Small Business Advice

10 best food delivery services to work for in 2022

Discover the best food delivery service to work for, and how you can make money freelancing in the delivery market.

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There has never been a better time to drive for food delivery companies in the U.S. In the five years from 2015 to 2020, the American food delivery industry tripled from $8.7 billion and 66 million users to $26 billion and 111 million users. More and more Americans are now ordering food online, and the industry is expected to reach a whopping $43 billion by 20251.

That, coupled with the driver shortage that has hit Uber Eats and similar companies2, makes it a no-brainer to join the gig economy as a food delivery driver. But with so many options out there, which is the best delivery app to work for? We look at the top 10 based on: their earnings, including base pay, hourly rate, incentives, and promos; requirements for joining; locations available; and pros and cons.

As a delivery driver, those are the four things that affect your ability to join a food delivery service and make money from it. And with that in mind, here are ten of the best food delivery apps to consider in 2022:

1. Uber Eats

2 Instacart

3. DoorDash

4. Grubhub

5. Shipt

6. Gopuff

7. Amzon Flex

8. Favor

9. Saucey

10. Point Pickup

Best food delivery apps for drivers in 2022

1. Uber Eats

Uber started out as a rideshare company before launching a food delivery service called Uber Eats in 2014. Since Uber was already big, it didn’t take long for Uber Eats to proliferate. Today, it’s the second-largest company in the industry after Doordash, boasting 24% of the market3. This enormous popularity is what makes Uber Eats one of the best food delivery apps for drivers.

If you are already an Uber rideshare driver, you can join Uber Eats by accepting deliveries right from the app; you wouldn’t need to sign up afresh. But if you’ve never worked with Uber before, you can enroll and choose between food delivery and rideshare or both. That’s one way to diversify and make some extra money freelancing in the gig economy.

Uber Eats guaranteed earnings

Uber Eats has a one-time guaranteed earning for new drivers. When you sign up, you will earn a certain amount of money IF you complete a predetermined number of trips within a set amount of time4. The exact number of trips varies from city to city, but the time required to complete them is typically 90 days5. If you hit the number of trips but your earnings don’t reach the guaranteed pay, Uber Eats will pay the difference.

As far as regular driver pay, Uber Eats calculates earnings based on several factors, including base pay, distance traveled, and customer tips. Overall, you can expect to make an average of between $15 and $17 per hour. You can make extra cash by taking advantage of Uber Eats incentives like Boost and Quest.

Requirements to work for Uber Eats

Remember to choose your preferred mode of transport when signing up for Uber Eats. The company gives its delivery drivers three options: car, scooter, and bike.

For car deliveries, you must:

  • Meet the minimum driving age in your city
  • Have a driver’s license
  • Have a 4-door or 2-door delivery car
  • Have at least one year of driving experience

For scooter deliveries, you must:

  • Have a motorized scooter with a maximum of 50cc
  • Be at least 19 years of age
  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have auto insurance for the scooter under your name

For bike deliveries, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a government-issued ID

Watch: Ways to make more money with Uber Eats

Uber Eats locations available

Uber Eats is available nationwide, and is especially more popular in large U.S. cities like Miami, Atlanta, DC, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco6.

Cities where Uber Eats is the most used food delivery service in the U.S.Source: Statista

Pros and cons of Uber Eats

Pros

  • Uber Eats is one of the best paying food delivery services, making it great for part-time as well as full-time delivery drivers.
  • Has incentives like Boost and Quest that can help drivers make extra money.
  • The all-in-one Uber platform allows drivers to accept food delivery as well as rideshare requests.
  • Uber Eats has Instant Pay tool, which lets drivers take a payout up to five times per day.
  • Doesn’t require drivers to schedule shifts. This means you can choose your own hours for making fast food deliveries.
  • The Uber Eats driver app has a built-in tipping feature to encourage customer tips.
  • Most states allow Uber Eats drivers to deliver in other states.

Cons

  • Uber Eats doesn’t allow on-foot deliveries. You must have a car, scooter, or bike to be an independent contractor with the company.
  • Although Uber Eats has a base pay that’s based on your pick up and drop off locations, it does have a fare reduction feature in some markets. This can lower your overall earnings.
  • Drivers in California, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi are not allowed to deliver in other states.

Is working for Uber Eats worth it?

Uber Eats offers a great platform to make money if you already have a vehicle, scooter, or bicycle. Delivery drivers earn up to 34,948 per year, with those operating in high-demand markets, like New York, netting as much as $42,0687.

