This has been a big year for food delivery services with increased orders and larger orders overall, and that’s a great thing if you’re looking for a flexible side hustle. There are lots of options on the market, and today, I’m looking at DoorDash vs. Uber Eats to see which is best for drivers.
DoorDash and Uber Eats both offer customers a convenient way to get on-demand food delivery from restaurants and grocery stores.
But let’s take a look at how these two stack up from a driver’s perspective from how much you can make, where you can deliver, how you get paid, and more.
DoorDash vs. Uber Eats | Which is Best for Drivers?
DoorDash vs. Uber Eats Comparison
Keep 100% of tips
Schedule hours in advance
What are you delivering?
Take out, convenience store items
Take out, convenience store items
Be 18 years old, reliable vehicle and driver’s license, at least one year of driving experience
Be 19 years old, reliable vehicle that is 20 years old or newer, valid driver’s license, one year of driving experience
Peak Pay, Challenges, and Drive
Surge and Boost
How often are drivers paid?
DoorDash was founded in 2013 and is affiliated with over 300,000 local and chain restaurants across the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Drivers for DoorDash are called Dashers, and they can deliver via car, bike, scooter, or motorcycle. This food delivery service is unique for Dashers in that you can schedule working hours up to a week in advance, while also being able to deliver on the spot if you find yourself with a few extra hours.
This company has been open about the fact that also delivering for DoorDash competitors, like Uber Eats and Instacart, will help you make more money. That’s 100% true – drivers can earn more by working for multiple companies. You can have both apps open at the same time and decide which orders to take.
The steps to sign up for DoorDash:
- Sign up for DoorDash here
- Complete in-person or online driver orientation
- Pass a driver screening process
- Download the app once you’re approved (can take 3-10 days) and start driving
About Uber Eats
Uber Eats is Uber’s food delivery platform, which launched in 2014. The app started in Los Angeles, and it’s now grown to nearly every city in which its parent company, Uber, operates.
They’ve made a number of changes since they launched — moving away from flat fee delivery pricing is one of the largest changes for consumers. In July of 2020, Uber Eats made major waves in the food delivery service market when they acquired Postmates, another popular service.
How to sign up for Uber Eats:
- Go here to sign up for Uber Eats
- Upload the required documents (proof of license and insurance)
- Consent to a background check
- Start taking orders once you’re approved, usually 7 days to complete the process
How much drivers make with Doordash vs Uber Eats
To explain who pays drivers more, we have to start by talking about how each app pays drivers.
Neither company pays a flat per hour rate — this is standard with ridesharing and food delivery services — and instead, your pay varies by delivery.
Uber Eats uses a formula for driver pay that is calculated based on distance traveled and delivery fees paid by the customer. You can also earn more money if you deliver during busy times — like weekday dinner hours and Friday nights. These busy times are called “surge zones,” and they pop up in the app when you take orders.
DoorDash pays drivers based on the Dasher Pay Model, shown below:
Base Pay ranges from $2-$10 and promotions give you a few ways to increase your earnings, including:
- Peak Pay: You make $1-$4 more per delivery when you drive during busier hours, and a Peak Pay alert will pop up in the app.
- Challenges: DoorDash incentivizes drivers to complete a certain number of orders in a set amount of time. Challenges appear in the app and you can combine them with Peak Pay.
- Drive: This is less common, but you can also get paid more for completing larger orders.
Both Uber Eats and DoorDash drivers get to keep 100% of their tips.
Despite differences in pay structure, drivers for both DoorDash and Uber Eats report similar overall pay of around $12-$15/hour.
You are responsible for the wear and tear you put on your vehicle, and you’ll need to withhold and file taxes as an independent contractor.
The winner is...
DoorDash because its promotions give you chances to earn more, and there is a clear earnings structure.
Check out another DoorDash competitor at Instacart vs. DoorDash: Which One is Better for Drivers?
