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How to Make $500 a Week with DoorDash: Tried and Tested Tips

Unlock proven strategies and expert insights and achieve a weekly income of $500 with Doordash.

By 

Synkdup Editorial Team   

|  25 January 2024

Make $500 with Doordash

The freedom to work when and how much you want is one of the best things about working as a delivery driver for DoorDash, especially for highly self-motivated individuals. However, this lack of obligation also has a potential downside.

It can hurt your earning potential by making you complacent. Many Dashers earn way less than they should be earning for how much time they spend working simply because they work with a go-with-the-flow attitude without giving much thought to their delivery choices.

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Setting a weekly earnings target for yourself is a great way to avoid this. It keeps you motivated to do your best and helps you make the most of the time you spend Dashing.

So, if you are trying to find out how to make $500 a week with DoorDash, good for you. And it is a decent target to start with too; you don’t want to start with anything too crazy.

In this post, we have shared actionable tips to help you meet this target, though you can also use the same tips to reach a bigger target as well.

Is it Hard to Make $500 a Week with DoorDash? (The Math)

Before you proceed to learn how to make $500 a week with DoorDash, you probably want to know how realistic an objective it is.

It may seem like a big target at first glance, but let us assure you, it is perfectly doable.

The minimum pay for making a delivery on DoorDash is generally $2-$10. But it can also go higher than $10 depending on factors like distance, time, and the effort that the order is going to take. Most Dashers make $20-25 per hour, though seasoned Dashers can even make up to $70.

That is excluding tips, which are a big part of the earnings for dashers as they keep 100% of the tips for themselves. (Unlike some other platforms, delivery drivers at DoorDash don’t have to share a fraction of the tips they receive with the platform.)

Now, let’s work out just how practical the target of $500 a week is.

Let’s assume you operate in an average market and are able to make only $20 an hour. 500 divided by 5 is 25, which means you would have to work 25 hours a week to meet the target.

Doesn’t seem like a lot, now does it? Even if you take two days off every week, you can meet the target by working just 5 hours a day (25 divided by 5). And if you make deliveries daily, it comes up to 3.5 working hours every day (25 divided by 7). Pretty doable, isn’t it?

Tips on How to Make $500 a Week with DoorDash

Many Dashers out there make much more than $500 a week by following some basic best practices. These mainly involve having a professional mindset about making your deliveries and being diligent with them.

There isn’t much to it, really, and you can easily do it too. Here are some actionable tips for you:

1. Pick the Right Hours to Make Deliveries

To hit the $500/week target, you need to always be conscious of the fact that how much money you earn is based on the number of deliveries you make rather than how many hours you work. (Unless you have chosen the earn by time mode.) You’re never going to make it if you just make deliveries whenever you feel like it without considering the time of day.

Make sure that you are working during the hours when most delivery orders are expected. The time around lunch (11 a.m.–1 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m.–9 p.m.) is usually the peak rush time for food delivery drivers. You should try to schedule your dashing around this time as much as you can.

Also, you should give working during breakfast hours a try. You can get more orders assigned to you as there are s there are generally fewer delivery drivers working at that time.

2. Deliver on Weekends

In most places, more people order food from restaurants on weekends than on weekdays. But many Dashers take weekends off, which means there is more work for dashers who are working during that time. By making deliveries on Saturdays and Sundays, you not only get to capitalize on this shortage of Dashers but also get a chance to compensate if you have been lagging behind in meeting your weekly target of $500.

3. Focus on Earning from Tips

Dashers who make $500 a week or more have one thing in common – they all provide excellent customer service, which leads to better tips. So try to be thoughtful and considerate. For example, text the customer to notify them if you are going to be late. Or you could grab extra napkins or condiments for them from the restaurant. Being friendly and making small gestures like saying ‘’enjoy your food’’ or ‘’have a good day’’ can also go a long way. Always talk to customers in a polite and cordial way, but remember not to overdo it.

4. Stay in Top locations

DoorDash may be only a gig, but when you have a target to meet, you need to treat it like a proper job. Consider nearby areas with a lot of restaurants as your workplace, where you go to work every day. You can’t count on luck to get deliveries; you’ve got to purposely position yourself in areas where you can get the most orders.

