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Best Times To DoorDash in 2024 (Expert Dasher Tips!)

Best Times to DoorDash

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If you’re driving for DoorDash, you may have noticed that your success as a Dasher depends on several factors. 

One of the most significant factors determining your earnings is your delivery times. Food delivery gigs like DoorDash are typically busy around meal times and slower for the rest of the day. 

So, knowing the best times to DoorDash is one of the best hacks to boost your Dasher pay. 

In this post, I’ll cover the best times to deliver for DoorDash and tips that can help you boost your earnings. 

The Best Times To DoorDash

Mealtimes are the best times to DoorDash. The lunchtime rush between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the dinnertime rush between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. are popular delivery times for high order volumes. You can also try delivering on Friday nights and Saturdays when demand is also high. 

Delivering during busy hours is a great way to ensure you have back-to-back orders so you don’t have to waste time waiting around in your car. 

Additionally, you can cherry-pick and decline low-paying orders when there’s a high order volume. This way, you can choose the hours you’ll work optimally and make the most of your time. 

Let’s look more keenly at some of the best times to DoorDash. 

Breakfast Hours

Some customers prefer ordering breakfast from local restaurants and coffee shops, especially when running late for work. 

Availing yourself early in the morning to deliver these breakfast orders can help you boost your earnings. There aren’t as many Dashers during these hours, so the competition isn’t very high. 

Lunch Rush

The lunchtime rush between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. has high order volumes because many office workers and students prefer to order food for their midday meals. 

Therefore, if you can work during lunch hours, you’re more likely to get a steady stream of orders, especially in busy areas with offices and colleges. 

Dinner Hours

Dashers agree that dinner hours are some of the busiest times to deliver, mainly because many people have had a long day at work and would rather order than cook dinner. 

You can start working around 5 p.m. to take advantage of the dinnertime rush. With a consistent flow of orders, you’ll earn more per hour. 

Restaurants are typically busy during this time, so getting more orders is easier. However, this is also dependent on your location. 

Remember that you’re competing against other Dashers looking to capitalize on the bust times, so you should schedule your Dash in advance on the app. 

Late Nights

Night-time delivery is also popular, especially over the weekend or during special events. If you live near busy clubs and bars, you can make good money delivering late at night to party-goers. 

It can be a pretty lucrative time if you’re available to work during these hours. Sometimes DoorDash offers bonuses and incentives since there aren’t many Dashers, so you can maximize your earnings.

Holidays and Special Events

Holidays and special events significantly impact the demand for food delivery. The order volume may go up or down depending on the holiday or event. 

For instance, most people cook at home on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and restaurants are closed or open for limited hours. 

But for special events like major sports games and music festivals where people gather in large numbers, the order volume goes up. 

You can prepare for this surge in orders by staying updated on upcoming special events so you can schedule accordingly. 

Best Times To DoorDash on WeekDays

The best time to DoorDash on weekdays may vary based on your location, but generally, mealtimes are busy hours with a significant increase in order volume

During lunchtime, around 11 a.m., people order food on their lunch break at school or work, so it can be a pretty busy time for Dashers. 

Dinnertime is another great time to deliver for DoorDash on the weekdays. People are just getting home, tired from a day at work, so they may opt to order in instead of cooking. 

Depending on your location and the type of restaurants in the area, morning hours can also be great for Dashing, as people order breakfast before going to work.

Best Times To DoorDash on Weekends

Weekends are typically busier for Dashers than weekdays because more people order food. 

In addition to the typical lunch and dinner rushes, you can also boost your income by delivering late nights, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. 

If you’re comfortable working late into the night, it can be a great time to deliver meals to people returning home from the bar or parties. 

This is majorly dependent on the demographic in your area. If you live in a busy town with a large population of young people, then you can make good money delivering late nights. 

Additionally, the hours of the restaurants in your area will determine the exact times you can work. 

Best Times To DoorDash in the Morning

Morning hours can also be great for Dashing, depending on your location. Breakfast hours, from around 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., especially on Saturdays and Sundays, can be lucrative. 

