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DoorDash is huge and continues to grow; and if you don’t know any Dasher in your neighborhood, you will surely know someone who knows one. It’s like Tom Hanks but for food delivery.
Dashers earn a decent income, and that’s what makes DoorDash the best second job. I’ve always been a side hustler, and apart from this blog, it’s with DoorDash that I can work whenever I want.
But like any other job, earning more money with DoorDash comes with various levels of success.
Some earn a minimum wage, others thrive with $1,000 a week, while others, unfortunately, decide to quit after being a Dasher for a few weeks.
In reality, you have to approach DoorDash with a strategic mindset in order to be successful. Earnings at DoorDash may differ and will mostly depend on location, work schedule, and number of deliveries.
If you know the best times to work, you can surely increase your income significantly or at least make DoorDash a lucrative side gig.
Ready to cash in more moolah? Let’s find out the best times to maximize your earnings at DoorDash!
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1. DoorDash Peak Pay Times
If your goal is to make $500 a week with DoorDash, it’s crucial to understand peak pay times. Peak pay times are promotions or bonuses offered during busy hours with high-demand orders.
In some regions, peak times could include breakfast, brunch, dinner, and late evening (typically around midnight).
According to DoorDash, these are the best times to work:
- Brunch: 11 AM to 2 PM
- Dinner: 4:30 PM to 8 PM
- Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
However, it’s important to note that they may suggest peak pay is not always available throughout these hours, whether on good or bad days. In reality, peak pay is typically extended to almost all Dashers, primarily during meal times.
To know if you are eligible for a peak pay incentive, take a look at your promos tab in the Dasher app.
With peak pay, you can earn double the amount of your base pay (around $2 to $10 in guaranteed earnings) for each delivery you make during peak hours.
I don’t strictly follow the best times to work recommended by DoorDash. I assume the information is widely available and most Dashers would probably work during these times.
You know what I do? I start dashing earlier or later than the ideal time. For instance, I work as early as 6 AM to 9 AM to capitalize on high-paying orders with low competition.
I also love to work at night time (my favorite time to DoorDash), as many folks come from school work or night out and want nothing more than delicious tacos.
Did I get peak pay incentives during these times? 100%. These are my strategies for maximizing my DoorDash earnings each day.
2. Dash During Busy Hours and Days
Just like fishing, you must know when the big fish are biting, or in this case, the busy hours and days customers will most likely place orders.
If it’s you’re new to the dashing game, you might think, “Why do I need to know the busy hours? DoorDash offers flexibility, right?”
Trust me, my friend. Knowing the busy hours of DoorDash will be more helpful than detrimental to you.
At the heart of every Dasher’s earning potential is the classic economic principle of supply and demand. As customer orders increase, so does the volume of food requiring delivery. This surge not only promises more deliveries but also more opportunities to earn.
Here are the busy hours and days you should dash:
6 AM – 9 AM
Breakfast orders might not be raining down like lunchtime meatballs, but there’s a secret society of morning hustlers out there.
Think about this – many people don’t have a minute for a toast, let alone a full pancake stack. Nevertheless, some folks need food in their system before starting the day, and who wouldn’t love breakfast at their doorstep?
If you’re an early bird, take advantage of this time slot. Dashing in the morning ranks as the ideal early-morning job, with less competition from other Dashers and significantly lighter traffic.
11 AM – 1 PM
Lunch breaks are prime time for DoorDash, with loads of folks craving the ease of door-to-door delivery to avoid lining up at restaurants at the busiest times of the day.
Don’t overlook the remote workers, either; swamped with meetings, they often can’t spare a moment for a food run.
Then you have office teams placing group orders to cut down on delivery fees, or employees so buried in work they can’t afford to step out. And of course, there are companies that bulk order meals for those lovely lunchtime meetings.
5 PM – 9 PM
When dinner rolls around, it’s game time for Dashers – the busiest and most competitive slot.
Everyone is exhausted from work, school, or running around all day. No one’s in the mood to cook. That’s your signal to save the day, bringing a feast directly to their front door.
