Getting Started

INTRO

This is not an official DoorDash site. I decided to create this site after noticing that there was really no place for me to go when I was a new dasher to get questions answered, find good tips and stay on top of changes and updates. 

On the main page, I’ll go over tips, strategies and cover all DoorDash updates. DoorDash is changing very often and it’s vital to keep up to date. 

If you want to be notified of new posts, just subscribe:

 

EASIEST JOB I’VE EVER HAD

I want to start this out by stating that this is hands down, the easiest thing I’ve ever done to make money. I truly enjoy this. I love the money and flexibility.

If you’re a new driver reading through this site, don’t get nervous. I have just over 800 deliveries under my belt and have had very few issues. I pick up food from a restaurant, listen to great tunes on the road, and deliver it to the customer. It’s not more complicated than that.

I’ve only had my red card declined twice. I’ve only had to mark a customer as unavailable once. Support has been fantastic and solved every issue I’ve had. Twice I didn’t receive peak pay when I qualified for it. In both cases they credited my account same day.

At this point, I know every restaurant, most of their employees and management and it’s just a very relaxing job.

ACTIVATION KIT

Once approved, you’ll receive your activation kit in the mail. You’ll get the red card and you should receive a red bag, although I’ve read reports of some dashers not receiving a bag. If that’s the case, buy any delivery bag. Walmart sells them. When you get your red card, download the app and go through the steps to activate your card.

APP WALKTHROUGH



ORIENTATION

Once approved, you’ll be invited to attend an orientation class. If you can go, I suggest that you do, but it’s not mandatory to start. Once you get your red card, you can start dashing .

WHAT’S THE GENERAL OVERVIEW – CAN YOU WALK ME THOUGH A SHIFT? 

This isn’t any harder than accepting an order, getting the food from the restaurant, checking it as best you can for accuracy, then delivering it to the customer. I always make sure each order has napkins, plastic utensils and condiments (if necessary .) 

You’ll use the red card for most fast food orders. When you accept an order that requires the red card, funds are then transferred onto the card. Don’t worry if the amounts are slightly off (the app says $18 but the receipt says $16.50) – that’s normal. All other orders are paid for and you just grab the food. 

Deliver it to the address and that’s it. (Note, never swipe “delivered” until you actually hand the food to the customer. Once you swipe delivered, the order is closed out and you cannot contact support through the app.  Just in case the customer doesn’t answer, or claims they never ordered any food, you need to be able to contact support via “help” in the app.)

HOW CAN I CONTACT DOORDASH IF I’M WORKING A SHIFT BUT NOT ACTUALLY RUNNING AN ORDER?

If you absolutely have to contact support and you’re currently not on an order, you’ll need to call the number that’s on the back of your red card. Note that they block most Dasher’s numbers, so in case you get a recorded message, you’ll have to call back from a different number. I use a Google Voice number. It’s free and you can download the app. 

MAKE SURE YOU’RE WIFI IS OFF

Either turn off your wifi or make sure it’s not set up to connect automatically to wifi networks. 

DO I HAVE TO DRIVE AROUND TO GET ORDERS? 

I drive in four cities; Summerville SC, Raleigh NC, Charlotte NC and Atlanta GA. I never have to drive around to get an order. See below for where I hang out. I just look for areas that have a lot of DoorDash restaurants and hang out there. Truthfully, I’m busy almost constantly. When it’s a bit slow, I just chill at a Starbucks. I’m not going to just run my car wasting gas if it’s not busy. If it’s truly slow, driving around does nothing. 

SCHEDULE YOUR DASHES

Once your card is activated, you can start dashing. You can only “dash now” if your zone happens to be red. That’s great, but you never know when it’s going to turn red, if it will turn red, and for how long.

I recommend clicking “schedule” and scheduling your dashes for the following 5 days. You can only go 5 days out.

Don’t worry, you can edit or delete dashes without any penalty. You can also end your dashes early without a penalty.

To schedule a dash, just click on a time slot, then edit the start and end times if you want. If you don’t see an available time slot, check back very often since times slots can change very often.

