With so many food delivery services, more and more people are wondering: what is the best food delivery service to work for?
Working for on-demand food delivery services has become the hottest and most widely available side hustle of 2020. More people are choosing the convenience of ordering out while they stay home, which means an increased demand for new drivers.
What I love about these options is that they are all flexible and legitimate ways to make money in 2020.
This list takes a look at the best food delivery services of 2020. You’ll learn what kind of things you’ll deliver, driver requirements, how much drivers can expect to make, and the pros and cons of each company.
7 of the best food delivery services to work for in 2020
Postmates is known as the “we-deliver-anything-service”. Their slogan is actually “anything, anytime, anywhere.”
When they say anything, they mean it. Postmates has become famous for some bizarre orders, including a drum set, $1,000 worth of Taco Bell, and ping pong balls. I bring this up because you can find yourself delivering more than just meals and groceries.
Since it was founded in 2011, Postmates has grown to reach more than 350,000 cities and 600,000 million merchants. Uber Eats acquired Postmates in 2020, but it’s still operating as its own brand.
Postmates driver requirements
These are the requirements to sign up as a Postmates driver:
- You must be 18 years old
- Access to a reliable vehicle, scooter, or bike
- Car insurance if delivering by car
- A valid driver’s license if using a vehicle
One of the reasons that Postmates is one of the best delivery services to work for because there are so many options for couriers. You can deliver via car, bike, scooter, motorcycle, or on foot. These options depend on the market you’re in, but it makes this service accessible to more people.
Postmates uses a formula to calculate how much drivers make per delivery that includes: pick-up, drop-off, mileage, and minutes in the store or restaurant. Rates for each vary by location.
Postmates couriers make $15-$20/hour.
Pros and cons of working for Postmates
Since DoorDash was launched in 2013, it’s grown to reach a market of more than 75 million Americans. DoorDash delivers meals from chain and local restaurants, and it’s begun delivering from convenience stores and drugstores, like CVS, in some markets.
Dashers – what delivery drivers for DoorDash are called – can schedule their hours in advance. There are no minimum hours to drive, which is the same as the rest of the food delivery services on this list.
Driver requirements to sign up for DoorDash:
- Must be 18 years old or older
- Access to a car, scooter, or bike in some markets
- A valid driver’s license number
- Auto insurance
DoorDash has a simple driver pay formula called the Dasher Pay Model:
Base ranges from $2-$10, and you can always see the base pay amount in the app before you take the order.
DoorDash acquired another one of the best food delivery services, Caviar, in 2019. Caviar is seen as a high-end service, delivering for a more curated list of restaurants.
Caviar is still operational, but it’s begun to operate under DoorDash’s branding. For example, signing up to deliver for Caviar takes you through the Dashers sign-up process.
Drivers on DoorDash average $15-$20/hour.
Pros and cons of delivering food for DoorDash:
Instacart has become one of the most well-known grocery delivery services since it was launched in 2012. One of the reasons it’s among the best food delivery services to work for is because there are two options when working for Instacart: full-service and in-store shoppers.
Full-service shoppers take customer orders in the app, shop for them, and deliver the order. These shoppers have the most flexibility because you can pick the days and times you work, plus how often.
In-store shoppers take orders in the app, shop for them, and then stage them for pick-up. These shoppers are limited to 29 hours a week or less and are considered part-time employees, not independent contractors like full-service shoppers.
To become an Instacart shopper, the requirements are:
- Access to a car, valid driver’s license, and car insurance
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be eligible to work in the U.S.
- Able to lift 50 lbs
Instacart shoppers are paid based on the size and difficulty of the order, plus how busy the app is. Instacart shoppers can now see their estimated earnings before deciding if an order is worth their time.
Full-service Instacart shoppers can make up to $20/hour during busy times and average $12/hour.
Pros and cons of delivering food for Instacart:
4. Uber Eats
Owned by rideshare giant Uber, Uber Eats was launched in 2014 and now partners with over 9,500+ merchants delivering food from your favorite restaurants. It also delivers for convenience stores and grocery stores in certain markets. Since the start of 2020, Uber Eats has seen orders through the app increasing by 197%.
To sign up as an Uber Eats driver , you must:
- Meet the minimum age to drive in your city
- Have at least one year of licensed driving experience (if you’re under 23 years old, you need 3 years of experience driving)
- A valid U.S. driver’s license
- Eligible vehicle (this varies by city, but you can expect requirements for a 4-door vehicle that is at least a 1998 model or newer)
- Provide proof of residency in your city or state
- Have vehicle insurance
Uber Eats drivers earn a base fare for every delivery, which includes your pay for pick-up, drop off time, and distance. It added a new earnings component called a trip supplement to account for time and distance.
Drivers for Uber Eats earn an average of $10-$20/hour.
Pros and cons of delivering for Uber Eats:
Shipt was founded in 2014 as an on-demand grocery delivery service, and it now reaches over 260 grocery stores nationwide. Shipt started as a membership-based platform, and while that’s still an option, you no longer need to be a member to order from Shipt. This opens it up to more users, meaning more work for Shipt shoppers.
Shipt shoppers are expected to wear a Shipt shirt when they work so store employees can identify shoppers.
