Last Updated on 2024-03-19

8 Jobs Like DoorDash [Detailed Comparison]

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

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Scott Jones

7 years of experience working across DoorDash, Lyft, Amazon Flex, and Instacart

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James Tuliano

4 years of experience working across Shipt and DoorDash

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Catherine Meyers

5 years of experience working across Shipt and Instacart

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Phil Grossman

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

If you’re short on time, here’s the key takeaway: there are lots of great gig apps out there, and you shouldn’t limit yourself to just one. “Multi-apping” (using multiple gig apps at once) is the best way to maximize your gig income, and signing up for several at once reduces your chances of being stuck on the waitlist. 

Here are our top picks (we recommend you sign up for all three and see which works best for you):



DoorDash has quickly become one of the most popular gig apps around thanks to its solid earning potential, flexible scheduling and vehicle options, and fast and easy application process. 

If you want to get involved in the gig economy, DoorDash is a great place to start — you can apply here and start earning within just a few days. 

But DoorDash isn’t the only great option out there. In fact, if you want to maximize your gig income, it shouldn’t be the only app that you use: The best way to earn money with delivery platforms is by “multi-apping” (using multiple apps at once). This allows you to take on more orders, be more strategic about which ones you accept and decline, and even do multiple orders simultaneously to really optimize your earnings. 

In this post, we’ll detail 9 of the best gig apps and how they compare. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, here’s our recommendation based on our Gig Pros’s experiences: sign up for DoorDash (apply here), Shipt (apply here), and Instacart (apply here) as your first move

This will not only set you up for long-term success, but it will also improve your chances of getting hired and out on the road quicker — lots of gig apps have waitlists these days, so if you apply to several at once, you’ll reduce that risk. 

What do we mean by “jobs like DoorDash”?

Before we get into the comparisons, we should be clear about what exactly we’re comparing. DoorDash is a food delivery app that hungry customers use to order food from their favorite restaurants (and sometimes grocery and convenience stores too). 

Traditionally, restaurants that want to offer delivery would need to hire dedicated delivery drivers, which isn’t always an economically viable option. DoorDash changed that by allowing customers to order from independent delivery drivers who aren’t affiliated with any specific store. Instead, restaurants and stores simply list their menus on DoorDash, DoorDash hires independent contractors for deliveries, and when you place an order, DoorDash sends one of its contractors to the restaurant to pick it up and deliver it just like if you were to get takeout for yourself. 

In addition to restaurant delivery, DoorDash also offers delivery of alcoholic beverages, convenience store items, and groceries. However, DoorDash started with restaurant delivery, and that still remains bread and butter. Other apps focus more on convenience store and grocery delivery, and we’ll cover those here. 

Keep in mind that grocery and convenience store delivery requires going into stores and shopping for items yourself, whereas restaurant delivery only requires you to pop into a restaurant and pick up some pre-packaged food. So, apps that focus on grocery and convenience deliveries will usually require more work per delivery. 

Every app has its own unique features, but there’s a lot of common ground between the apps that we’re going to look at, so we’re only going to point out the important differences. Unless otherwise noted, you can assume that every app on here offers some variation of the following:

  • Restaurant, convenience store, or grocery delivery (or all three)
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Similar pay rates
  • Self-employment (you’ll work as an independent contractor, not an employee)
  • Instant pay options (typically with a limit of one cash out every 24 hours)
  • Background checks are required (a criminal record doesn’t automatically disqualify you)
  • You need to be at least 18 to sign up

Which are the highest paying jobs like DoorDash? It’s not so simple

Pay is obviously one of the most important points to consider when considering taking on a new work opportunity. But gigs aren’t traditional jobs, and there’s no way to know how much you’ll earn with any of them without trying. 

