DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Which Is the Best Food Delivery App for Your Side Hustle?

Meal delivery jobs are among the most popular in the gig economy, as they enable you to earn decent pay while maintaining a flexible schedule.

It also helps that there are so many delivery apps to choose from. DoorDash and GrubHub are two of the most popular platforms for food delivery drivers because they allow you to earn money in big cities and small towns.

While you can deliver for multiple apps, you may want to focus your efforts on one service to maximize your income. This DoorDash vs. GrubHub comparison will help you decide which food delivery app is right for you.

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Quick Facts

FeatureDoorDashGrubHub
Availability7,000+ cities4,000+ cities
Minimum requirements18 years old Car, bike, or scooter Personal background check19 years old Car, bike, or scooter. Personal background check. Checking account with direct deposit (to avoid instant deposit fees)
Weekly Pay DatesWednesday nightsThursdays
Instant Debit Card Cash-out CostFees apply$0.50 (Free for Chase Bank customers)
Better ForDelivering in smaller cities and
participating in challenges
Larger cities and college campuses
👉 Join DoorDash👉 Join GrubHub

Our recommendation is to sign up for both and see which one is better for you. They’re free to sign up.

What is DoorDash?

screenshot of doordash homepage

DoorDash was launched in 2013 by four Stanford students and has gradually expanded to be the nation’s largest third-party meal delivery service, surpassing GrubHub in early 2019.

The company also acquired the upscale delivery service Caviar in late 2019 to expand its network footprint.

Today, the app operates in over 7,000 cities across the United States and Canada. It’s also possible to become a Dasher in Melbourne (Australia), New Zealand, Japan, and Germany.

DoorDash Driver Requirements

You can start delivering in most U.S. cities when you’re at least 18 years old. No delivery experience is necessary, and the onboarding process can take as little as ten days. 

You will need to pass a personal background check. A valid driver’s license, active car insurance, and a clean driving record are also required if you deliver by automobile. 

Unlike rideshare gigs, such as driving for Uber or Lyft, there are no vehicle age or size requirements. However, it must be reliable. Scooter and bike deliveries are also available in select metro areas.

Unlike GrubHub, having a checking account with direct deposit capability is optional, as you can access your cash within the delivery app or transfer it to a debit card.

Finally, you will need an Android or iOS smartphone to download the Dasher App to accept orders. The platform provides a payment card and an insulated delivery bag when you sign up.

Learn more about DoorDash

What is GrubHub?

screenshot of grubhub homepage

Founded in 2004, GrubHub is one of the oldest delivery services. Since then, the company has acquired several competitors, the most notable being Seamless.

GrubHub operates in 4,000 communities across the United States. But while the service is available in most areas of the country, some semi-rural areas may not accept drivers or have relatively few merchant partners and customers, making it challenging to earn money.

GrubHub Driver Requirements

In some ways, GrubHub’s minimum requirements are a little stricter than DoorDash’s. For example, you must be at least 19 years old (21 in Las Vegas) compared to 18 years for DoorDash. 

In addition, GrubHub requires a checking account for direct deposit purposes. Otherwise, you can pay a small fee to receive instant payments to your Visa or Mastercard account. 

GrubHub also has more specific technical requirements to download the mobile app:

  • Android: 5.0 or higher
  • Apple: iOS 11 or higher

Driver Waitlists

Grubhub directs you to apply for a specific market, such as Los Angeles, CA, or Nashville, TN. However, you may need to join a waitlist to ensure there are not too many drivers in a single city. 

You can receive your payment card and delivery bags within five to 10 business days when there isn’t a waitlist. 

Learn more about GrubHub

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Driver Pay

The better meal delivery app for drivers ultimately boils down to how much you can earn delivering orders. It’s estimated that GrubHub drivers can earn up to $23 per hour, and while DoorDash doesn’t publish pay rates, there are ways drivers can earn more money on certain types of orders. Take alcohol, for example.

