How to Make the Most Money on DoorDash: Tips & Tricks5 min read

"How to Make the Most Money on DoorDash: Tips & Tricks

DoorDash has become one of the most popular food delivery services, providing a flexible way for drivers to earn extra income. With the right strategies, DoorDash drivers have the potential to earn quite lucrative pay.

If you’re looking to maximize your hourly earnings on DoorDash, follow these tips and tricks to increase your profits:

Optimize Your Hours

One of the keys to earning more per hour is dashing during peak times when orders are abundant. Every market is different, but generally the busiest times are:

1. Lunch Hours

People tend to order delivery for lunch breaks Monday through Friday. Plan to be on the road between 11am – 1pm. Office parks and business centers often see a spike in orders.

2. Dinner Rush

The dinner hours of 5pm – 8pm are highly popular for food delivery. More customers order food to avoid cooking after a long workday. Target restaurants in residential areas.

3. Weekend Late Nights

Late night delivery is common on Fridays and Saturdays. Areas near bars and restaurants tend to have more orders after 9pm.

Pay attention to your specific region – some zones may stay busy late while others slow down after 10pm. Track your weekly stats to find your most profitable hours.

cherry pick Your Orders

One advantage of DoorDash is the flexibility to choose which orders to accept. Not all orders will be worth your time and effort.

1. Avoid Lowball Offers

An offer of $7 to drive 12 miles is likely not a good use of your time and expenses. Don’t be afraid to decline low paying orders that aren’t profitable.

2. Consider Mileage

Is the restaurant 5 miles away from the dropoff location? Or is it 20 miles away? The closer the distance, the better. Factoring in round trip mileage is key.

3. Focus on Higher Subtotals

Higher subtotals generally mean higher tips. A $200 restaurant order likely tips better than a $20 fast food order.

4. Stick to Your Area

Avoid orders that take you far outside your preferred driving zone. The return trip cuts into your active time and profits.

Pay close attention to each offer – profitable deliveries should be your top priority.

Schedule Strategically

Efficient schedule management is pivotal to maximizing hourly pay. Aim to work peak busy hours and avoid unnecessary downtime.

1. Schedule Dashes in Advance

Schedule shifts through the app during peak hours rather than dashing randomly. This gives you priority access to more orders.

2. Only Dash When it’s Busy

If it’s slow, end your dash to avoid wasting time. Recheck the app for busier times to go back online.

3. Avoid Over-saturation of Drivers

Popular zones get oversaturated with dashers, reducing order frequency. Move to a different zone or only dash during peak hours.

4. Multi-app with Other Services

Run multiple delivery apps simultaneously to stay busier. Pause the other apps when on a delivery.

Proper schedule management ensures you’re dashing during the highest earning periods.

Optimize Your Acceptance Rate

DoorDash tracks acceptance rate as the percentage of orders that are accepted versus declined. But maximizing earnings often requires cherry picking and declining lower paying orders.

How can you optimize your acceptance rate strategy?

1. Don’t Stress About Ratings

Declining orders will lower your acceptance rate. But don’t worry too much about ratings. Focus first on profitability.

2. Only Accept Higher Paying Orders

Only accept orders that meet your minimum payment threshold. Let the lower paying orders time out.

3. Be Selective During Peak Times

When it’s busy, you can be more selective and decline smaller orders while awaiting more valuable offers.

4. Loosen Criteria During Slow Times

If it’s slow out, loosening your order criteria a bit can keep you busier and earning.

Finding the right balance for your market optimizes profits without too many declines. Don’t chase every offer blindly.

Track Your Metrics

Detailed data tracking helps identify the most lucrative zones and optimize your efforts.

1. Record Your Weekly Stats

Track total miles driven, active time, hours worked, deliveries, and earnings. Analyze the numbers weekly.

2. Map Your Hot Spots

Are certain areas of your region consistently busier and more profitable? Take notes on the most lucrative zones.

3. Note Peak Times for Each Zone

Busy hours may vary based on restaurants and demographics in different zones. Find when each area peaks.

4. Track Order Criteria and Acceptance

Note any trends between profitable orders, subtotals, tip amounts, and mileage.

Analyzing your metrics helps refine your strategy week after week. Leverage the data to maximize efficiency.

Use Strategies to Increase Tips

DoorDash pay is directly tied to customer tips. Going above and beyond in service can help boost your earnings.

1. Communicate Proactively

Keep the customer updated on wait times or delays. Meet at their door when possible.

2. Verify Order Accuracy

Double check items and use sealed delivery bags. Prevent messed up orders and complaints.

3. Deliver Food As Fresh As Possible

Turn off car AC to avoid cold food. Use thermal bags for pizza and ice cream.

4. Offer Superior Service

Be extra polite in communication. Thank the customer and wish them a wonderful rest of their day.

Providing an amazing delivery experience earns you better ratings and tips over time.

Focus on Tax Deductions

As an independent contractor, saving on taxes legally through deductions can add up to thousands per year.

1. Track Mileage

Keep a detailed log of mileage for estimated tax write-offs. This adds up significantly over time.

2. Save Gas Receipts

Fuel costs can be deducted. Keep receipts from fill ups.

3. Record Expenses

Phone bills, accessories, and equipment related to dashing can often be deducted.

4. Use an Accountant

Consider hiring an accountant well versed in rideshare tax laws. Their expertise saves money.

Proper tax planning is crucial to maximize net profits as a delivery driver.


The key to earning the most per hour on DoorDash boils down to working smarter, not just harder. Optimizing your schedule, being highly selective with orders, tracking detailed metrics, providing great service, and leveraging tax deductions are all proven strategies. Experiment to see what works best in your specific market. With the right techniques, you can maximize your delivery earnings.

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