You can also take advantage of school days. If your area has many schools, parents may order breakfast or lunch for their children between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. 

The demand for DoorDash varies considerably based on location, so adapting your schedule to your local market’s patterns is vital. 

Best Times To DoorDash According to Drivers on Reddit

One way to determine the best times to DoorDash is to see what other Dashers have to say. 

You can find Dasher communities on sites like Reddit, where you can ask questions and get answers from more experienced DoorDash drivers. 

Most Dashers agree that mealtimes are the best times to deliver, especially when there’s Peak Pay

Another shared sentiment is that markets are different, so it would be beneficial to experiment with different times to determine the best times to Dash in your area. 

Here are some comments from DoorDash couriers on Reddit:

  • Djinnaz says: “That depends on you and where you live.”
  • GrandApprehensive216 says: “I do 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.”
  • Naturecomesfirst says: “The obvious answer is lunch time and dinner time.”

How To Find the Best Time To DoorDash

Since the best times to DoorDash differ based on location, determining the busiest hours in your market will take some effort on your part. 

Here are a few tips to help you determine the best times to DoorDash:

Understand Your Market

The first step to determining the best times to Dash is analyzing your location. Different markets have different patterns of food delivery depending on the demographic. 

If you deliver in an urban, densely populated area, you’re more likely to get orders consistently. 

Suburban and rural areas have smaller populations and fewer restaurants, so there may be less demand for DoorDash services. 

Analyzing your local market will help you identify the best hours to Dash. 

Leverage Dasher Data

DoorDash regularly shares data and feedback with Dashers regarding their performance. The data also includes information about popular restaurants and peak hours. 

You can leverage this data to make decisions regarding your work schedule to optimize your earnings. 

Keeping track of the most profitable shifts based on the data will also help you adjust your schedule to capitalize on your working hours. 

Try Different Shifts

Another way to determine the best times to drive for DoorDash is to experiment with different shifts. 

Try working during morning hours, midday, and dinner hours to see when you get the most orders. 

Also, experiment with late nights, especially during the weekends, to observe the demand during these periods. 

While this will take significant effort, it’s a great way to fully understand your local market plans. 

Stay Updated

It’s also important to keep updated on any promotions, local events, or news that may affect food delivery patterns in your market. 

Sometimes, DoorDash has challenges where Dashers can make extra money for completing a specific number of deliveries within a specified period. 

Participating in these challenges can help you maximize your DoorDash earnings. 

You should also stay informed about upcoming special events and limited offers. This way, you can plan accordingly and take advantage of these special events to maximize your DoorDash earnings. 

Tips To Make More Money Driving for DoorDash

As an independent contractor, you have significant control over aspects of your side hustle, like how much you work and, subsequently, how much you earn. 

Here are a few Dasher tips you can use to boost your earnings on the platform: 

1. Choose Your Orders Wisely

One of the greatest advantages of DoorDash and other driving gigs that pay is their flexibility. 

Not only do you choose when you work, but you also decide which orders to take and which ones to turn down. 

Take advantage of this flexibility and choose your orders wisely. Before accepting an order, DoorDash shows you the potential earnings so you can decide whether it’s worth it. 

So, always select high-paying orders that are worth your time and effort. You may be concerned about your DoorDash acceptance rate, but it doesn’t really matter. 

You won’t get penalized for turning down specific orders. However, your acceptance rate matters if you want to qualify for incentives and bonuses based on performance. 

Generally, you should avoid low-paying orders and only accept those that compensate you adequately. 

2. Take Stacked Orders When Possible

Sometimes, you’ll come across batched orders, where you need to pick up two or more orders from one restaurant and make separate deliveries. 

Taking batched orders is a great way to take on more deliveries and earn more in less time. However, you should be extra keen on these orders and plan your routes efficiently. 

One way to increase your chances of getting stacked orders is by targeting DoorDash hotspots with popular restaurants. 

DoorDash makes it easy for Dashers to take batched orders using the “Add Order to Route option.” These orders are also color-coded for easier identification. 

3. Take Advantage of Challenges and Incentives

DoorDash has several Challenges and incentives you can participate in to maximize your earnings. 

