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How Does DoorDash Assign Orders to Drivers? (2024)

How Does DoorDash Assigns Orders

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If you’re looking for a side hustle with decent earning potential and flexibility, then DoorDash is an excellent option.

Whether you’re already a Dasher or thinking about driving for DoorDash, it’s natural to wonder: how does DoorDash assign orders?

When you understand how DoorDash assigns orders, it’s easier to find DoorDash algorithm tricks and ways to maximize your earnings.

In this guide, I’ll show you how DoorDash assigns orders to drivers, including factors that are considered and those that aren’t.

I’ll also share driver tips you can employ to make more money with DoorDash.

How Does DoorDash Assign Orders?

DoorDash takes several factors into account when assigning orders to Dashers. Understanding these factors is the first step toward optimizing your orders and maximizing your earnings.

So how does DoorDash assign orders? Here are some of the factors considered:

1. Driver Location

The first and arguably most vital factor DoorDash takes into account when allocating orders is Dasher location. Drivers closer to a restaurant are more likely to get more orders sent to them.

DoorDash prides itself on fast deliveries and customer satisfaction, so it’s in their interest that orders are delivered to customers as fast as possible.

While location is naturally the most important factor, being the nearest to a restaurant won’t always guarantee that you get prioritized for orders.

DoorDash uses time estimates to ensure the food is ready by the time the driver arrives, so the nearest driver may not always get the order.

In some cases, DoorDash will pick a Dasher who may be farther away so the order is ready when they get to the restaurant.

Still, being close to restaurants and other DoorDash hotspots significantly increases the number of orders you get.

2. Vehicle Type

DoorDash also considers your vehicle type when assigning orders. Naturally, if you use a bike to make deliveries, DoorDash tends only to assign you shorter distances that can be covered by bike.

This means the longer orders will go to people with cars because it’s easier for them to cover the distance in time.

The type of vehicle you use could also make a difference, depending on the specific market you’re in.

For densely populated areas with many short-distance orders, having a car won’t give you a significant advantage over others.  

If you Dash in a suburb or more spread-out areas, then DoorDash likely prioritizes you to cover long distances.

Dashers who use e-bikes and scooters have no complaints about getting few DoorDash orders, especially those in dense urban areas.

The good news is that you can always reject an order if it requires you to travel a long distance.

3. Top Dasher Status

Another thing that determines the number and frequency of DoorDash orders you get is whether you’re a top Dasher.

The Top Dasher program is an elite program used to reward top-performing Dashers. Top Dasher status has many perks, including the ability to Dash any time, even during super busy times.

Additionally, Top Dashers still get priority access to orders even when DoorDash is slow.

So if you’re in a market with many Dashers who are part of the Top Dasher program, they get more orders, which could be why you’re not getting DoorDash orders.

If you’d like priority access to orders and other perks of being a Top Dasher, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Your customer rating must be 4.7 stars and above
  • Have a DoorDash acceptance rate of 70% or higher
  • Have a DoorDash completion rate of 95% or higher
  • You must have completed at least 100 deliveries within the previous month
  • You must have completed 200 deliveries in total

DoorDash reviews the Top Dashers monthly, so you must maintain these stats to maintain your Top Dasher status.

The catch with being a part of the program is you must have a high acceptance rate, which could mean accepting low-paying orders.

If you’re working toward becoming a Top Dasher, ensure you’re still making enough per hour.

4. Delivery Zone

Another thing that DoorDash considers when assigning orders to drivers is your delivery zone.

In most cases, DoorDash will also consider whether an order request will mean leaving your delivery zone or not.

DoorDash has cities divided into delivery zones, so you don’t always have access to an entire city as a Dasher.

Every zone has different hotspots, so DoorDash uses these zones to put Dashers in different parts to manage supply and demand.

DoorDash zones are relatively small, and DoorDash limits deliveries within specific zones. So if you’re Dashing in a particular zone, DoorDash tries to limit your deliveries within the area.

This doesn’t mean you won’t get orders outside your zone. There are cases where that occurs.

However, DoorDash prioritizes deliveries to dashers in those zones before giving the order to Dashers in other zones.

5. Large Order Program

DoorDash also considers members of the Large Order Program when assigning orders, so you should consider joining the program. 

Dashers in the Large Order Program have higher chances of getting high-value orders.

These high-value orders typically have more things, so they’re trickier to deliver. The orders are usually a greater quantity of food, so you must have at least one catering bag.

The orders need more work than others, so you’ll be eligible for extra bonuses for delivering them.

To join the Large Order Program, you must meet the Top Dasher program requirements and own a standard catering bag for completing the orders.

Membership is by invitation, so if you meet the requirements and are in a region where Dashers are needed to complete large orders, you’ll receive an email invitation from DoorDash.

6. Scheduled Dash vs. Dash Now

It’s a widely-held belief among Dashers that scheduled Dashers get priority over non-scheduled Dashers during allocation.

If you have a predictable routine, book your Dashes in advance to increase the chances of getting more orders.

One of the major selling points of DoorDash is its flexibility. The ability to work whenever you want is a big plus for most Dashers who have other responsibilities to juggle.

Still, sometimes you try to log into the app and find it too busy to go online. If possible, try to schedule your Dashes beforehand.

Factors That DoorDash Doesn’t Consider When Assigning Orders

Since you now know how DoorDash assigns orders, let’s look at some factors that DoorDash most likely doesn’t consider.

Dasher Acceptance Rate

A common mistake most Dashers make when dashing for the first time is worrying too much about their acceptance rate.

Your DoorDash acceptance rate is the overall percentage of the orders you take. Most Dashers worry about a low acceptance rate because they’re afraid it could lead to DoorDash deactivation, which is not the case.

There’s no evidence to suggest that having a high acceptance rate translates to more orders, and the reverse is also true.

