or traffic tickets.
  • Taxes: As an independent contractor, you have to pay self-employment taxes. Plus, you have to report your earnings.
  • Fuel: Gas expenses are on you. It can be a challenge since fuel prices aren’t getting any lower. The good news is that DoorDash started giving some form of gas compensation as of March 2022.
  • Insurance: Since you’re self-employed, you also have to cover your insurance costs. DoorDash does offer some solace with its $1 million liability insurance, but that only counts if you had food in your vehicle during an accident.

Flexibility and Work-Life Balance Of a DoorDash Driver

In this gig economy, everyone is searching for a role they can do on their terms. Working in the food delivery industry with DoorDash offers that flexibility.  As a dasher, you can choose any shift you want, whether you want to deliver at night during weekends, or on weekday mornings.

Dashers also get to choose to pursue the role as a side hustle or a full-time position. The prime downfall of the latter is that DoorDash doesn’t offer a stable job with a steady income. For this reason, it’s more popular as a side gig.

You can manage a healthy work-life balance while being a dasher, thanks to its flexible schedule. But, you have to consider your work environment. Being a dasher is physically demanding, and depending on your location, it can be stressful.

For instance, if you live in a high-activity region, you might expect to work longer hours to cover demand.

Job Security and Growth Opportunities

Being a dasher means working in the gig economy filled with short-term contracts. Consequently, there’s little job security you can benefit from. The food delivery role is unstable and offers no guarantee of stable earnings and work.

During some periods, delivery might be slow, leading to less income. Another unpredictable aspect that can impact your earnings is customer reviews. Some accidents and spills can happen, but customer reviews are unforgivable. They can stack up and hinder your job security.

Job security is also low for dashers because the role is easily replaceable. A large portion of the population has the skills needed to be a delivery driver. If any supply chain management or economic issues arise, you can get easily laid off from work. For this purpose, we suggest working with other food delivery apps if you want a more stable job outlook.

Speaking of which, DoorDash isn’t an ideal job if you’re looking to climb the career ladder. It’s the best gig for a side hustle rather than professional growth. However, you can still take some steps to advance in the job.

For example, you can consider being a member of a professional association for delivery drivers. You can also become a delivery driver instructor. Another more ambitious venture would be to open a delivery-driving business for restaurants.

vector graphic showing an illustration of the best times to doordash

Comparing DoorDash with Other Delivery Services

The global online food delivery market has seen impressive growth throughout the years. The industry has gained a staggering market value of over $168826.4 million in 2022. The future expected growth rate is a CAGR of 10.97%, which puts it at over $315183.2 million in valuation by 2028.

DoorDash plays a critical role in this ballooning market. Despite that, it has expanding competitors to deal with, including Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Instacart.

1. Income Potential

When it comes to income potential, DoorDash isn’t winning this round. Other key players, like Grubhub, offer better pay, ranging between $14 to $30. Uber Eats owns Postmates, so they’re similar regarding income. Their rates are around $19 to $33.

2. Market Presence

In terms of market presence, DoorDash is dominating the scene with a greedy 65% share in the industry.

Other worthy contenders include Uber Eats with a respectable 23% share, and Grubhub with over 9%.

3. Driver Satisfaction

Based on several reviews from delivery drivers, DoorDash seems to be doing well in keeping its riders happy. This is particularly the case because the platform has earned a four-star rating in its work-life balance category.

Other food delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Grubhub are also performing well in terms of driver satisfaction. Their driver ratings on Glassdoor range between 3.6 and 3.7 stars.

Overall, most food delivery platforms in the market have similar rating patterns in this comparison: underperforming reviews in benefits and career opportunities and high ratings with work-life balance and culture.

Challenges and Common Issues Faced by Dashers

The extra income from dashing isn’t without its pitfalls. Dashers face several challenges, whether it’s during the day-to-day or overall experience.

1. Customer Interactions

In multiple cases, dashers must interact with customers regarding their orders, ETA, and location.

Some orders can take longer than expected on the merchant’s end, leaving you on the stickier end of dealing with an angry customer.

