As you get started with gig work, you are often faced with choosing to work for multiple delivery services or gig platforms. Yet, as an independent contractor you are not tied to any one individual platform. Driving for multiple delivery apps is what is known as multi apping.
In fact, this strategy doesn’t only apply for delivery services – it works for all app-based gigs to help maximize your earning potential! Doing so is one of the greatest benefits for gig economy workers.
Not only is multi apping Doordash, Grubhub, or UberEats an option, but running multiple delivery apps at once has become a necessity.
Let me explain why.
Working for Multiple Delivery Apps Smoothens Your Earnings
Say you work for Doordash, and lately you have not been making the same hourly rate you are used to on certain days of the week. You sign up for UberEats to see if you can make more on that app.
After a few weeks, you notice you are not making any more on UberEats than you were on Doordash. A friend tells you they are having the same problem and have recently started driving delivery for Grubhub in LA.
You now decide to give the Grubhub app a try but you discover your market doesn’t have as much demand. Now you start thinking, can I do DoorDash and UberEats at the same time? Can I do DoorDash and Grubhub at the same time?
Could you be penalized for driving multiple delivery apps?
One of the benefits of the app-based gig economy is being an independent contractor you can decide how many apps you work, as well as the flexibility of when you work them. Driving for multiple delivery apps is referred to as, multi apping.
Best Practices for Multi Apping and What to Avoid
Before you begin multi apping, I strongly recommend you work on each app individually first. It is important you understand each app you drive for before mixing them together. Working multiple delivery apps will allow you to earn more, but it also requires you to pay close attention.
1. Start with the two apps you are most comfortable with
Especially for those just starting off, it takes time for you to familiarize yourself with your market, not to mention the nuances you may encounter while using multiple delivery apps. The more variance you introduce to multi apping, the less control you have over time management.
Learning first how to balance your multi apping is critical to understanding how this technique helps you earn more.
2. When you get an order on one app, turn the other app(s) off
Most likely you will be delivering at least one of the two orders late, if not both. When you first multi app, the best rule of thumb is once you accept an order from one app, turn the other apps off until you complete the order you chose to take.
Here’s a real life example:
Let’s say you are multi apping with DoorDash and UberEats. Both apps are open and online while you await a desired delivery request. After declining a few offers on both apps, you get an order you are sure you want, so you accept it. You get to the restaurant for the order you accepted and find out the food will not be ready for another 20 minutes. Although tempting, this is not a good time to be multi apping.
Many drivers decide to keep the order that will be ready in 20 minutes and look to squeeze an easy short order on other apps to fill that time. However in most cases, this leads to late deliveries, cold food, and a low rating or two.
You might have heard other delivery drivers say how they do it and it may work great. Take this with a grain of salt. When testing these waters, many things can go wrong, most of which are outside of your control.
Until you start to truly understand what orders work for you (ex. timing, distance, parking, familiarity with the restaurant), risking your driver rating is a greater cost compared to the incremental gain you would make by taking on another small order. The risk-to-reward is just not worth it.
3. Work smart! Know your market
At the very minimum, I’d benchmark $1 per mile and the order must have a tip, especially on DoorDash and Grubhub. It should be said, UberEats allows tipping after delivery and people often do opt for this option.
Bonus: If I am gauging a potential order that is going 10-15 miles in a direction I will need to ‘deadhead’ back from, I also include $0.50 per mile for the return miles. When I see an order come in, I go through a mental checklist to take into account:
- How far is the start location from where I am?
- How busy is that restaurant usually at any given time?
- How far is the customer from the location once the order is picked up? And of course;
- What is the payout?
4. Keep track of your earnings
As you master multi apping and have a solid understanding of your market, you may then decide you can handle two deliveries, from two apps, at the same time. In fact, you will most likely add in a third, fourth, or fifth app into your roster of gig platforms. However, this is where you will need to be extra diligent about keeping track of your earnings.
At the end of the day, the numbers don’t lie. By comparing which gig platform performed best will allow you to make stronger business decisions about which delivery app to drive for.
If you are having trouble tracking your earnings, Moves offers one of the best bank accounts for independent contractors and gig workers. It allows you to track and manage your earnings across 17+ different platforms in one convenient account.
Treat your gig work like a business – it is extremely important to understand your income and expenses, whether you work one app or eight apps.
Running multiple delivery apps at once is the new normal
Multi apping simply means the ability to have multiple apps on at the same time while waiting for the best offer that makes sense for you. As long as this is what you are trying to accomplish, then working multiple delivery platforms at the same time makes perfect sense.
- Learn the times and zones that are good to work in your city
- Sign up for all the apps you would be willing to work
- Always have a pulse on the apps you prefer to work
- Be ready to pivot from one app to another with no notice
These are the traits that successful gig workers I know use to make the most money from the days and hours they choose to work.
The views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are personal and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Moves, unless explicitly stated.