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Best Times To Doordash (Ultimate 2024 Guide)

Don't Work Another Day is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own.
  By Forrest McCall | Last Updated:  February 9, 2022

If you've ever considered becoming a delivery driver you've probably considered working for DoorDash. After all, being a DoorDash delivery driver is a great way to make a little more money on the side.

Some drivers even make DoorDash their full-time income by taking advantage of DoorDash Peak Hours and other bonuses to increase their hourly pay.

Of course, delivery drivers who want to make more money need to know the best times to DoorDash and how to make more money for your delivery service.

If you need to know how to make money as a Doordash driver and don't know the best times to DoorDash in your area you're in the right place. Ready to learn to maximize your profits and take advantage of peak pay on DoorDash? Let's dive in.

Deliver Food for Cash

Why Timing Matters On Food Delivery Apps

A lot of people don't think that timing matters when you're driving for a delivery service. They tend to think that whatever hours you're able to drive will work out about the same, no matter what time of day you're doing it.

But the truth is when it comes to food delivery services when you're driving matters. For instance, you'll probably make a lot more money during the delivery rush than during the lull between lunch and dinner.

DoorDash peak hours also give you an opportunity to make more money in the same amount of time because the app pays you more for driving during those peak pay hours. They're trying to get more drivers to make sure customers can get their food in a reasonable amount of time, so they offer incentives.

Conversely, if you're working when there are too many drivers for the demand on the food delivery app, you won't make as much money and might have to take more low-paying orders to stay busy.

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Does Working The Dinner Rush Matter?

Working the dinner rush can be one of the best times to DoorDash, but it's not always the best time to work. The best times to DoorDash depend on where you live and the demographics in your area. That's because the best times are when more higher-paying orders are coming in so you can make extra money.

It also depends on how DoorDash drivers you're competing with, and how long you're likely to have to drive per order.

High-paying orders matter because they can increase your per-hour earnings. Driving at peak times and during busy hours matters because you won't have to wait as long between orders.

But in some places, the DoorDash morning shift might be the best times to DoorDash. In other areas, the overnight shift might be peak hours because of late-night corporate employees ordering food into the office. If your town has a high percentage of college kids, lots of brunch restaurants or other demographic differences might change the busiest times in your area.

So, yes, working the dinner rush is often the best way to get DoorDash orders, but your actual earnings depend on the best times to DoorDash in your area and when DoorDash offers peak pay in your region.

Related: 36 Apps That Give You Free Money

What is Doordash

What Times Give You The Most Money As A Delivery Driver

Here are some tips for making the most money possible in most places and the best times to DoorDash for most DoorDash drivers. Then we'll talk about the questions you can ask yourself to help determine which hours are the best in your area and for your schedule.

How Driving During Peak Hours Helps

Driving during peak times is one of the best ways to make money on the DoorDash platform. That's because peak hours help increase your hourly pay, which is important since you also need to think about your DoorDash pay mileage.

Why? Because drivers are responsible for the wear and tear on their vehicles, and the more mileage you put on your car per hour means you reduce the value of your DoorDash pay by the value lost on your vehicle.

If you're only driving during the busiest times you'll maximize your actual income after expenses. Delivery drivers need to be thinking about how to make the most of their money since there are a lot of costs that come with using the DoorDash app to deliver food.

Like other delivery services, Doordash also sometimes gives DoorDash drivers incentives for making more DoorDash deliveries and being highly productive. That's because they make better profits from drivers that have more deliveries completed.

Especially if you want to turn work as a DoorDash driver into a full-time job, it's important to work your own schedule around dinner time and other peak hours on the platform.

Related: When Does DoorDash Pay You?

How To Maximize Your Peak Hour Profits

Maximizing your earnings on the DoorDash app during peak hours is one of the best ways to make sure you're making more than minimum wage. Peak times often help you make better DoorDash tips because DoorDash customers know when they're ordering during the busiest hours and try to tip better at the same time.

But just working during peak hours isn't enough to maximize your profits. Sure, it increases your base pay, but there are more tricks to making better money on your own hours.

For instance, even when you're working the best hours consider waiting for bigger better orders instead of accepting the first orders that come your way. That's because bigger orders usually give you better base pay and bigger tips.

You should also consider hanging out by the same restaurant while you're waiting for orders. That's because being near a busy restaurant or two will make it more likely that DoorDash will send you the orders as they come through.

Lastly, pay attention to how far away the order is when you get a delivery opportunity. This is important because miles are lost money for you, and because a long driving time means it will take just that much longer until you can accept your next order.

Since you aren't paid for drive time it's important to save money by letting other drivers take longer trip orders.

Related: Best Doordash Hacks

Things To Consider When You're Deciding What Times To Dash

Deciding the best hours and the best time to DoorDash can be difficult, especially when you need to get fast pay and more money in your bank account. The best time to DoorDash depends on when people in your area order food, and which driver app is most popular.

Here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself, especially since DoorDash drivers are basically independent contractors. Average dasher payouts are a good starting place, but answering these questions and designing your schedule around busy areas and peak times will help you start earning more.

