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The Pros & Cons of Driving with DoorDash

Delivering meals with DoorDash has both positive points and negative points. Before you sign up, consider realistically both the pros AND the cons. Here is a summary of DoorDash pros & cons, according to DoorDash gig drivers across Canada.

By the way, the Gig Café (11 Facebook Groups) is a GREAT place to learn what other drivers across Canada like (and don’t like) about delivering meals with DoorDash – including a group specifically for DoorDash drivers.

PRO: Why Drivers LIKE DoorDash

  • I AM MY OWN BOSS. Nobody tells me what to do. I drive when I want, and I stay home when I want. I really like that!
  • The work schedule is totally flexible, making it possible to participate in other activities any time I want.
  • DoorDash is the perfect part-time job, generating extra income in addition to my main full-time employment.
  • I can earn a decent income. At busy times, I can sometimes generate $25/hour or more (before expenses) – not as much as rideshare driving, but with slightly lower expenses.
  • With DoorDash, tips are a bigger portion of my income than with rideshare driving. This allows me to have more control over maximizing my income, since I will be directly rewarded for offering great service (which is very satisfying).
  • When sending me an order, the DoorDash app shows the total estimated amount I will receive (including tip). Though the customer can always increase or decrease the tip after I deliver, at least I have some idea about what to expect before accepting the order.
  • The DoorDash app features a “heat map” and sends me notification, giving me a general idea of how busy things are in different parts of my city. This helps me to position myself in locations where I may get more orders and therefore more income.
  • I can scale my hours, depending on the situation: Part-time, full-time, or perhaps as much as 60 hours/week if I want a higher income.
  • I get paid weekly, and I can even cash out instantly (for a fee).
  • At tax time, I can significantly reduce my income tax by deducting my business expenses (fuel, maintenance, repairs, tires, smartphone, data plan, etc.) And I only have to pay it in April of the following year, allowing me to use the funds for other things in the meantime.
  • Unlike rideshare driving, DoorDash does not collect GST/HST from customers and include it with my payments (which I must then pay to the government). One less complication. I get to keep all the money DoorDash pays me.
  • This gig is like having my own small business. I am rewarded with profits from my own hard work and smart decisions.
  • Driving with DoorDash is good, honest work. I don’t have to steal, beg, or depend on government handouts.
  • I meet many interesting people – restaurant staff, customers, and other gig drivers.
  • I enjoy driving, and I get to know my city.
  • I get lots of exercise, walking to/from restaurants and to/from customers’ homes. No long hours sitting in my car (unlike rideshare driving).
  • Unlike rideshare driving, I don’t have to allow strangers into my car and engage in conversations. And I can listen to my favourite music or chat on my phone (hands-free, of course) while delivering.
  • Between deliveries, I am able to send emails, read, and complete errands.
  • It is easy to fit in breaks (fuel, food, coffee, washroom) because I don’t have passengers in my car. And I’m often picking up at restaurants which have available washrooms and/or coffee.
  • I can use an older car for delivering meals. The requirements are not as strict as rideshare driving.
  • I accumulate less kilometers on my car with DoorDash than with rideshare driving.
  • Since most deliveries are not long-distance, I can expect to spend more time in a smaller preferred zone of operation (closer to home, for example).
  • Unlike rideshare driving, I can bring along an assistant, to help with pickups & navigation & deliveries (and parking dilemmas). At busy times, this really speeds me up, so I can accept more orders, thus increasing my average hourly income. And for my assistant & me, we have the satisfaction of making this a team effort!
  • I love technology: The DoorDash app, Internet, GPS, smartphone, satellite radio, etc.
  • It’s exciting! Each day when I head out, I never know who I’ll meet or where I’ll go. Dashing is an adventure!
  • It’s good to be outside, moving around and doing useful activity, instead of sitting at home or working inside a building.
  • I make a meaningful contribution to society by helping people have meals to eat. I enjoy serving. I make a difference. I am proud of my work.

CON: Why Drivers DON’T LIKE DoorDash

  • I don’t end up with a very big income. I would have to work 60 hours a week to make enough money to cover all of my family’s expenses.
  • It seems less restaurants and less customers use DoorDash than the other meal delivery platforms. Though I think there are probably fewer Dashers competing for these orders, I suspect I still end up with less income than other gig drivers.
  • Though there are less vehicle expenses to cover than with rideshare driving, it still really adds up (fuel, maintenance, repairs, etc.)
  • The cost of fuel has risen a lot recently, but DoorDash’s payment rates have not risen.
  • I feel I may be wearing out my vehicle. It is depreciating steadily in value, and seems to be breaking down more often.
  • I am required to provide a smartphone and pay for a 10GB monthly data plan.
  • I get hit with a big lump sum income tax payment every April.
  • I dislike doing the business side of gig driving (tracking mileage/income/expenses, taxes, registrations, documents, etc.)
  • I wish DoorDash would pay me a higher base amount for my service, instead of making me rely on tips to get a decent income.
  • I feel stupid carrying my DoorDash thermal bag into restaurants with customers staring at me.
  • I dislike dealing with some restaurant staff who treat me like a servant (instead of like a partner).
  • I get very frustrated waiting around a restaurant because the meal I am there to pick up is not ready.
  • I hate delivering meals to high-rise condos. It is difficult (sometimes impossible) to find a nearby parking space. Then I have to consume time buzzing in, dealing with security, waiting for an elevator, and riding up to the 25th floor and back down. (And to top it off, some of these wealthy condo dwellers don’t even tip!)
  • It’s frustrating trying to find houses in the dark which don’t have a porch light or a visible address.
  • Going in & out of restaurants and apartment buildings is not safe. I might get Covid (or injured, or mugged, etc.)
  • I don’t enjoy driving around in busy streets and parking lots. It makes me nervous (or tired, or stressed, etc.)
  • I don’t like driving in the evenings or after dark.
  • I might have an accident.
  • I might get tickets.
  • It’s difficult to find public washrooms.
  • I don’t like technology. It’s confusing and difficult to understand.
  • This gig is unpredictable. I prefer to know in advance what to expect from the day ahead.
  • When I need support from DoorDash, their Customer Service people can often be very frustrating.
  • I’ve heard that when a customer submits a complaint (even if it’s a false one), DoorDash tends to side with the customer and not with the driver. I worry about Uber suddenly deactivating me because of a bad customer.
  • There is no job security. I might suddenly be out of work if DoorDash deactivates me (or if I have an accident, if my car breaks down, if there’s another pandemic, etc.)
  • There are no benefits (medical coverage, severance, pension, etc.)
  • There are no sick days or vacation days – if I don’t drive, I don’t have income.
  • I am very unhappy when I have to deliver one cup of coffee 7 kilometers and I don’t get a big tip!

(**Note: Successful Dashers have responses & solutions for many of these concerns. They are out on the road earning money in spite of the negative points!)

After considering these points, you may want to study more complete and up-to-date details found on the DoorDash Website. That’s where you will also find information which applies specifically to the location where you plan to drive.

Ready to Start?

Once you are confident DoorDash may be a good fit for you, then you might as well go ahead and take the next step: SIGN UP! It only takes a few minutes to set up your DoorDash Account, providing basic information to establish your driver profile.

Don’t worry – DoorDash does not require fees or deposits, and there are no binding obligations or legal traps. At any point along the way, you can pause to get answers to your questions. But if you’re ready to move forward, the sooner you sign up and launch the registration process, the sooner you’ll be out on the road earning money.

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