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DoorDash and Grubhub are both top food delivery services that offer drivers a flexible way to earn money.
There are many similarities between the two platforms, including the ability to schedule shifts in advance, attractive, top-ratings, and a simple application process. The pay can also be competitive once you’re used to how each platform works.
There are differences, though, and they can have a significant impact on the work you do.
In this article, we’ll compare Grubhub and DoorDash to see which one is the best side hustle for you.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: An Overview
You’ll do pretty much the same work whether you choose Grubhub or DoorDash, which means taking food from restaurants to customers. Both services give you the freedom to work when you want, and they pay on a weekly basis.
These factors mean they are both convenient ways to earn extra money in your spare time, or even as a full time job.
If you’re looking for a side hustle, these are both good options.
|What You Will Deliver||Meals from local restaurants.||Meals from local restaurants.|
|Driver Requirements||19+ years old (21+ in Chicago and Las Vegas) , live in an area where the company operates, have a social security number, pass a background check, own a vehicle with insurance, own a smartphone and have a bank account to receive payments.||18+ years old, live in an area where the company operates, have a social security number, pass a background check, own a vehicle with insurance, own a smartphone and have a bank account to receive payments.|
|Vehicle Requirements||Have a car (or bicycle in selected areas) with relevant insurance.||Have a car, scooter, or bicycle with relevant insurance.|
|Pay||Average pay is $12 per hour (includes: mileage per order, time spent on the road, special offers and tips).||Average pay is $13 to $16 per hour (includes: base pay, promotions and tips).|
|Working Hours||24/7 on-demand.||24/7 on-demand (*volume highly dependent on mealtimes).|
|Earning Potential||Around $51,000 (*Indeed estimate).||Around $48,000 (*Indeed estimate).|
|Rating System||Driver recognition program (0 to 5 stars).||Customer rating, on-time rate, acceptance rate and completion rate (0 to 5 stars).|
|What We Like||Driver recognition program.||Ability to see minimum earnings for each job.|
|Sign up for Grubhub||Sign up for DoorDash|
What is Grubhub?
Grubhub has a long history compared to other food delivery apps. It was founded in 2004 as a takeaway (or carryout) menu website, although it wasn’t until 2014 that the company began offering delivery service.
The platform is now one of the most popular delivery services in the U.S. It has a presence in over 4,000 cities across 50 states. The company has partnered with more than 225,000 restaurants, and customers can order and have food delivered from over 300,000.
All this means that there is a great chance Grubhub operates in your area, making it a good choice for a side hustle for most people.
Read our full Grubhub driver review to learn more.
What is DoorDash?
DoorDash also has a wide network of restaurants in thousands of cities across all 50 states, as well as in Canada and Australia.
DoorDash drivers are called Dashers. They deliver food to customers by car (or bicycle in some areas).
Like Grubhub, the wide reach of the service means there is a great chance that the company hires drivers where you live.
Read our full DoorDash driver review to learn more.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: How Do They Work?
Both companies connect customers and restaurants. When a customer orders food, the app alerts the business and they prepare the meal.
As the food is being prepared, nearby drivers are alerted. Once they accept an order, they make the journey to the restaurant, pick up the food, and then take it to the customer.
The services both use apps to connect drivers, customers, and restaurants. They also both hire a team of contracted drivers.
Here is an in-depth look at how each service works.
How Grubhub Works
The first step in working for Grubhub is to head over to the website and sign up. The company will send a delivery bag to keep food warm while on the road, and you can start driving once your application is approved.
Grubhub has a neat feature that lets drivers schedule shifts in advance. Just open the app and choose the days and times you want to work. You can also choose work without scheduling, although drivers that schedule shifts in advance will be prioritized for jobs if there aren’t many orders.
When the time comes to start delivering, log into the app. You’ll then begin to receive job notifications. You have 90 seconds to accept the order or it will be passed to another driver.
Once you’ve accepted a job, head to the restaurants and pick up the order. Then, confirm it’s correct and tap “Got Order.”
Hit the “Leaving” button when you set off to the delivery location. Tap “Arrive” once you reach the destination, hand over the food, and then tap “Delivered” to confirm the order is complete.
At this point, you’ll become available for more work.
How DoorDash Works
DoorDash drivers sign up to the platform and then wait for the company to send a bag and a prepaid card.
Once your application is approved, sign in to the app and schedule a shift. You can do this up to five days in advance (six if you are a top-rated driver).
Like Grubhub, you can also sign in to work whenever you want, but scheduled drivers are prioritized for work.
DoorDash has a cool map that shows which areas are busy. Move to areas with high demand if your area is quiet and you want to earn.
