Last Updated on 2023-08-15

16+ Real DoorDash Driver Reviews For All Parts Of The Job

We worked with these active, experienced gig-workers to write this article and bring you first-hand knowledge.

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Davis Porter

Experienced writer/researcher in the gig industry working alongside our gig-workers

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Ryan Shaw

5 years of experience as a DoorDash Dasher

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Christian Lombardi

Two years of experience working across DoorDash and Uber Eats

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Matt Wheeler

5 years of experience working across GrubHub, DoorDash, Shipt, and Uber Eats

Born out of the desire to bridge the gap between hungry customers and local restaurants, DoorDash has swiftly grown into one of the leading gig economy platforms. 

But, as with any job opportunity, ads and sponsored posts only tell half the story. To truly understand the life of a DoorDash driver, you must venture beyond the marketing material and into the heart of real experiences. And who better to narrate those tales than the drivers themselves?

We've combed through countless DoorDash driver reviews, testimonials, and rants to present you with a selection of genuine accounts of what to expect as a Dasher. 

Application and onboarding

Becoming a Dasher is really simple

Recognizing the value of time and the zeal of prospective drivers, DoorDash has refined its application and onboarding process for maximum efficiency.

The application process is as straightforward as it gets. No lengthy forms or drug testing. Applicants just need to provide proof of a driver's license and then pass an automated background check.

A DoorDash driver from Gilroy, California clarifies that you won’t even be subjected to a job interview. In his words, all you need is “a DL number, insurance, background check clearance.

Once approved, new drivers are welcomed into the DoorDash platform through digital tutorials. They get to learn at their own pace and revisit the resources without restrictions. 

Qualify without much more than a vehicle and good driving record

To maintain a seamless and safe experience for both its customers and drivers, DoorDash has enforced a series of qualifications that aspiring Dashers must meet

A fancy vehicle is not one of them. Dasher Matt Wheeler feels that DoorDash doesn’t have strict car requirements like Uber. Over the past four years, he has comfortably served customers with a vehicle manufactured in 2011. 

The only major qualification process here is a background check, which examines every applicant’s criminal history and motor vehicle records.

As a Tallahassee Dasher states, “Good driving records are key…” This is what helps DoorDash to gauge your dedication to road safety. A history of major violations – such as DUIs, reckless driving, and traffic accidents – would otherwise raise concerns. 

Having a vehicle is another criterion. This is supported by a delivery driver from Houston, Texas, who emphasizes the need for having your "own transportation." The sentiment is also shared by a DoorDasher from Garfield Heights, who insists that "You must have a vehicle and a smartphone."

You don’t have to be the owner, though. At least DoorDash is flexible enough to work even with drivers in rental cars. 

For those planning to drive, DoorDash requires proof of legal authorization This is why the Belleville Dasher has listed "Driver's license" among the most essential qualifications.

The delivery experience

Dashers find the mobile app to be so-so

The DoorDash driver app delivers an intuitive experience. It even comes integrated with Google Maps or Waze for navigation.

According to the DoorDash driver reviews that we’ve sampled, Dashers especially appreciate the ability to view the total delivery distance before accepting a delivery job. It helps them in assessing their job’s feasibility based on factors like fuel, potential DoorDash earnings, and estimated delivery time. 

One of those DoorDash driver reviews is from Tootsie Pop, who points out that, "The app's performance is fairly okay, especially with a solid mobile connection. I'm on 5G, and I often tap into restaurant Wi-Fi for that quick GPS lock-in, downloading routes just in case. And yes, sometimes my deliveries take me way out into the sticks!"

However, no technology is flawless. Some Dashers have reported occasional GPS inaccuracies, compelling them to resort to alternative navigation tools.

Matt himself admits to seieng his DoorDash app freezing just as he’s accepting a delivery. But, overall, he still feels that it’s a decent app. The glitches here are pretty minor, and he’s been able to sort them out using basic troubleshooting procedures like restarting the phone, clearing cache, etc.

Finding orders is a breeze

With DoorDash's sophisticated algorithms and real-time functionality, Dashers are positioned strategically to maximize both efficiency and earnings.

Once an order is placed, DoorDash's app intelligently selects a driver, taking into account their location and availability. Drivers are promptly notified and provided with a detailed overview of the order. They get info on the total distance to be covered, projected earnings, and any specific customer requests.

