DoorDash and Uber Eats are the two largest food delivery services in the U.S. right now. At the core, they are very similar — customers place their orders in the app, and drivers accept the orders, deliver them, and get paid weekly.
But if you're interested in a side hustle to make extra money, is DoorDash or Uber Eats pay better for drivers? Our comparison is taking a deep dive into how these side hustle apps work. We explain driver pay, requirements, scheduling, accepting and declining orders, and more.
Over 7,000 cities across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan
Over 6,000 cities worldwide
What are DoorDash and Uber Eats?
DoorDash was founded in 2013 and is affiliated with over 300,000 local and chain restaurants across the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia. According to Bloomberg Second Measure, DoorDash controls nearly 60% of the U.S. food delivery market with higher monthly sales than any other service.
Make $20-$25/hour delivering for DoorDash
DoorDash drivers work on their own schedule and get paid weekly. One of the biggest perks about DoorDash is that you can bring a friend on deliveries!Join DoorDash
DoorDash Disclaimer: Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like number of deliveries completed, time of day, location, and 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) over a 90 day period and includes compensation from peak pay, tips, and other incentives.
DoorDash drivers are called Dashers, and they can deliver via car, bike, scooter, or motorcycle. One thing many drivers like about DoorDash over Uber Eats is that you can schedule working hours up to a week in advance, but you can also deliver on the spot if you find yourself with a few extra hours.
DoorDash continues to expand its offerings, and here are some of the most recent features and partnerships:
- In January 2023, DoorDash introduced Package Pickup, a new service where Dashers pick up prepaid packages from customers homes for FedEx, USPS, and UPS.
- In October of 2022, Doordash began a partnership with Tractor Supply. Customers can now have poultry feed, home improvement tools, and firewood delivered to their homes.
In 2021, DoorDash partnered with Albertsons to start delivering groceries from leading local stores, including Wawa, Safeway, 7-Eleven, Smart & Final, CircleK, and Casey's General Store. They've since added delivery for:
- Gourmet bakeries
- Wine and liquor stores
- Pet supplies
- Office supplies
- Baby items
- Cannabis (yes, DoorDash has officially entered the cannabis industry in Canada with a partnership with Superette)
Want to learn even more about DoorDash? We have a lot to say!
About Uber Eats
Uber launched Uber Eats in 2014 as an on-demand food delivery service that's grown to serve more than 6,000 cities in 45 countries worldwide. It currently controls approximately 24% of the delivery market.
Uber Eats has made a number of changes since launching — 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.
Uber Eats specializes in restaurant delivery, and customers can use the app to read menus, reviews, and ratings before placing orders. The customer stores their credit or debit card information in the app to make for faster checkout.
Once the order is placed in the Uber Eats app, a delivery driver sees the order in the app, assigns it to themselves, then picks the order up, and delivers it to the customer. Drivers can deliver meals by car, bike, scooter, or even foot, but this really depends on the market.
DoorDash vs. Uber Eats: Driver Pay
One of the biggest questions for prospective drivers is: Does DoorDash or Uber Eats pay better?
The short answer is that DoorDash drivers average $15-$25/hour on while Uber Eats drivers make around $10-$17/hour.
Those numbers come from actual driver reviews, and it's important to understand that neither service pays a flat hourly rate. Drivers get paid per delivery, and you'll probably make slightly different amounts throughout the week.
To help you understand how per order pay works, let's take a look at how each service calculates driver pay. We'll also explain how and when drivers are paid.
Uber Eats driver pay formula
The following is the most recent Uber Eats pay formula. It's been changed over the years (and it will likely change again), but the last time it was updated was June 2020.
Uber Eats earnings are calculated by adding:
- Base fare: This is your pay for pickup, drop off time, and distance.
- Trip supplement: This is a newer earnings component that takes into consideration factors like total time and distance, and Uber Eats says it “helps make every delivery worthwhile.”
- Promotions: There are a few different promotions, including Surge and Boost, that turn on when there is a high demand for orders.
- Tips: You keep 100% of your tips.
The promotions Uber Eats offers pay you more to deliver during busy times. Boost multiplies your pay during busy hours, and Surge pricing is an additive dollar amount added to the order total when there are a high number of orders coming through the Uber Eats app. Drivers are paid the higher of the two if both Surge and Boost are happening at the same time.
DoorDash driver pay model
DoorDash's new pay model was rolled out in 2019, and the biggest changes are that all drivers now have a guaranteed base pay amount and keep 100% of their tips.
Base pay is the guaranteed minimum drivers are paid per order. It varies by order and ranges from $2-$10. Drivers see this amount in the Dasher app before accepting an order, and you always keep 100% of this amount.
Promotions give you opportunities to increase your earnings. There are Peak Pay times when certain delivery areas in the Dasher app light up red with a plus dollar amount, which is the additional amount you’ll earn on top of the base pay. This is typically between $1-$4 extra per delivery.