You begin to receive work when you start a shift. Each notification has a distance, an estimated time, and a minimum amount you’ll receive for the delivery. This lets you make an informed decision about whether or not you want to accept the job.
The actual delivery experience is very similar to Grubhub. Head to the restaurant, pick up the food, and then deliver it to the customer.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: Requirements
Both Grubhub and DoorDash have fairly low requirements for who they take on. If you get accepted for one service, you will likely have no problem applying for the other.
Nonetheless, there are a few factors to consider.
The biggest may be that DoorDash hires people who are 18 and up, while Grubhub only hires those aged 19 and up.
Grubhub requires that drivers:
- Be 19 or older.
- Own a car (or a bike in some areas).
- Have a valid driver’s license and relevant auto insurance.
- Bike riders apply with a state I.D.
- Have a smartphone that can run the app (iOS 11 or later or Android 5.0 or later).
DoorDash requires that drivers:
- Be 18 or older.
- Own a car, scooter, or bicycle (bicycle only available in select areas).
- Have a driver’s license.
- Have a social security number.
- Consent to a background check.
You’ll need to be located in an area where the service operates. The platforms may freeze hiring temporarily if there are already a lot of drivers where you live. Keep checking back if this is the case.
The good news is that neither service requires you to have any delivery experience.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: Sign-Up Process
A major benefit of delivery services like DoorDash and Grubhub is the easy (and fast) sign-up process. If accepted, you’ll typically start working in around a week.
Grubhub Sign-Up & Approval Process
To sign up for Grubhub:
- Head to the Drivers page and click Apply.
- Answer the questions and fill out your profile.
- Authorize a background check.
- If you get approved, you’ll need to attend an in-person or online onboarding session.
- You can then set your schedule and start delivering.
DoorDash Sign-Up & Approval Process
To sign up for DoorDash:
- Start an application and complete your profile.
- Agree to a background and vehicle check.
- Request an activation kit. This contains your hot bag, a manual, and a prepaid card used for deliveries.
- Once this pack arrives, activate your card and set up a direct debit.
- Once your account is active you can begin to set your schedule and start driving.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: Pay
Both DoorDash and Grubhub pay drivers a similar amount, but it is calculated in slightly different ways. Earnings typically range from around $12 per hour up to $20. You may receive more or less depending on several factors.
The things that have the biggest influence on your pay are:
- Where you live: Drivers in different areas earn different rates. This takes into account demand and cost of living.
- How busy the services are: Time between deliveries is unpaid, even if you are still on a shift. The more you have to wait, the less your hourly rate will be.
Keep in mind that when working for these companies you are employed as a private contractor. This means you need to pay your own taxes and expenses. As such, your pay will be lower than it appears.
Here is how each company calculates your rate:
Grubhub considers the following when paying drivers:
- Mileage: This is the base compensation a driver gets for the distance traveled for each order.
- Time Spent on the Road: Since the distance traveled may not reflect the time spent on each order, Grubhub also compensates drivers for the total amount of time they spend on the road.
- Special Offers: Drivers can access bonuses and participate in challenges, sweepstakes, and other incentives that can boost their pay.
- Tips: 100% of tips.
The exact amount you receive will depend on your area.
DoorDash considers the following when paying drivers:
- Base Pay: The base pay that takes into account time, distance, and desirability.
- Promotions: Promotions are additional compensation drivers may get if they meet certain conditions. This includes things like “peak pay” for busier times of the day, “challenges” to incentivizing drivers to meet specific earnings goals for the week, and “drive” which are bonuses for completing large orders.
- Tips: 100% of tips.
New Dashers in some areas will receive a guaranteed amount if they fulfil certain requirements.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: Working Hours
Theoretically, both platforms allow you to work at any time of day.
The reality is that because you only get paid when delivering, it’s best to work when restaurants are open and delivering food.
In big cities with 24/7 demand, you’ll have more freedom over when you work than a small town where restaurants are generally only open around meal times.
Grubhub Working Hours Available
Grubhub offers 24-hour delivery. You can schedule blocks of time in advance for the best chance of consistent work. Once you have worked for the platform for a while, you’ll get a better idea of which times are busy and which are quiet.
Doordash Working Hours Available
DoorDash offers 24-hour delivery. To have the best chance at consistent work, be sure to schedule your shifts in advance. If you do this, you will be prioritized for jobs when they become available.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: The App
DoorDash and Grubhub drivers use an app to find and complete work.
The Grubhub app is called Grubhub for Drivers. Use it to schedule hours, start shifts, accept jobs, and confirm deliveries. The in-app map shows which areas are busy and need drivers in real time.
You can track how much you have earned from within the app. You can even use the app to start the sign-up process.
The DoorDash App is called DoorDash Driver. Use it for everything from signing up to accepting jobs.
