Exploring the Financial Potential of Side Hustles like DoorDash

Curious about how much extra income you could make by delivering food? Many people use gig economy jobs to boost their earnings. Food delivery services are especially popular. But just how profitable are they? This story dives into the real-world experience of working for DoorDash to give you the answers.

Reporter Tommy Tindall wanted to find out for himself. He spent three days delivering food for DoorDash. His goal was simple: determine if this side hustle is worth the time and effort. What he found could help you decide if giving up your weekends and evenings is a good trade-off for extra cash. Read on to see the pros and cons, earnings insights, and strategies to maximize your take-home pay.

The Basics of DoorDash

Getting started with DoorDash is straightforward. Once you sign up online and pass a background check, you can start delivering. You’ll need a car, bike, or scooter. DoorDash sends you a red bag for food and an insulated bag to keep things warm. Many find it an easy way to start earning money quickly.

Earnings Potential

How much can you actually make with DoorDash? Earnings can vary greatly based on location, time of day, and demand. Tommy Tindall, a writer, tested it out and found he made $10.31 per hour after expenses. This included working a few hours over three days and driving around 90 miles. Not a huge amount, but it’s a start.

Challenges and Considerations

While DoorDash can be flexible, it comes with challenges. A major issue is vehicle wear and tear. Constantly driving, stopping, and starting can cause a lot of stress on a car. Additionally, the job involves a lot of screen time, which can be draining. If you’re in a rural or less busy area, you might spend more time driving for fewer orders.

Location and Lifestyle Impact

Where you live plays a significant role in DoorDash earnings. Urban areas generally have more orders and shorter distances to drive. In contrast, rural areas or small towns might not be as busy, leading to fewer opportunities. Tindall noticed that he had more orders in busier lunch and dinner hours in towns closer to Baltimore.


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Is It Worth It?

Deciding whether DoorDash is worth it depends on individual circumstances. For some, the flexibility is a huge plus. If you need extra cash and have spare time, it could be a good option. However, the earnings may not justify the costs for everyone. Tindall mentions his job with DoorDash made him more grateful for his main job, which shows it may not be a long-term solution for many.

Comparing with Other Side Gigs

Gig economy jobs like Uber, Airbnb, and DoorDash offer people a chance to make money on their own terms. However, the initial ease can sometimes overshadow the hidden costs. With Uber, there is the additional wear and tear on your vehicle. Airbnb hosts need to manage property and handle guest issues. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each gig carefully.

Earning Strategies

One way to maximize earnings on DoorDash is by working during peak times. Peak times often come with increased pay incentives called peak pay. This can add a few extra dollars to each delivery. Knowing your area and the busy times can help increase earnings. Many drivers also try to complete fast and efficient deliveries for better tips.

Final Thoughts on Earnings

DoorDash can be a practical side hustle for quick cash, but it might not be sustainable for everyone. The flexibility is great, especially for those with limited time. But the expenses, including gas and car maintenance, reduce overall earnings. Careful planning and strategy can help, but it’s crucial to go in with realistic expectations.


In conclusion, working for a gig service like DoorDash has its pros and cons. While it offers flexibility and quick cash, the actual earnings vary greatly due to location, time of day, and associated expenses. For someone with a full-time job or varying commitments, this could be an issue.

The wear and tear on your vehicle, coupled with the cost of gas, can significantly shrink your overall income. Additionally, the constant usage of your phone can be draining, making it less enjoyable.

Ultimately, whether a side hustle like DoorDash is worth it depends on individual circumstances and how well one can adapt strategies to optimize earnings. For some, it might be a good option to earn a little extra money. For others, the hidden costs may outweigh the benefits.

Source: NerdwalletYoutube