In case you are not completely sold on Uber Eats, you can have a look at Postmates. It is owned by Uber Eats and, just like Uber Eats, Postmates allows delivery drivers to accept customer orders for foods, groceries, and beverages from local restaurants and stores. Postmates drivers earn an average of $11 and $15 per hour before tips, but the actual amount varies by city.

2. Instacart

Although Instacart supports fast food and meal deliveries from local restaurants, most of your work will revolve around grocery delivery services. A customer places a grocery shopping order, you accept it, do the shopping, and deliver the grocery in an hour or two.

Instacart allows both in-store and full-service shoppers. As an in-store shopper, you will simply shop for customers and stage the groceries for pick up. There’s no delivery. If you are a full-service Instacart shopper, your work will include shopping in grocery stores and doing delivery. Of course, Instacart shoppers who also deliver earn more. The tradeoff is that you’ll spend more time on each order.

Instacart guaranteed earnings

Instacart has a guaranteed earnings promotion program for its delivery drivers. Under this program, you are guaranteed to earn a set amount of money if you complete a certain number of batches8. For example, a promotion could be such that you earn a guaranteed $80 if you complete 6 batches. If your deliveries don’t earn $80, Instacart will pay you the difference. Customer tips do not count towards batch payments.

Even better for Instacart shoppers in California, the platform has a completely different payment model in the state. With the passing of Proposition 22, Instacart introduced a guaranteed minimum earning of at least 120% of the state’s minimum wage and $0.30 for each mile that you spend shopping9.

In other states, Instacart shoppers and delivery drivers make up to $20 per hour, making it arguably the best food delivery service to work for.

Requirements to work for Instacart

To be an Instacart shopper, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a vehicle or continuous access to one
  • Have at least an iPhone 6s or an Android running at least Android 5.0
  • Be able to lift at least 50 pounds

Watch: Making money with Instacart

Instacart locations available

Instacart is available nationwide. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the guaranteed earnings promo rotates between regions. If, for example, it’s in Chicago this week, it may move to San Francisco the following week. There typically will be multiple regions with the promo simultaneously.

Pros 

  • Instacart shoppers can create a schedule and choose their own hours for shopping and delivering groceries.
  • Instacart generally pays more per order than other food and grocery delivery services.
  • Allows you to enjoy a bit of exercise (in the form of shopping) while earning some extra money.
  • There’s an “Instant Cash Out” feature, which allows you to take an instant payout for a $0.50 fee.
  • The Instacart app displays pick up and drop off locations upfront before you accept an order.

Cons

  • Instacart requires drivers to create a schedule beforehand. This can come in the way of true freelancing, where you simply log into the app and start working whenever you want.
  • Long check out queues and traffic jams may cause delays and impact your ability to make money.

Is working for Instacart worth it?

With an hourly rate of over $20, Instacart is a great app to make some extra cash. However, you may find that the orders are far between. Therefore, it’s best used as a side hustle app or in combination with other food delivery services.

3. DoorDash

DoorDash has 59% of meal delivery sales, more than all the other platforms combined.

Meal Delivery Services Sales and Market Share for Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, and Waitr
Source: Bloomberg Second Measure

This sheer market size makes DoorDash arguably the best delivery app to work for. Because many customers use this app, Dashers (the name given to DoorDash drivers) don’t frequently experience lengthy downtimes. You’ll make even more money if you schedule most of your delivery jobs at night and on the weekends. That’s when most people order take out.

DoorDash guaranteed earnings

Like Uber Eats, DoorDash has a guaranteed earnings program for new drivers. When you sign up to be a DoorDash driver, the company guarantees you a minimum of $2,750 as soon as you complete your first 400 deliveries10. If, for example, you earn $2,000 on your first 400 deliveries, DoorDash will give you the difference – i.e., $750 – to make it $2,750.

For regular Dashers, the pay model is pretty straightforward. You get a base pay of between $2 and $10 per order, depending on the distance, estimated duration, and desirability of the order11. Previously rejected orders pay more. You can also earn challenge and peak time bonuses while keeping 100% of customer tips. Overall, DoorDash drivers make between $20 and $25 per hour.

So, which food delivery service pays the most? Considering DoorDash gets the highest number of customer orders and pays one of the highest hourly rates, you stand to make the most money as a DoorDash driver compared to other food delivery apps.

