If you're looking for flexible ways to earn extra money on your own time, one thing you might consider is food delivery for companies like Shipt, Instacart, DoorDash, and UberEATS.
Getting paid to deliver food is a side gig growing quickly in popularity. And no, food delivery doesn't mean delivering pizza for Domino's or Pizza Hut. What we're about to discuss is a little different, has potential to pay well, and it's certainly more flexible.
Many of the food delivery services I'm about to list below are app-based. Meaning the customer downloads the app, requests their food order within the app, and then waits. As the delivery person, you pick up the order via your own version of the app, and drive it over to the person who requested it, accept payment (plus a tip), and you're done!
The food you're delivering may be fast food, restaurant food, or you may even get someone's groceries. It will just depend on the company you're working for and what their focus is.
Your Schedule For Food Delivery
The great thing about delivering food orders is that, for the vast majority of companies now hiring people to do this, you work whenever you want to. This makes it a great side earner.
You can keep your day job and just do it on the weekends, or you can pick up orders after you're home from work. Just whatever works for you. There is no set schedule.
Pay Rate For Food Delivery
It's hard to say exactly how much you will earn because each company I'm about to list claims you can earn different amounts. But, in the description for each company, I've done my best to nail down a good estimate for you based on my research.
The pay frequency also varies. Some pay weekly, while others offer instant cash outs in addition to weekly pay.
Requirements to Deliver Food
Most of the companies listed below are going to require that you are at least 18 years old with a valid driver's license, a reliable vehicle, a smartphone, and insurance. There is at least one company below that is OK with deliveries being made on a bike or scooter.
A clean record is important to have as well. Most of these companies run background checks before accepting new drivers.
4 Ways To Get Paid To Deliver Food
#1 – Shipt
Shipt is one of the most popular, best known companies for food delivery. The company describes itself as, “a membership-based grocery marketplace, enabling delivery of fresh foods and household essentials.” So here, you are basically delivering groceries.
According to Shipt, you can earn up to $22 an hour delivering food. Payments are made weekly. But according to Glassdoor, most Shipt drivers are anonymously reporting earnings of $11 to $16 hourly. So it will vary. It's pretty clear the quoted $22 an hour rate is at the top end of what most people could expect here.
To qualify to work for Shipt, you must be at least 18, have a valid license, insurance, reliable vehicle, knowledge of the grocery store produce selection, own insulated cooler bags, have an iPhone or Android smartphone, and be able to easily lift up to 40 pounds.
Go here to apply to drive for Shipt.
#2 – DoorDash
DoorDash is a service that allows customers to use their app and request restaurant food deliveries. They are always looking for new drivers. They've grown a lot in recent years, and they are available in most major cities nationwide, and they're getting started in Canada now as well.
I wasn't able to find an estimated dollar amount for the pay rate on the DoorDash site, so it seems they stay tight-lipped about this (at least lately). However, Glassdoor salary reports from anonymous Dashers show that most of them are earning between $10 to $14 an hour, with the average appearing to be about $11 hourly for most Dashers.
Pay is weekly via direct deposit, or you can get paid daily. However, they do deduct a $1.99 transaction fee off your earnings for every daily payment you request. You do need to have two weeks as a Dasher under your belt before qualifying for fast pay, along with 25 deliveries.
To deliver for DoorDash, you must be 18 years old, have an iPhone or Android smartphone, and volunteer your social security number. The social security number requirement, I assume, is so they can do a background check on you. A clean record is a requirement as well. DoorDash allows you to deliver with any type of car (motorcycles, scooters, bikes, and even walking are allowed in some markets).
Go here to sign up to deliver for DoorDash.
#3 – Instacart
Instacart is another popular way to get paid to deliver food similar to Shipt, listed above. They promise their customers groceries delivered in as little as one hour. As an Instacart delivery person, you can shop for the requested groceries and make deliveries in most major US cities.
I tried to find out how much Instacart pays, but they don't give an estimate on their site. However, Glassdoor anonymous salary reports from existing and former Instacart shoppers shows a reported rate of $10 to $16 hourly, with most shoppers making about $14 an hour.
Instacart pays weekly, or you can opt for an instant cash out whenever you want/need it if you connect your debit card to the app.
To shop and deliver for Instacart, you must (quoted from their site):
- Be 18 or over
- Be eligible to work in the United States
- Have consistent access to a vehicle
- Have consistent access to and be able to effectively use a recent smartphone (iPhone 5 / Android 4.4 or newer)
- Be able to lift between 30-40 lbs with or without an accommodation
They also have a shopper role that does not include making deliveries. The requirements for it are the same as above, minus the car.
Go here to sign up to shop for Instacart.
#4 – UberEATS
You've probably heard of Uber, but have you heard of UberEATS? With UberEATS, you're getting paid to pick up restaurant deliveries and take them to people who request them. You can deliver on a car, bike, or scooter.
UberEATS also keeps an estimated pay range off of their website. The pay is also a little harder to find on Glassdoor, but Indeed estimates around $15 hourly.
To deliver for UberEATS via car, you must be the minimum age to drive in your city plus at least one year of driving experience, which means this could be a good gig for teens to make money. Bike delivery requires that you're at least 18, and scooter delivery requires that you're at least 19. Both the bike and scooter delivery also require insurance, registration, and a driver's license.
Go here to sign up to drive for UberEATS.
And that wraps up our list! If you know of any other ways to get paid to deliver food, please share.
David Thobaben says
These food delivery companies are good but the problem is that in New York State no auto insurance company will cover any drivers that deliver food. If a driver has valid insurance and a auto insurer finds out they can cancel the driver. Just a heads up.
I have been delivering restaurant food for Caviar for 6 months. Yes, you can turn on the app anytime you want. But you will only make money a few hours a day. I do dinner peak time 6-9pm. On a rainy Sunday, I could make about $20/hr. During the slow Summer season, it’s closer to $10/hr. Biggest problem is parking.