If you’re looking for part-time work that you can do on your own schedule, working as a freelance delivery person can be a great option. The pay can be quite good (typically coming in around $15 to $20 per hour with tips), and in most cases you can work as little or as much as you want.

With some of the apps below, you’ll pick up takeout food from local restaurants and deliver it to customers at their home or office, or sometimes even to a park or other public space. In other cases, you’ll pick up non-food items from local businesses and private sellers.

While demand tends to be highest in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco, many of the apps below also work in smaller towns. If you find there’s not as much demand as you’re looking for on one app, keep in mind that nothing’s stopping you from logging in to two or more at the same time to try and maximize your earnings.

Here are the best food delivery jobs and apps, ranked according to our view of their earning potential, demand and flexibility.  

#1 — Postmates

Quick summary: Postmates is one of the most prolific delivery apps. It’s available in 400 cities across all 50 states. Postmates couriers deliver everything from restaurant meals to groceries to dry cleaning and even alcohol. The company promises customers that deliveries will be made in one hour or less.

Best for: Food delivery jobs are best for those who are available during lunch and dinner hours, so they don’t work for everyone’s schedule. But Postmates delivers a variety of items, so drivers have the chance to stay busy during non-peak periods.

Requirements: Postmates couriers must…

  • Be at least 18-years-old.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Pass a background check.

Deliver by: Car, motorcycle/scooter or bike. You can also deliver by foot in certain areas.

How and when you’re paid: Postmates drivers earn a fee for picking up an order, dropping it off, the time it takes to collect the delivery, and a per-mile payout for the distance between the pickup and dropoff locations. Customers can tip through the app, and drivers keep 100% of their tips. Drivers are paid once a week via direct deposit, but also have the option to withdraw their earnings instantly for a small fee.

#2 — DoorDash

Quick summary: DoorDash is exclusively a restaurant food delivery service. As with Postmates, customers aren’t limited to receiving deliveries at their homes or offices as the service will deliver to places like parks and athletic fields. DoorDash operates in several dozen cities across the United States, as well as a few in Canada.

Best for: Unlike with Postmates — which allows you to work whenever you want, however much you want — DoorDash requires drivers to schedule shifts up to six days in advance, and then to stay online for a certain period of time. As such, it works best for those who know their schedules ahead of time.

Requirements: DoorDashers must…

  • Be at least 18-years-old.
  • Own an iPhone or Android smartphone.
  • Have a valid driver’s license with at least one year of driving experience.
  • Have valid auto insurance.
  • Pass a background check.

Deliver by: Car or motorcycle/scooter.

How and when you’re paid: DoorDashers can see how much a delivery is worth before accepting it. As with Postmates, customers can tip through the app and Dashers keep 100% of their tips. Payment is made once a week via direct deposit.

#3 — Instacart

Quick summary: Instacart is a grocery delivery service. Those who work for the service have the option to shop for the items on a customer’s shopping list and make the delivery, or simply shop for the items. The service is available in hundreds of cities throughout the U.S., as well as some Canadian cities.

Best for: Those who need a gig economy job that’s flexible, as Instacart workers can make their own schedules.

Requirements: Instacart workers must…

  • Be at least 18 or 21-year-old, depending on the state.
  • Have access to a reliable vehicle (if conducting deliveries).
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have an iPhone 5.0 or Android 4.4 or newer.
  • Be capable of lifting at least 30 pounds.

Deliver by: Car, motorcycle/scooter or bike.

How and when you’re paid: The amount Instacart shoppers earn depends on a number of factors, including the size of the order, the effort involved in buying and delivering it, and the driving distance. Instacart will show you an estimated earning for each order. Shoppers keep 100% of their tips. Instacart allows shoppers to cash out whenever they want, making it a great option when you need money fast.

#4 — GrubHub

Quick summary: GrubHub is a restaurant food delivery service similar to DoorDash. GrubHub merged with Seamless a few years ago. Because Seamless had a bigger reach and more name recognition, GrubHub kept the name but the two services are virtually identical and available in hundreds of cities.