Challenges are currently in beta mode, and can be things like “Complete X number of deliveries in a set amount of time”. If you complete the challenge, you’ll receive bonus pay. Dashers can earn challenge bonuses on top of Peak Pay.
Customers can add tips after the delivery is completed, and you keep 100% of your DoorDash tips.
DoorDash vs. Uber Eats: Driver Requirements
Uber Eats and DoorDash have very similar driver requirements overall, and this is the same for all of the most popular services. But let's take a quick look because there are some very subtle differences that might make one the better option for you.
DoorDash Driver Requirements
- Be at least 18 or older
- Have an iPhone or Android smartphone
- Any car, scooter, or bicycle (in select cities)
- Valid driver’s license
- Auto insurance if driving
- Social Security number if delivering in the U.S.
- Consent to a background check
The most notable difference with DoorDash driver requirements is that you can be 18 to deliver whether that's via car, bike, or scooter.
When you're ready to become a DoorDash driver, the sign-up process typically takes less than 10 minutes. The longest part of the approval is waiting to hear back on the background check, which is run by a third-party company called Checkr. You can expect a wait of 5-10 business days, and DoorDash will notify you once you've been approved.
While most drivers are approved in about a week, check out Stuck on the DoorDash Waitlist? What Driver Should Do Next for more information.
Uber Eats Driver Requirements
Delivery by car:
Delivery by scooter:
Delivery by bicycle or on foot:
The standout difference with Uber Eats is that you can deliver on foot in some cities.
The winner is...
There are two small differences between Uber Eats and DoorDash driver requirements, and it comes to age and delivery method. If you want to deliver by foot and live in an eligible city, Uber Eats is the clear choice. However, if you are 18 and want to deliver by car or scooter, then DoorDash is your winner. It's also worth mentioning that you must be at least 21 to deliver alcohol with either service.
DoorDash vs. Uber Eats: Availability
DoorDash and Uber Eats are the two largest on-demand food delivery services in the U.S. As of November 2022, DoorDash sees 59% of monthly sales while Uber Eats is in second place with 24% of sales. It's safe to say that if you're in the U.S., both will be available near you.
Both services have quickly expanded globally, with DoorDash reaching 7,000 cities worldwide and Uber Eats in 6,000 cities globally. Uber Eats has even delivered to space. Yes, you read that correctly... outer space!
Here are a few countries where you can sign up to drive for DoorDash or Uber Eats:
The winner is...
Delivering to outer space seems like a good case for winning, but Uber Eats is also available in over 45 countries world wide. However, the fact that DoorDash controls twice as much of a market share in the U.S. brings this one to a tie.
Doordash vs. Uber Eats: How It Works for Drivers
Despite how similar these apps work, there are a couple of key differences. One of the biggest being that DoorDash drivers can schedule their hours in advance while Uber Eats doesn't offer advanced scheduling. Uber Eats drivers open the app and drive if it's busy, and DoorDash drivers can do both.
Another big difference is the time you have to accept or decline an order. DoorDash gives you 45 seconds vs. the 15 seconds Uber Eats allows.
But since there are three main parts of making money with these services — scheduling, accepting or declining orders, and making deliveries — let's look at how these two food delivery giants stack up.
How Doordash Works For Drivers
- Scheduling: DoorDash lets you schedule delivery time anywhere from a week in advance to an hour beforehand, and the meal times are the busiest. Drivers can also log into the app when they aren't scheduled and see if the app is busy to Dash Now. The in-app map lights up in red for places with a high enough need for additional drivers.
- Accepting and declining orders: When a DoorDash driver sees an order in the app, they have 45 seconds to accept or decline the order. DoorDash doesn’t have a minimum acceptance rate (this is the percentage of delivery drips you accept), but you’ll need to have an acceptance rate of 70% if you want to qualify for its Top Dasher program. The benefit is that you can “Dash anytime,” regardless of whether it’s busy or not.
- Making deliveries: The app gives you turn-by-turn driving directions, and customers may leave specific delivery instructions, like "leave the order on the red chair" or "don't ring the doorbell because the baby is sleeping."
How Uber Eats Works For Drivers
- Scheduling: Uber Eats drivers don't schedule hours in advance; you simply open the app and wait to get pinged for an order. Drivers can work up to 15 hours a day, and you can't work more than 12 consecutive hours in a day.
- Accepting and declining orders: Drivers have 15 seconds to decide whether or not they want to accept or decline an order. On its site, Uber Eats says, "It is important to maintain a high acceptance rate to provide a reliable service to restaurants and customers. To keep delivery turnaround times quick, we ask that you only go online where you want to take requests." Your rating, however, doesn't show in the app, nor does it impact your ability to get orders or qualify for promotions.