You have to think of gig work like running a business — you would never expect to know exactly what your profits will be before you have it up and running. As a gig worker, your earnings will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your skill and motivation
  • Regional market variation (supply and demand, i.e., how many people are ordering and delivering in your area)
  • Luck (some days you might get a lot of back-to-back high-paying orders, other days you might only get a single low-paying one every hour)

All of these apps share a similar pay structure, where your earnings are divided into:

  • Base pay: The amount the app pays you for completing a delivery
  • Tips: How much the customer pays you in addition to the base pay (you typically keep 100% of customer tips on all apps). 
  • Bonuses and promos: Extra earnings that are added onto your base pay for accepting difficult orders, delivering during peak hours, etc. 

While it’s true that the average base pay varies somewhat from app to app, this is not the most important factor for your earnings. 

To make it clear why that is, let’s look at an example. Imagine that delivery app A pays $9/delivery and app B pays $7/per delivery. At first glance, it looks like app A is the clear winner. But if you actually signed up, you’d find that app A only provides one order per hour, and app B gives you two. That means your hourly earnings would be $9/hour with app A and $14/hour with app B — the complete opposite of what you’d expect.

So, although there are lots of estimates floating around the web promising $X/hour with one app and $Y/hour with another, you should take those with a grain of salt: there’s not much reliable data out there on average earnings, and your earnings won’t necessarily be reflected in those averages either. The only way to know how much you’ll earn with any given app is to sign up and give it a try. Signing up for multiple apps is the best way to maximize your earnings.

8 jobs like DoorDash that deserve your attention

With the groundwork out of the way, let’s compare the top delivery apps.

Uber Eats

In a nutshell: A great DoorDash alternative if you want to get involved in ridesharing too.

Uber Eats is extremely similar to DoorDash. It focuses on restaurant delivery but offers grocery and convenience store deliveries as well. 

But Uber Eats has one thing that DoorDash doesn’t: It’s tightly integrated with Uber, which makes it a perfect choice if you want to diversify your gig income by offering rides as well. You can accept rides and deliveries all from the same app — all you need to do is toggle between the two. 

Even if you don’t want to get involved with ridesharing, Uber Eats is a solid choice on its own. It’s widely available and has become a household name alongside DoorDash, so you’ll likely have lots of order opportunities no matter where you go. 

One knock against Uber Eats: Unlike DoorDash, which sends you a free insulated bag as part of the welcome package, Uber Eats doesn’t send you any gear at all. Instead, you’ll have to order it yourself. 

Key takeaways:

  • Accept delivery and ride requests all from the same app
  • Widely available with lots of orders to choose from
  • Allows delivery by car, bike, or scooter (depending on what city you’re working in)
  • No welcome package — you have to order your bags yourself

You can apply here to become an Uber Eats delivery driver. 


In a nutshell: An app that rewards reliability over all. 

Grubhub offers restaurant, grocery, and convenience store delivery, but, like DoorDash, focuses on restaurants

What makes Grubhub stand out from the pack is that there are no customer ratings. On most delivery apps, drivers need to get good ratings from their customers in order to stay active on the app — if your ratings drop too low, you get deactivated (the gig work equivalent of getting fired). 

But on Grubhub, customers don’t rate you. Instead, you’re judged by your: 

  • Offer commitment rate: How many offers you accept and complete and how many you unassign after accepting.
  • Schedule commitment rate: How many schedule blocks you complete and how many you remove from your schedule after signing up for them. 
  • On-time arrival at merchant rate: How fast you arrive at a restaurant or store to pick up an order.

These ratings are all based on your most recent 14 days of activity, so you have lots of opportunities to improve them. High ratings can earn you rewards, like priority access to scheduling, large catering orders, and an extra 50% discount on TurboTax products. 

Grubhub prefers drivers to schedule their delivery blocks ahead of time. When you’re scheduled for a delivery block, you’ll get priority access to orders, and you’ll even get a minimum earnings guarantee from Grubhub for the time you’ve scheduled. 

This makes the platform a particularly good choice on days when demand is low and orders are few and far between, as you can always rely on Grubhub to provide you with the minimum earnings even if not a single order comes through. Unfortunately, since you have to schedule in advance, there’s no way to tell whether the day will actually turn out to be slow or not. 

