DoorDash vs. UberEats: Which App Is Right For Your Next Side Gig?

For better or worse, apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats have disrupted the food-delivery industry. Since their launch in 2013 and 2014 respectively, restaurants across the country have outsourced delivery services to independent drivers who use the apps to make extra cash.

During the pandemic, these services have seen demand like never before. For customers, the apps make ordering food from just about any restaurant as easy as opening their smartphones. For drivers, it’s almost as easy to land a delivery job hawking food from local eateries.

But before you download your next job, take some time to review the key differences between DoorDash and Uber Eats so that you can make the most of your delivery gig.

DoorDash vs Uber Eats: The Top Food Delivery Apps Duke It Out

The general premise of the two apps is almost identical: Customers place food orders at local restaurants. The apps alert drivers in the area with the order details. The first driver to accept the order picks up the food and drops it off to the customer. Simple enough, right?

Several differences are worth noting, though. Some minor and some major. We took a deep dive into those differences, looking at pay, vehicle and job requirements, available locations, driver reviews and more to help you make an informed decision before you start delivering.

And if it’s too close to call, you can always sign up for both to see which one suits you better.

Round 1: App Reviews

A woman looks at what's offered on Uber Eats.

Because the apps are so popular, they’ve amassed more than 4.1 million driver reviews. Both companies require their drivers to use different apps than customers, a huge perk when trying to get a sense of drivers’ perspective. Worker reviews from Glassdoor are also included.

DoorDash Driver (Dasher) Reviews

Feedback from Dashers is overall mixed, but there’s a clear preference for the iOS version of the app. Trends in negative reviews across all platforms show that many drivers have trouble with glitches and crashes, especially Android users, and that the nature of the work takes a toll on their vehicles. Many negative reviews mention that DoorDash’s strict performance metrics are a hassle.

Workers reviewed DoorDash more than 760,000 times.

App Store (iOS) review: 4.7 out of 5.
Google Play (Android) review: 3.3 out of 5.

Glassdoor review: 3.7 out of 5.

Uber Driver Reviews

More than 3 million drivers reviewed Uber. A caveat worth noting is that Uber has one driver app. That means it’s hard to get the opinions of only Uber Eats drivers because general Uber app reviews are mixed in. Overall, reviews are positive.

Trends in negative delivery reviews on Glassdoor indicate GPS issues and trouble contacting customer service. Several drivers mentioned problems with promotion and surge pay (bonus pay during in-demand times). Negative reviews regarding vehicle wear-and-tear are common.

App Store (iOS) review: 4.6 out of 5.

Google Play (Android) review: 3.8 out of 5.

Glassdoor review: 3.9 out of 5.

Round 2: Job and Vehicle Requirements

A woman drives for Uber.

To become a Dasher or Uber Eats driver, you have to meet a baseline of requirements. Some are vehicle related and some are age and experience related.

DoorDash

To qualify as a Dasher you must be at least 18. Dashers need to have a valid driver’s license. There are no car requirements, but auto insurance is required. In some markets you can make deliveries on scooters, bicycles and motorcycles.

Uber Eats

To make automobile deliveries, the minimum age requirement is based on your local jurisdiction, plus at least one year of driving experience. Vehicles must be no more than 20 years old. Drivers must be properly insured and can use bikes and scooters in certain markets. The age requirements are higher for those who prefer two wheels — 18 for bicycles and 19 for scooters.

Round 3: Sign-Up Process

Becoming a delivery driver for DoorDash and Uber Eats is simpler than landing a part-time job. You can complete the entire process from your smartphone or computer.

DoorDash

You can sign up to become a Dasher on the driver app. You’ll have to consent to a background and motor vehicle check (and pass both). They could take as little as a few days, but err on the side of a week or two.

After passing the checks, you’ll need to select what type of “orientation” you want. The pandemic paused in-person orientations. Depending on your market you may need to request an “activation kit” instead. Receiving your activation kit may take an extra couple of weeks, according to driver reviews.

The activation kit includes a Dasher manual, a hot bag and a credit card, which is used to pay for orders. Once you receive and set up the card through the app, you can start accepting orders.

