What are the Best Times to DoorDash to Maximize Your Profits?

Success on DoorDash is all about finding the right times to work. This means figuring out both when demand is highest but also when there won’t be too many Dashers online. Here’s what you should think about.

This post is provided for general information only. Please confirm the details and circumstances of your unique situation with your tax accountant or other appropriate advisor before taking action.

What time does DoorDash close?

Let’s start with the basics. You can’t DoorDash unless they’re open. DoorDash hours are restaurant hours. The app works 24/7, but each restaurant sets its own hours.

Tip: If you’re working at night, know when your local restaurants close or check before you take an order. You don’t want to drive across town to a closed restaurant.

DoorDash is supposed to stop taking orders when restaurants close, but it doesn’t always have their hours right.

When do people eat?

The two peak times for DoorDash are lunch and dinner. The hours depend on where you are.

The lunch rush is often 11 am to 2 pm, and the dinner rush is often 4 pm to 7 pm. You’ll need to feel out different neighborhoods in your area to figure out the best times.

Breakfast isn’t really a thing most of the time. However, you may have luck in commercial areas with businesses ordering breakfast for meetings.

A good strategy here might be to keep Uber open and drive people to work while you try to snag a breakfast order. In some areas, you can also get lucky with people ordering a weekend brunch at home.

What’s your city’s vibe?

Another important thing to figure out is when your city is active.

  • Do people stay out late, meaning they eat later?
  • Or, do you have a lot of retirees that like to eat their dinner with the four o’clock news?

Also, when are people around?

  • Does almost everyone in the neighborhood commute into the city during the day?
  • Does the city have people who live there at night?
  • Is the local culture big on going out for a night on the town or ordering in?
  • Are you near outdoor attractions that will mean no one is home on weekends?

Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.

Your next problem is that you’re not the only Dasher trying to figure out the best times to make money on DoorDash. If you have a good idea, a lot of other people probably do, too.

Sometimes, the Friday night demand might still be more than the number of drivers. Other times, you might realize there are too many people trying to grab orders and decide to call it an early night.

Things will also change over time. If drivers get frustrated with low orders, that time might stop being so crowded. Other people might also discover your good fishing spots.

And DoorDash will always run promotions to get more workers out when customer orders aren’t getting filled. All you can do is keep adapting.

When it rains, it pours.

If it’s raining, snowing, too hot, or too cold, more people decide to order in. They don’t go out in the bad weather, and neither do other Dashers.

Bad weather can often be a great time to make money and hopefully get some extra tips.

You do want to stay safe, but if it just snowed and you have a four-wheel-drive truck with snow chains, you have a chance to make money while other people are stranded.

And if you just don’t want to feel miserable in bad weather, making changes like finding a good rain jacket can help you not even feel the weather at all.

Think about special events.

Special events can also increase or decrease orders.

On Super Bowl Sunday,* almost the entire country is either sitting on their couches ordering food or out delivering food.

If there’s a parade in your town, the parade times might mean that everyone is out watching it, and you wouldn’t be able to get around the road closures, anyway. But after the parade, that’s a ton of tired people that need to eat but can’t get to the grocery store.

Think about the events in your town and if they put more people in front of the TV or get people out of their houses. Regular season home games for your football team, hockey and basketball playoffs, and special events like the Olympics often increase demand.

*Yes, NFL, I said Super Bowl. It’s called fair use.

Keep a log.

If you really want to figure out the best times to DoorDash, keep a log of when you worked and what you made. You’ll want more detail than your DoorDash earnings report.

You don’t have to log every order, but include your start and end times of each shift, your earnings, the day of the week, the weather, and any special events or holidays going on. These are all things that restaurants use to try to figure out how many employees they need at any given time.

Watch for DoorDash Peak Hours.

DoorDash often offers peak pay to get more DoorDash drivers on the road. You usually get a bonus for all deliveries completed during the peak hours.

DoorDash might announce the peak hours ahead of time if they know things will be busy. They sometimes also offer more money on short notice when there are more orders coming in than delivery drivers available.

Often, peak pay goes by city or even neighborhoods in a city.

To see current incentives, log into your DoorDash app. Other rideshare and food delivery apps have similar incentives, so remember to check those as well.

Conclusion

Figuring out when you can make the most money on DoorDash takes trial and error.

There are some general tips out there, but when too many people have a good idea, it may no longer be a good idea. You’ll just have to get out there and see what works best in your area.

Oh, and don’t forget to file your taxes.

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