Where you can drive for Doordash vs Uber Eats
Both of these food delivery services are available in bigger cities across the U.S., so your ability to drive for one or the other obviously depends on whether or not they are available where you live.
Uber Eats is currently available in more than 6,000 cities across 45 countries. Uber recently acquired Postmates, and this will likely increase their delivery range. Check here to see if they’re in your area.
DoorDash is available in over 4,000 cities in the United States as well as locations in Canada and Australia. This makes it more widely available, which is good for drivers in smaller cities and towns.
Even though Uber Eats is more widely available, DoorDash has 57% of the market share while Uber Eats only has 23%. That means that customers are choosing DoorDash over Uber Eats by a large margin.
The winner is...
Even though Uber Eats is more widely available worldwide, DoorDash has a much larger share of the U.S. market share.
How does DoorDash compare to Postmates? Learn more at DoorDash vs Postmates: Which is a Better Side Hustle?
DoorDash vs Uber Eats on driver requirements
To drive for DoorDash, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license, auto insurance, a smartphone, and be willing to complete a background check. You’ll also need access to a car, scooter, or bicycle to complete deliveries. The last three years of your driving history will be checked too, and if you’ve had more than three minor moving violations, you might not be eligible to drive.
DoorDash also requires that all drivers complete an orientation, which can be online or in-person depending on where you live. Orientation explains how to use the DoorDash app to make deliveries and when you’ll fill out a W-9 for taxes.
Uber Eats drivers only have to meet the required age to drive in their city and have at least one year of driving experience. Scooter couriers need to be at least 19. Scooters and cars must be no more than 20 years old, and you will need a valid driver’s license, registration, and insurance for both.
There’s also a background check for Uber Eats drivers, which you’ll have to pass before you can start delivering.
The winner is...
DoorDash and Uber Eats have nearly identical driver requirements.
How drivers get paid with DoorDash vs Uber Eats
DoorDash drivers are paid weekly with payments that are deposited directly into your bank account with direct deposits. Payments normally show up by Wednesday. You can also use Fast Pay to cash out early — you’re charged $1.99 each time.
Uber Eats drivers are also paid weekly via direct deposit into their bank account. Instant Pay is an option for drivers who want their money ASAP, and you can cash out up to 5x per day. It does cost $0.50 per cash out, or you can have your earnings deposited immediately without charge to an Uber Visa Debit Card.
The winner is...
Uber Eats has a lower fee if you want your earnings immediately, but both do weekly direct deposit for no additional fees.
Taking orders for DoorDash vs Uber Eats
Uber Eats drivers can hop onto the app whenever they want and start taking orders. This is really convenient for people with less structured days because it gives them the flexibility to pick up orders whenever they have the time.
DoorDash also has this option — it’s called Dash Now, and the in-app map shows areas in red where there is a high volume of orders. But you can also schedule your working hours in advance. This makes it easier for you to set your schedule while still ensuring a steady stream of drivers.
The winner is...
DoorDash gives you the chance to schedule working time as well as take orders whenever you want.
What people can order with DoorDash vs Uber Eats
Most consumers don’t have loyalty to one of these food delivery companies versus the other. Instead, people are loyal to their favorite restaurants and grocery stores and will use whatever app happens to partner with their favorite places.
For example: if their favorite Indian restaurant uses Uber Eats and not DoorDash, they’ll probably go with Uber Eats. But if the place with the best pho in town uses DoorDash, that’s who they’ll choose.
The number of restaurants and stores you can deliver for directly affects you as a driver — it widens your customer base.
Uber Eats delivers for local restaurants and grocery stores and is affiliated with some larger, nationwide businesses. They also now deliver for convenience stores, and with its purchase of Postmates, we can probably expect even more options as Postmates is known to deliver anything.
Uber is launching a grocery delivery service in select cities in the U.S., including Miami and Dallas. It’s a partnership with a smaller company called Cornershop, and we can probably expect this to grow in the future.
