How to Make Money with Door Dash

Published on March 12, 2020 by Lauren

You’ve heard about making extra money delivering pizza. But what if you could get paid to deliver food from almost any restaurant chain and do it on your own time, too? That’s exactly the idea behind how to make money with Door Dash.

Moms need a flexible schedule. And that’s especially true for any of the side hustles you pick up. Between doctor appointments, soccer practice, and sick days, having control over your schedule is a must. 

With DoorDash, you set your schedule and work when you want. But is it a decent way to earn extra income?

And more importantly, is being a Dasher a safe side hustle for women? I decided to find out, so I sat down with two Dashers: Liz and Kyle.

How to Make Money with Door Dash

What is DoorDash?

DoorDash is a delivery service where drivers deliver food from local food chains to customers. 

Liz, Founder of Kitchen Table Finances, has tried a few gigs to earn cash on the side. She likes DoorDash because of the flexibility.

Liz works a full-time job and started Dashing in February 2019. “I wanted a way to earn extra money but also maintain a flexible schedule with minimal costs,” said Liz.

If you’re looking for a way to earn money while choosing your own hours, becoming a Dasher might be for you. There are a few eligibility requirements, such as:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Have a smartphone with the DoorDash app to pick up orders
    • Possess a valid driver’s license
    • Have a good driving record
    • Provide your Social Security number 
    • Agree to a background check

If you meet those qualifications, you can submit an application and pick a time for driver orientation. 

Kyle, Founder of FinancialWolves.com, started working with DoorDash to see what it was all about. He was surprised how easy it was, and said, “Once you get an order from a restaurant, you pick it up and bring it to the respective address. It's as easy as that!”

How much money can you make with DoorDash?

Side hustles are popular right now but not all of them are worth the time it takes. For Liz, DoorDash checked all the boxes: flexibility, low start-up costs, and an opportunity to earn extra money.

She likes that the app shows how much you’ll earn before you accept the delivery. In her experience, orders range between $2 and $10 or more. “It depends on the amount of time and delivery distance of the order,” she said.

But you can also earn tips, which can boost your income even higher.

Most customers add a tip using the DoorDash app. But Liz said, “Occasionally, you receive a cash tip at the door!”

For the rest of your pay, DoorDash processes the delivery fees you earned once a week. According to Kyle, “Dashers get paid on a weekly basis for all deliveries completed the previous week.”

Does being a Dasher cost you anything out of pocket?

Most side hustles have low start-up costs. DoorDash doesn’t ask you to pay anything out of pocket to start. 

The company mails new Dashers an insulated bag at no cost. That way, the food you deliver is hot, and that can help keep your customer ratings high. 

You also get a 3-month free trial with a third-party app called Everlance to track your mileage and expenses. 

What to watch out for as a Dasher

The biggest downside to working with DoorDash is that you don’t control when orders come in. If you want to maximize your time, Kyle suggests stacking other gigs like Uber or Lyft. That way, if DoorDash is slow, you can pick up a few riders to make money while waiting for another order to come in.

But you can switch between cities when delivering for DoorDash. If there aren’t any orders in your town, try the next closest city to pick up orders and earn extra cash. 

Also, remember that you’re working with DoorDash as an independent contractor. The company won’t take any taxes out of your pay or reimburse you gas mileage for delivering to customers.

Being an independent contractor is common when picking up a side gig. As long as you keep track of your expenses and set aside cash to pay your own income tax, you’ll be fine.

Is DoorDash a safe side hustle for women?

The idea of delivering food to strangers can be daunting for a woman. Safety was never an issue for Kyle or Liz.

“I personally never felt unsafe nor had any safety issues while delivering,” said Liz. 

She recommends only sticking to what you feel comfortable doing. “If you’re uncomfortable delivering at night, there are lots of options during the lunch hour or on weekends to deliver during daylight hours,” she said.

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