Key takeaways:

  • No customer ratings make for a very different experience that prizes reliability and consistency
  • Grubhub prefers drivers to schedule delivery blocks ahead of time
  • The app UI is a bit clunky albeit functional
  • Minimum earnings guarantee for scheduled blocks can be useful in some situations
  • Allows car and bike delivery (in certain cities)


In a nutshell: Highest earning potential, but it’s tough to get off the waitlist. 

Shipt is a dedicated grocery and convenience store delivery platform owned by Target — you will never pick up food from a restaurant as a Shopper. 

Saying that Shipt has the highest earning potential might sound contradictory to what we said above about pay differences between apps, but that increased earning potential isn’t simply from the base pay, it’s from a unique feature of the app called the Preferred Shopper Program. This feature is unparalleled across all gig apps — Instacart has begun rolling out a similar feature, but it’s very underdeveloped comparatively. 

In short, the Preferred Shopper Program allows customers to select their favorite Shoppers and send orders directly to them. As a Shopper, that means that, over time, you can build up a more reliable clientele that you know tips well and is easy to deal with. This helps streamline your work, maximize your earnings, and avoid bad ratings. Long-term Shipt Shoppers often rely entirely on their Preferred Shopper clients and skip the open market entirely

Unfortunately, Shipt isn’t available in many metros, and there tends to be a long waitlist in the locations in which it is available. There’s also a more in-depth application process, which includes an interview

Shipt offers two roles: the Shopper and Driver. Shoppers are grocery delivery drivers, while Drivers deliver non-food packages. Drivers are a separate role entirely that’s not really comparable to DoorDash (read about the differences). 

Key takeaways:

  • Best long-term potential thanks to the Shipt Preferred Shopper Program
  • Not as widely available
  • Long waitlist in many areas
  • More in-depth application process
  • Stricter vehicle requirements (only cars allowed, and they must be no older than 1997)
  • Offers 16 different perks and discounts, including a free Shipt membership ($99/year value)
  • Highest customer rating requirements out of all apps (easier to get deactivated)

You can apply here to become a Shipt Shopper. 


In a nutshell: A reliable grocery delivery platform that lets you earn practically anywhere you go. 

Instacart is a delivery platform that, like Shipt, only provides grocery and convenience store delivery. You’ll accept grocery orders, shop for the items, and deliver them to customers.

Compared to Shipt, Instacart is easier to jump into: there’s less of a chance you’ll be waitlisted, it’s available in more areas, the application process is easier, and once you’re hired, the customer rating requirements are significantly less stringent (you only need to maintain a 4.2 customer rating instead of a 4.7). 

Instacart has been developing a Favorite Shopper program, which is similar to the Shipt Preferred Shopper program, but it’s not quite fleshed out yet. However, it’s something to keep your eye on for the future. 

Overall, the app is better known than Shipt, and it’s available in more areas, so you can take it wherever you go and likely find good earning opportunities. Plus, it’s a bit more flexible with vehicle requirements: you can use an e-bike or moped, or, if you work in NYC, deliver on foot

Key takeaways:

  • Widely available platform that provides lots of earning opportunities
  • Deliver in a car or on an e-bike, moped, or even on foot if you live in NYC
  • Easier to get accepted and start earning
  • Newly developed Favorite Shopper program makes Instacart an app to keep your eye on

You can apply here to become an Instacart Shopper.

Amazon Flex

In a nutshell: A middle ground between restaurant and grocery delivery, with non-food options too.

Amazon Flex is a unique app — it doesn’t fit neatly into any of the categories we’ve covered so far. Flex drivers schedule delivery blocks in advance, but unlike Grubhub, there’s no option to deliver without scheduling beforehand. There are three types of blocks you can choose from:

  • Pick up and deliver items from Amazon warehouses (delivery stations). Blocks typically last 3-6 hours. 
  • Prime Now and Amazon Fresh: Pick up and deliver household essentials and groceries from Amazon warehouses and Whole Foods stores. Blocks are typically 2-4 hours.
  • Store Orders (Amazon Now): Pick up and deliver pre-packaged orders from various retail stores. 

