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DoorDash for Beginners – Tips for 2022

DoorDash has the potential to be a huge moneymaker in 2022. Sure, the platform is becoming increasingly competitive, but with the right know-how, even the newest person to the platform can turn it in a great way to earn cash, whether it be full-time or part-time. This page is DoorDash for beginners. The absolute best tips for ensuring that you make the most amount of cash from the platform.

The tips are the exact tips that the highest earnings on DoorDash are using. We are sure that if you follow these tips, you are going to be joining them!

Quick tip: you can get cash back every time you fill up your gas tank by using the Upside app. It's free and pays out straight to your bank.

Click here to start delivering for DoorDash

Be Selective About The Orders That You Accept

One thing that a lot of newbie DoorDash users do, and you may be one of them, is accept absolutely every single order that they see. It makes sense. You would think that accepting a ton of orders would lead to more cash. It rarely pans out like that.

Firstly, you are going to want to avoid those orders that are going to be very out of the way. While it may pay well to drive a few miles to deliver an order, you could probably end up making less money like this. There are a couple of reasons for that:

  • You aren’t being paid when you drive back to the hotspot area. This is a time when you aren’t making money (but are spending cash on gas!)
  • It is easier to do 2-3 deliveries in a hotspot area than it is to do a single order many miles out of the way. This means more money and a whole lot less effort.

As you get used to delivering on DoorDash, you will very quickly start to realize which orders are worth it and which ones are not going to pay too well. For example, you may find that orders through certain restaurants is terrible due to the wait time. You may find delivering to certain apartment blocks is awful because nothing is numbered. You may even want to avoid some customers.

One of the great things about DoorDash is that when you do know what you are doing, you can absolutely afford to be selective about the orders that you take on!

Choose The Best Hours For Delivery

The time of day when the vast majority of orders come through will be 6 pm to 9 pm. However, you might receive more tips if you deliver after 10 pm. The problem is that these hours are going to be insanely competitive, and you will likely see orders snatched up before you even have the chance to tap on them.

In our experience, the early morning breakfast rush (between 6 am and 9 am) is the best time to make cash without stiff competition. You may also want to sign in during the lunchtime rush (between 11 am and 2 pm) for even more business.

Of course, this is something that is going to vary between areas. Some areas may have a lot of competition during the breakfast and lunchtime hours. When you are new to DoorDash, check the app at different times of the day. You will get a feel for the best times of day for accepting orders. After a few weeks, you will be able to plan your working hours a little bit better.

Pre-Book Your Working Time Slot

The interesting thing about DoorDash is that they do not allow an unlimited number of drivers to be active on the app at once. This means that during the busier hours of the day, you may have to wait for a driver or two to sign out of the app before you are able to join in on the fun.

However, you can pre-book your working time slot, much like a normal job. So, if there is a particular time that you want to be working, then make sure that you set it in the app a couple of days in advance.

You may not need to do this if you are planning on working during some of the quieter parts of the day e.g. the morning shift, and a little bit of the lunchtime shift (if you get signed into the app nice and early)

Hang Around Multiple Restaurants

We have seen a lot of newbies do this:

  • Deliver an order
  • Go home and wait for a new order

Don’t do that. You have to think of DoorDash as being like work. When you are delivering orders, you need to be on the road as much as possible.

Every town and city will have an area where the vast majority of restaurants are located. Make sure that you find an area to park here. This will make it easier for you to reach a restaurant when an order comes through. You may even be able to pick up multiple orders at the same time.

Customers absolutely love when their orders are accepted and delivered quickly. If you do that, then you are much more likely to receive a huge tip. Well, a tip!

Be Friendly And Presentable When Delivering Food

Want the best tips? Put your best foot forward.

Whenever you are delivering food with DoorDash, you should always look the part. Turn up with a smile on your face. Make sure that your clothes look presentable. Greet the customer (if they are not opting for a contactless delivery), etc.

Basically, treat the customers how you would want to be treated.

Not only will a good experience result in you being rated better through the app, but you are much more likely to receive a fast tip.

Use FastPay On DoorDash

DoorDash normally pays out every Monday. This is great. It means that you should be receiving weekly payments and it helps to ensure that the cash keeps rolling in.

However, there is a little-known feature in DoorDash known as FastPay. For $1.99, you can receive your cleared funds instantly. This is fantastic if you need access to your cash a little bit faster, or if you have had a good night on DoorDash and you are in the mood to celebrate. 

Give The Customer Regular Updates On Their Order

Customers love updates. Seriously. DoorDash after DoorDash driver has said that they always get more tips when they give their customers regular updates. This means updating:

  • When you are waiting to collect their food from the restaurant
  • When you are on your way
  • When you are about 5-minutes away from their home
  • When you have arrived (if the delivery is supposed to be a contactless delivery)

Remember, if there are any delays along the way e.g. you hit traffic, then make sure that you message the customer to tell them. There is nothing worse for a customer than thinking that their food is going to be there soon, but it doesn’t arrive as you are stuck in traffic 10-15 minutes away. While they may not be happy if you arrive a bit later, at least they will be understanding because you told them why you were going to be a little bit late.

Work On Multiple Orders At Once

A lot of newbie DoorDash drivers select one order, deliver it, then work on another one. You won’t make cash like this. Trust us. You will be spending more time driving and less time driving. As we said earlier, if you are driving without an order in your hand, then you aren’t making money.