Uber Eats

For drivers new to Uber, you can sign up on the website or through the driver app. Because of the stricter vehicle requirements, the application requires more detailed information on your ride. A background check is also required, which may take three to five business days to process.

After the background check clears and your application is approved, you’re free to start taking orders. No orientation or additional equipment is needed.

If you’re a current rideshare driver for Uber, it’s easy to start delivering with Uber Eats. You simply opt in to Uber Eats orders through the driver app and start delivering without any additional screening.

Round 4: Pay and Tipping

The two apps handle pay a little differently, both in how you get paid and how you pay for customers’ orders when you pick them up. Neither company offers guaranteed wages (unless you live in California).

DoorDash

As of Fall 2019, the company switched to a payment model where Dashers earn a higher base pay per order in addition to keeping 100% of their tips. Previously, a customer’s tip would subsidize the Dasher’s base pay.

Check out how this food delivery driver may $8,000 in one month.

Dashers report earning between $11 and $15 an hour depending on location, but those earnings aren’t guaranteed. Pay is based on how many orders you accept per hour and how much customers tip you. DoorDash pays weekly through direct deposit, or you can access your earnings early through Fast Pay, for $1.99.

When picking up orders, you may be required to pay for the order using the company red card from your activation kit.

Uber Eats

Depending on your location, you can expect to earn $11 to $14 an hour on average. Again, those wages aren’t guaranteed because your earnings are based on orders and tips. With Uber Eats, you pocket 100% of your customers’ tips. You get paid weekly via direct deposit, or you can pay a fee to access your earnings early through Instant Pay for 50 cents.

You won’t be involved in the payment process for food orders. Partner restaurants are reimbursed directly by Uber.

Round 5: Available Locations

People walk alongside a lake and tall buildings.

This one’s easy. Both services are available in most big cities in all 50 states.

Previously, DoorDash and Uber Eats ran driver support centers in major metro areas of most states. In 2020, many of these centers closed due to the coronavirus. Some still exist, but neither company offers a comprehensive, public list of remaining locations.

Final Round: Additional Perks

Promotional offers are popular with both DoorDash and Uber, but they’re temporary and vary by location. Aside from sign-up bonuses and referral codes, here are a couple perks that are here to stay.

DoorDash

A few perks unique to DoorDash include grocery delivery options, automatic insurance coverage and health care services.

After you’re screened and accepted as a Dasher, you can choose to deliver food in any city where DoorDash operates, meaning there are no hard location requirements. The company also launched grocery delivery services in some Midwest and West Coast areas.

Dashers also get supplemental auto insurance and occupational accident insurance for accidents or injuries that fall outside your current auto insurance. The insurance plan covers up to $1 million in medical costs, a weekly payment of $500 for disabilities and $150,000 to dependents for fatal accidents. Coverage is automatic. There are no deductibles or premiums.

While DoorDash doesn’t offer health insurance, the company does partner with Stride Health, which provides free health care advising and assistance to Dashers who need help finding affordable insurance plans.

FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM

Uber Eats

Uber Eats drivers get a variety of discounts and may be eligible for Uber Pro perks.

All Uber drivers receive discounts for vehicle maintenance and phone service plans. Uber also partners with Stride Health to provide health plans and tax advice. Drivers automatically receive supplemental auto insurance, which covers up to $1 million in damages. There’s a $1,000 deductible before benefits pay out.

Uber Pro perks have recently expanded to all of Uber’s markets across the U.S. Only top-rated drivers receive Pro perks like tuition and gas reimbursement, and the program is designed for Uber drivers primarily, not Uber Eats drivers.

If you drive for both Uber and Uber Eats, your food deliveries may apply to Uber Pro, but Uber-Eats-only drivers aren’t eligible.

Final Decision in DoorDash vs Uber Eats

Ding! Ding! It was an even match-up. Uber Eats and DoorDash were neck and neck throughout. No knockout punches. A good few jabs by DoorDash’s insurance coverage and grocery options and a couple of hooks by Uber’s overall ratings and ability to switch to ridesharing.

The decision goes to our judges. (That’s you.)