Requirements to work for DoorDash

To join the growing fleet of Dashers, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have access to a reliable vehicle (car, truck, scooter, motorcycle, or bicycle)
  • Have a valid driver’s license (if you will be delivering by car)
  • Have auto insurance in accordance with your state’s minimum insurance policy requirements
  • Provide DoorDash with your Social Security Number
  • Own an iPhone or Android smartphone with an iOS or Android version that supports the Dasher app
  • Be willing to allow DoorDash to run a background check on you
  • Be able to pass the background check
  • Complete an online or in-person orientation process

Watch: How to Make $700 Every Week with DoorDash

DoorDash locations available

DoorDash is available nationwide but typically gets the highest sales in Texas and California, specifically in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago. Generally, Dashers in a big metropolis are bound to receive more orders12 and thus more deliveries.

Cities where DoorDash is the most used food delivery service in the U.S. Source: Statista

Pros

  • DoorDash offers one of the highest pay rates for delivery drivers
  • As a DoorDash delivery person, you have multiple delivery options, including by foot, bicycle, scooter, car, and even truck.
  • Dashers who schedule shifts beforehand get guaranteed requests
  • Prolific DoorDash drivers get access to DoorDash Drive, which provides access to exclusive requests, larger orders and special bonuses.
  • DoorDash is available 24/7, which means that delivery people can make money any time of the day or night.

Cons

  • DoorDash pays delivery drivers on a weekly basis. If you want an early payout, you will incur a $1.99 fee with Instant Pay. You must also have a debit card to use this feature.
  • While DoorDash scheduled shifts pay more, they are in high demand. You have to claim them early on to have a chance at getting them. Otherwise, you will be limited to working your own hours, which is convenient but less profitable.

Is working for DoorDash worth it?

Yes, DoorDash has one of the highest hourly rates for Dashers. Delivery drivers earn up to $25 an hour, which is a lot higher than the Federal minimum wage of $7.25.

In case you would like to try a close DoorDash alternative, you can consider Caviar. Although Caviar started out as an independent food delivery service, it was acquired by DoorDash in 2019. In fact, when you sign up to Caviar, you will be redirected to the DoorDash page. And just like Dashers, Caviar drivers earn an average of $20 to $25 per hour.

One downside of Caviar is that it’s only available in major metropolitan areas. If you provide delivery services in a smaller city or town, you will receive delivery opportunities for DoorDash.

4. Grubhub

With a 13% market share, Grubhub is the third-largest food and grocery delivery company in America. In 2020 alone, the company fulfilled an average of 622,700 orders per day, up from 227,000 five years earlier13. What these stats show is that there’s an increasing number of customers who prefer to use the platform. That’s good news for Grubhub drivers because it translates to more opportunities to make money by offering food and grocery delivery services.

As a matter of fact, Grubhub is among the highly regarded names in the gig economy – so much that it has been able to acquire multiple other companies, including Foodler, Eat24, and Seamless. With a bit of effort, Grubhub can offer decent pay for full-time as well as part-time delivery drivers. It allows people to work as independent contractors, delivering food by car, motorcycle, scooter, motorbike, or even on foot in certain walkable cities.

Grubhub guaranteed earnings

Like many other food and grocery services, Grubhub has a minimum guaranteed earnings program in California since the passing of Prop 22. As a driver, you are guaranteed at least 120% of the current minimum wage in your pick-up location within California. This is multiplied by the amount of time you spend actively delivering orders. Finally, you also get a per mile compensation14.

For Grubhub drivers in other states, there’s no minimum guaranteed wage because every driver can set their own hours for clocking in and out. However, the Grubhub pay model considers the mileage and time spent making deliveries. You get to keep 100% of customer tips, and you can earn some extra cash by participating in special offers15. Overall, Grubhub drivers make an average of $11 per hour, which can rise significantly as you become a proficient driver.

Requirements to work for Grubhub

To join the team of Grubhub drivers, you must:

  • Be at least 19 years old; 21 if you are based in Las Vegas or Chicago.
  • Own or have access to a reliable vehicle (car, motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle).
  • Have valid auto insurance if you plan to deliver with a motor-powered vehicle.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have at least two years of driving experience as a licensed driver.
  • Have a valid state ID if you plan to deliver by bike.
  • Own an iPhone or Android smartphone that supports the Grubhub drivers’ app (iOS 11, Android 5.0, or newer versions).
  • Be able to pass a background check.

