Already working as a Dasher but wants to make more money? Some days it’s great, other days not so much. You’ve heard stories on social media of some folks making a lot and others not so much.
Sure, the location matters, but that’s not something you can change. What you can control are things like when you choose to Dash.
In these gig economy jobs, the time of day can greatly affect the number of orders you get, the money you make, and even the gas you burn.
Yes, there are times that are better for earning as a Dasher. So, the question is, what are the best times to DoorDash?
In this article, I’ll talk about how to figure out the most money-making times to DoorDash.
I will give you some tips on the best times to make money with DoorDash and dig into things like rush hours, special pay during peak times, hot locations, and when customers order most.
With this information, you’ll learn how to set your work times to make DoorDash worth your time.
By the time you’re done reading, you should know how to plan your work schedule to get the most cash out of being a DoorDash driver.
So, let’s get started!
Why Driving At The Best DoorDash Hours Matters
The money you make at different times depends on things like how much DoorDash pays at that time and how many other dashers are working.
If you want to make the most money and make this Dashing hustle worth it, other than being a top Dasher, you need to find out the best times to work in your area. If you can do this, it will help you earn more for your hard work.
Driving for DoorDash during peak hours matters a lot. Here’s why:
The best hours are usually meal times. People order food then. You get more orders during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. More orders mean more money.
There’s also less waiting time. You pick up and drop off orders quickly. Your time is used well.
Driving during peak hours can mean more tips. People may tip better when they’re hungry. Happy customers often tip more.
Bonuses and surge pricing might apply during busy times. This adds to your earnings. You can make more in less time.
You also save on expenses. More orders per hour mean less wasted gas and time.
In simple terms, driving at the best DoorDash hours is smart. It helps you earn more, work efficiently, and make the most of your side hustle.
Extra Reading: The Best DoorDash Tips & Tricks.
Best DoorDash Times During Weekdays & Weekends
Overall, in general, lunch times (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner times (5 a.m. to 9 p.m.) are peak times to work for DoorDash. Late night hours can be a good source of money in places with nightlife, especially on weekends but avoid fast food orders as they pay minimal and are not worth it.
Knowing the best times to work is essential, whether you plan to dash on weekdays or weekends.
Now, let’s explore the specific peak hours so you can optimize your DoorDash experience, making the most money on both weekdays and weekends.
- Breakfast Rush (7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.):
- During weekdays, the breakfast time can be very active in a few urban areas.
- Many people order their first meal of the day, particularly those rushing to work.
- Since many drivers avoid early morning shifts, it might be an opportunity for you.
- Lunch Time (11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.):
- The lunchtime rush is real, especially in areas with many offices and colleges.
- The demands are high, but the deliveries must be quick.
- This is a time when you can make good money, especially in urban areas.
- Dinner Peak (5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.):
- Dinner time is another busy period.
- Residential areas see a spike in orders as people come home from work.
- Peak pay is often available at these times, allowing you to earn even more.
- Late Night (9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.):
- The late-night period isn’t active in all cities.
- However, in bustling urban areas, you’ll find plenty of late-night eateries serving customers.
When it’s busy, you’ll get more orders from popular food places. You might also earn “peak pay.” DoorDash gives this extra money when there are lots of orders and not enough drivers. Peak pay adds $1 to $5 or more for each delivery.
To find out if peak pay is in your area, look at the Dasher app. There’s a red banner at the top. It tells you how much the peak pay is. It also tells you where and when you can get it.
But you must sign up to work during these times and places. You also have to keep a certain rate of accepted orders.
DoorDash offers other ways to earn extra. They have promotions and challenges that give extra money for a certain number of deliveries in a set time like the Dasher below.
Challenges reward you based on how well you do. You can find these in the “Earnings” tab on your app.
- Brunch Time (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.):
- Weekends are for leisurely brunches, and this reflects in DoorDash orders.
- Breakfast and lunch combos are popular.
- Suburban areas with famous breakfast spots are likely to be busy.
- Afternoon Slowdown (2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.):
- Weekends often see a slowdown in the afternoons.
- It’s a good time for a break, but you should be on the lookout for special events that might increase demand.
- Dinner and Late Night (5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.):
- Much like weekdays, the dinner and late-night periods are busy on weekends too.
- Stay close to popular dining spots to maximize orders.
