If you didn’t already know, food delivery apps tend to be my bread and butter when it comes to making money on the side. At any given point you can hop in your car and start working to make some extra dough.
Not all apps are created equal though, and if you’re not careful, you could end up wasting a ton of time sitting idle in your car waiting for your next delivery to happen and making less than minimum wage.
Nobody wants that! Unfortunately, it’s happened to me more times than I can count. Working six hours to make $40 bucks is not my idea of a good side hustle.
So, to help you avoid my pain and actually make some dough, I’ve compiled the 10 best food delivery apps to work for in 2021.
Best Food Delivery Service Apps to Work For
Shipt Shopper – Best Overall
While Shipt just came out with a new pay structure that a lot of drivers aren’t happy with, it still comes out on the top of my list as the best delivery app to work for in [currentyear].
Grocery store delivery apps will be high on this list because you can make the most amount of money in the least amount of time and there isn’t as much volatility when it comes to deliveries.
As a shopper, you’ll go to a grocery store, Target, and sometimes even Petco in order to shop your order. For each delivery you’re given a one hour window to go shopping and deliver the groceries to the customer. The nice thing about being a Shipt shopper is that you can take multiple deliveries at once.
This is how you can stack cash quickly once you get the hang of it. Some shoppers take as many as four orders at a time. Personally, my max is three at a time, but that was a bit too stressful for me, so I prefer to stick to 1-2 food deliveries at once.
How Much Can You Make With Shipt?
With each grocery delivery, the pay is going to vary quite a bit. Plus, there are always going to be “promo” orders going on, which give you extra money just for picking up the order.
In the beginning though, you should expect to make around $15/hr, and then once you get the hang of it, you’ll be looking at more in the range of $25-30/hr. That’s why this is one of the best food delivery jobs out there.
- 18 years of age or more
- A vehicle from 1997 or newer
- A valid driver’s license
- Lift 40 pounds
- Knowledge of produce
- A compatible smartphone with Android or iOS
How to Sign Up as a Shipt Shopper
To get started as a Shipt Shopper, simply go here. Select the link that says “Start Earning Money Now!” and fill out the application. There are a few things they ask for, but nothing too difficult.
Doordash – Runner Up
Doordash is the next food delivery app on the list and is a close runner up to Shipt. Available in thousands of cities across the country, there’s plenty of money to be made with Doordash because they are constantly busy! Of course the market you’re in plays a factor, but I’ve never had an issue staying busy when I was food delivering for Doordash.
The benefits of driving for Doordash include:
- Great pay when you hit your goals per hour.
- Minimum rate per order
- Keep all your tips
- A large platform which attracts high paying clients.
- A solid delivery base of over 200,000 drivers.
How much do you make with Doordash?
Doordash is more of a quantity over quality approach, where you’ll get a ton of deliveries that will add up over time. According to their site, the average pay “will range from $2-10+ depending on the estimated time, distance, and desirability of the order.”
They also have things going on throughout the month where you can earn extra cash such as Challenges and Peak Pay. Overall, the app is so well-designed that it’s easy to navigate as a driver and you can schedule your deliveries in advance for the most part. Doordash is even starting to take a page out of Shipt’s book by offering drivers the ability to deliver groceries between 6am & 10am at select stores.
The only reason I’m putting it behind Shipt is because of the wear and tear it puts on your car. I prefer the grocery food delivery apps because most of your time is spent in the store instead of driving around.
Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with Doordash.
Postmates is another food delivery app that is popular among drivers, completing over one million food deliveries and having 6,000+ drivers on its roster.
One of the main benefits of driving for Postmates is that there are a wide variety of orders that you can take such as groceries, alcohol, .
The pay is pretty decent too, starting at $10 and working your way up to $20 per hour. I’ve been averaging around $15/hr for most of my Postmates experience. There are also bonuses that come in from time to time, but nothing fantastic. It’s usually just some extra cash on top of what you’re making with each delivery.