Watch: 12 Tips for New Grubhub Delivery Drivers

Grubhub locations available

Grubhub is available nationwide. Something to keep in mind is that the company generally prefers when its delivery drivers schedule shifts in advance. These shifts are known as blocks. But you can still choose your own hours and go full freelance mode.

Pros

  • Grubhub drivers who schedule blocks get more requests and stand to make extra money.
  • Prolific drivers are prioritized when choosing Grubhub blocks.
  • The Grubhub pay structure is simple and straightforward. Your base pay is a function of the distance traveled and time taken to complete an order. There are no hidden fees, and you get to keep 100% of all customer tips.
  • You get to see full details of an order –including pick up and drop off points, total payout, and tip– before you accept or reject it.
  • The Grubhub app has an Instant payout feature that you can use to withdraw money instantly for a small fee of $.50.

Cons

  • Grubhub doesn’t have surge promotions as is the case with other apps like Uber Eats. The only way to earn more during peak demand is to grab more orders.
  • Grubhub is heavy on scheduling shifts and may actively disadvantage those who prefer to fully freelance by prioritizing those who schedule blocks.

Is working for Grubhub worth it?

Overall, Grubhub drivers earn $11 per hour on average. It’s not the highest rate out there, which makes Grubhub better as a side hustle app. Alternatively, you may use it alongside other food and grocery delivery apps, more so if you want to do this delivery job full-time rather than part-time.

5. Shipt

Shipt is a grocery delivery service that allows you to shop for customers and get paid for it. Shipt is a lot like Instacart. When a customer places an order, you’ll be able to see the exact items that they need, how much money you’ll earn from the order, and the drop off point, complete with the shortest route.

Since Shipt is owned by Target, you’ll do most of your shopping in Target outlets. But the platform also partners with other grocery stores to help its delivery drivers pick the nearest shopping spots.

Shipt guaranteed earnings

Since the introduction of Earnings Standard, Shipt shoppers are now guaranteed a minimum of $16 per hour16. Those in high-cost areas stand to make in excess of $27 per hour. And this is just the base pay. Shipt shoppers get to keep the tips they get, and they can also earn extra cash by participating in promos.

Altogether, a Shipt shopper gets offer pay –which is a function of the time and effort it takes to complete a delivery– along with promo pay and customer tips. This comes to an average of $15 to $17 per hour, with more seasoned Shipt shoppers hitting figures as high as $35 per hour17.

Requirements to work for Shipt

To be a Shipt shopper, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have a reliable vehicle, which should be a 1997 or newer model.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have auto insurance as per your city’s requirements.
  • Be a smartphone owner. If it’s an iPhone, it should have iOS 10 or newer. Android devices should have Android 5.1 or a newer operating system.
  • Be able to lift 45 pounds.

Watch: Come Shipt Shop With Me - How to Make $200 a Day as a Shipt Shopper

Shipt locations available

Shipt is available nationwide and primarily uses Target outlets as grocery stores.

Pros

  • It’s flexible. As a Shipt shopper, you can either schedule shifts ahead of time or open the app and pick orders at your own convenience
  • Shipt guarantees a minimum of $16 per hour with its Earnings Standard. But keep in mind that you get paid per order, not per hour.
  • Store shoppers working with Shipt get to keep all the tips they get from customers.
  • You can choose delivery-only trips if you don’t want to be a store shopper.
  • The job is easy because the Shipt app provides every bit of information you need to complete a delivery

Cons

  • Not ideal if you don’t like physical work that involves carrying bags.
  • The pay can be low in some cities, especially if you don’t take part in promos.

Is working for Shipt worth it?

Thanks to a guaranteed hourly rate of $16, Shipt is well worth the consideration of any delivery driver. You can earn a decent pay working full-time or part-time.

Honorable mentions: other food delivery services to consider

6. GoPuff

GoPuff works with independent contractors who can deliver fast food, meals, snacks, drinks, medicine, alcohol, and more. It’s basically an online-based convenience store. The one thing that sets GoPuff apart from other delivery services is that it has warehouses. As a driver, you’ll report to your nearest warehouse and wait for customer orders to deliver.

GoPuff pay

Drivers who deliver with GoPuff earn around $14 per hour, but you can make more by accepting longer shifts, which typically have bonus pay.

7. Amazon Flex

Amazon Flex is one of the best grocery delivery services because it’s owned by Amazon. The sheer size of the company means that there are plenty of delivery jobs to go around. But the demand is also high, which is why Amazon Flex has a waiting list for interested drivers18. As a delivery driver, your task involves picking orders from Amazon delivery stations and dropping them off to customers. You typically have to schedule a three- to six-hour block for making deliveries.