If I don’t see the time slot I want when I wake up, I’ll literally keep refreshing it over and over and eventually, I’ll see the times I want. If you can’t find the times you want, try to schedule out 5 days in advance.

SELECTING YOUR ZONES

If you have a lot of zones in your region, you can narrow down what you see on the schedule. When you’re in the schedule tab, click the gear icon. That’ll take you to a page where you can check which zones you want to see on your schedule. 



IMPORTANT SCHEDULING TIP

In a lot of zones, the schedule can move very quickly. By the time you stare at it for a few seconds and decide if those are the hours you want, that time slot is gone. 

Worse, you click on the time slot, then start playing with the start and end times. You go to save it, but it’s already gone. My recommendation is to click on the time and save it quickly, then you have all the time you want to edit it. 

Example: You want to Dash on Tuesday from 4pm to 10pm. You finally see a slot available but it’s 3pm to 11pm. Click and save it quickly. Then edit the start and end time. 

Example: You already have a scheduled dash from 5pm to 10pm but you were really hoping to work earlier. Now you see 3pm to 10pm. In this case, you don’t have to delete your current schedule. You can just edit the start time to 3pm on your existing schedule. 

Example: You want to work all day, and you have 10am – 2pm. Then 4pm – 10pm. You’d love to fill that 2 hour gap but time slots are opening and going away quick. Finally you see 9am – 11pm. Perfect – that’s all day. Here’s the issue; you have to first delete both dashes then hope the 9-11pm slot is still available. Sometimes they go in seconds. Alternative solution? Edit your 10am – 2pm slot to 9am – 3:30pm. Then you’ll only have 15 minutes of downtime and you’re safe. (You only have to worry about being safe like this if scheduling is a nightmare in your area.) 

ONCE I HAVE A SCHEDULED DASH, WHEN I CAN START DASHING? 

You can start dashing 15 minutes before your scheduled dash begins. For example, if you have a dash scheduled to start at 5pm,  you can start at 4:45. 

THIS IS MY FIRST DAY, WHERE EXACTLY DO I GO? CAN I WORK FROM MY HOUSE? 

If your house happens to be in your zone, yes, you can just sit at home and wait for orders. If you’re gonna head out, and have no idea where to go, I’d head to a populated restaurant area. You can see which restaurants are in your area by going to the customer app or site. 

DoorDash is popular with a lot of fast food; Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A. In fact, we have exclusive partnerships with Chick-fil-A and Chipolte, so those are two good places to go. 

You’ll see a flame icon in your zone. Ignore it. Those are “hot spots” and the theory his those are where orders are coming from. I assure you, they are not. If you have an area that has a lot of fast food joints close to each other, that’s your best bet. We also do a lot of restaurants, but again, check the customer site to see which ones are in your zone. 

Here’s my area’s map. As you can see, I hang out on the main drag where there’s over 15 DoorDash restaurants.


I also Dash in Atlanta: 

WHAT ARE THE HOURS OF OPERATION? 

The hours are going to be different for every region. You can see the available hours by going into your schedule. In most regions, it starts at 7am. It can go as late at 2am depending on your area. 

HOW MUCH AM I GOING TO MAKE?

That’s impossible to say since every region and zone is different. I average $17/hr.

IS THERE AN HOURLY MINIMUM BASE PAY?

Unless you’ve received an email from DoorDash stating that your area qualifies for a minimum hourly rate, no. There is no base hourly pay.

HALF-PAY

You get half pay anytime you swipe arrived at the restaurant, but the restaurant is closed or the order is canceled. Please keep in mind that you can’t cancel the order. It has to be either canceled by the customer or support. If the restaurant is closed, you need to click “help” then “restaurant is closed.”

If you arrive at the customer’s address and they can’t be reached, you get full pay, but you only get full pay if you click “customer not available” and let the timer run out.

CAN I WORK AS MANY OR AS FEW HOURS AS I WANT?

Yes. You can work 1 hour once every six months or 100 hours a week. Up to you.

CAN I DASH ANYWHERE I WANT?

Yes. When you view your map, you can schedule and dash in any zone. If you travel or move, just contact DoorDash and tell them you need to change your starting point. I dash in three states and change my starting point each week. Just remember that when you start your dash, you need to be in the zone you selected.