Don’t be like, ‘’I’ll just open the app from my home and see where deliveries take me today.’’ Also, remember to start the app before you leave for the area you have decided to go to and see if you can find any deliveries to make on your way there.

5. Try Using Multiple Food Delivery Apps

Every now and then, you will find yourself waiting a long time for a suitable order to show up on the app. Instead of wasting that time idling, why not make deliveries available on other online food delivery apps during that time?

We know the topic is how to make $500 a week with DoorDash, and technically, tips shouldn’t involve using other apps. But, it is just too good a tip to be left out. Using other delivery apps simultaneously with DoorDash is probably the single most effective strategy to increase your earnings.

So, take full advantage of being an independent delivery driver and don’t rely on a single app to get deliveries. Major delivery aggregators in the U.S. besides DoorDash include Uber Eats, Seamless, and GrubHub.

Minimizing your downtime is not the only benefit of multi-apping. Occasionally, you can also find multiple deliveries along the same route or in the same general direction. When this happens, you can boost your earnings by making more deliveries in less time. Just be careful that you do not bite off more than you can chew and end up being late with your deliveries.

6. Utilize Stacked and Batched Deliveries

At times, you will find batched orders on your Dasher app where multiple deliveries along the same route are grouped together in a single delivery. Taking batched orders allows you to make more deliveries in less time. This increases your overall productivity and earning potential.

You can also increase your time-efficiency by accepting stacked orders. With a stacked order, you pick up two or more orders from a particular restaurant in a single visit and then deliver them to different customers. By accepting multiple orders stacked together, you earn for multiple deliveries by making only one pick-up trip. What’s more, the base pay for stacked deliveries is usually higher than for separate deliveries.

7. Utilize DoorDash Offers

If you have been trying to find out how to make $500 a week with DoorDash, you probably already know about DoorDash's incentive programs. You should look out for the various incentive programs DoorDash offers to Dashers as they can be really useful for meeting your target. As of now, DoorDash has three such features:

i. Peak Pay

There are times and locations when there is a major hike in customer orders which results in a rise in the demand for delivery drivers. At these times, DoorDash runs the Peak Pay feature to encourage more Dashers to make deliveries. With this feature, you get $1-$4 extra per delivery. A peak pay offer on the Dasher app looks something like this:

Earn $2 extra in San Francisco between 11 AM–2 PM

ii. Guaranteed Earnings

DoorDash sometimes runs a guaranteed earnings incentive where you get at least the guaranteed amount for completing the required number of deliveries within a specified time frame.

For example: Earn at least $500 for completing 50 deliveries in the next week.

If the actual amount you earn for the deliveries is more than the guaranteed amount, you get the actual amount. And if the amount is lower, you still get the guaranteed amount. Taking the above example, suppose your actual earnings for 50 deliveries add up to only $450. In that case, DoorDash will pay you $50 extra.

DoorDash notifies Dashers via e-mail about guaranteed earning opportunities, so make sure to check your inbox before you start Dashing.

iii. Challenges

DoorDash is still developing this feature, and it is only available to Dashers in selected areas yet. With this feature, you get a bonus amount in addition to your actual earnings if you successfully complete a challenge to make a specified number of deliveries in a given time frame. For example, earn $20 extra for making 15 deliveries over the next week.

You don’t have to do anything to enroll in this feature, DoorDash automatically enrolls you in a challenge when it is available in your area. Still, we thought it’s worth mentioning here.

8. Be smart with accepting deliveries

Don’t just take whatever order comes your way. Take a moment to consider factors like how far off the delivery is, how much time it is going to take, and what the payout is before taking on a delivery. Remember, the simplistic approach of "the more, the merrier’’ doesn’t apply to Dashing for maximum payouts.

i. Delivery Time

"Time is money" is the more relevant saying when it comes to Dashing. If there is a restaurant where you tend to have to wait a lot for the order to get ready, you might want to skip its orders. And if you arrive at a restaurant and the food is not ready even though it is marked ‘’ready for pick up’’ on the app, put it on your blacklist for the future. You need to be stern when you have a target to meet.

ii. Delivery Distance

You need to make sure that the money the delivery offers is worth the actual distance you would need to travel to complete the delivery. To avoid the inconvenience of figuring out if the delivery is worth it every time you get a delivery order, set a distance-pay standard for yourself and stick with it.

iii. Delivery Area

In addition to the distance, you also need to be mindful of the area a delivery would take you in. Don’t always just accept the deliveries that are near and decline those that are far away. For instance, if an order is a bit far but takes you to a busier area with many restaurants, you might want to accept it because you could get more deliveries along the same route after you finish the delivery.

