Last Updated on 2024-02-09

How To Know If DoorDash Is a Good vs. Bad Side Hustle

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

author image

Christian Lombardi

Two years of experience working across DoorDash and Uber Eats

author image

Matt Wheeler

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

author image

Ryan Shaw

5 years of experience as a DoorDash Dasher

author image

Phil Grossman

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

The information provided in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, tax, or insurance advice. The content contains general information and may not reflect current legal developments or insurance changes. Any reader should consult with an insurance professional to obtain insurance advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

As a Dasher, you set your own schedule, which means that you can work as much (pending local availability) or as little as you want.

Many Dashers see that as a way to have a super flexible full-time gig — being able to dash when and where you want makes it a great option for those who have kids, prefer to work unusual hours, or simply don’t like being told when to come into work. 

Matt Wheeler, who has been dashing since 2021, says “DoorDash and the gig economy is the perfect set up for me because it gives me the ability to put my son first and work around his needs. If anything ever comes up, I'm always available.”

But it also makes dashing a great part-time gig or side hustle too. Whether you’re looking for a side hustle because your full-time job isn’t making ends meet, you want to save up some extra money for an investment or vacation, or you’re trying to pay your way through college, dashing is a no-commitment way to achieve your financial goals on your own schedule. 

Of course, whether dashing is the right side hustle for you is a personal choice — there are lots of ways to make some extra income, and some of them might be a better fit for your unique needs than DoorDash. 

How much can you make doing DoorDash part-time?

This is the question that’s on everyone’s mind: how well does DoorDash pay?

Matt, in Seymour, CT, says “I normally make about twenty dollars per hour and do about 2 deliveries per hour on DoorDash.” For example, during the week of September 11 through September 17, 2023, Matt said he: 

  • Worked 10 hours and 39 minutes
  • Completed 19 deliveries
  • Made $217.75 ($110.25 base pay and $107.50 in tips)

But that’s just one example — everyone will earn different amounts based on their skills, experience, location, and, to some extent, luck. 

Since DoorDash isn’t a traditional job, there’s no salary or wage to refer to. Instead, your pay comes from base pay (typically $2-$10 per order) plus tips and bonuses. 

You can choose “Earn By Time (EBT),” which will pay you an hourly wage for active time, instead of “Earn Per Offer,” but even this is a bit different than a typical wage — EBT only pays for active time, which means the time between accepting and completing the order. It does not include the time you spend waiting for orders to come through. Since the availability of orders will vary, you can’t expect consistent hourly earnings in the same way you would from a regular job even with EBT enabled. 

There’s also a significant skill aspect — how good you are at dashing will directly impact your earnings. Experienced Dashers know how to choose their orders wisely, minimize expenses, maximize earnings through perks and bonuses, and provide a customer experience that earns them a great tip. 

That said, you can probably count on completing somewhere between two and six orders per hour (six is very unusual and almost never happens) at $2-10 per order. That brings your hourly base pay to somewhere between $4 and $60 per hour, not including tips. Tips are based on the order price, and the average DoorDash order was $33 in 2021, so if you plan for a 10-20% tip per order, you could get another $3-$6 per order. 

But those are very rough estimates that don’t account for taxes, expenses, variance in order values, bonuses, regional variation, and the reality that some customers just won’t tip you. So, the only way to really know how much you can earn as a Dasher is to start dashing for yourself, and keep track of your earnings over the course of a week or a day. 

Is DoorDash worth it as a side job?

There’s no yes or no answer to this question: it all depends on your own needs and preferences. 

Here are some of the things that make DoorDash a great side hustle as well as some that make it a bad one.


  • You can set your own hours and choose where you work, which gives you maximum flexibility when it comes to working around other commitments, like a full-time job or taking care of your kids. 
  • Full-time Dashers rely on DoorDash for their entire income, which means that slow days can become a real problem for them. But as a part-timer dashing for some extra cash, everything you make is just a bonus — if no orders are coming through one day, you can just close out of the app and try again the next day. 
  • There’s no lengthy application process, and it only takes about five minutes to sign up. Once you do that, you’ll usually be able to start dashing in about a week (pending Dasher approval and local availability). 
  • Chances are that you won’t need to buy any additional equipment to start dashing. You probably already have a car (as long as it’s street legal, it meets the DoorDash car requirements), a bike, a scooter, or a motorcycle, and that’s all you need to hit the road. 
  • There are very few rules to follow as a Dasher, and no one will bother you or micromanage you on the job. 
  • If you dash on a bike, you can get a great workout and get paid for it. 
  • If driving around listening to tunes is something you’d do for free, you’ll probably enjoy getting paid to do it. 


  • If you do enough deliveries and maintain a high enough customer rating, you can get Top Dasher status, which allows you to “Dash Now” whenever and wherever you want without having to schedule in advance. However, since you need to complete at least 100 deliveries per month to qualify, full-time Dashers have a major advantage. 
  • Dashing requires you to spend more time driving (or biking, motorcycling, etc.), which increases the chances that you’ll get into an accident. You’ll also have to interact with people you don’t know, and there’s always the risk that one of your customers will be a dangerous person. You might also go into sketchy neighborhoods, but this is less of a concern as you can always decline any orders that make you go somewhere you don’t feel safe. 
  • DoorDash can be tough on your car. All the extra miles contribute to depreciation and wear and tear. As a part-timer, you won’t be adding as many miles as a full-timer, but it’s still something you should take into consideration.
  • Taxes for self-employed people tend to be more complicated. The reasons for this are too complex to cover here, so check out our post on the topic to learn why. 
  • Car insurance providers typically aren’t very happy about insuring delivery drivers. Expect your premium to increase — or for your insurer to drop your coverage entirely.

If not DoorDash, what’s a good side hustle?

DoorDash isn’t the only app-based gig that offers flexibility and autonomy. We’re working on building out education and recommendations for a large number of these kinds of apps. If you’re not a fan of DoorDash, maybe you’ll enjoy shopping for groceries with Instacart, driving passengers with Uber, or making e-commerce deliveries with Walmart Spark. Read up on a few of those, and maybe you’ll find one that has more pros than cons for your situation.

You can also consider signing up for multiple apps to really round out your side hustle. For example, if you’re simultaneously an Uber driver, Instacart shopper, and Dasher, you could Dash during busy lunch hours, shop in the evening, and Uber in the local business district in between dashing and shopping. Then, you won’t have to worry about the flexibility of Top Dasher status since you’ll already have a pretty clear schedule to plan around.

There are also lots of freelance opportunities nowadays, so if you have a knack for writing, design, coding, or any other in-demand skill, you can earn some extra cash by freelancing online on the side.

And of course, if you’re working a full-time job, sometimes it’s best to just chill out and unwind after a long day’s work — burnout is a real and recognized medical condition (it’s even included in the ICD-11, which is the global standard for disease diagnoses), so make sure you’re not needlessly pushing yourself too hard.

Get started with DoorDash

Ready to hit the road and start earning on your own schedule? Sign up today to become a Dasher — it takes just 5 minutes, and you can start earning within days (pending Dasher approval and local availability). 

Keep Learning...