Weekends can be different. The best times to work might change depending on where you live. In lively cities with nightlife, 8:00 PM to midnight is good on weekends, so it can be a good weekend gig.
In quieter areas, there might be less demand for food delivery. You can try delivering other things like groceries, alcohol, or pet supplies. You might find less competition and get better tips.
To see what you can deliver, look at the “Browse” tab on your app. You can pick different things like “Grocery,” “Alcohol,” and “DashMart.” DashMart is a DoorDash store that sells snacks, drinks, and more.
Choosing different deliveries can help you earn more on weekends. The app lets you filter orders by distance, time, and payout. You can choose what’s best for you.
By understanding the different patterns between weekdays and weekends, and being responsive to unique opportunities, you can make the most of this side hustle.
Extra Reading: Is Instacart Worth It For Shoppers?
Factors That Affect Best Times To DoorDash
Driving for DoorDash means facing many factors that can change how busy your shift might be. Here’s what drivers like us should know:
Weather, such as rain, snow, or heat, directly affects when is the best time to doordash. Bad weather can lead to traffic jams, making deliveries slower.
Some drivers might not want to work in harsh conditions.
On the other side, bad weather might mean more people ordering in and higher delivery fees, making those the best times to doordash for higher earnings.
Here is what one dasher has to say about rains:
“Fingers crossed it rains this week 🤞🏾 I always have my best days when it rains.” – CultOfStullKS
But, go out in the bad weather only if you have a capable vehicle and weather is manageable. Don’t go out in risky situations because its not worth it.
Holidays, like Christmas or Valentine’s Day, can be among the busiest doordash times.
More people are ordering for celebrations, but some restaurants might close early or have limited hours. Some of drivers might take holidays off, too.
So, deciding when to work during holidays can be crucial in understanding the best days and times to doordash for maximum earnings.
Local events can be a boon or bane
If there’s a local concert or sports game, it might be the best time to doordash in my area.
More people might be ordering while enjoying these events.
But, if you’re delivering near the event venue, be prepared for more walk-in customers at restaurants and potential road detours.
Such local events can change when is doordash busy in my area.
Football days or some major TV days can be heavy order days and people from winners side tend to tip generous amounts.
Here is how one Dasher made $600 in a single day.
Location plays a vital role in determining the best times to DoorDash. Busy areas like city centers, business districts, and places near universities often have a higher demand.
People in these areas are more likely to order food, especially during lunch breaks or after work hours.
In contrast, rural or less populated regions may see fewer orders, meaning you might have to travel further distances to find consistent work.
Understanding your local area and where people are most likely to order from can greatly increase your earning potential.
Extra Reading: Does DoorDash Pay For Gas?
Local Promotions and Discounts
Local promotions and discounts offered by restaurants can create sudden spikes in orders. If a popular restaurant is running a special deal, it might lead to more people ordering food from that place.
As a DoorDash driver, keeping an eye on these promotions can give you a chance to be in the right place at the right time.
Signing up for notifications from local eateries or following them on social media can keep you in the loop.
By aligning yourself with these promotions, you can strategically place yourself in areas where demand is likely to increase, maximizing your earnings.
Seasonal changes can have a significant impact on the best times to DoorDash. During the summer months, people may prefer to cook at home or enjoy outdoor dining, leading to a decrease in orders.
On the other hand, the winter months might see an increase in demand as people prefer to stay cozy inside and order in.
Understanding these seasonal trends and adjusting your schedule accordingly can help you make the most of your time and effort, ensuring you’re dashing at the optimal times for your location.
So, staying updated on these changes can help us pick the best hours to doordash and more.
To sum it up, as a DoorDash driver, being aware of these factors can help plan our shifts better.
It’s always useful to keep an eye on the app, anticipate these changes, and adjust our schedules accordingly. By doing so, we can optimize our earnings and ensure a smoother delivery experience.
Extra Reading: How Much Can You Make With DoorDash A Week?
Maximizing Earnings with DoorDash
DoorDash is big in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. People order food, and Dashers deliver it. Want to earn more as a Dasher there are many best DoorDash practices you can follow? Here’s are a few:
1. Choose the Best Times to DoorDash in Your Area
- The busiest DoorDash times are lunch and dinner. Best times to DoorDash are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- During these Doordash busy times, you can earn extra. This is called peak pay.
- But, be careful. Busy times might mean more traffic and waiting at restaurants.