Update 5/28/19: For iPhone users, there’s no need to call support to change your region. If you’re traveling, the app will recognize your location and ask if you want to change your starting point. This should be available to Android users shortly.  

I’M NEW, ON A DASH BUT NOT GETTING ANY ORDERS

If you’re not familiar with your area, spend some time on a dash driving around. It could just be that you’re not close enough to the right area of restaurants. If you’ve tried everything but still not getting orders, either your zone is very slow or maybe it’s new to DoorDash.

DOES DOORDASH ONLY DELIVER FOOD?

No, we also delivery groceries from Walmart, but we do not have to shop. If you accept a Walmart order, you’ll be prompted to park in one of their online order spots. From there you’ll call the number listed in your app, then wait for an employee to come out and load your car. Walmart deliveries require customer signatures.

HOT BAG

Per the new DoorDash deactivation policy you must use the hot bag: 

  • Tampering with deliveries or failing to maintain standards of food safety – Opening, using, consuming, or tampering with a delivery or customer order; failing to use an insulated hot bag to safely transport deliveries.



DO I HAVE TO WEAR A DOORDASH SHIRT?

No, and not even merchants can require that you wear a shit. They can only require that you use the hot bag. 

WHAT DO WITH THE RECEIPTS

The customer doesn’t get the receipt. In many cases, DoorDash marks up the menu items. You can throw the receipts away if you want, or keep them for a few days. Up to you.

DELIVERING TO THE DOOR

DoorDash cannot force you to bring the food to the customer’s door. But that’s what we do and that’s what leads to a good customer experience.

I bring the food to apartment doors and hotel rooms. I’ve brought food to the 14th floor of office buildings. Remember that customers control your ratings. So if they get a call telling them that they need to come down and meet you (because you don’t want to talk to the third floor) you can expect them to be upset and rate you accordingly.

SUPPORT WHILE ON AN ORDER

If you’re currently on an order, you reach support via chat. Click “help” on your app and choose the correct issue. When you proceed you’ll be put into a chat queue. When a support agent is ready, just type out your issue. 

UNASSIGNING ORDERS

You can unassign an order all the way up to the point before you swipe that you have the order. Once you have the order, you cannot unassign from the app and must contact support.

Remember that unassigning an order goes against your completion rate and under a 70% rate, you’re subject to deactivation.

PAUSING YOUR DASH

You can pause your dash for any reason, up to 30 minutes. This does not 100% guarantee that you won’t continue to get orders.

DRIVING BACK TO YOUR AREA AFTER THE DELIVERY

A common question is whether or not to drive back to the area where you tend to get a lot of orders after each delivery.

I do. No one knows exactly how the algorithm is designed, but I feel it has one goal; get the food to the customer as fast as possible. It’s my opinion that the closest dasher to the restaurant gets the offer. So I’m not going to sit 6 miles out from my core group of restaurants.

BRINGING PEOPLE ALONG FOR THE RIDE

There is no policy against bringing people with you; spouse, friends, kids. Just remember that you need to be the one taking the food from the restaurant and handing it to the customer.

BRINGING PETS

There is no policy against bringing pets but remember, the customer can rate you. As an example, if a customer is allergic to dogs, and they see a dog in your car, you won’t even know they were the ones who rated you poorly. We cannot see individual ratings. I’m a huge dog lover, but they’re staying home.

GETTING CONTACTED AND TRACKED BY CUSTOMERS

Once you accept the order, customers can call and text. Does this mean DD is giving out your number? No. Your number is masked. Customers can also track your vehicle after you leave the restaurant. 

WORKING MULTIPLE APPS

You can work as many apps as you like. Personally, I work DoorDash and GrubHub together.

Remember, that although you’re allowed to work multiple apps at the same time, you’re violating the terms and conditions of any delivery company if your actions result in a poor experience for their customers.

Simply put, if you take a DoorDash order, then instead of delivering it, take a GrubHub order, then go the GrubHub restaurant while you still have the DoorDash food, you’re subject to being deactivated. Remember that both DoorDash and the customer can track your car once you have the order.