You should always ensure you only take orders worth the time and effort. As with most gig economy apps, you must be efficient to make the most out of the side hustle.

Dasher Completion Rate

As with the acceptance rate, the DoorDash completion rate is the percentage of orders you agree to take and complete.

The completion rate is a lot more important than your acceptance rate. A less than 80% completion rate is grounds for DoorDash deactivation, so you should do your best to maintain a high completion rate. 

However, DoorDash hasn’t mentioned using the Dasher completion rate as a metric when assigning orders.

Factors like dasher location take precedence over other factors like completion rate.

Customer Rating

Some Dashers also think that their customer rating is one of the factors that DoorDash considers when assigning them orders.

While having a high customer rating is advantageous, there’s nothing to suggest that DoorDash uses it as a metric when assigning orders.

You should maintain a good customer rating to improve your chances of becoming a Top Dasher and avoid getting deactivated. Still, it likely doesn’t affect the number of orders you get.

How To Get More Orders on DoorDash

As a DoorDash driver, you’re hired as an independent contractor, which means you’re in charge of everything from how much you work to paying for your expenses and filing your taxes.

While the flexibility is great, it leaves a lot of room for laxity, and you may end up making very little.

If you’d like to get more DoorDash orders and subsequently increase your earnings, you can try the following strategies.

1. Try DoorDash Hotspots

DoorDash hotspots are typically places with a cluster of restaurants that get busy during different times of the day.

Since driver location is one of the most important factors that DoorDash considers when assigning orders, finding prime locations to position yourself could significantly increase the number of orders you get.

You can find DoorDash hotspots using the Dasher app’s heat map. Busy areas are marked with small flame icons on the map.

It’s important to note that DoorDash hotspots don’t guarantee more orders, but they’re worth trying if you always get a few orders.

The catch with DoorDash hotspots is most Dashers will also go there, which increases the competition.

Find areas with a more mid-range population where the Dasher competition is lower.

2. Schedule Your Dashes

Another simple strategy to increase your DoorDash orders is scheduling your dashes.

Scheduling a Dash means guaranteeing you’re available to work at a specific time. This way, even if your market gets super busy, you have your spot reserved to start working immediately.

When you pre-schedule your deliveries, it ensures that you can work in zones during peak times.

Try to schedule busy areas a few weeks in advance to secure your spot. These busy areas are usually grayed out on the DoorDash map.

The advantage of pre-scheduling is you get more delivery options with a higher earning potential because you deliver in high-earning zones.

3. Become a Top Dasher

Earning Top Dasher status is another tip you can use to get more orders on DoorDash.

One of the advantages of becoming a Top Dasher is you’ll always have access to the “Dash Now” feature, even when the market is busy.

Additionally, Top Dashers get priority access to orders, even when the market is slow. Becoming a Top Dasher is a great way to gain a competitive advantage over other Dashers, especially if you work in a busy market.

However, you should watch the quality of orders you accept so you don’t end up with low-paying orders in an attempt to become a Top Dasher.

Ensure you only accept orders worth your time and effort so the side hustle is worthwhile.

4. Choose the Right Time to Dash

For delivery jobs like DoorDash, do your best to work efficiently to maximize your earnings.

One way to become an efficient Dasher is to choose the right time to work. This will significantly affect the number of orders you get and the money you make.

When you Dash during peak hours, you’ll get enough orders and make more money instead of waiting around in your car.

In most cities, the best time to DoorDash is around lunchtime and dinnertime, when restaurants typically have a rush. Late nights and weekends are also busy in most areas.

Peak times may vary from zone to zone, so find the best times to DoorDash in your area.

5. Try Other Markets

Sometimes you may be getting few orders because your market is slow.

Luckily, DoorDash allows you to Dash in other markets. You can even DoorDash in another state if you want to.

If you get few or no orders in your zone, there’s no harm in trying other markets to see if you’ll do any better.

When scheduling your Dashes, you can try out neighboring busy markets to improve your chances of getting more orders.

The other advantage to trying other markets is sometimes the base pay is higher in one zone than in another, depending on the restaurants in that area.

As you try other markets, keep an eye on your DoorDash mileage so you don’t pay too much in expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does DoorDash Automatically Assign Orders?

Yes. Like other gig economy apps like Instacart, DoorDash automatically assigns delivery orders to drivers for optimal speed and maximum efficiency.

DoorDash has an algorithm that takes several factors into account when assigning orders to drivers.

How Does DoorDash Allocate Orders?

DoorDash has an automatic system for allocating orders to Dashers. Customers don’t get to choose delivery drivers.

Instead, DoorDash considers factors like dasher location, Top Dasher status, and the driver’s delivery zone when assigning orders.

Does DoorDash Assign Multiple Orders at Once?

Yes. Sometimes DoorDash will offer you multiple orders simultaneously or sequentially. These are known as batched orders and are common with other food delivery apps like Uber Eats.

The advantage of taking batched orders is that you can complete your orders faster, so you’re free to take on more orders, increasing your hourly earnings.

Does DoorDash Drivers Choose Who Gets the Order?

DoorDash drivers can’t choose their orders. But this doesn’t mean they can’t make their own choices.

DoorDash will assign you an order, but you can always choose to accept or decline the order.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide has given you the answers to how DoorDash assigns orders.

Apps that pay you to drive are a great way to make a few extra bucks on your schedule. You can make a decent income from the side hustle with the right strategies.

One of the strategies that will help you get ahead is understanding the inner workings, like factors that determine how orders are assigned, so that you can make the most out of the app.

With the knowledge of what’s considered and what is not when assigning DoorDash orders, you can maximize your earnings as a DoorDash driver. 

Happy hustling!

Want to make more money with DoorDash? Check out:

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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