The app is easy to use and contains a map that highlights how to get to delivery and pickup locations. You can also see which areas are busy and need drivers. The app clearly shows how much you have earned during a week, as well as previous earnings.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: Earning Potential
Both services have a similar earning potential. The main differentiators are where you live and how busy the service is, rather than which one you use.
Many drivers find that the best way to maximize earning potential is to sign up for both services.. This lets you try them both out to see which pays more where you live.
Or, you can open both apps simultaneously while driving. This may help you stay busy at times where neither platform is providing consistent work and idle time is high.
How Much Can I Make with Grubhub?
According to Indeed, the average pay for a delivery driver is $12.41 per hour (at the time of writing). Glassdoor puts the average at $12. Both these estimates are calculated using reported earnings from drivers.
How Much Can I Make with DoorDash?
DoorDash drivers earn $15.57 per hour, according to Indeed. Glassdoor has numerous estimates that suggest an average rate of between $11 and $20.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: Rating System
Both DoorDash and Grubhub have systems that rate their drivers, although they do so in very different ways.
Grubhub has a driver recognition program that rewards highly-rated drivers with bonuses such as the ability to access new blocks two days earlier than regular drivers and being prioritized for catering orders.
Catering orders typically have a higher value than regular orders, and therefore, according to the company, more opportunities for tips.
Whether you qualify for the program depends on your stats over the past 30 days. These include:
- Block attendance rate: The percentage of scheduled blocks that you attend.
- Order acceptance rate: The percentage of offers you accept while on a shift.
- Block drop rate: The percentage of blocks you drop either before or during a shift.
The program has two levels, with the following requirements:
- Premier: 100% attendance rate, 95% or higher order acceptance rate, under 10% block drop rate.
- Pro: 100% attendance rate, 85% or higher order acceptance rate, under 20% block drop rate.
The difference between the two services is that Premier drivers get first access to new blocks.
DoorDash drivers must consider the following two scores: customer rating and job completion rate. Failing to keep them both at a high level could result in having to leave the platform.
There is also a Top Dasher rewards program which gives drivers benefits, such as the ability to schedule shifts a day in advance and priority assignments.
The customer rating is a score out of five calculated from your last 100 deliveries. You must keep a rating of at least 4.2 to guarantee you’ll be allowed to keep working on the platform, and at least 4.7 to be considered as a top driver.
The score constantly updates, so it’s possible to improve a poor rating by continually providing good deliveries.
The rating only considers factors in your control. This means poor quality food or late delivery due to issues at the restaurant will not be held against you.
The completion rate is the percentage of the last 100 deliveries that you have completed successfully.
You must maintain a score of 80%, which leaves plenty of room to account for issues like car breakdowns. Customer cancellations do not count against you.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: What We Like
We like plenty of things about the two services — and they have many in common.
The ability to schedule shifts in advance is a nice way to make the work more consistent, and a huge plus point over platforms that don’t offer this service.
We also like the ease of use of the apps and the easy sign-up process.
Following are some other factors we enjoy about each platform:
What We Like about Grubhub
- The driver recognition program.
- International presence.
- Potential for catering orders.
What We Like about DoorDash
- Top Dasher benefits.
- See minimum earnings for a job before you accept.
- Wide presence around the U.S.
Grubhub vs. DoorDash: What We Don’t Like
Of course, each platform also has its cons.
The biggest negative is that the contractor employment model means you have to pay your own taxes and expenses. This can eat into your earnings, especially if you aren’t prepared.
The schedule shifts in advance model these two platforms use has plenty of plus points, but it does mean it can be tough to find work spontaneously.
Here are some platform-specific things we don’t like.
What We Don’t Like About Grubhub
- You don’t know how much you’ll earn when you accept a job.
- Top rated drivers may take shifts before regular drivers get a chance.
What We Don’t Like About DoorDash
- Those not in the “Top Dasher” program can only use Dash Now when demand requires.
- You may have to leave the platform if ratings drop too low.
If you want to drive for a food delivery company, then both Grubhub and DoorDash are good options. Choosing the best one is tough — It will ultimately depend on the demand for drivers and specific payment rates in your area.
The easy sign-up process means that for many people, the best option is to sign up for both Grubhub and DoorDash. You can then try them out a few times to see which you prefer.
*DoorDash earnings: “For Illustrative purposes only, actual earnings may differ and depend on expenses. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.”
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Ricardo is an entrepreneur, investor and personal finance nerd who enjoys spending time with his family and friends, travelling and helping others achieve their financial goals. Ricardo has been quoted as a personal finance expert in several online publications including Healthline, Bankrate, GOBankingRates, MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and USA Today.