Requirements to sign up and deliver for Shipt:
- Must be 18 years old or older
- Have a valid driver’s license and insurance
- Have a reliable vehicle – 1997 model or newer
- Capable of lifting 40 lbs or more
- Have insulated cooler bags
Shipt is one of the best food delivery services to work for because it allows shoppers to accept and shop for more than one order at a time. It can be a more efficient use of your time to earn more money.
Drivers are paid based on their commission, which is $5 plus 7.5% of the order amount – you see this amount in the app before taking the order.
Shipt shoppers can expect to make around $15-$20/hour.
Pros and cons of delivering for Shipt:
GrubHub is considered the OG among these food delivery services – it was founded in 2004. It now serves more than 4,000 U.S. cities and partners with more than 225,000 restaurants.
This on-demand delivery service mainly delivers for restaurants, but it’s expanded to include convenience stores in some markets.
Drivers are encouraged to schedule their shifts in advance, but you can also open the app and drive whenever you have extra time.
To sign up and deliver for GrubHub, here are the requirements:
- Be at least 19 years old (at least 21 in Chicago and Las Vegas)
- Have a valid driver’s license and car insurance
- Have a cell phone with a data plan (iOS 11 or higher or Android 5.0 or higher)
Grubhub uses what might look like a complicated pay model (below), and while it does vary by market, it clearly explains how your pay is determined.
Drivers for GrubHub average $12-$15/hour.
Pros and cons of delivering for GrubHub:
7. Amazon Flex
Amazon Flex is an Amazon service that outsources drivers for Prime Now, AmazonFresh, and Amazon Restaurant Delivery. Because you can deliver packages too, that makes it pretty different from the rest of the best food delivery services on this list.
Drivers can pick when they work, but you will need to drive for 3-6 hour-long blocks. You’ll also need insulated bags or coolers to keep refrigerated or freezer items cool.
Here are the requirements to sign up and deliver for Amazon Flex:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Drive a 4-door, mid-sized or larger vehicle
- Have car insurance
Amazon Flex drivers are paid based on the number of orders the complete: more orders = more pay. Having a larger vehicle means you can complete considerably more orders.
Amazon Flex drivers average $18-$25/hour.
Pros and cons of delivering for Amazon Flex:
What the best food delivery services to work for all have in common
The short answer is a lot. These services have become more and more similar over time. While that seems like it might make the decision harder, the reality is that they are all solid delivery service jobs.
Pay is very similar.
Drivers for all of these companies report that pay fluctuates throughout the week. You might have a great day where you average $25/hour, but then there’s a day you’re earning closer to $10/hour. The average pay rangers reported in this article are because of those swings.
And remember that all of these apps let you keep 100% of your tips.
The sign-up process is virtually the same.
Not only are the sign-up requirements the same, so is the process and time it takes to be approved to deliver. You can expect 1-2 weeks from the time you sign up until you start delivering.
The biggest difference is Amazon Flex because you need to be at least 21. That’s the same for services that deliver alcohol, but this varies by location.
You must pass a background check and vehicle driving check.
Speaking of the sign-up process, these are two requirements you will have to meet. The best food delivery services are looking for drivers with clean driving records for at least the past two years, meaning no major violations.
The only time they won’t check your driving records if you’re delivering by bike or foot.
The best food delivery services to work for are widely available.
It would be a bummer if I told you about an awesome new company, but it was only available in a couple of cities.
These companies have all grown tremendously over the past few years, especially in 2020, meaning you can work almost anywhere in the U.S.
They pay via direct deposit.
Besides Amazon Flex, which pays twice a week, all these services payout 1x per week via direct deposit. Most also have an instant cash out feature where you can pay a small fee to access your earnings ASAP. Here’s what those look like by service:
- Instacart: Instant Cashout lets you get paid immediately in some markets. Payouts go directly to your debit card
- Postmates: Instantly access your earnings to a debit card for a fee of $0.50 per transaction
- Uber Eats: You can use Instant Pay up to 5 times per day for $0.50 fee, or have earnings deposited to your Uber Visa Debit Card for free
- GrubHub: There is a $0.50 fee for every Instant Cash Out on GrubHub, but it’s free if you’re using a Chase bank account
- DoorDash: The Fast Pay option allows you to cash out your earnings daily for a fee of $1.99
You’re considered an independent contractor.
Besides Instacart in-store shoppers, you will be working as an independent contractor. That means you’re responsible for withholding your side hustle taxes. Tax experts recommend settings aside approximately 30% of your pay for taxes.
Drivers can expect more wear and tear on their car, plus these companies don’t reimburse you for gas. This eats into your total driver pay, but you can write off your mileage and other expenses related to driving. Consult a tax expert for more details.
The best food delivery services to work for – the final word
Listen, these companies are all incredibly similar, and I think that’s a great thing for drivers. There are fewer and fewer surprises, and it means no matter which one you sign up for, you know you’ve chosen a solid company.
One tip you’ll get from seasoned drivers is to sign up for more than one company at a time. Being an independent contractor means you can work for multiple companies, and many even encourage it.
To decide who to start with, I highly recommend checking out Postmates. They recently contacted me about a higher-than-average need for drivers.