- Making deliveries: Uber Eats built-in map system gives you driving directions, or you can tell the app to open Waze or Google Maps if you prefer. Customers can leave delivery instructions, and you can use the app to take a picture of the food to prove that you've delivered it.
The winner is...
The fact that neither service requires drivers to maintain a certain acceptance rating is a good thing in our book. It would be a serious bummer to be kicked off for that; however, both apps can deactivate you if you are chronically late with deliveries. However, DoorDash wins because you can schedule your hours or deliver when the app is busy. Being able to schedule hours means guaranteed orders. The other winning point for DoorDash is that you have an extra 30 seconds to accept or decline orders.
DoorDash vs. Uber Eats: How Drivers Are Paid
Knowing when and how you’re paid is an important factor when deciding between these two services, and fortunately, these two are fairly similar. But let’s break down how driver payments work.
How DoorDash Pays Drivers
DoorDash pays Dashers every week on Friday using direct deposit. Most drivers report that money hits their bank account by Wednesday. If you want your cash ASAP, you can use Fast Pay for $1.99 to cash out immediately.
You can also sign up for the free DasherDirect card, DoorDash's prepaid business Visa card, and get no-fee instant deposits that automatically show up in your account right after every delivery.
There's also a Time Earnings Mode that launched in August 2022 and pays a flat hourly fee to drivers who opt in. It's entirely optional, and you can switch back to per order pay whenever you want.
M$M Tip: If you want to make money fast, we have an entire article dedicated to the best options for 2023. Check out How to Make $1,000 Fast to learn more.
How Uber Eats Pays Drivers
Uber Eats pays its drivers weekly via direct deposit. Payments are processed on Wednesday, and most drivers see earnings in their account by end-of-day Thursday.
There's also an Instant Pay feature, which instantly deposits your earnings onto your personal debit card. It's $0.50 per cash out and you can use it up to 5x per day. Or, you can open an Uber Visa Debit Card and use Instant Pay for free.
The winner is...
We’re calling this one a draw because both services give drivers a way to cash out the day they drive.
Doordash vs. Uber Eats: Driver Support
In the past couple of years, Uber Eats, DoorDash, and other services have been finding ways to support their drivers amid crises like the pandemic and surging fuel costs. Here's what you can expect:
DoorDash Driver Support
To offset rising fuel costs, DoorDash is offering a temporary weekly gas bonus aimed at high mileage drivers. It pays a $5, $10, or $15 bonus if you drive at least 100-225 miles per week. DoorDash drivers who sign up and use the free DasherDirect prepaid business Visa debit card can earn 10% cashback on all gas purchases. All Dashers qualify for the card, and there's no credit check.
In response to the pandemic, DoorDash offered temporary "sick leave" pay during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Both drivers and customers can now request contactless deliveries.
Uber Eats Driver Support
Uber Eats began adding a temporary delivery surcharge of $0.35 or $0.45 to every order to help with gas costs. Customers pay the additional fee, and drivers keep 100% of the surcharge.
There was also temporary financial assistance offered at the height of the pandemic.
How To Make the Most Money With DoorDash and Uber Eats
No matter which service you drive for, here are tips from real drivers to make more than the average driver:
- Make yourself available during meal times. The busiest times for DoorDash and Uber Eats are during lunch and dinner Monday through Friday and late night hours on the weekends. And it can get super busy during events like the Super Bowl or any other major televised event when people don’t want to run out and miss what’s on TV.
- Build delivering into your daily routine. One of the best tips we’ve gotten is that attaching driving to a non-negotiable routine will help you find time to make money. For example, plan on taking an order or two on your way home from work.
- Keep track of your mileage and expenses. Neither DoorDash nor Uber Eats reimburses you for driver expenses like fuel or your cell phone, but you can write these expenses off at tax time if you keep track of them. We recommend using an app like Everlance to track miles and expenses so you can take an accurate deduction at tax time. Read more in How to Handle Taxes for Your Side Hustle.
- Be a little picky with orders. Many drivers recommend only accepting larger orders and avoiding ones like a $7 order from Taco Bell. The reason is that larger orders almost always pay more, but declining too many orders means you're missing out on opportunities to make money. The best approach is to test things out for yourself. Spend a couple of days taking every order that comes in the app and another couple of days being picky — which days did you earn more?
The Final Word: Is DoorDash or Uber Eats Pay Better for Drivers?
DoorDash drivers see higher pay, can schedule their hours in advance, have more time to decide if they want to accept orders, and DoorDash controls significantly more of the food delivery market when compared to Uber Eats. That makes it the winner in our book, but either delivery service is a solid side hustle if you want to make extra money.
DoorDash and Uber Eats are the most popular food delivery services in the U.S., but DoorDash sees more monthly sales, and drivers average more earning per hour.
Our driver reviews have found that DoorDash drivers average $15-$25/hour compared to Uber Eats drivers earning $10-$17/hour.