Through her Quora DoorDash driver review, Charissa Enget paints a vivid picture of the whole process: 

“You simply activate the app, and if there are ample orders, you can select 'Dash Now' to begin delivering food. While on a 'dash,' I receive orders from restaurants within my designated zone. Accepting an order leads you through various screens, that guide you from the pick-up location to the customer's address. After delivery, the app provides a detailed summary of the pay for that particular order.”

Our DoorDash reviewer Ryan Shaw strongly agrees with Charissa. In his three-year career on the platform, he has enjoyed a fairly straightforward system of managing deliveries. 

He. however, adds that the projected earnings shown before accepting an order don’t always match the actual payment after delivery. Interestingly, they often end up making more – which is a great surprise, but at the same time, quite confusing. In his words, “...makes me wonder how many “bad" offers I'm turning down aren't actually bad at all”

That said, The DoorDash driver app even provides real-time updates during busy periods. And if there are no immediate orders, it directs drivers to "hot spots" where restaurants are busy.

Flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance

No one bothers you

Autonomy in this context refers to the power that Dashers have over their day-to-day decisions. 

Unlike conventional jobs, there isn't a supervisor constantly overseeing their work or dictating tasks. They have the discretion to accept or decline deliveries based on distance and potential earnings, among other factors.

This level of self-governance is very empowering – as it allows DoorDash drivers to tailor their workday according to personal preferences and circumstances.

A restaurant delivery driver from Canada has perfectly summarized the privileges in their DoorDash driver review. It states;

“With DoorDash, you enjoy a flexible work schedule and can operate whenever it suits you. The best part? No one bothers you. You are your own boss.”

On the flip side, however, Christian Lombardi cautions that taking random breaks could mean getting passed by for priority orders. As a well-earning gig worker on both DoorDash and UberEats platforms, you could say that he’s experienced first-hand the benefits of staying committed to a regular work schedule. 

Scheduling shifts is easy

Dashers aren't bound to a 9-to-5 or Monday-to-Friday schedule unless they choose to be. They can freely schedule work shifts according to their lifestyles (pending local DoorDash availability).

If a Dasher is an early riser, they might opt for breakfast deliveries, while night owls may prefer late runs. Parents have the luxury of weaving their dashes around school routines, College students can effortlessly juggle lectures and DoorDash shifts, and those with other part-time jobs can customize DoorDash commitments around existing obligations.

Take the story of Mike Hayes, a 35-year-old from Oregon. After being laid off from his chef job, he stumbled upon DoorDash through numerous ads on Craigslist. Intrigued, he decided to give it a try. Now, he has a routine where he works during the breakfast and dinner rushes, taking breaks in between. This flexibility allows him to manage his personal life and work efficiently.

In an interview with Business Insider, he shared his thoughts;

“Overall, DoorDash has allowed me to become more independent in my work, but only to an extent. People eat at set times, so my schedule revolves around when people are hungry, rather than when I want to work. I do however have the opportunity to take days off whenever I want, which I enjoy. I also don't mind driving at all, and listen to a handful of podcasts while making deliveries.”

The platform, while structured around meal times, offers a degree of autonomy that's rare in traditional job settings. It maintains a work-life balance, where taking impromptu days off doesn’t require advanced planning.

Work as much as you want

DoorDash operates on an on-demand work model, which means Dashers can choose when they want to take on gigs (pending local availability). Unlike traditional jobs with fixed hours, DoorDashers have the liberty to log in and out of the app based on their availability and preferences.

There's no upper cap on the number of hours a Dasher can work in a day or week. So, if a Dasher wants to work longer hours on a particular day or week to earn extra money, they can do so.

If someone prefers working on weekends or specific weekdays, the decision is theirs to make. The app even provides insights about peak demand times, just in case you’d want to maximize your earnings. 

Customer relations

Drivers get 100% of the customer tips

On DoorDash, customers have the opportunity to tip Dashers, often seen as a gesture of appreciation for exceptional service. At times, these tips can even exceed the base pay for a delivery, becoming a substantial part of a Dasher's earnings.

Earning a generous tip doesn't require extraordinary measures. According to DoorDash driver reviews, customers value timely deliveries, clear communication about potential delays, and proactive solutions to issues.

 Another scenario is when customers place orders for big gatherings or events. The sheer size and complexity of the order alone may win you a handsome payout.

Customers also appreciate the availability and willingness of Dashers who deliver during odd hours, especially in areas that are difficult to reach. 

Other beneficiaries are Dashers who’ve cultivated relationships with repeat customers. Building a rapport may take time, but the rewards are well worth the wait. 