Reaching a below-standard consumer rating is considered a violation, risking your job. Consequently, you need to be careful not to violate the contract.

2. Order Issues

Handling food, especially while riding a motorcycle, isn’t for everyone. Accidents can happen, where you spill the drinks or the food falls out.

Other order issues could happen. You might deliver the wrong order or have a missing item. All these little snags can stack up and hurt your credibility as a delivery driver from the ratings.

3. App Glitches

DoorDash app glitches are a common phenomenon. One time, the app had a major issue where customers didn’t go through the authorized payment form, and hundreds ended up getting a free meal.

These glitches can cause outages that mess with your side hustle’s schedule. Plus, you might miss peak pay areas.

4. Road Conditions and Accidents

The road conditions in every order vary. Some routes are easy to navigate, while others are riddled with traffic, increasing your ETA. In these instances, we highly recommend notifying your customer of congestion beforehand.

Being a delivery driver also means potential road accidents. Fortunately, you can join a ridesharing insurance plan to cover these scenarios.

Another road worry you’ll have to consider is dangerous neighborhoods. Your area might have high crime rates.

5. Navigational Difficulties

During some deliveries, you can’t entirely rely on your GPS support. Some roads it leads you to might be closed.

This issue can be easily fixed by calling the customer and asking for further assistance.

Community and Support for Dashers

DoorDash has a strong community-building platform for its dashers. In its Community option, the site has “Spotlights” featuring dasher success stories and their commendable efforts.

In the same category, DoorDash also offers a wealth of resources for dashers to access under “Education.” It has articles about advice, features, benefits, and considerations of being a dasher.

You can also join networks like DashRoots and Dasher Community Council (DCC). They help dashers have a say in critical topics like neighborhood resilience, food security, and supporting flexible working hours.

Personal Experiences and Testimonials

One of the best ways to gauge a work environment and its culture is by looking at testimonials and personal experiences from third-party websites. Here’s what former and current dashers are saying:

“I love working for DoorDash. I can schedule whenever I need or want to work.” – Charlotte, NC

“It’s not great it’s not terrible. YouTube how to be a good dasher and be smart and you can make it work to help cushion your income if it’s ever needed.” – Indianapolis, IN

You can make some extra money when you have nothing else to do. It’s an experience running all around your town and seeing places you might not have noticed.” – Clarkston, WA

“You choose your hours, if you’re a top dasher you don’t need to schedule. You can make some extra cash. It can get annoying though. Some trips are not worth the money, and sometimes business is slow.” – Manassas, VA

Making the Decision: Is DoorDash Right for You?

DoorDash is right for you if you’re looking to earn extra income with flexible working hours. You could be a college student or full-time worker and gain financial flexibility while working for DoorDash.

It’s the perfect on-and-off job that you don’t have to stick with. You can always go back to it if money gets tight or you’re trying to save up for a hefty investment.

If you’re looking for future career growth and a stable full-time position, we suggest looking elsewhere. The role doesn’t provide guaranteed orders and pay. You can’t rely on it as the sole source of income, especially if you’re the breadwinner of your household.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Hard to Get a DoorDash Gig?

Getting a DoorDash gig isn’t challenging. You can sign up, finish your background check, and become a valid driver within days. All you’ll need then is a smartphone to download the Driver app and mode of transport.

Can You Make $200 Per Day on DoorDash?

$200 per day on DoorDash is a difficult but attainable goal. You’d have to work full-time hours and find the best in-demand zones to work in. Plus, the amount you earn will depend on the type of orders you accept, whether they’re a few long-haul trips or lots of short routes.

Wrapping Up

Is DoorDash a good job? In short, the food delivery service gives you the best opportunity to earn extra cash while sticking to flexible working hours.

Benefits aside, you need to consider the costs involved in working for DoorDash, including vehicle maintenance and insurance. Working for the company also doesn’t guarantee a stable work life and salary.

To conclude, we recommend working as a dasher part-time while earning another income from a more stable job. Alternatively, you can work for several food delivery services to balance your risk. The prior would be the better option if you’re considering future career growth.

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