- Test different hours. Find when is DoorDash busy in your area and what’s best for you.
Extra Reading: Can You Make More Money With Earn by Time?
2. Pick the Right Delivery Zones
- DoorDash has different zones in cities.
- Zones have colors on the DoorDash Driver app.
- Think about:
- How many orders are in each zone. Busy zones mean more orders.
- The distance you have to travel. Don’t choose big zones or ones with many traffic lights.
- How much you get paid in each zone. Some zones pay better.
- To find the best hours to DoorDash, look at the app’s heat map or chat with other Dashers.
3. Take Only Profitable Orders
- When you get an order, decide fast.
- Look at the base pay. That’s what DoorDash gives you.
- See the tip. That’s what customers give you.
- Check the total pay. This doesn’t include peak pay or other bonuses.
- Think about the distance and time for the order.
- Look at the restaurant’s ratings and wait time.
- A good rule: Try for orders that pay $1 for every mile you drive or $0.50 for every minute.
4. Be Professional
- Wear clean clothes.
- Talk nicely to everyone.
- Use the app to talk to customers.
- Follow delivery instructions. Send DoorDash memes if appropriate.
- Keep food safe and clean. Use a hot bag.
- Be on time. Don’t cancel orders unless you really have to.
DoorDash is a great side job and it’s not always stable. The market, customers, and DoorDash rules can change and you need to adapt to get the best out of it.
Extra Reading: Does DoorDash Track Your Miles?
What Other Drivers Are Saying About Best Time To DoorDash
Thinking about driving for DoorDash? You will get the best idea from people who have already figured it out. Hear from drivers who’ve been there.
There’s a lot of chat online where drivers share tips and stories. Let’s dive into two big sites: Reddit and Quora.
Reddit is where people talk about tons of topics. There are special places for DoorDash drivers: r/doordash, r/doordash_drivers, and r/doordash_tips.
Here, you can learn from drivers: the best time to DoorDash, challenges faced, and even the busiest DoorDash times. Got questions? Ask away!
Most Dashers say that Mondays are usually dead and there is minimal work on the lunch times on the weekdays.
However, a few Dasher claim to have great Monday mornings. So, you need to at least try all the hours to figure out your market.
Almost all Dashers agree that the Sunday lunch times are good. But peak times can be anytime from Friday evenings to Sunday night.
So, it’s important to schedule your work hours for weekends.
Many Dashers also agree that the best time in the oversaturated markets can be unconventional times where there are not enough Dashers.
You need to try out to find if you can make enough money in those unusual hours.
Quora is all about questions and answers. Drivers often discuss things like best hours to DoorDash or how to deal with tricky situations. You can check existing chats or ask your own.
Reddit and Quora have great tips. But keep in mind, everyone’s experience is different. Some info might be old or not 100% right.
Also, what’s the best time to DoorDash in my area might be different for someone else. So, always test things out yourself.
At the end of day, you might like working at hours that you prefer like late night when there is not traffic and hustle though orders might be less.
Extra Reading: What to Do If Stuck on DoorDash Waitlist?
Best and Worst Days to DoorDash
If you’re looking to maximize your earnings through food delivery services like DoorDash, weekends are your golden opportunity.
Friday can be hit or miss but in most markets Saturdays and Sundays, in particular, are the busiest times, and here’s why:
People usually want to relax on weekends, so they order food instead of cooking. Whether it’s a movie night, a get-together with friends, or just a treat for themselves, food deliveries spike during these nights.
This means more orders for you and more opportunities to make money.
Here is what one Dasher has to say about weekends:
“Thursday- Sunday in my area is always busy . Saturdays & sundays where I live in San Diego will have you constantly busy and making $200-300 a day.” – baconcheesetot
But weekends aren’t the only high-demand times. Special events or holidays can also boost your business.
Think about major sporting events, concerts, festivals, or any local celebrations that may encourage people to order food. Staying aware of these events can help you strategically plan your schedule for maximum earnings.
On the flip side, there are some days and times that aren’t so profitable. Monday and Tuesday, particularly during the afternoons, are usually slow. Here’s why:
People are back to work, and they may prefer cooking at home or having lunch at the office. The demand for food delivery drops significantly, resulting in fewer opportunities to make money.
Weather can be a double-edged sword as well. Bad weather like rain or snow can cause more people to order in, which is good for your business.