9. Put in the Required Time

From the points mentioned till now, you can get a pretty decent idea of how to make $500 a week with DoorDash, but all these tips are useless if you are not investing enough time into it.

Remember, all these tips are just best practices, and there is no way around actually putting in the required work hours.

Suppose you are making deliveries five days a week. In that case, you will need to make $100 every day to hit the $500/week target. And if you make $20 an hour, it means you need to work at least 5 hours a day. So, make a commitment to put in at least 5 hours into Dashing every day and stick to it.

You should also be prepared to stretch your work hours on the days when you have not been able to meet your $100 quota. And if you have crossed the $100 mark before your 5 hours have finished, you should still keep dashing till the time is up. Consider the extra money you earn during that time as a backup for when you have a slow day later on.

How to Earn Referral Bonuses

Referral bonuses are a great way to supplement your DoorDash earnings and hit your target. After all, the point is how to make $500 a week with DoorDash, not how to make it exclusively by making deliveries.

Dashers can refer DoorDash driver jobs to others via SMS, email, Twitter, Facebook, and Messenger using the ‘’Invite Friends’’ banner in the Dasher app. When someone becomes a Dasher through your referral and completes a specified number of deliveries within a month of their joining, you get a referral bonus of $300. The number of deliveries can be anything from 25-100 depending upon which city the new Dasher is operating in.

The bonus is basically a commission you get for getting more drivers on the platform. And when someone accepts your referral, they get a sign-up bonus too.

In addition to the delivery completion criteria, DoorDash places two more primary restrictions on the referrals:

  • You’re not supposed to share your referral link on search engines, blogs, websites, or other platforms that are accessible to the general public.
  • In one year, you can only earn a bonus for a maximum of 15 referrals. If you refer any additional Dashers in the same year, you won’t get a bonus for them.

What is a Top Dasher

By becoming and retaining the status of a Top Dasher, you can not only meet your earnings target but also exceed it by a great margin. Top Dashers are reported to make up to $1000 a week! Maybe you should be asking how to become a top dasher rather than how to make $500 a week with DoorDash.

There are five basic eligibility requirements to become a Top Dasher. You need to have:

  • Completed a total of at least 200 deliveries till date
  • At least a 4.7 star customer rating
  • At least a 70% order acceptance rate
  • At least a 95% order completion rate
  • Made at least 100 deliveries in the last 30 days

Top Dashers enjoy two main perks that allow them to boost their earnings:

  • Dash Now: Areas that are filled out with Dashers are marked grey on the Dasher app and normally, you cannot take deliveries from that area. But as a Top Dasher, you get a ‘’Dash Now’’ button that allows you to take deliveries in the grey-marked areas as well.
  • Priority Assignment: If two identical Dashers are available for a particular order, and one of them is a Top Dasher, DoorDash is more likely to assign the order to the Top Dasher.

The DoorDash Gas Rewards Program

DoorDash has introduced DasherDirect, a prepared business Visa debit card, to incentivize Dashers in view of the hike in gas prices in the U.S. By using this debit card, you get a 10% cash back on gas purchases at any gas station across the U.S., regardless of whether you are dashing at that time or not.

Make sure to start using this card if you aren’t already using it. As they say, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Another gas incentive DoorDash provides is the weekly gas bonus for Dashers who drive the farthest. Each week, Dashers whose total delivery driving distance in an automobile adds up to 100 miles earn an extra $5. So that’s another thing you might want to keep in mind while planning your deliveries.

Final Word

That’s all the information you will need to maximize your earnings with DoorDash. We hope you’ve found this post useful and are not still wondering how to make $500 with DoorDash. If you live in a place with a fairly active DoorDash market, you should easily be able to make well over $500 per week by following these tips. You just need to not let the occasional slow days discourage you and stay consistent with your smart work.

Best of luck and happy Dashing!

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