There are a lot more delivery options out there. Here’s how the top 10 delivery apps stack up.

Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers the gig economy, remote work and other unique ways to make money. Read his ​latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

Looking for Delivery App Jobs? We Compared the Top Apps

Delivery jobs are no longer limited to the Post Office and the boxy brown trucks of UPS.

Thousands of delivery gigs, which stem from a plethora of on-demand delivery apps, are available nationwide. Delivery services have been booming during the pandemic, creating a surge in demand for delivery workers. The vast majority of delivery app jobs are categorized as 1099, which means the workers are independent contractors.

Requirements are overall very low. In many cases, all you need to start earning are a valid driver’s license and a functioning car with proper auto insurance.

But the reality of delivery work is tough. In addition to the work itself, apps glitch, customers stiff on tips and cars deteriorate. Pay can vary based on a number of factors outside of your control. And, depending on location, you may earn less than minimum wage.

Despite the downsides, many drivers love the work and find delivery apps a flexible source of extra money in the short-term. Each app works a little differently. We analyzed the top ones, looking at wages, frequency of pay, job and vehicle requirements, dress code, driver reviews and more to help you choose the best delivery app for your next side gig.

FROM THE MAKE MONEY FORUM

Delivery App Jobs

Here are the top contenders for package-delivery gigs. Generally speaking, these delivery jobs require larger vehicles because of the potential size of some orders. Some heavy lifting may be required.

Amazon Flex

Package delivery is the latest in a long list of industries the e-commerce giant has upended. Currently, delivery gigs with Amazon Flex are among the highest paying, as the company says hourly wages range between $18 and $25 depending on your area. Through efficiency and good tips, it’s possible to earn more.

Flex requires you to sign up for shifts, aka “blocks,” for most deliveries. Blocks typically run four hours at a time, unless the shift is specifically for Prime Now packages. Those blocks are shorter.

Insured four-door sedans or SUVs are required for most Flex packages. For Prime Now blocks, smaller cars are allowed. To apply, you must be at least 21 years old. No dress code or special materials are required to start delivering.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.6 out of 5.

Dispatch

Dispatch is an on-demand package delivery app marketed toward businesses. The service is currently available in 48 major cities and metropolitan areas.

According to Glassdoor reviews, drivers report earning between $14 and $16 an hour. Dispatch pays weekly through an app called Stripe, provides supplemental auto insurance and reimburses tolls along the delivery route.

You must be at least 23 years old to qualify. Your vehicle just needs to be in “fair condition.” Once accepted, Dispatch will send you a branded badge and hat that are required during deliveries.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.5 out of 5.

Postmates

Postmates is well known for food delivery, but most store-bought goods and packages are fair game too.

All models of cars are welcomed as long as they’re insured. You can also deliver on a bicycle if you prefer. Wages vary based on location, demand and quantity of deliveries per hour, but Glassdoor says the average salary is $17 an hour . Hourly rates aren’t guaranteed by Postmates, but tips go 100% to the drivers.

Postmates services more than 600,000 restaurants and stores in every state. The company doesn’t provide supplemental auto insurance and doesn’t require any dress code.

You must be at least 18 years old to apply.

Uber recently acquired Postmates, but for now, nothing changes for couriers.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.7 out of 5.

Food Delivery App Jobs

Many well-known delivery apps specialize in food delivery. Here’s how they work.

BiteSquad

BiteSquad transitioned its delivery drivers to independent-contractor status in February 2020 after Waitr bought out the company. (BiteSquad workers were previously hired as W-2 employees.).

As a BiteSquad driver, you’ll be required to wear a branded hat and shirt on the job. BiteSquad supplies your clothing, but you’ll need to purchase a hot bag.

Because of the strict dress code and shift-based work, delivering for other apps while scheduled with BiteSquad isn’t realistic. Delivery jobs are available in 14 states. All you’ll need are an insured, reliable vehicle and a clean driving record.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.7 out of 5.

DoorDash

Overall, Dasher requirements are low. The minimum age is 18, you need a driver’s license and you can deliver with any mode of transportation — a properly insured vehicle, a scooter or a bicycle. There’s no dress code, and the company provides a hot bag for free. Payment is on a weekly basis, or you can access your funds early through Fast Pay for a fee.