Postmates Driver Requirements
The driver requirements for Postmates include:
- A smartphone
- Car insurance
- Drivers must be 18 and over (21 if you’re delivering alcohol)
- Valid driver’s license.
- Pass a background check
Overall, Postmates is a great option for drivers who want the extra cash and flexibility. The only issue with Postmates is, if you want to make good money, you’ll have to hustle.
Unlike Doordash, it’s easy to get stuck in a dead-end area around your house because there just aren’t that many deliveries available unless you’re super aggressive at finding them.
If you live in a city like Tampa or St. Petersburg, which is where I was, then Postmates will be a decent way to earn some extra cash on the side.
If you’re looking for a food delivery app that’s similar to Shipt, then Instacart is for you. With a strong customer base, solid pay, and located in over 5,500 cities across the country, Instacart is a solid food delivery app when it comes to side hustles.
Lots of drivers love delivering for Instacart because it’s a no-hassle gig. But, with that comes a downside – the pay isn’t that great.
How Much do Instacart Drivers Make?
In my experience, I’ve found that drivers are earning around $11/hr after they work their way up the tiers. While there are bonuses, and you do get to keep the tips, so much of Instacart depends on the zone you’re in.
Some zones pay really well per order, while others are paying around $3.50 per delivery. There is additional pay depending on the order size and peak times, but it is very location dependent from my experience.
If you’re interested in Instacart, make sure to do your research and find the delivery areas that have the most deliveries available. Reddit is a good source of information, or you can join your local Instacart Facebook group.
Instacart Driver Requirements
- Lift at least 40lbs
- Drivers must be 18 or over
- Pass a background check
- Reliable car
- Reliable smartphone
Overall, Instacart is a good option where you can make upwards of $20/hr if you’re in a good zone. Definitely do your research beforehand though, because while your immediate zone might be terrible, the zone 20 minutes away could be a goldmine.
Far superior than driving for regular Uber, Uber Eats rounds out the top 5 food delivery apps of 2021. Similar to Doordash and Postmates, Uber Eats has brand recognition, a large customer base, and thousands of cities where you can deliver from.
The benefits of driving for Uber Eats is that the pay is better than regular Uber. This is because Uber has just become too oversaturated at this point. It’s no longer 2015 when you couldn’t even get to your car before your phone dinged with a pickup. I miss those days 🙁
Luckily, Uber Eats hasn’t gotten to that level yet. In terms of pay, Uber Eats drivers make more money than the average restaurant worker. They earn an average income of $11.31 per hour, according to Glassdoor . However, half of Uber Eats drivers told Business Insider last year that they worked part-time hours and still weren’t able to make ends meet.
While making $10 – $12 per hour isn’t bad, it’s not as much as you could make with other apps. However, I like using Uber Eats in tandem with the other apps. If I’m finding Doordash or Postmates to be unusually slow, I’ll turn on Uber Eats and increase my odds of getting food deliveries.
This has worked out well and increased my hourly quite a bit. But, be careful! On busy days this can get out of hand and you end up hurting your rating on both apps.
Uber Eats Driver Requirements
- 2-door or 4-door car
- Meet the minimum age to drive in your city
- Valid driver’s license and insurance
With Uber Eats you also have the option of delivering on a scooter or by bike. This is something a lot of other apps don’t offer, so if you’re looking for a food delivery app to make some extra cash but are lacking a reliable car, you still have options with Uber Eats
Overall, the food delivery apps have lots of benefits and opportunities for drivers. I still consider them to be one of the best side hustles out there because at any moment you can turn your phone on and start making money. However, the pay can vary quite a bit from city to city and app to app. This is why doing research in your market is key.
Some apps are going to do better than others depending on where you live.
That being said, these are great apps to pick up on the side while holding down a full-time job. You’ll get all your groceries delivered for free and get paid for it too! As far as I’m concerned, being a Shipt Shopper is the best option when it comes to food delivery apps because of their reliability, pay, and bonuses.
But, if you’ve had different experiences, let me know in the comments!