Are There Any Places That Are Busy At Different Times Of Day?

One of the best strategies to increase your base pay from DoorDash is to learn the different places you can drive and that are busy at different times.

You might make better customer tips if you're stationed in a busy area every time you drive. In a lot of urban areas, you can find places that are busy morning noon and night, but it can take a few weeks to figure out which areas are busiest.

For instance, brunch places often cluster together, so being near the popular breakfast and brunch spots in the morning will help you earn more.

Know a hot lunch restaurant in your area? Consider being in that area around lunchtime.

Have some restaurants that specialize in late-night snacks for professionals and students in your area? Hang out near those restaurants during those late-night hours so you're the first driver to get those orders.

Related: How to Get Rich with a Normal Job

When Are Customers In Your Area Most Likely To Order?

There are a lot of places that tend to have certain delivery times when more people are likely to order than others. Learning the ordering trends in your area can be a good way to make more money through DoorDash, and take advantage of other incentives and ways to improve your hourly earnings.

It takes a while to figure out when orders are going to come through more frequently, but being available to drive during those times is a better way to get multiple orders faster than you would at other times.

After all, when more people order food there are more orders going to the delivery apps and more opportunities to make money.

Are You Eligible To Schedule In Advance?

Working for DoorDash there are a lot of ways the app tries to reward its top drivers. Since you're an independent contractor they want to make sure there are incentives to make sure drivers are at the top of their game.

One of those incentives is the ability to schedule your driving shifts in advance. Scheduling ahead is a great way to maximize your base pay since you can make sure you're one of the available drivers during the best hours in your area.

Go ahead and schedule ahead to make sure you get those more valuable driving slots to make sure you're mostly working when it's pretty busy and when you don't have to worry as much about how many dashers you're competing against.

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Are You In A Rural Or Urban Area?

Living in a rural area can add complications to making money as a DoorDash delivery driver, but that doesn't mean you can't still make reasonable money as a driver.

Rural dashing is not for everyone, but you also have less competition and are relatively likely to make better tips because your customers will usually know that you're driving further for every order.

But if you live in an urban area you'll need to make more adjustments if you want to make more money. That's essential because there's both more opportunity and more competition at the same time.

Dealing with competition often means driving when other drivers are less likely to be active, or in areas that are popular, but not as well-populated with delivery drivers.

That's important because it means that the times rural drivers are most successful might be times when urban drivers have the most competition and lower earnings.

Thinking about what times are going to work for you, given where you live, is an important part of figuring out the best times to DoorDash.

Related: Best Instacart Shopper Tips and Tricks

What Kind Of Restaurants Are In Your Area?

The kind of restaurants that succeed in your area can have a big impact on the best times to DoorDash.

For instance, if you live in a city that has a thriving brunch culture you're more likely to be able to make money working during the morning and early afternoon. But if your area focuses on dinner and most restaurants don't have lunch hours you might not want to start working until the evening.

It's a good idea to take a look at the restaurants in your area, especially the highly rated ones, to get an idea what their schedule is and when they're more likely to get orders.

You should also look for clusters of restaurants that have similar hours but different specialties. That's important because different specialties will actually help you get more orders compared to hanging out near an area that only has Chinese restaurants or only Mexican restaurants.

Not everyone needs to worry about specialties and hours, like if you live in a large urban area that has a lot of different kinds of restaurants. In that case, location probably matters more than hours.

Related: How to Make Money with a Van

Do You Live In A College Town?

College kids are known to order a lot of food but often combine multiple orders and tip more inconsistently than other customers.

If you live in a college town you might want to work non-traditional hours to help deliver to late-night studiers, or you might want to work further from campus to avoid college orders entirely.

Every college town is a little different, so it's not consistent which option is better. Take a few weeks and experiment with different driving times and locations to find the best hours and locations to drive in your college town.

And don't expect people to have the same tipping behavior in a college town. Since college kids come from all over the country they will have a much more varied culture surrounding tipping and ordering food.

Make $300 Fast Delivering Food

Final Thoughts on the Best Times to Doordash

There are a lot of different ways to make money as a DoorDash driver. It's not just about delivering food as often or as quickly as you can, though that's part of it. Figuring out how to make better base pay, which hours are the busiest times, and which orders are most profitable is just as important as making good time on deliveries.

Don't worry if it takes a little while to figure out how to make money as a driver. It's normal to take a few weeks before you're really comfortable and know how to make a profit as a driver. But paying attention to trends in food and ordering is the most important first step you can make to help make more money.

Remember, you also need to think about the difference between your take-home pay and your actual earnings. Sometimes you might take home more money, but your actual earnings are lower because you had to drive further and put more miles on your car, which means lost income from gas and vehicle depreciation.

Thinking about the best way to make money and how to make your money consistently is important for all delivery drivers, but especially for DoorDash drivers.

Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing expert dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He has a Bachelor's degree in business and has been featured in many popular publications including Forbes, Business Insider, Bankrate, CNET Money, and many others. To learn more about Forrest, visit the About Us Page for more info.
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