DoorDash is available in all 50 states.

As of September 2019, all Dashers (DoorDash drivers) receive 100% of their tips, plus an increase in their base-pay per order. DoorDash also acquired food-delivery company Caviar and has been combining the services. Through the DoorDash app, drivers can choose orders through either Caviar or DoorDash. The driver app for Caviar no longer exists and is now channeled through the Dasher app.

In August 2020, DoorDash announced it’s offering grocery-delivery services in a handful of major cities in the Midwest and along the West Coast — adding to the ways Dashers can earn.

Glassdoor review: 4.0 out of 5.

GrubHub

GrubHub operates in more than 4,000 cities. Depending on the location, the company guarantees hourly wages. Drivers tend to earn around $12 to $15 an hour, and they get to keep 100% of their tips. GrubHub pays weekly.

Wages can be accessed early through Grubhub Instant Cash Out and a partnership with Chase Bank. If you have a Chase bank account, the early cash-out service is free, otherwise it’s 50 cents per transaction.

Auto insurance and a reliable vehicle are required, and drivers must be 19 or older. There’s no dress code. While the company recommends its drivers use a hot bag for deliveries, it doesn’t provide one.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.9 out of 5.

Uber Eats

You only need to be the legal driving age of your state, plus have one year of driving experience, to deliver for Uber Eats.

A two- or four-door vehicle is required, as is auto insurance. Uber provides additional coverage with a $1,000 deductible. And in some regions, scooters and bicycles are accepted.

You’ll earn around $10 to $15 an hour and get to keep all of your tips. Payment comes automatically every week, or you can pay a fee to access your earnings early with Instant Pay. You’ll need a hot bag for deliveries, but the company doesn’t provide one.

A notable perk: Drivers can switch between Uber and Uber Eats on the same app.

Uber Eats operates in all 50 states.

Glassdoor reviews: 4.0out of 5.

Grocery Delivery App Jobs

Delivering groceries can be a little more time consuming and laborious than delivering food or packages. Typically, these gigs involve an extra step: shopping for the items. You’ll also need to be able to lift and carry heavy loads.

But the extra effort could pay off through better tips.

Instacart

Instacart offers part-time W-2 jobs as well as independent delivery gigs.

The part-time positions don’t have a delivery component, they’re in-store only. In-store shoppers work in partner grocery stores, readying orders for delivery.

Full-service shoppers are independent contractors who, depending on the order, shop as well. Full-service shoppers report earning between $10 and $14 an hour and keep all their tips. Instacart pays weekly.

To become a full-service shopper, you’ll need a reliable vehicle with auto insurance. Instacart doesn’t provide additional insurance coverage or insulated bags. No dress code is required.

Gigs are available in all 50 states.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.6 out of 5.

Ready to launch your own grocery-delivery business? Here’s how to become a Dumpling shopper.

Shipt

To start delivering with Shipt, you’ll need to be 18 or older and drive an insured vehicle from 1997 or later. Shipt says shoppers earn an average of $22 an hour, depending on location, and you’ll pocket all of your tips.

Shipt pays every week via direct deposit, but you can’t access your funds before then.

A branded Shipt shirt is the only uniform requirement, which the company provides for free. Reusable grocery and insulated bags are on you, though.

Glassdoor reviews: 4.0out of 5.

GoPuff

GoPuff is a new general-store delivery service that currently operates in more than 500 cities in 40 states. In most locations, services are available 24/7, which means the delivery gigs are too.

There’s no shopping involved because the goods come from local GoPuff warehouses that aren’t customer-facing. Warehouse employees schedule your shifts and prepare orders for you.

You must be at least 21 years old and have an insured vehicle (any model) to deliver for GoPuff. Drivers typically earn $10 to $14 an hour and keep 100% of their tips. GoPuff guarantees an hourly minimum wage that varies by location.

A paid alcohol-delivery training course is required in some areas.

Glassdoor reviews: 3.4 out of 5.

Adam Hardy is a former staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Staff writer/editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors updated this post for 2021. 

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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