Amazon Flex pay

Delivering with Amazon Flex pays between $18 and $25 per hour. You can earn even more by accepting to deliver Amazon packages as well as Amazon Fresh orders.

8. Favor

Favor app allows its independent contractors to accept requests for grocery, dry cleaning, food, and even alcohol delivery. The company refers to them as “personal assistants”, not drivers. In any case, Favor delivery runners have the option to schedule deliveries ahead of time. Doing this guarantees you a minimum hourly income. But you can also set your own hours by clocking in and out as you wish.

Favor pay

Favor personal assistants earn a base pay of $9 per hour. If you schedule shifts, the company will pay you that $9 each hour that you are active, regardless of whether you made a delivery or not. Overall, drivers can expect to make between $10 and $18 hourly19.

9. Saucey

Saucey is a dedicated alcohol delivery service that brings liquor, beer, wine, ice, and mixers to customers. With the alcohol delivery industry projected to grow to a whopping $42 billion by 202520, it makes sense for drivers to hop on Saucey, either as a side hustle or in combination with other delivery apps. To deliver with Saucey, you must be at least 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license, own a smartphone, and have had no DUIs in the past five years.

Saucey pay

Saucey has a guarantee program where drivers are paid at least $350 when they complete 50 orders21. This works out to just about $7 per hour, which is what the average Saucey driver earns with or without the guarantee.

10. Eaze

If you are based in California and would like to add marijuana delivery to your side hustle, you can consider joining Eaze. One thing to keep in mind is that the company neither classifies drivers as employees nor independent contractors. Nonetheless, Eaze offers some attractive terms, including reimbursement for mileage. The downside is that it’s only available in California. Plus, Eaze drivers are hired through independent and licensed retailers, not directly by the company itself.

Eaze pay

People who deliver for Eaze make between $15 and $18 hourly. This makes it one of the good delivery services to work for, especially since you will be reimbursed for mileage.

Frequently asked questions:

Which food delivery service pays the most?

In terms of hourly pay, drivers who deliver for Instacart, DoorDash, and Amazon Flex generally earn at the highest rate of $18 to $25 per hour. Because of its large number of customers, Uber Eats is well worth your consideration too because you can complete more orders for a higher pay at the end of the week or month. Here are the typical hourly earnings:

  • Instacart: $20
  • DoorDash: $20 to $25
  • Amazon flex: $18 to $25
  • Uber Eats: $15 to $17

Is DoorDash or Uber Eats better?

When it comes to hourly pay, DoorDash drivers generally make $20 to $25, which is more than the $15 to $17 that Uber Eats drivers earn. DoorDash is also more accessible than Uber Eats because it has fewer requirements for new drivers22. Even better for Dashers, the platform has the highest number of customers, which means there are minimal chances of downtime compared to Uber Eats, which comes in second in market share. Therefore, if you judge purely by the potential to join and make money, DoorDash is a better option than Uber Eats. But you can always use both apps concurrently.

What is the best food delivery service to work for in my area?

DoorDash is the best food delivery service for most areas because it is available nationwide, has a high hourly rate, pays a minimum rate for each delivery, and allows Dashers to keep all the tips.

References

  1. 26 Jan. 2022, Hotel Tech Report
  2. 14 Aug. 2021, The Rideshare Guy
  3. 15 Jun. 2022, Bloomberg Second Measure LLC
  4. 05 Jul. 2022, Uber
  5. 05 Jul. 2022, Uber
  6. 21 May 2021, Statista
  7. 05 Jul. 2022, ZipRecruiter
  8. 05 Jul. 2022, QuerySprout
  9. 09 Dec. 2020, Instacart
  10. 21 Apr. 2021, Gridwise
  11. 05 Jul. 2022, DoorDash
  12. 31 Jan. 2022, Statista
  13. 04 May. 2022, Business of Apps
  14. 05 Jul. 2022, Grubhub
  15. 05 Jul. 2022, Grubhub
  16. 08 Feb 2022, Shipt
  17. 12 May 2022, The Rideshare Guy
  18. 28 May 2022, Bestreferraldriver
  19. 05 Jul. 2022, SideHusl
  20. 11 May 2022, Apps Rhino
  21. 13 Jun. 2020, Los Angeles Times
  22. 22 Mar. 2022, GOBankingRates
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