DoorDash itself understands the significance of the tips in building relationships. And so, its policies are to never retain a share of the amount. Drivers here get to keep 100% of their tip earnings, a fact that has even been confirmed by Dashers on Reddit

“From what I’ve seen, 100% of the tip does go to me and 0% of the delivery fee goes to me. So yes on the tip part.”

Using the app and taking screenshots helps in disputes with customers

In service-oriented platforms like DoorDash, disagreements with customers occur from time to time. They could stem from GPS inaccuracies resulting in incorrect delivery locations, misunderstandings regarding food preferences, or inconsistencies in the order's details.

Thankfully, DoorDash's support system helps in mediating such problems. The primary references used for resolution are the system's comprehensive logs, which capture timestamps, GPS locations, and chat interactions.

You can, however, expedite the process by bringing in your own evidence.

As Zadidoll, a DoorDash driver, shared in a Reddit review

“Your phone’s screenshot, photos, & video are your friends in the event of a rude customer or a situation in which you need to have proof of delivery. This is where the dash cam comes in handy…”

Ryan warns that DoorDash delivery scams are pretty prevalent, with most doing it for free food. 

He explains that;

Sometimes they'll select "leave at door" and accept it by hand at the door instead so there's no photo of you leaving it at the door. They'll then contact support and claim that the order was never received, hoping to get (at least part of) their money back…”

And that’s just a tip of the iceberg. The scammers are reportedly getting even more creative, with some nowadays diverting Dashers to meet away from their houses, so that they claim that they never got the delivery. 

To avoid becoming a victim, Matt advises Dashers to always take photos of the order while at the customers door. He particularly insists on capturing even the house number as additional proof. 

DoorDashing tips for new Dashers

Schedule your shifts strategically in advance

As Reddit user Substantial-River226 advises, you might want to “Schedule in advance the hours you would like to work (to ensure your spot)."

And that’s because the DoorDash platform operates on a dynamic algorithm that considers multiple variables – including Dasher availability, customer demand, and restaurant activity.

By scheduling shifts in advance, Dashers signal their availability to the system, allowing it to optimize order allocation. This not only ensures a steady flow of orders, but also allows Dashers to work during well-paying peak demand times.

The peak pay promotions are algorithmic responses to high-demand periods. They're DoorDash's way of motivating Dashers to respond during the busiest times. Demand is worked out in real-time by analyzing the ratio of active Dashers to incoming orders.

So, by taking this step, you’ll be positioning yourself to capitalize on some of the most lucrative DoorDashing opportunities.

Don’t rush It

The urge to complete more deliveries in a shorter time frame can be tempting. But, the technicalities of road safety, vehicle maintenance, and customer satisfaction can't be ignored. Rushing can lead to increased fuel consumption, faster vehicle wear and tear, and a higher probability of accidents or traffic violations.

DoorDash's algorithm helps you in planning by working out the estimated delivery times based on distance, traffic conditions, and restaurant preparation times.

Rushing might otherwise get you involved in moving violations, which DoorDash has very strict policies against. Accumulating more than three of them could have you kicked out of the platform.

To save you from such liabilities, that same Substantial-River226 DoorDash driver review further cautions: "Remember DO NOT RUSH when driving you don't need to get a ticket from working there is no rush, there's always a " pick up by " and "drop off by " timing to go by."

According to Ryan, while  the "pick up by" time is sometimes too ambitious and not physically possible, the "deliver by" time is more than generous. He confirms that you're typically given more than enough time to get to your drop off location and complete the order all while driving safely.

Tracking your mileage

For independent contractors, every mile counts – especially when it comes to tax season. And with the IRS allowing for deductions based on distance driven for business purposes, mileage alone could significantly reduce a Dasher's taxable income.

Apps like Stride and Everlance are the go-to solutions if you hope to log your miles accurately via advanced GPS tracking. They work in the background, using algorithms to differentiate between personal and business travel based on patterns and timings. By integrating this data with tax software, Dashers can effortlessly claim the maximum deductions without the hassle of manual logging. 

A DoorDash driver review on Reddit confirms every bit of that, specifying that these apps automate the mileage tracking and reporting process. 

Here’s the full statement;

“Letting the app do it is so much easier. As long as you set its GPS permissions to "always on", you never have to worry about turning the tracker on or off, it logs any movement at car speeds and ends the trip after 5 minutes of inactivity. The only downside is it tracks all miles so you have to make sure you're categorizing each trip as business or personal”.

You’ve heard it straight from the Dashers

Ready to hit the road? It’s time you too got in on the action. Sign up today and start earning. 

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