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Grubhub vs DoorDash Drivers 101

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One of the best ways to make money on the side, at least to me, is via popular food delivery services such as UberEats, DoorDash and Grubhub.  They all work in the same way in that you turn on an app whenever you want and deliver the food as per the app’s instructions.  It’s not as hard as it seems as the app walks you through the entire process.  And, while there is some strategy involved, I will leave that to another day.  You can, however, make $15+ per hour gross with little knowledge of your area.  Get good at knowing your area and you can make much more.

In today’s post, I wanted to compare two of the most popular food delivery apps, DoorDash and Grubhub.

I have worked with both for years and I continue to do so to this day.  I have learned a lot about how each app works and I want to share with you the key differences.   Before I begin, however, do keep in mind that what you make will greatly depend on your market, as these apps are market dependent.  I have found that DoorDash can dominate in one market but struggle in another.  This is why it’s so important to test your local market to see which one works best for you.  It would be nearly impossible for me to compare every market.

While I prefer DoorDash over Grubhub, it doesn’t mean you will in your market.  Again, it’s market dependent.

In today’s post, I’m going to go over the key differences between the two, and hopefully, by the time you read it, you will have a better understanding of how the apps work.  As always, if you have questions, you are more than welcome to reach out to me via email and/or the comments below.

Let’s begin!

Grubhub vs DoorDash Drivers Differences

The Pay

One of the biggest differences between the two companies is the pay structure.

DoorDash is funny with its payout initially because they don’t tell you the full amount when you accept it, only the minimum you can expect to make, whereas Grubhub will tell you what you will make exactly.  This is a huge pro for some, as a lot of you like to know what you’re making.

If you haven’t used an app such as this, they will send you an offer, which will show you the pickup location, the drop off location as well as what you will make.  DoorDash, as you can see in the screenshot above (the top one), will show you the minimum, and you can even see that it says “total may be higher.”  In some cases, you can make much more, sometimes it will be the same as noted.  It’s a gamble, often referred to as the DoorDash casino.

DoorDash is always fiddling with this payout strategy and it’s been this way for a while.  And, while you can still make money with the app, you need to learn that it’s best to never take orders less than $6 and stick to at least $1.25+ per mile.  In doing this, I have found I can maximize my earnings.

As for Grubhub, it’s nice in that you know what you’re making 100%, so in this case, it’s best to stick to the $1.25+ per mile approach.  Remember, you’re an independent contractor, and you’re able to accept offers as you please without any repercussions.

NOTE:  Because of this, you will often see much higher payouts up front on Grubhub.  It’s not uncommon to see $15, $20 or $25 orders.  As for DoorDash, it’s rare to see anything beyond $15~.



Peak Pay/Bonuses

I have found with DoorDash that they offer bonuses/peak pay much more than Grubhub does.  Grubhub will offer bonuses on occasions, but it’s rare.

For instance, on a busy night, DoorDash will continue to up the peak pay until enough drivers are on the road to meet demand.  Grubhub, on the other hand, doesn’t offer this opportunity.  In fact, you will never know how busy it is since the Grubhub app doesn’t tell you.  If you look at the screenshot above, you can see that DoorDash will give you an idea as to how busy your area is.  The darker it is and more bars are filled, the more orders that are floating out there.  In this case, most zones are only one bar out of three, which would indicate it’s not that busy, but it’s busy enough you can dash now.

Now, just because it’s busy, it doesn’t mean you will rack in the cash.  In some cases, it just means that there are a lot of low-paying orders out there that other drivers aren’t taking.

The DoorDash interface is much easier to browse and it’s easier to see how busy it is.  To learn about which times are best to deliver food, refer to this guide to see when it’s the best time to drive.

Order Volume Greatly Varies

I touched upon this in the intro, but I have found that DoorDash can be much busier than Grubhub.  For example, in my area (Phoenix, AZ), I can get at least 10 to 15 offers for every Grubhub offer.  Grubhub used to be bigger, but it has since gone downhill ever since Uber and DoorDash has upped their advertising.  Just check out the market share noted here.

Now, this doesn’t mean you won’t dominate in your market with either or.  I can’t stress it enough that you should turn these apps on and test them out to see what works best.  You can always run both apps at the same time if need be.

To see which apps work the best in the bigger cities, refer to this CNBC chart to see which app may work best for you.

Scheduling Blocks

DoorDash and Grubhub both allow you to schedule shifts; however, I never do on DoorDash because I can “dash now” at almost any given moment.  Again, market dependent.  However, you can schedule if you want a guaranteed shift.

The nice thing about DoorDash is that I can schedule, however, they don’t care if you drop your block or don’t show up.  In fact, you can even drop your blocks early if need be.  You won’t get penalized.

Grubhub, on the other hand, requires that you show up for your block or you can get penalized if you miss it or even drop it early.  They have a much stricter attendance policy and don’t have a “dash now” button effectively.  While you can turn the app on and attempt to work, the odds of getting an order are slim to nil if you’re not on a schedule.

To me, the scheduling aspect has an employee feel to it, whereas DoorDash is much more lax with scheduling.

Wait Time

And, lastly, the thing that irks me about Grubhub is that they dispatch the order the minute the customer creates it.  So, if I order a pizza at 5:00 p.m., you get the order at 5:00 p.m., which means you may have to wait up to 40 minutes to get the order.  As you can imagine, this can eat up a lot of your time.

As for DoorDash, they do a much better job dispatching the food when it’s going to be ready.  Depending on the restaurant, they may dispatch the order to you when it’s ready the minute you arrive.  This way, when you get to the restaurant, you don’t have to sit around.  Keep in mind that there will be times when you have to wait, but it’s rare.

Final Thoughts

So, you may be wondering if Grubhub is better than DoorDash.

And, the answer:  it depends.

What I have found is that ever since Grubhub was acquired by a company overseas, they have gone downhill and haven’t recovered.  I don’t think they will recover at this point as I do much better with DoorDash and Uber Eats, at least in my area.  While I turn on Grubhub here and there, the order volume isn’t there, so I don’t feel it’s worth my time.  However, a few years ago, I would have been singing a different tune.

For now, sign up for all the food delivery services and just test them out.  I can’t stress it enough in that your market can be different than mine!  Grubhub can be okay, but your results will vary.  You may find one better than another based on your personal preferences.  I say as long as you can gross $20+ per hour, you’re doing okay.  It’s not a bad gig for flexible working, seeing you can work whenever you want.  And, as long as you manage your car properly and accept the right orders, I often consider it a money on demand option.  Test, test and do more testing!

That’s going to wrap it up for now.  I think I covered the biggest differences but there could be more that I’m missing.

If you want to add anything to what I have written, you’re more than likely to comment below.  And, of course, if you have any questions, you’re more than welcome to ask them as well.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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