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In recent years, driving for food delivery platforms like Instacart, UberEats, and GrubHub, to name a few, became a way to supplement income or support oneself entirely. Choosing this type of freelance job has a number of benefits, like allowing you to easily scale your monthly income as needed, choosing how many hours you work, and deciding exactly when you work each week. But which food delivery service pays the most?
If you’re considering this kind of work, you may have questions about how to choose the best platform to work with and which one pays the most. In this article, we’ll cover exactly that, along with the essential pros and cons of each company to help you determine which service is right for you.
What food delivery service pays the most?
While all of these companies do essentially the same thing—increase customer convenience by bringing food from almost anywhere right to their front door—they definitely aren’t created equal. As a prospective driver, you’ll be invested in knowing which platform provides the best perks and pay—if that’s the most important metric for you, the winner is Instacart at almost $30 an hour. But in order to find a job you actually want to keep, you may want to take a more holistic means of evaluating each platform.
Below we’ll break down the top food delivery services so that you not only know how much they’ll pay you, but also where each outshines their competitors and where they fall short.
The 3 best paying food delivery services
While there are many options available to you as you consider entering the food delivery service industry, the ones you’ll read about below are among the most popular. Read on to learn which food delivery service pays the most, how each one works, and most importantly, which one could be the best fit for your circumstances.
How it works: In order to start working for Instacart, all you need to do is download the shopper app, pass a background check, then start accepting orders. You can work as either an in-store shopper, preparing orders for customers to pick up, or as a shopper and deliverer, where you both compile orders and deliver them to customers.
Hourly pay: Shoppers make around $13 an hour, while deliverers typically make between $20 and $30 an hour. The range is the result of the app using a commission-based system, so the higher an item costs, the more the driver earns—which also drives up their tip percentage. Prices also fluctuate based on the size of your city.
- Even if you don’t own a car, you can work on this platform.
- Whether you’re working as a shopper or shopper and deliverer, you’re able to choose the hours you work.
- As a shopper and deliverer, you get mileage reimbursement and are able to work as many or as few hours as you like, meaning you have a lot of flexibility and can change your schedule as needed each week.
- While mileage is covered, you’re otherwise obligated to cover all fees related to your vehicle—gas, maintenance, and repairs are all your responsibility.
- As an in-store shopper, you’re only able to work a maximum of 29 hours per week.
- You’re responsible for handling income tax obligations, and health insurance is not provided.
How it works: To get started on UberEats, just visit the Work Hub through their website or the Uber Driver app. Bike couriers must be 18 years old, and drivers must be 19 with a license, insurance, and proof of vehicle registration. Once approved, you’ll be able to start accepting requests.
Hourly pay: Pay is typically between $10 and $20 per hour, though that amount varies somewhat by city. Drivers are paid for each completed delivery using this basic formula: base fare + supplemental fare + tips and promotions.
- Flexible hours and income—make the most of your time by choosing to work during peak hours (11am-1pm, 5pm-9pm).
- Provide outstanding customer service and deliver quickly to ensure you get tips, increasing your hourly income.
- You can deliver through UberEats on foot, on a bike, or with a car.
- The UberEats app has designated boost zones, surge pricing, and quest promotions—all means of increasing your hourly earnings.
- Compared to competitor apps, UberEats employees make somewhat less money.
- While having access to a car is not required, it does boost your profitability—though all expenses accrued for your vehicle must be covered out of pocket.
- The app sometimes has you pick up multiple orders at a time, but orders aren’t necessarily ready at the same time, which could impact customer satisfaction and therefore your tip.
How it works: GrubHub drivers must be at least 19 years old and need a car—or, in some cities, a bike—a valid driver’s license, and a smartphone. You can submit an application online and, once approved, you’ll have to do onboarding to learn about the app, scheduling, and proper pickup and delivery procedure. Once completed, you are able to take orders as you see fit!
Hourly pay: Drivers on this platform make between $16 and $28 per hour, depending on where they live and when they work. The pay is calculated based on base pay, mileage, delivery type, time spent delivering, and local market for each delivery.
- GrubHub has a minimum hourly pay for drivers in some markets, meaning that even if they don’t receive orders, they’ll make some money.
- The app has a set 15% tip, so drivers are sure to earn some amount for each delivery completed.
- For each order, you can see an estimate for the payout, meaning you’ll know what you can expect to make before taking any delivery.
- Some drivers say customer service issues are difficult to manage.
- Drivers can be penalized for not accepting orders in their area during scheduled hours, rejecting orders, or missing orders.
Is the best paying food delivery service right for me?
There are a number of reasons to choose to work as a food delivery driver, especially if you are interested in doing it in addition to a traditional 9-to-5 or have limited availability due to your school schedule or caregiving responsibilities. If flexibility is a key characteristic you’re looking for, this is a great field for you. Based on the above descriptions, determine which service is best for your circumstance—and remember, the highest-paying food delivery service may not be it!