Just remember, every Dasher out there is thinking the same thing, so slots can be scarce. Beat the rush by scheduling your Dash five days out. Or, if something big’s happening, like a Taylor Swift concert, and midnight orders skyrocket, you know what to do. Hit ‘Dash now’ and get going!
Weekends (Saturdays and Sundays)
Weekends are naturally busier than weekdays because most customers order out during this time. I don’t dash 24/7 nor every day of the week, but when I do, I make sure it’s a weekend.
So, if you’re looking for a one-day-a-week job, consider being a Dasher on weekends.
There is a high volume of orders on weekends, and peak pay bonuses are higher as well, usually +$1 to +$2, especially during big events.
As with weekdays, the best times for DoorDash are breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You can make more money on late Friday and Saturday nights, too. Most of your target market is late-night corporate employees, people who got home from parties, or those who want to treat themselves after a grueling weekday.
When the weather’s frightful, Dashing can be delightful — for your earnings, that is. Bad weather keeps customers indoors and craving delivery, shooting demand for Dashers through the roof.
On the flip side, few delivery drivers are enthusiastic about facing these hazardous conditions; thus, peak pay is usually available to entice drivers to work.
Want to maximize your earnings when the weather’s rough? Lunch and dinner hours are your golden windows.
3. Slowest Day to DoorDash
Mondays to Wednesdays are the slowest of the week for DoorDash unless there’s a holiday or special event. People tend to cook during the early days of the week and then rely on delivery orders as the week progresses.
Thursdays are a hit or a miss, depending on your market. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are always the busiest times for Doordash.
That said, these are only my personal observations; it’s always best to use the DoorDash app to know real-time demand in your area.
4. Leveraging Local Events and Holidays
Local events and holidays are time with family and friends, and do you know what to look forward to during special occasions? Food!
People are glued to their TV screens at certain times of the year. Remember during the last season of Game of Thrones, where fans organize watch parties and discuss theories in each episode? How about the NBA finals or the Super Bowl? In each event, a Dasher is needed.
I always take advantage of these rare opportunities because there is always a surge in demand for DoorDash.
But while there is high demand for customers during special events, DoorDash is short on drivers around this time. It’s a no-brainer; Dashers have a life, too, and celebrate with family.
Extra pay is offered as a reward for drivers willing to make deliveries during local events and holiday rush hours.
Here are the best holidays throughout the year at DoorDash:
- Christmas Day
- New Year’s Day
- Mother’s Day
- Veterans Day
- Labor Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Game Day
- Presidents’ Day
- Memorial Day
Some holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s Eve, are not worth the effort because most stores and restaurants are closed. Conversely, people often prefer to cook at home during Thanksgiving and the 4th of July, which can also affect delivery demand.
On other occasions, you can make more deliveries, and of course, the pay will be higher. After all, it’s when people exchange gifts (especially on Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.) and receive free money and DoorDash gift cards.
5. Busy Locations
When you schedule your shift, you choose the zones you want to dash in.
While it can be tempting only to dash close to home, it’s also important to experiment with other markets and nearby zones where the good tips and most orders are.
Downtown vs. suburbs
DoorDash is available both in cities and suburbs. But the same with other businesses, some areas are more profitable than others.
For instance, working in a downtown area where most restaurants are located tends to have the most customers than working in suburban locations with fewer restaurants.
Every market is different so exploring areas and neighborhoods in your city is crucial to identify which locations get you the most money. Make sure to use your DoorDash busy map; it’s a great guide showing you where the money is at.
For this DoorDash hack, the Hotspot feature is a reliable friend. Hotspots will tell you which restaurants receive the most orders at a specific time, and being near that location could make receiving and accepting orders easier.
There are two types of Hotspots in DoorDash: the Dynamic Hotspot (red hexes), which shows where most customers are currently ordering food, and the Historical Hotspot (black flame), which indicates which restaurants have a history of high activity.
