Which Food Delivery Service Pays The Most?

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PUBLISHED BY Sally Pau / May 18, 2021

2020 was a miraculous year… for the food delivery industry, that is. The sad truth of millions locked down at home became the golden era for those who earn by delivering goods to the front door. DoorDash boosted its revenue by a quarterly average of 220 percent. Total sales across companies surged by 122 percent. Instacart, a grocery delivery service, achieved its 2022 goals in only the third week of the Covid lockdown. Food delivery had become the thing to do.

With the previous rise of both stay-at-home dining and food-delivery popularity, more people than ever are considering themselves for Uber Eats’ next hire. If you’re indeed among the crowd of such opportunists, you’ve probably run into a dilemma of a question: Which is the best?—and in this case, which food delivery service pays the best? The one downside of great opportunity for all is great competition between all. Although the improvement in the pandemic situation is predicted to impact food delivery platforms across the globe, there’s still plenty of room for those looking for work.

There are dozens of food delivery platforms on the market today. Aside from Uber Eats and DoorDash which we mentioned before, Grubhub is also a huge competitor in the Western hemisphere. If you’re considering the best place to deliver food in the United States, you should look into one of these three avenues. In this article, we’ll highlight which food delivery service pays the most to drivers and explain the factors as to why.

The Best Paying Food Delivery Service

Before getting into which food delivery app that pays the most, it’s important to explain how food delivery services pay their employees. The biggest factors which influence delivery-platform payout are as follows:

  • Base pay
  • Peak pay
  • Bonuses/promotions
  • Tips

The other huge factor to keep in mind is the influence your local market has on your experience. Each delivery service has different market shares in each major city. In other words, if the platform simply isn’t as big in your city, fewer customers will use it, and you’ll therefore have less work. There are other ways to maximize performance as a delivery worker, but those techniques are independent of the actual platforms themselves.

We’ll therefore use those few categorical factors to compare/contrast each of the three major platforms up for discussion—starting with base pay.

What’s the Base Pay for Food Delivery Services?

Base pay provides a great incentive for hitting the road for work, so it’s an important consideration when choosing the best delivery platform to work for. For starters, DoorDash provides a base pay for their drivers based on a formula that considers the time, distance, and desirability of each order. The average base pay for orders is between $2-$10. It’s the company’s contribution toward each delivery and stands apart from any other income made on the order.

Unlike DoorDash, Uber Eats does not offer a base pay to its workers. Instead, the delivery payout is calculated by an equation that accounts for the pick-up & drop-off costs, distance traveled for the order and Uber’s commission fee. The fees and payouts may vary slightly depending on where you live and your vehicle type.

Grubhub’s payment system used to be similar to DoorDash’s, but is now more like Uber Eats’. What was once a flat-rate calculation of $4 per order has become a formula that considers pick-up distance, drop-off distance, and overall time. The input numbers will vary from market to market, but the formula itself remains the same across the board.

The Importance of Delivering During Peak Hours

The next considerable for which food delivery service pays the most is the peak-hour payouts. The best paying food delivery apps, like the ones we’re discussing, offer peak-hour incentives for workers by offering larger payouts. Each has its own version of the same model.

DoorDash offers Peak Pay during busier times of the day and night. The incentives are based on the time, location, and starting point. When you make deliveries in qualifying areas during the Peak Pay Incentive, you’ll get an extra dollar or two (or a few) added to each completed order. If there are multiple Peak Pay opportunities within the same starting point, they will be combined toward a greater total. It’s a pretty straightforward system. They also offer a dollar incentive for completing challenges over the course of a week. The challenges will be offered based on your location and seniority.

Uber Eats has Boosts which increases the base pay on orders by x1.1-x2.0 during the select times. It’s all about where has the highest demands. Drivers will be notified of which areas offer Boosts via their app. There’s also something called Quests, which sort of gamifying the workers’ experience, offering large cash prizes at times for specific benchmark achievements. Some Quest prizes can reach well above $50.

Grubhub’s system is slightly different than the former two. When driving for Grubhub, scheduling your shift in open “blocks” is a big part of earning. Grubhub rewards their drivers’ diligence through their Recognition Program, which allows priority block-scheduling and access to higher-paying catering orders. In other words, the better your track record for Grubhub is, the better opportunity you’ll have to make money. They also send out promotions and sweepstakes from time to time on the app, but it’s quite rare.

Delivery Apps That Pays the Most Tips

The last thing worth mentioning for which food delivery service pays the most is, of course, tips. From what we’ve found, all three of these platforms leave driver tips completely untouched—you keep everything. Not only that, they each really encourage their patrons to tip drivers. Grubhub does so especially, but that’s probably because as of now, Grubhub doesn’t allow tipping through the card when the order is placed by the customer–they’ve got a cash-only system.

So in general, the tipping model is the same. DoorDash is, however, the only platform out of the three which allows customers to tip before the order and therefore discloses the amount to workers when they accept the order. This form of tipping may not be done often since tips should somewhat reflect the quality of the delivery experience for the customer, so don’t count on it.

What’s the Highest Paying Food Delivery App?

In conclusion, we’d say that there is no best paying delivery app available at this time. Each platform offers its pros and cons, and each can be a smash hit depending on your market (area of work.) As an independent contractor with flexibility, it’s probably best to diversify your income and use multiple gig apps at a time. This way, you can freely switch between platforms for maximum gain depending on where you are and the time of day you’re working. If you’re curious whether or not you’ve chosen the best app for food delivery, sign up for the other services and give them a shot!

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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