Right from the get-go, you are going to want to be looking for the following:

  • Orders that come from the same restaurant
  • Orders that are delivered to the same area

Preferably, for the most efficient driving, you want both. 

When you are getting started with DoorDash, it can be a little bit difficult to see when you may be more efficient by accepting multiple orders at a time. However, we promise you, you are very quickly going to become used to the system. Once you do, you will be making a whole lot more cash than other drivers!

Avoid Grocery Deliveries

Grocery deliveries, particularly from Walmart, always pay the most through the app.

Under absolutely no circumstances should you be pulled in by the allure of a grocery delivery through DoorDash.

Most of them involve you carrying a lot of bags, often over great distances (i.e. up a ton of stairs) and they generally aren’t worth it.

If you are delivering to an area that only has houses, then you may be able to squeeze a bit of cash out of it. However, the vast majority of drivers will avoid grocery deliveries due to the low pay. Trust us, you are probably going to make one grocery delivery and never want to go back to them. They are just that difficult to complete.

Follow The Instructions Perfectly

If there are special instructions on the delivery, then make sure that you follow them perfectly. Customers really love when they feel as if they are being listened to. This will often lead to greater tips, especially if the instructions are a little bit more convoluted.

DoorDash Customer Support Are There For You

Every so often, you will run into an issue with an order. This isn’t a problem. The odd canceled order or complaint won’t really impact you negatively.

However, if you do have an issue then it is important that you reach out to the DoorDash customer support team. Just give them a heads-up that there may have been a problem with a customer i.e. they gave you the wrong location, or an order may have been wrong.

Customer support is really there to help you. A lot of people are actually surprised about this.

Look For Tax Breaks

DoorDash is a job. As with all jobs, there may be some tax breaks that you can take advantage of.

Take a note of all of the expenses you accumulate while working, even if it is something as simple as buying a Sharpie to mark orders.

You will almost certainly want to keep a note of the mileage that you cover each night. Not only will this help you to work out whether you have made a profit, but it could help you to get a bit of tax back.

We can’t provide you with a breakdown of tax law here, and it does vary. For some of the expenses, you can write off, talk to your accountant or see this article on business expenses.

Know That You Are Going To Run Into Problems Or Slow Nights

A lot of DoorDash drivers jump into DoorDash thinking everything is going to go smoothly. Oh, how wrong you are.

There will be nights where you barely make any cash.

There will be nights where you have to deal with customers that are not too friendly.

It happens. Just like every other job, not every day can be great. The trick is being able to dust yourself off and try again the second night. Trust us. The majority of the nights that you spend on DoorDash are going to be great evenings.

Keep a Record Of Profits

This is going to be your best way to keep tabs on your DoorDash experience. Yes. DoorDash will tell you how much cash you have made from your deliveries, but this will not be your profits.

Keep records of the following:

  • Your expenses
  • How much you have made from your deliveries.

Subtract your expenses (including gas) from your delivery income and you have your profit.

Your goal is to always increase the amount of profit that you make from DoorDash. This means learning where the best places to sign in to the app are. It is about knowing which restaurants are the quickest, and which locations are going to be the fastest places to deliver to. You will also need to get a rough idea of the best times to sign in to the app.

Once you start recording your profits properly, we are sure that you will find that it becomes a whole lot easier to plan how your business works.

You will want to experiment with the app and see what works for you. While we wish we could tell you the ultimate way to make the most amount of cash where you live, this is impossible. Each and every area is different.

Don’t Sit Idle For Too Long

There will be times when it gets incredibly quiet on the DoorDash app, even during the busy parts of the day.

We know that we have told you that you should try and accept orders that deliver the most profit i.e. the ones that do not involve you traveling all that far. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be sitting around to the point of idleness. If you haven’t accepted a delivery in a while, then try and accept some of the lower-paying orders (assuming they will cover the cost of gas). Sometimes it is better to make something rather than nothing.

See this article for things to do when you’re just not getting orders.  

Don’t Always Use The DoorDash Hotspots

There are certain places where DoorDash classes as hot spots. These are the areas that have the most amount of orders. You would think that these would be the best places to hang around, but not always. Hot spots always attract a lot of competition.

As you become more familiar with the app, you will realize that there are areas that generate a good number of orders, but are not classed as hot spots. It may be worth hanging around these as competition will be a whole lot lower.

Of course, during the early days, you can venture into the hot spots. If you are quick off the mark, you will get a good chunk of orders like that.

Use Other Apps

OK. So, this isn’t specifically a DoorDash tip. However, there are many different delivery apps. You may want to get signed into as many of them as possible. This way, if DoorDash doesn’t seem to be paying off for you one night, then you will easily be able to use one of the other mobile apps. This will help to keep the money flowing in. This means that there will be more cash in your pocket.

However, try not to stretch yourself too thin. You should always make one app your ‘main app’. You want to become a top-rated driver there. The other apps are only going to be for when the orders aren’t flowing through quite as quickly as you need.


So, that concludes our list of the best DoorDash for beginners tips. We are sure that there will be multiple tips here that really catch your attention.

We are positive that if you follow these tips, you really will be able to up the amount of cash that you make through the app.

Click here to start delivering for DoorDash

Save on gas & groceries: the Upside app gives you cash back when you fill up your tank, buy groceries, or eat out.

You don’t even need to be a new user of DoorDash. You may even want to check out a couple of these tips if you are a more experienced DoorDash user that is trying to squeeze a bit more cash out of their business. Have fun!

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