Whether you want a side hustle or a full-time job, food delivery apps are one of the most popular options. Here are some of the best food delivery services to work for.
Small businesses are both the best and worst employers. That’s doubly true for restaurants.
If you can find a local restaurant that treats its delivery drivers well, it will be hands down a better option than any food delivery app. To understand why, it’s important to understand how the industry works.
When restaurants use services like Uber Eats, they have to pay a large cut of their prices and often have to charge their customers more as a result. Even then, customers still have to pay a delivery fee and leave a tip.
When local restaurants do enough delivery business to have their own delivery service, they can cut out the middleman. Not having to pay the delivery app means they can pay you more while charging the customers less.
One downside is that working for a local restaurant may mean committing to regular shifts instead of working whenever you want. That’s not a bad thing if you’re looking for a steady second job.
Of course, some restaurant owners are penny pinchers and won’t treat drivers well, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of each restaurant.
Instacart and Shipt
When it comes down to actual apps, Instacart shoppers and Shipt shoppers usually have the highest earnings potential. That comes down to several factors.
- Instacart and Shipt are full-service delivery apps so you’re getting paid to both shop and deliver
- Customers are more likely to tip higher. They appreciate it when you take the time to pick the best options. They also tend to be more affluent than users of other types of apps.
- Your expenses are lower. Spending time shopping in the store means less time driving around using your gas compared to only doing deliveries.
Whether Instacart or Shipt pays better varies. If you check Reddit, you’ll get different answers over time as both apps are constantly changing. It can also depend on what stores each app serves in your area as well as customer preferences.
The best way to make money is to sign up for both. When you’re ready to work, you can check which one has the best-paying jobs at any given time.
If you only want to be a delivery driver without shopping, Uber Eats will usually win by volume. While it’s rarely the highest paying, it often has the most orders because it has a bigger name.
More orders means you can be more picky with what you take. It also means fewer slow times during your shift and fewer times you log in to find no orders available.
Another benefit of using Uber Eats is that if you get approved as a rideshare driver, you can see both passenger pickups and delivery orders at the same time. That gives you more options to choose the highest-paying job at any given time or to add variety to your shift.
In some areas, you’ll even find that passengers go one way while food delivery orders go the other way. For example, early in the evening you might pick people up from residential areas, drive them to an area filled with bars and restaurants, and then pick up an order for someone staying at home. That delivery order gets you back in a good location to find the next group of passengers who want to head to a bar.
GrubHub often comes in as having the lowest pay per hour. The reason that GrubHub is still popular is that it’s older than Uber Eats and is the app customers prefer in many areas.
If you’re looking for a high volume of orders, GrubHub might be the best food delivery app in your area.
If you do choose to work for GrubHub, it’s important to pay close attention to your mileage and other expenses to make sure you’re actually making money.
DoorDash can pay more than both Uber Eats and GrubHub if you understand the best times to work for DoorDash.
One of the cons of delivering for DoorDash is that it’s a much smaller player in many markets. That means the app is much more likely to have hot and cold streaks in terms of both the number of orders and pay.
If you’re going to try DoorDash, it’s probably best to pair it with another app.
Amazon has its own group of delivery drivers for various types of orders. These are the people you see pulling up in their own cars not the Amazon blue trucks. The blue truck drivers are a separate job that’s usually full-time.
Amazon Flex has three categories of jobs:
- Shop and deliver Whole Foods orders (similar to Instacart shoppers)
- Delivery-only Whole Foods orders
- Deliver non-food Amazon orders from an Amazon warehouse
One pro to the non-food orders is that you can usually fill up your car with packages and make more money in a single trip instead of having to drive back and forth between restaurants in stores. Those orders are far less likely to tip than food delivery orders, though.
Smaller Food Delivery Services
There are a number of smaller food delivery services out there. They might be local, regional, or just smaller national players.
When you’re looking for the best food delivery apps, check the popular apps in your area. Some of them are committed to providing higher service and paying more to get good people. Others have big local followings and more orders as a result — even compared to the big names.
Because these services are smaller, it can be harder to find pay information. The good news is that you don’t have to choose one delivery app to work for. Download a few, see which ones you like best, and remember which one pays the most can vary by day and time.
Here are a few to look for in your area:
- Bite Squad: Restaurant orders, operates in select cities in ten states.
- Gopuff: Restaurant orders and other small deliveries, operates in over 1,000 cities.
- Favor: Restaurant deliveries in Texas.
- Saucey: Alcohol delivery in select cities spread around the country.
- Point Pickup: Various types of food and retail deliveries. Contracts with individual stores, so locations vary.
- EatStreet: Restaurant delivery service operating in select cities.
- Cornershop:Cornershop is Uber’s entry into the grocery delivery market, but it’s currently running as a separate service. It’s available in select large cities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you apply for food delivery apps?
Most apps have an open sign-up process. You only need a valid driver’s license and to be able to pass a background check. You can usually start working in a week or two.
It’s not common to have to interview, but some services, like Shipt, do require you to interview. The interview is usually fairly easy if you’re doing this as a separate job and is to just make sure you understand customer service basics.
Are you allowed to work for multiple delivery apps?
Because you’re an independent contractor, you’re allowed to work for multiple apps at the same time even when they’re competitors. It’s usually a good idea to have multiple apps open so you can choose the highest-paying orders.