What: DoorDash is a food delivery service that asks independent contractors to use their car, gas and time  to get as little as $2 plus tip.

Expected pay: $10 – $20 per hour

Husl $core: $$$$


Major U.S. cities


  • Drivers must be 18 or older
  • Cannot have any major driving violations in the last 7 years,
  • Must pass a criminal background check and an individualized assessment.


We initially gave DoorDash a substandard Husl$core because of a pay model that allowed the company to abscond with the driver’s tip. We’ve updated this rating because the company drastically changed its pay model.

Currently, the site pays $2-$10 per delivery, plus any “promotion or challenge” pay, plus tip. When you’re asked to do a delivery, you are given a base number that reflects the distance you’re driving and the difficulty of the pickup. You could earn more, but the site says you will not earn less than the amount promised initially. Incidentally, DoorDash purchased the Caviar delivery service, so all these terms affect Caviar drivers too.

These terms are dramatically better than they were a few years ago, when DoorDash used to use customer tips to subsidize its driver’s delivery fees. And you have a New York Times reporter named Andy Newman to thank. He decided to put himself in the shoes of a delivery driver. He tested an array of platforms, including Uber Eats, Postmates and DoorDash. His subsequent story “My Frantic Life as a Cab-Dodging, Tip-Chasing Food Deliveryman,” raised such a furor that DoorDash changed its policy.

Customer furor

Notably, the DoorDash pay policy was understood by drivers. But, customers assumed that when they tipped through DoorDash, the driver was getting the money. Instead, tips often subsidized DoorDash’s guaranteed delivery payment. To avoid losing customers to GrubHub (which does pass tips on to drivers), DoorDash CEO Tony Xu told the New York Times that the company was rolling out a new pay model. 

The promised new pay model: 

Delivery drivers now get at least $2, plus tip. (The old model was $1 plus tip, or a guaranteed payment, whichever was more.) The company also promises to let drivers know where the pick-up will be; where they are going; and the total value of the job (including tip) prior to accepting a delivery. This is notable because delivery drivers often are forced to accept jobs before they know where they’re going. This new policy gives DoorDash drivers sufficient information to know whether a delivery is worth their time.

Other details of driving for DoorDash

The site has a second service called DoorDash Drive that guarantees somewhat better pay for bigger orders. But to qualify, you need to have at least two catering bags. These orders are likely to take more time, since you may need to help set up. So expect that there’s little opportunity to do more than one per hour. 

Other options for delivery drivers: GrubHub, Uber Eats and Orange Crate.

What their drivers say:

(from Indeed)

If you need money do it. If you’re looking for a career do something else. The best part of this job is flexibility and that’s about it. Not much else to say.

You can work and schedule the hours you want but with Doordash offering $3 per delivery and tips it’s not worth the wear and tear on your car. Pay needs raised.

Overall great gig job for a few extra bucks. Flexible, easy, fun, some good days some not so good. Unfortunately you do have to spend a lot on gas and car maintenance.

Overall, I recommend this to anyone as a side hustle. Doordash base pay is honestly trash without promotions but the tips always make it worth it if you get someone willing to give you a good tip. You can always deny an order before taking it so you know if someone tipped well or not before you accept the order

The best part about this job is working only when you want, but the pay is not worth it unless you get a good tip, about half my pay is tips and I only make a bit above $10/hr, minimum wage. You can make a bit more during peak hours and on bigger orders/wealthier areas people tend to tip more, but with small fast food orders, people usually don’t tip at all. Also, don’t do that thing where you shop for someone at a store, they expect it to only take you 5 minutes when it takes like 20 and if the store doesn’t have the exact item they won’t let you substitute it for something similar. They should pay minimum wage and give healthcare.

*Updated 5/25/2021

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