Amazon Fresh delivery blocks are the only ones during which you’ll handle food — the others are all for non-food items. But even though Amazon Fresh offers grocery delivery, you don’t have to shop for the items yourself, which makes the Flex experience a bit more similar to DoorDash than grocery apps like Shipt or Instacart — you’ll simply run into Whole Foods to pick up pre-packaged orders just like you’d go into a restaurant to pick up an order with DoorDash. 

Key takeaways:

  • Pre-packaged grocery deliveries make for an efficient delivery experience
  • Option to deliver non-food items as well
  • Sign up for delivery blocks in advance 
  • Must be 21 or older to sign up
  • No instant pay option, but you can opt for daily pay

Walmart Spark

In a nutshell: Shop for grocery and household items at Walmart stores. 

Walmart Spark is essentially a grocery delivery app with a twist: all your orders come from Walmart stores. Unlike Amazon Flex, however, the orders are not prepackaged — you have to shop for the items yourself. 

At first glance, that might appear to be a negative — fewer stores would seemingly mean fewer orders and less earning potential. But the opposite is true: only needing to shop at one store means you’ll learn its layout like the back of your hand, which will increase your shopping speed, improve your efficiency, and potentially boost your earnings. 

Occasionally, Spark will have you do deliveries in reverse. For some orders, you’ll need to pick up returns from customers and bring them to Walmart.

If you live near a Walmart, this is a great choice. If there isn’t one in your neighborhood, make sure you take the distance to drive from your home to the store into account. 

Key takeaways:

  • Shop for groceries and essentials at Walmart stores
  • Pick up returns from customers
  • Only cars are allowed
  • Viability depends on how close you live to a Walmart

You can apply here to become a Walmart Spark driver. 


In a nutshell: For convenience store and alcohol delivery only. 

Unlike the other apps on this list, GoPuff only offers convenience store delivery (including alcohol). So, your experience on this app will fall somewhere in between a restaurant and grocery delivery app — you’ll have to do some shopping, but it won’t be for long lists of items. 

GoPuff is currently available in over 500 cities, but it’s not as widespread as the other apps on this list. 

Key takeaways:

  • Convenience store deliveries only 
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Allows cars, mopeds, scooters, and motorcycles, but no bikes
  • Limited availability


In a nutshell: A DoorDash alternative that’s only available in Texas.

Favor is owned by H-E-B, the famous Texas grocery chain. The app only operates in Texas, so out-of-staters (except those in border states) need not apply.

Like DoorDash, it provides restaurant, grocery, and convenience store delivery, but its focus is more evenly split given that it’s run by a supermarket chain. 

Key takeaways:

  • Only available in Texas
  • Owned by H-E-B
  • Bike delivery allowed in Downtown Austin

Jobs like DoorDash without a car

Want to deliver but don’t have a car? These apps allow alternative vehicles:

  • DoorDash: Motorcycle, moped, scooter, or bike
  • Instacart: E-bike, scooter, moped, or motorcycle. Walking allowed in NYC
  • Uber Eats: Bike or scooter, depending on the area
  • Grubhub: Bikes and scooters allowed in select areas
  • Favor: Motorcycles and scooters. Bikes allowed in Downtown Austin only

We have a full post on how to make money without a car, so check that out for more ideas beyond delivery apps. 

Advice from experienced gig workers

We asked three of our Gig Pros what advice they’d give someone who wants to get into gig work but doesn’t know where to start. Here’s what they said. 