One of the incentives is Peak Pay, which is the extra money you get for delivering during busy hours or bad weather when there’s a high demand and not enough Dashers. 

You can find Peak Pay opportunities in your Dasher app under the “Promos” tab. 

You can also participate in challenges, where you earn an extra amount of money for completing a given number of deliveries within a set period. 

Challenges are usually announced ahead of time, so it’s important to stay updated so you can prepare adequately and schedule your hours appropriately. 

It’s important to check the timestamp of when the Challenges are valid in your time zone. You’re automatically enrolled in any active challenges in your area, so you don’t have to opt in to participate. 

4. Maximize Your Tips

Dashers keep 100% of their tips, so maximizing your tips is one of the best ways to boost your earnings as a Dasher. 

Customers tip based on experience, so you can maximize your tips by providing excellent customer service. 

Ensure you confirm each order before delivery to avoid mistakes. This is especially important when delivering batched orders. 

The customer expects their order to be delivered on time, so avoid being late at all costs. If you’re running late, ensure you text the customer to let them know. 

Maintaining communication with the customer is also a great way to improve your rating. This way, you can qualify for DoorDash reward programs that increase your earnings. 

Customers also appreciate thoughtful gestures like carrying extra straws or extra ketchup packets. 

The Best DoorDash Alternatives

While DoorDash is a popular side hustle with a decent earning potential, some factors could be out of your control. 

So if DoorDash sucks or is slow in your area due to a low population or any other reason, here are a few alternatives you can consider:

  • Uber Eats: This is DoorDash’s biggest competitor, operating virtually globally. You can sign up to deliver food with Uber Eats. The process is especially easier if you’re already an Uber driver. 
  • Instacart: With this popular grocery delivery service, you get paid to shop and deliver groceries and other essentials to customers within your city. 
  • Grubhub: This is another online food delivery service that partners with local restaurants. You can sign up to deliver food on the platform if available in your area. 
  • Shipt: You can also consider Shipt, another grocery delivery service where you can get paid for shopping and delivering groceries or doing deliveries alone. 
  • Amazon Flex: If you’d like to get paid to deliver Amazon packages to customers within your area, you can sign up for Amazon Flex to work as an independent contractor. 
  • Walmart Spark: This relatively new platform is a lucrative weekend side job you can do. As a Walmart Spark driver, your job would entail making deliveries for Walmart and other top retailers. 

Extra Reading: How To Make $500 a Week Dashing

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Slowest Day for DoorDash?

Based on feedback from Dashers, Mondays and Tuesdays are typically slow for DoorDash and other food delivery services. 

These are busy days when people handle work and other responsibilities, so they’re less likely to order food. 

Is It Possible To Make $200 a Day With DoorDash?

Yes, you can make up to $200 on a busy day. However, this will require significant effort on your part, and you may have to work for more hours. 

It also depends on factors like the order volume, location, and tours you choose to work. 

Can You Live Off DoorDash?

While DoorDash is a side hustle with a decent earning potential, you may not be able to live off of it. This is mainly because your earnings will vary daily, so there’s a lot of instability. 

With gig economy apps like DoorDash, setting realistic earning goals is important to avoid burning yourself out. 

Final Thoughts

The best times to DoorDash are typically around mealtimes when there’s a significant increase in order volumes. 

By scheduling your working hours around these times, you can boost your hourly Dasher pay and make the most of the side hustle. 

It’s also important to note that markets differ, so it’s advisable to take time to understand the specific patterns in your local market. 

Dashing is a great side hustle that can be very lucrative with the right strategies. You can maximize your earnings if you work efficiently and are selective about your orders. 

Also, consider multi-apping by signing up for other gig economy apps like Instacart and Uber Eats

Searching for other ways to earn extra cash on the side? Check out these posts:

Lydia is a personal finance expert and the founder of Sproutinue, a personal finance site helping you find legit ways to make money, save money, and achieve financial freedom. She has been featured on various major financial publications, including Investopedia, Business Insider, GoBankingRates, and more.

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