But it can also make travel dangerous or slow, hindering your ability to deliver quickly and safely.
Yet, these are just patterns. Your experience might be different. Maybe you find weekdays better because there’s less road traffic. Or local events might spike orders. Try out different days to find the best options for yourself.
Check when is DoorDash busy in your area and track your cash!
Extra Reading: Getting No DoorDash Order.
Is It Busy in The Morning
Wondering about DoorDash busy times in the AM? It can change. But a few things matter.
Breakfast habits play a role. Some want home-cooked meals or a quick grab-and-go. Others? They order their favorite breakfast. They’re the DoorDash morning crowd.
Location matters too. City spots with offices or colleges might see more orders than quiet country areas. Plus, cities might have cool breakfast joints: diners, cafes, and such.
Seasons play a part. Winter might be busier than summer. Why? Cold weather and people staying cozy indoors. Also, some special days like Mother’s Day might have a surge in morning orders.
From chats on Reddit and Quora, many drivers find 7 AM to 10 AM as the busy stretch. But this can change as per area.
The best tip? Keep an eye on the DoorDash app. See when orders ping in the most. That’s the best time to DoorDash in your area.
Final Thoughts on Best Time to DoorDash
DoorDash is awesome for making some extra cash. But you’ve got to pick the right times to work. Some times are busier and better than others.
We’ve talked about the best hours to DoorDash, DoorDashing in the morning, and what are the best and worst days to Dash.
But like with anything else, there is no one fit all advice and you need to experiment in your market to find your best options. This knowledge and other best DoorDash tips can be a guiding light to reduce your learning curve.
Using optimal hours to work, you can average more than $20/hour on DoorDash.
Ready to start? Sign up and begin your DoorDashing journey. Happy Dashing!
Is DoorDashing in the morning a good idea?
It depends on where you live. Some places like commercial areas have many breakfast orders, especially on weekdays. Then, it’s good to start DoorDashing from around 8 am to noon. On weekends, late mornings can be good time to DoorDash for brunch orders.
In other places, mornings might be slow. People might eat breakfast at home or grab something on their way to work.
Always check the DoorDash app to see when is DoorDash busy in my area during the morning.
Are there other apps like DoorDash?
Yes, there are many delivery apps to choose from:
- Uber Eats: It’s like DoorDash but is part of Uber. They pay fast and you can even make $1k a week with Uber Eats.
- Postmates: You can deliver all sorts of things, not just food. People like it and give good tips.
- Grubhub: It’s one of the oldest food delivery apps in the US. They have lots of restaurants, pay every week, and give tips.
- Instacart: You shop and deliver groceries with Instacart. They pay weekly and offer tips.
All these apps have good and bad things. Research them to see what’s best for you.
You can even multi-app to get the best of all and never get downtime. Multi-apping has a learning cover, but if you can master it, you can make much more money per hour by cherry-picking the orders.
Extra Reading: Apps That Pay You To Drive.
How Much Can You Earn?
How much you earn on DoorDash varies on many things.
- Number of orders
- Distance traveled
- Best times to DoorDash
- Tips from customers
Dashers get a base pay for each order, between $2 to $10. This amount depends on time, distance, and order popularity.
Plus all the tips Dashers get are theirs to keep. Generally, tips make major portion of Dasher’s earnings. Most Dashers making $1k a week or more report getting more than 50% of that in tips.
How to Start Dashing?
If you are ready to join, Here’s how:
- Go to the DoorDash sign-up page.
- Enter your details: name, email, phone, and password.
- Share your vehicle, insurance, and driver’s license info.
- Accept a background check. It’s about driving and past records.
- They’ll send you a free kit. It has a bag, a red card (for order payments), and a guide.
- Get through the orientation to learn the basics.
- Activate your red card and connect it with your Dasher account.
- Start Dashing. Remember to check the best days and times to DoorDash in my area to maximize earnings!
Now, you’re ready. During the busiest DoorDash times or whenever suits you, start earning.
Sumeet is a Certified Financial Education Instructor℠ (CFEI®) and founder of MoneyFromSideHustle. He is an experienced side hustler who replaced his full-time income with side hustles. His work has been quoted on major finance websites like CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, GOBankingRates, MSN, Nasdaq, AOL, and more. He has helped thousands of people find side hustles and is here to help you find your extra source of income. More about him.