According to DoorDash, you can earn more per order compared to restaurant orders. Actual earnings may differ and depend on factors like the number of deliveries you accept and complete, time of day, location, and any costs. Hourly pay is calculated using average Dasher payouts while on a delivery (from the time you accept an order until the time you drop it off) over a 90-day period and includes compensation from tips, peak pay, and other incentives.

These numbers assume you’ll receive a certain percentage of customer tips and operate as an efficient driver. A driver’s pay on each app comprises the following components:

  • Base pay: Time, distance, and desirability
  • Promotions: Peak delivery hours, limited-time challenges
  • Customer Tips: Drivers keep 100% tips with either app

Remember that driver earnings differ by city, the minimum payout per delivery, and the number of deliveries you can complete in an hour.

DoorDash Driver Pay

First-hand testimonials for both services indicate that DoorDash drivers can expect higher overall pay but we aren’t able to quote specific rates.

DoorDash tends to pay more overall due to limited-time incentives to earn bonus cash. Additionally, the service has more competition between delivery partners and customers, which helps increase the base wage. 

You also get to keep 100% of your customer-provided tips.

Base Rate

The DoorDash base rate depends on these factors:

  • Distance
  • Time
  • Desirability

Orders with a longer delivery distance, time requirement, and low desirability among drivers pay more. But you may decide to accept several lower-paying orders to be more efficient potentially.

You won’t earn extra for wait time as this allowance is automatically built into each delivery’s base wage.

Guaranteed Earning Incentives

Select new and experienced drivers can receive a guaranteed minimum pay when they complete a minimum number of deliveries within a specific period. 

Challenges

Earn bonus cash by completing a specific number of deliveries before the deadline. No matter how much you earn, you will receive the bonus cash after meeting the minimum requirements.

Peak Pay

Receive higher base rates during the busiest meal ordering periods. These hours vary by city but are available to all drivers delivering for participating merchants.

Learn More: How to Deliver for DoorDash Our DoorDash guide includes tips from Dash Bridges, an expert Dasher who has completed over 6,100 deliveries!! 

GrubHub Driver Pay

GrubHub drivers can earn between $12 and $17 per hour. The average hourly pay tends to be less than DoorDash as the app is less busy in certain cities, although many exceptions apply. 

The platform has a more transparent earning model that can make it easier to estimate your hourly rate:

  • $0.22 per mile driven to the pickup location and the destination
  • $0.13 per minute after picking up the order until you complete the delivery

As a result, it’s possible to earn wait time if the restaurant is still preparing the meal. However, you should avoid slow restaurants, as they can frustrate customers, which reflects poorly on you, even when you’re not at fault.

You keep 100% of any customer tips.

Here are some ways to earn bonus cash to increase your earnings per trip.

Missions

Earn bonus cash by accomplishing a minimum number of deliveries within a limited time with special personalized offers.

GrubHub Contribution

Qualify for a minimum guaranteed rate when available for a scheduled delivery block and satisfy the Acceptance Rate criteria. 

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Customer Tips

Both platforms let you keep 100% of any tips that customers provide. Neither service charges fees on your base wage, but all of your earnings are subject to income taxes

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Delivery Opportunities

Knowing how frequently you can expect to receive delivery requests is essential.

Some factors to consider include the following:

  • The number of delivery requests: Large delivery request numbers make it easier to find higher-paying gigs. There can also be less competition from other drivers since there are more orders.   
  • Delivery types: Both apps let you deliver restaurant meals. In addition, each service is expanding into alcohol, grocery, and convenience items.
  • Participating restaurants and stores: Deliveries for upscale brands can pay more as you receive bigger tips. In addition, the app with more sit-down restaurants can be more lucrative than fast food joints and places with small orders. 
  • Wait times: After looking at the participating restaurants within your delivery area, you should avoid ones that don’t have the order read at the designated pickup time. Excessive waits mean a longer interval between accepting a follow-up order.

