I’ve seen a lot of ads about DoorDash lately, and I wanted to find out for myself what it’s like to be behind the wheel as a Dasher. After weeks of wondering, I decided to sign up and try it for myself. DoorDash promises that you can earn up to $15 an hour, that you can “dash” whenever, wherever, and how often you like. And for me, I like the idea of bringing delicious food to hungry customers who are comfortable at home. Here’s how it went.
Signing up as a Dasher was surprisingly very simple. I went directly to the sign up page and followed the instructions. The application will ask you for personal information, payment information, and other information so that they can perform a background check. The background check is routine and free. You can also choose to Dash as a driver, bicycle, or even a walker (this may vary depending on where you live). As an added bonus, you can also request a copy of your background check for free. I was approved within 24 hours and ready to Dash right away!
My First Dash
I was pretty excited once the approval came in. The first thing DoorDash had me do was download their “Dasher” app. The app is pretty simple – you sign into your Dasher account, and you see a map of the city you’re in. They have different zones highlighted and labels that show how busy those zones are. To get started, you have to pick a zone where you want to start your deliveries. My home is in North Brooklyn, so I decided to pick home to start. It was a busy Saturday afternoon, and there was a “promo” notice: $3 bonus for each delivery until 2pm. Not bad! I clicked “Dash Now” using a car, and selected 4pm as my scheduled end time.
The app instantly started looking for new orders. I waited for about 2 minutes and my first Dash opportunity appeared!
Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue - $7.50 - 2 miles
I checked Google Maps and Fletcher’s BBQ was just 2 blocks away! $7.50 sounded pretty good for a 10-minute drive. I accepted the Dash and headed to the restaurant. If you live in Brooklyn, you know parking is almost always a problem. I pulled up in front of the restaurant, put on my hazards, and walked into the store. I showed them my app and they handed me a bag of food ready to go. Pretty cool! The drive to the customer was a short 12-minute drive. The customer’s instructions said to call when you arrive and she will come down. I called her, handed her the food, and she handed me $4 cash. I had $11.50 in just 15 minutes. I updated the order status on the app and it went right back to work looking for orders. Within one minute, another order popped up. It almost felt like getting a small win with a slot machine.
Popeye's Chicken - $9.12 - 0.2 miles
I was about a mile away from the Popeye’s store, and the customer was only a few blocks away from that. It sounded like a pretty good deal, so I accepted! On my way to the Popeye’s, another notice came up. This was highly unexpected.
The prompt was offering the option to add a 2nd order to the route. I was a little confused, but I trusted that the app knew what it was doing, so I decided to accept. I’m glad I did! As soon as I arrived at Popeye’s, I showed them the app and they prepared the food. It took about 3-4 minutes (the same as if you ordered fast food and waited on it as a regular customer). I placed the food in the back seat, updated the app, and headed over to Wendy’s (the Dasher app told me where I needed to go next). Wendy’s was right next door! I didn’t even have to move the car. I went inside Wendy’s, the food was ready right away, and I added it to my backseat. Next, I dropped off Popeye’s to a customer nearby. I noticed that I did not request extra jelly – something I felt bad about. I’m brand new and still learning how to use the app, so I’ll be sure to pay attention to special instructions next time. Next, I drove the Wendy’s order a few miles down the street and delivered to another hungry customer. It was just over an hour and I had already earned $33!
I was barely back to the car when another Dash appeared.
The Reyerson - $13.75 - 4 miles
$13.75 sounded like a lot – ACCEPTED! The restaurant was right around the corner. I ran in, grabbed the food (it was bagged up & ready to go) and headed out. Traffic was pretty bad in this area. I was hitting every light and sometimes stopping more than once at the same light. I also noticed this order was taking me pretty far away from my delivery zone. When I went to the customer, she came down and received the order with a huge smile – which was my favorite part of the gig to be honest. I hopped back in the car, updated the app, but this time it was a bit different. The app said that I needed to be in my delivery zone to get another order. I thought this was annoying. I started driving toward my zone, still in bad traffic. By the time I was in my zone, my Dasher time was up. The app gave me the option to dash longer, but I decided this was enough for the first day. I was about 20 minutes from my house. I went home and took a look at the results.
My first Dashing experience was pretty exciting. I had no problem picking up orders, taking them to customers, and the money was better than I had expected. I certainly got lucky with the double-delivery. I earned $30 in my first hour and about $10 in the 2nd hour. Peak pay helped a lot ($12 in total). Customer tips averaged on the lower side compared to order value. The best part of the experience was being able to start right away and end it when I wanted. One thing I had some trouble with was with the drinks – you might not have enough cupholders for the drinks. I imagine it would be even tougher on a bicycle, but I’m sure you can figure it out after a bit of research. DoorDash is a great opportunity for someone who has time to spare and isn’t afraid to hustle to meet customers where they are.