Spot a restaurant lit up by both? That’s like a culinary phoenix rising from the ashes, back on the foodie charts with a bang!
Select restaurants and orders wisely
High-traffic areas? Cha-ching! But don’t let the sound of cash registers drown out the little voice asking, “How far, though?” when you’re dashing around town.
Remember that the farther you are from the customer or restaurant, the longer it will take you to deliver the order and start a new one. Not to mention the cost of gas while working in far locations.
Be wary of those large orders, too. They may glitter like gold, but some kitchens have a ‘snail-paced’ badge of honor in food prep. Waiting without Earn by Time? That’s a ‘no’ from your bank account. Time is money!
6. Balancing Consistency and Flexibility
In the gig economy, it’s NOT always a given that working longer hours or dashing all over the place will let you earn more.
Instead, focus on being SMART. Use the app to your advantage. Track your earnings. Analyze your market. Know nearby restaurants and locations. Experiment. Analyze again.
For me, consistency is key to earning a higher net income. By setting a regular schedule (usually at night) during peak hours and in high-demand areas, I can secure a stream of orders with higher tip potential.
In fact, on good weeks, I can quickly bring home an extra $700 a week.
However, I’ve also learned that consistency with DoorDash alone won’t pay the bills. Consistency can limit your earnings, especially when the market changes.
Hence, the need for flexibility — be open to adjusting your schedule, change your location based on real-time demand, capitalize on unexpected surges (like holidays, local events, bad weather days, etc.), and make the most of peak pay promotions.
While I’ve done all these to maximize earnings, I also see to it that I have another gig that reliably funnels extra cash straight into my bank account.
Call me your friendly neighborhood hustler – by day, I’m a full-time blogger, and when the sun sets, I take my superhero cape, aka my insulated blog, for my food delivery adventures.
In today’s world, a large number of people are supplementing their income by keeping their day jobs and moonlighting as food couriers. If you feel the gig economy is your true calling, you might enjoy multi-apping.
It’s a common practice for delivery pros to juggle between apps like DoorDash, Uber Eats, and GrubHub. These folks are pulling in the big bucks, doubling, even tripling what others earn. Their strategy? It’s all about catching multiple orders on the same route.
Is DoorDash Busy in the Morning?
Unfortunately, DoorDash is not always busy in the morning, unlike during lunch or dinner. During my first month as a Dasher, I experimented and worked during each meal time (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to see which hours I could sneak in a few extra bucks.
The result of my morning deliveries? It’s been somewhat underwhelming. I’ve noticed that many people don’t eat breakfast on the weekdays, especially the morning hours when folks are getting ready for school or work. Some restaurants also offer limited options, while others open at brunch time.
Saturdays and Sundays are the best time to make morning deliveries. These days significantly boost my earnings from the morning rush all the way through to dinner time, largely because people have more free time to unwind and savor their meals at home.
If morning is the only time you can work, my advice is to stick close to the classic go-to’s like Starbucks, Denny’s, Waffle House, McDonald’s, and other fast-food chains on weekdays. During weekend mornings, try local breakfast diners where you’ll catch people swapping their usual fast-food routine for a more leisurely treat.
What’s the Best Time to DoorDash on Sunday
Sunday evenings are unique because they are the end of the weekend and the start of a new workweek. Most customers enjoy meals with their loved ones instead of going out or preparing food at home. There’s a reason why the slang is called “Lazy Sunday.” It means people want to relax, and cooking may not be on the agenda. Hence, Sundays are usually the best days for DoorDash.
For those not on dashing full-time, you’ll want to dash every Sunday. Dash from the crack of dawn and snatch those breakfast burritos, lunchtime subs, and dinner specials.
DoorDash provides insights for maximizing your Sunday earnings: Dashers should hit the road from 7 AM to 9 AM for the breakfast rush, and remain available from 11 AM right up until 8 PM to cater to the lunch-through-dinner crowd.
If you feel like working on the weekends, make sure to book them in advance in the Dasher app.
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