Catherine’s advice

Catherine Meyers has 5 years of experience doing Instacart and 2 years of experience with Shipt. She’s also worked on Amazon Flex and DoorDash. Here’s what she had to say:

Of the apps listed here, Grubhub and Uber Eats are the most comparable to DoorDash. In my experience, a major distinction between gig apps is the level of work you have to put in. Food delivery services are less labor intensive because you just have to drive to the restaurant, keep the food an appropriate temperature, and take it to the customer. This has its own set of difficulties, like delivery routes that don’t quite make sense, restaurants taking a while on the order, and customers who are impatient, but it’s a very straightforward process.

Instacart and Shipt require more work and communication skills. You have to be “on” with customer service in a way that’s very similar to a standard, hourly-wage, W2 job. You spend more time in the store and it can be frustrating when items are out of stock. However, I definitely think Instacart and Shipt have higher earning potential. DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats allow you to make money faster, but in my experience, people are often mediocre tippers on these platforms, and there’s often teenagers or college kids who don’t see the need to tip at all. Instacart and Shipt customers are much more likely to tip you a decent percentage-based amount on their order.

Amazon Flex is kind of like DoorDash on steroids, minus any customer involvement. It’s perfect for introverts because all you do is pick up the packages for your route and drop them off at the right house. The only downside to this is that routes can often be very long and spread out, which is typically not the case on DoorDash.

James’s advice

James Tuliano has been doing Shipt and DoorDash since 2020, averaging about 20 hours per week across both platforms. He also has Uber Eats experience. Here’s his advice:

My routine lately has been to switch between DoorDash and Uber Eats and start them both at the same time when I begin my shift. I never take an order on both apps at the same time (that's a quick way to get deactivated, as at least DoorDash is very strict if they don't see you driving in the right direction), but I am constantly checking both of them until I get a good paying offer, and then I pause the app I am not using. So even if you already are doing DoorDash, it might be helpful to sign up for more apps as well.

UberEats and GrubHub are probably the most obvious comparisons. Instacart and Shipt are different beasts that require more customer service skills than just standard food delivery and more customer interaction. I also think they have a higher earning potential but can be slightly more stressful especially if you're shopping in a store you aren't used to. 

Overall, I've found Uber Eats to be the closest thing to DoorDash, and I usually work both of them on the same day and switch back and forth depending on how busy it is. Uber Eats tends to have more volume, but DoorDash tends to have better offers (at least in my area), so I usually try to stay on DoorDash, but if it's slow then I will focus more on Uber Eats. If I have more time in the day, then I will jump on Shipt and do a couple orders with them.

Scott’s advice

Scott Jones has been doing DoorDash, Lyft, Amazon Flex, and Instacart since 2018. Here’s the advice he gave:

I would work DoorDash solidly for 4-6 hour shifts and sometimes make less than $50 after gas. I was putting 100s of miles per day on the car, but 3/4 of it was not getting paid. Racing to a Chick-fil-A 7 miles away, then finishing and off to a Safeway 5 miles away. Many times the distance to the delivery was only a mile or two, so I am not getting paid for crossing town to get to the store/restaurant. 

Instacart was more strategic. There are always orders that will have me going to a local store within a couple of miles, doing a shopping order, and then driving it 50+ miles away (rural orders). So, by the time I was done, I made $46 on one order, it took almost 2 hours, but the mileage is guaranteed pay. On one Saturday, I drove through 6 counties and only did 3 orders. Total of less than 6 hours of work for $150+. Simple money, forget about tips. 

On DoorDash the tips are guaranteed, on Instacart they can/will tip-bait you. So, don't worry about the tips. Your money comes from mileage and is guaranteed.

Amazon Flex is good for solid, reliable income 7 days a week on your schedule. You can make $20+ per hour, and upwards of $50+ per hour. Very solid. DoorDash, on the other hand, is not so solid. They have lowered their pay down to where they can pay you $2 a delivery. And, for less than $5, no way! That is crazy. 

The problem (often discussed on Reddit) is DoorDash is over-saturated with Dashers, deliberately. DoorDash knows that if they have enough Dashers, they will find somebody to take the $2 orders, so it's hard to get any traction forcing them to pay more.

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