DoorDash currently works with over 340,000 merchants across the U.S., Canada, and Australia — this includes restaurants, grocery stores, and even Target. And what’s unique is that customers can order from unaffiliated restaurants if there is a menu available in the app.
The pandemic prompted both companies to partner with convenience stores to deliver essential household items like toilet paper, over-the-counter medicine, cleaning supplies, even pet food. This may be temporary.
The winner is...
Both companies deliver for a variety of merchants and are trying to expand their offerings.
Cost of Uber Eats vs DoorDash
This factor also affects you as a driver — a higher delivery fee can detract customers. Here’s how each company sets delivery fees.
Here’s what you need to know about Uber Eats fees:
- Orders may have a service fee that is up to 15% of the order’s subtotal, but if the restaurant uses its own drivers to deliver on Uber Eats, this fee is waived
- Smaller orders have a fee of either $2 for subtotals less than $10 or $3 for subtotals less than $15
- Customers can find $0 delivery options at certain restaurants by sharing a delivery driver — new options pop up every 5 minutes
What you need to know about DoorDash’s fees:
- Delivery fees generally range from $1.99-$4.99
- Service fees are typically around 10% of the customer’s subtotal
- There is around a $2 Small Order Fee that applies to orders that are $8-$10 or less
- DashPass costs $9.99/month and offers $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees at participating restaurants
Both food delivery companies base their fees on the market and the availability of drivers in the area. When the demand is higher for drivers, people pay more, and this affects your ability to earn more.
Another important thing to note is that Uber Eats gives customers more ways to pay for their deliveries, including Venmo and PayPal. Those aren’t options on DoorDash, but both apps accept debit cards, credit cards, and gift cards.
The winner is...
DoorDash tends to be less expensive on standard orders, but Uber Eats has more options for $0 delivery fees.
How do the companies treat their drivers?
While both of these companies give you a flexible way to make extra money, they’ve both faced sharp criticism in the past.
DoorDash was caught in a tipping scandal, but it resulted in a changed driver pay policy that gives drivers 100% of tips and higher base pay. And Uber Eats was recently sued for the high commissions they charge restaurants.
What I’ve noticed about these companies is that they’re receptive to making changes that help their drivers. Freelancers now make up a massive share of the workforce — about 35% — and these companies are being forced to listen to demands. This is a good thing for drivers.
How to make more than average for Uber Eats and DoorDash
Something both of these food delivery services have in common is how drivers can earn more than average. Below are tips from real driver reviews explaining how they boost their earnings:
- Take advantage of incentives:
- Drive during peak hours: The lunch and dinner hours are the busiest time for food delivery drivers. The same goes for major sporting events, big televised events, and holidays. Think about when people will want to be home not cooking.
- Avoid small orders: Drivers are split on this. Some say to take small orders, but others say avoid them if possible. See, bigger orders are more difficult to deliver and pay more, which is why they’re more worth your time. You can be a little picky when orders come in the app, but if you only see small orders, then you’ll need to take some of those if you want to make money.
- Accept more than one order at a time: You’re not going to see this often, but when you do see orders batched together in the app, it’s a more efficient use of your time to complete more than one at a time. And as they say, time is money.
- Drive for more than one company: This one is major, and it’s something rideshare drivers do as well. You’re allowed to drive for multiple food delivery services because you’re an independent contractor. The idea is that you keep both apps open, toggle back and then toggle back and forth to find the best orders.
The final word – which is best for drivers DoorDash vs. Uber Eats?
This is a hard one, but DoorDash edges ahead for me because drivers generally earn a little bit more when they add up their total wages for the day and figure hourly pay. How much you’re able to make is a big factor for me because it’s your time — you need to know you’re earning as much as possible.
Remember, one of the best ways to make more money with food delivery services (same goes for rideshare drivers) is to drive for more than one company.
Many drivers keep both apps open at the same time and pick the orders they want. You can pick orders that are the closest to you or the ones that pay the most.