When I’m working both apps, I only take one order at a time.

KNOWN APP GLITCH FOR PAY WHILE DASHING

While you’re dashing, it’s a known glitch that from time to time after you end a delivery, the pay for that delivery won’t appear. As an example, it shows you’ve already earned $20, then you take a $6 order, complete it but it still shows $20 instead of $26. Don’t freak out – you got paid. It’ll either correct itself after another few orders or you’ll see the correct total when you end your dash. 

HOW CAN I TELL IF DOORDASH IS IN A PARTICULAR CITY OR STATE? 

DoorDash operates in all 50 states. If you’re planning on traveling or moving and you want to see if they’re in a particular area, just search for an address in that area, then go to the DoorDash main customer site. Plug in that address and you’ll see if they deliver to that area. 

REFERRAL BONUSES

In your app, it will show an amount you can earn at the top if you refer other drivers. That amount is only for referring other drivers in your region. 

Once you send the referral link, the person you referred must use your link to sign up. If they sign up without using your link, it cannot be changed and you won’t receive the bonus. 

Once approved, they will have a certain number of days to complete a certain amount of deliveries. For example, 60 days for 200 deliveries. Those 200 deliveries must be complete by the date and time stated in the email. If they need 200 deliveries by “May 1st 4pm” and they complete their 200th on May 1st 4:10pm, you won’t get the bonus. 

Also note that you cannot post your referral code anywhere on the net; blogs, social media, websites, per their terms and conditions: https://www.doordash.com/dasher/referral-terms

DEACTIVATION POLICY

You’re subject to deactivation if your customer rating falls below 4.2 or your completion rating falls below 70%. This is not automatic, meaning that the day your ratings fall below those thresholds doesn’t mean you’ll be deactivated. 

You are only “subject to” deactivation over those ratings. Other factors may come into play. As an example, restaurants can rate you (this does not show up in your ratings, only DoorDash can view this info) and there may also be actual complaints; where either the customer or DD called support to lodge a complaint against you. 

You’re also subject to deactivation if too many customers claim their food was never delivered, yet you marked it delivered. You can imagine a bad dasher could show up to the address, mark it delivered and leave with the food. If this happens, DD support will contact you and let you know the customer is claiming they never received the food. Does this happen often? I’ve never had it happen to me. So…no. 

Also, you can be deactivated if you’re not the one delivering the food. Let’s say you let your friend uses your account. If a customer complains, stating that you’re not the one who came to their door, that will lead to deactivation. 

Please realize the according to the DD terms of service, you cannot fight being deactivated over ratings. They simply will not respond. You can fight being deactivated if it was not ratings related. 

RESTAURANT RATINGS

Restaurants that have a tablet can rate you. This rating is not a part of your customer rating. Only DoorDash can see this rating. It doesn’t affect anything, but can be used in the decision-making process on whether or not to deactivate you if your customer rating falls below a 4.2. I can also take a good guess that Dashers who act in a poor manner in restaurants and receive multiple bad reports will probably be deactivated. It’s important to always act professionally. 


GENERAL DELIVERY TIPS

On top of DoorDash, I’ve also delivered pizza and worked for a local food delivery service. Here are some tips from my years of delivery experience:

1) Take very good care of your car. Get your oil changed religiously and with high-mileage synthetic oil. Take it easy on your car; no fast starts, slamming on your brakes, go very slowly over speed bumps.

2) Keep track of your mileage. You’ll need it for taxes. Stride is a free mileage app, but I just use an Excel spreadsheet and the start and end odometer readings. 

3) Watch how fast you take corners and how fast you brake. The food can get all mashed up and look terrible when the customer opens it. This is especially true if you have a pizza order, since all of the ingredients will slide off if you take a turn too fast.

4) Don’t speed. It’s not worth a ticket or accident. If I’m there late, then I’m there late. I’ll call and let the customer know.

5) Call your insurance company anonymously. Tell them you’re looking into getting a policy and that you deliver food. They’ll tell you whether or not you need special insurance rider or a commercial policy. After that, it’s up to you. Personally, I pay for a commercial policy. The company I’m insured with doesn’t cover anything while using my car for business purposes.