When comparing apps, typing your home address into the customer screen is an excellent research step. You will see various national brands and mom-and-pop shops that rely on each service to get meals and merchandise to the customer.

There are several overlapping restaurant partners between both services, as you will see. 

The grocery and retail Shop and Pay requests are an exciting way to make more money, although you must take the time to grab the items from the store aisle. These side gigs can diversify your income, so you’re not relying solely on restaurant orders to pay the bills.

DoorDash Delivery Partners

doordash delivery partners

Here are some of the national brands that you may deliver orders for as a DoorDash delivery partner:

  • Big Lots
  • Casey’s
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • CVS
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Dollar General
  • Five Guys Burgers & Fries
  • Little Caesars Pizza
  • McDonald’s
  • Panda Express
  • PetSmart
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Speedway
  • Subway
  • Target Grocery
  • Walgreens
  • Zaxby’s

With takeout, retail, and grocery partners in most small and large towns across the United States, DoorDash usually offers more opportunities in most markets. 

An interesting fact, Bloomberg Second Measure reports that DoorDash had 59% of all meal delivery sales in May 2022, making it the busiest app. By comparison, GrubHub only had 13%.

However, comparing the earning potential between both apps is still wise.

GrubHub Delivery Partners

Primarily plan on delivering restaurant meals through GrubHub, though it’s possible to deliver alcohol, convenience items, and groceries in major cities like Chicago, Miami, or Phoenix.

Some of GrubHub’s nationwide delivery partners include:

  • Applebee’s
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Chili’s
  • Chipotle
  • Dunkin’
  • Five Guys
  • Gopuff
  • IHOP
  • Marathon
  • McDonald’s
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Panera Bread
  • P.F. Chang’s
  • Pizza Hut
  • Rite Aid
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Wendy’s

The app also supports many local restaurants.

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Driver Schedules

DoorDash and GrubHub let you deliver on-demand or schedule an advance delivery block. Scheduling a delivery block can help you qualify for special bonus offers and increases the probability of receiving orders before the unscheduled drivers.

It’s possible to schedule delivery blocks up to one week in advance, adding an element of predictability to both side hustle apps.

Drivers can still deliver outside the scheduled blocks when their free time allows. In DoorDash, you only need to tap the “Dash Now” button. For the GrubHub app, drivers can toggle on when they’re ready to start making money.

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Driver Rewards

Highly-rated drivers can receive special recognition with either platform, similar to being an Airbnb Superhost which may make it easier to receive order requests.

DoorDash Top Dasher Rewards

The Top Dasher Program lets the best drivers Dash 24/7. Basic drivers can also deliver outside scheduled delivery windows, but the feature can be temporarily disabled if there are too many active drivers.

You will qualify for the Top Dasher program by reaching these accomplishments:

  • Customer rating of 4.7 or higher
  • Acceptance rate exceeding 70%
  • Completion rate of at least 95%
  • Complete 100 deliveries within the past month
  • At least 200 completed lifetime deliveries

Drivers must requalify monthly and have until the last day of each month to achieve the requirements. Qualified drivers begin enjoying Top Driver benefits on the 2nd day of the month.

All drivers enjoy financial and vehicle discounts such as car maintenance discounts and cheap gas.

GrubHub Driver Levels Rewards

The GrubHub Driver Recognition program analyzes your delivery stats for the previous 30 dates and updates weekly. You can begin receiving a rating after completing 20 deliveries.

Drivers with a higher rating have first access to scheduled blocks and large catering orders.

You won’t need elite driver status to enjoy the GrubHub driver perks and discounts. Some of them include a 15% savings on oil changes.

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Driver Payment Options

The default payment frequency for either app is weekly, but you can also request instant payments daily. You won’t encounter transaction fees with either platform when you link a checking account and opt for weekly payments.

DoorDash Payment Method for Drivers

There are three different payment methods available to DoorDash drivers.

