How to DoorDash and Maximize Earnings as a Dasher

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PUBLISHED BY Sally Pau / March 11, 2021

Are you looking for a job with the flexibility to choose your own hours and earn extra money to build towards your financial goals? If you have a mode of transportation and a smartphone, then you can become a DoorDasher and start earning!

With DoorDash, individuals and families can get meals delivered right to their doorstep from their favorite restaurants. Enabling this experience are the delivery drivers and food couriers called Dashes. Together, DoorDash and Dashers help empower local businesses and gig workers with the opportunities to earn, work, and live.

In this article, we will go over why you should deliver with DoorDash, how much you can make, how to DoorDash, understanding the DoorDash driver requirements, along with tips to maximize your earnings! 

Why Deliver with DoorDash

Like many other gig platforms available, it’s easy to get started on DoorDash and gain access to opportunities to earn extra money and choose your own hours. What makes DoorDash, in particular, shine as a platform is its substantial growth in 2020 due to the global pandemic. 

The pandemic has necessitated delivery for businesses. As outlined in the Impact Report by DoorDash, 67% of restaurants say they were able to increase profits during COVID-19 by offering delivery with DoorDash. This is where Dashers come in to fuel the delivery experience. As restaurants are making money, so are the Dashers as they connect the dots. 

More than three out of four Dashers say DoorDash has helped them provide for themselves and their family during the pandemic. DoorDash is a great option, whether you’re looking for a place to kickstart your gig career without any prior experience or you’re looking to add another gig platform to help diversify your income. 

How much can you make as a Dasher?

Now you may be wondering, “how do you make money on DoorDash” or “how much money do you make with DoorDash?”. Well, how much you get paid will depend on several factors from their pay model. 

Base Pay

This is how much DoorDash will pay you for each order depending on the time, distance, and desirability of the order – this amount will range anywhere from $2 to over $10. You will get paid more if deliveries require you to travel a long distance or are less popular with Dashers. 


Everyone loves a bonus to make extra money! Promotions are additional pay on top of the base pay that allows Dashers to earn more. This can include peak pay when it’s extra busy on the roads or challenge bonuses to better reward dashers.


Customers are given an option to tip their Dasher when they check out or after the delivery is completed. You will earn 100% of customer tips on top of your base pay and promotions. 

When you combine the three, you will get your total earnings from each delivery. It was shown that a driver can make $10-25 per hour, however, there are ways to maximize your earnings as a Doordasher, such as leading a seamless delivery experience to help increase your tip amount.

In terms of how often you’ll get paid, Dashers get paid on a weekly basis, and payments are transferred directly to your bank account through direct deposit.

Getting Started on DoorDash

Now to answer how to DoorDash, there are a few requirements you will need to meet before becoming a Dasher. These top dash requirements or DoorDash top dash qualifications include:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a car, scooter, or bicycle (in select cities)
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social security number
  • Give consent to a background check 

If you meet all of the above, then you’re ready to get started! The steps to becoming a Dasher include:

  1. Completing your Dasher profile
  2. Consenting to a background check and a motor vehicle check if you’re using a motorized vehicle 
  3. Submitting W-9
  4. Scheduling an orientation or requesting an Activation Kit to be mailed to you
  5. Activating your Red Card
  6. Setting up your direct deposit

The application process will only take a few minutes and then after signing up, it’ll take you 1-2 weeks to review your DoorDash qualifications and get your account fully activated. If you request the DoorDash starter kit, it will take 1-4 business days for delivery and it will include a hot bag, red card, and manual to get started. This kit replaces the in-person orientation, so we recommend this option if you want to get started as soon as possible. 

The Dasher Red Card you receive is a credit card for Dashers to pay for some of the DoorDash orders. Your earnings will not be deposited on this card, nor is it linked to your bank account. It’s only to be used when prompted by the Dasher app when it says “Pay with Red Card” or “Place Order”. For more details and information on the setup process, you can refer to their support page.

Maximizing Your Earnings as a Dasher

Once you’ve registered as a Dasher, you can start making money and find ways to maximize your earnings as a DoorDasher. Here are a few tips to help you strategize and think about how to become a top Dasher!

Deliver multiple orders at once

If you know where the hottest restaurants are, then you’re a step ahead of the game. Busy restaurants with many orders coming in at once will always be on the lookout for Dashers to deliver meals. If you’re in between orders and want to pick up a few extras, you can go near these restaurants to maximize your chances of getting these deliveries. This allows you to run multiple orders at once, especially if it’s along the way. 

Take advantage of peak pay

Peak Pay time slots will show up in your “Promos” tab in your DoorDash app. These tend to appear during busy times, such as lunch, dinner, and on weekends when an increased number of people are ordering food. If you deliver during these times, you can extra an extra few dollars on top of your base pay and tips. 

Hot tip 🔥: Moves member can access deposit-based Cash Advances for DoorDash drivers up to $1,000, interest-free.

Offer great customer service

Another way to maximize your earnings is to make your customers happy! Since they are given the option to tip you after the delivery, you can make an everlasting impression that can increase your chances of a larger tip. This includes double-checking the order is complete, smiling upon dropoff, and adding a personal touch like providing a customized note. While it’s not guaranteed that you will get a larger tip, you’ll at least make your customers feel more valued. 

Hopefully, this was helpful and you’re well on your way to becoming the next rockstar Dasher in your neighborhood! To learn more about making money delivery, check out our article on delivery apps to make money today.


Sally Pau

Sally is the Growth Marketer at Moves. With years of experience as an independent contractor, she understands both the fulfillment and challenges that come with the gig economy. Now, she is enthusiastic to help build a collective voice to put gig workers at the forefront and drive meaningful change.

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