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.
Discover the best food delivery service to work for, and how you can make money freelancing in the delivery market.
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
7. Amzon Flex
10. Point Pickup
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 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.
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:
For scooter deliveries, you must:
For bike deliveries, you must:
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.
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.
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 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.
To be an Instacart shopper, you must:
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.
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.
DoorDash has 59% of meal delivery sales, more than all the other platforms combined.
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.
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.
To join the growing fleet of Dashers, you must:
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.
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.
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.
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.
To join the team of Grubhub drivers, you must:
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.
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.
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.
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.
To be a Shipt shopper, you must:
Shipt is available nationwide and primarily uses Target outlets as grocery stores.
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.
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.
Drivers who deliver with GoPuff earn around $14 per hour, but you can make more by accepting longer shifts, which typically have bonus pay.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.