Weekly Payments

Weekly payments are sent via direct deposit to your linked banking account on Wednesday nights.

Fast Pay

Fast Pay daily payments of up to $500 are available in the U.S. and Canada. However, a $1.99 fee applies, and you must first complete 20 deliveries and be a driver for at least 14 days.

DasherDirect

Doordash dasher direct

To waive the DoorDash instant payment fee, you must enroll in the DasherDirect program, which is subject to approval. This free prepaid debit card provided through Stride Bank (Member FDIC) automatically loads your earnings and tips. 

You can use the card for purchases and make cash withdrawals at 20,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs. However, you cannot transfer your balance to your linked bank account or enroll in online bill pay.

No credit check is necessary, and you’ll get 2% back on gas purchases.

GrubHub Driver Payment Methods

grubhub driver payment methods

GrubHub delivery partners can easily access their earnings by linking a checking account. The service currently doesn’t offer a fee-free prepaid debit card, but it’s possible to get free instant deposits.

Direct Deposit

By default, drivers will receive payments by direct deposit into a linked checking account each Thursday.

Instant Deposit

The Instant Deposit feature lets you immediately transfer up to $500 daily to a linked checking account or a bank debit card. This service is free if you have a Chase Bank account; otherwise, you’ll pay $0.50 for each transfer.

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: Driver Support

Both platforms offer support resources to help you resolve urgent matters and standard account adjustments.

DoorDash Driver Support

DoorDash Dasher Support provides 24/7 chat and telephone support. In addition, you can research non-urgent matters in the online dashboard.

The Dasher app also has SafeDash tools that let drivers contact an ADT agent when they feel they might be in an unsafe situation. This service can also notify 911 of urgent matters.

GrubHub Driver Support

GrubHub for Drivers partners with RapidSOS to provide phone and text safety services. A trained agent can call 911 when first responder assistance is necessary.

Live phone and chat support are also available when you must resolve order issues immediately.

Is Driving for DoorDash Worth It?

Delivering for DoorDash is worth it because of the flexibility it offers and the ability to be your own boss. You can have many opportunities to deliver meals, groceries, and retail purchases in over 7,000 cities across the United States.

Because DoorDash is the most-used meal delivery app in many areas, it usually makes sense to try this one first.

Learn more about DoorDash

Is Driving for GrubHub Worth It?

GrubHub drivers earn a competitive income that rivals many part-time jobs but with greater schedule flexibility. The platform primarily offers meals, but many cities offer grocery, pharmacy, and retail orders for more income-earning opportunities.

This app has a loyal following as it’s one of the oldest, but its market share is smaller, meaning there are fewer customer orders overall. However, the app can keep you busy and help you earn a steady income. 

Learn more about GrubHub

FAQs

Can you drive for DoorDash and GrubHub at the same time?

Yes, you can work for both apps as an independent contractor. It’s common for delivery drivers to switch between apps in search of the highest-paying delivery requests.

You may, however, want to focus on one app when there’s an opportunity to earn bonus cash, and you need to complete as many deliveries as possible.

Does DoorDash or GrubHub pay more?

It’s difficult to say which app pays more because it depends on many factors, including your delivery area. However, DoorDash is available in more cities.

Do DoorDash or GrubHub charge driver fees?

Neither app withholds fees from driver pay unless you request instant cashouts. However, drivers must set aside funds from their take-home pay to cover taxes, gas, and vehicle maintenance.  

DoorDash vs. GrubHub: The Bottom Line

You can make money delivering for either DoorDash or GrubHub, as both apps have an influential presence in many cities. Despite several differences in pay models and merchant partners, the delivery experience is similar for both.

If you have to pick one, go with DoorDash because it’s more popular. There will be more opportunities to earn but more competition as well. Download the app and see opportunities in your working area, as it’s an important factor.

In most situations, it’s best to try both apps to see which is more lucrative for your area. Also, be mindful of driver promotions that can help you earn bonus cash to boost your hourly rate. 

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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