Best for: Those who want to be busy! GrubHub is among the best delivery app jobs because of the high volume of orders. GrubHub drivers also make Seamless deliveries, so it’s like working for two apps rather than one.

Requirements: GrubHub drivers must…

  • Be at least 19-years-old.
  • Own an iPhone or Android smartphone.
  • Have a valid driver’s license with at least two years of driving experience.
  • Have valid auto insurance.
  • Pass a background check.

Deliver by: Car, motorcycle or bike.

How and when you’re paid: GrubHub drivers make a per-delivery commission and a set per-mile fee. They keep 100% of their tips. Payment is issued once a week via direct deposit.

#5 — Caviar

Quick summary: Caviar is a restaurant food delivery service. The company was recently acquired by DoorDash, so it remains to be seen if Caviar will continue in its current form or be absorbed by its new owner. The service is currently available in more than two dozen cities.

Best for: Those who don’t like surprises. Caviar shows you exactly how much each delivery will earn you, as well as the pickup and dropoff locations.

Requirements: Caviar drivers must…

  • Be at least 18-years-old.
  • Have a valid driver’s license with at least two years of driving experience.
  • Have valid auto insurance.
  • Be able to apply online and attend an orientation session.
  • Pass a background check.

Deliver by: Car, motorcycle/scooter or bike.

How and when you’re paid: Caviar’s pay structure is based on distance, time and the size of the order. Drivers keep 100% of their tips and are paid once a week via direct deposit.

#6 — Shipt

Quick summary: Shipt is a grocery shopping and delivery service similar to Instacart. Shipt workers can choose to shop for groceries, deliver them, or do both. Orders come through on the app, and you can see (1) how big the order is, (2) the store you’ll shop or pick up from, and (3) the delivery address. Shipt is available in hundreds of cities throughout most states.

Best for: Those who are good at multitasking, as Shipt allows you to shop for multiple orders at once.

Requirements: Shipt shoppers must…

  • Be at least 18-years-old.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have valid auto insurance.
  • Own a vehicle made in 1997 or later.
  • Be able to lift 40 pounds.
  • Pass a background check.

Deliver by: Automobiles only.

How and when you’re paid: Shipt pays on commission. Shoppers earn $5 plus 7.5% of the amount of the order, and keep 100% of their tips. Shoppers are paid once a week via direct deposit.

#7 — UberEats

Quick summary: UberEats is a restaurant food delivery service that’s available across the U.S. and in several other countries.

Best for: Those who live in small towns. Ride-sharing service Uber is often not available in small rural areas, but UberEats covers more locales.

Requirements: UberEats drivers must…

  • Be at least 19-years-old with one year of driving experience.
  • Have a vehicle from 1996 or later.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have valid auto insurance.

Deliver by: Car, motorcycle/scooter (50cc minimum), or bike.

How and when you’re paid: UberEats drivers are paid via direct deposit and can cash out through a linked debit card as many as five times per week after signing up for Instant Pay.

#8 — Saucey

Quick summary: Saucey is a service that delivers alcohol, snacks and tobacco products. Currently, the service is only available in large cities (and primarily in California).

Best for: Those in participating cities that are already saturated with drivers for other delivery services.

Requirements: Saucey drivers must…

  • Be at least 21-years-old.
  • Have a clean driving record with no DUIs for at least five years.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have valid auto insurance.

Deliver by: Car or motorcycle/scooter.

How and when you’re paid: Saucey drivers earn a set amount for each order (which varies by city), and $0.50 per item in the order. Drivers keep 100% of their tips.

Non-Food Delivery Apps

You can also earn money by delivering non-food items. Here are a few legit options.

#1 — AmazonFlex

Quick summary: AmazonFlex drivers deliver Amazon packages, Amazon Fresh orders, and Whole Foods grocery orders. The service is available in more than 50 cities across the U.S.

Best for: Those whose vehicles don’t conform to a ride-sharing service’s requirements (such as those with a cargo van).

Requirements: AmazonFlex drivers must…

  • Be at least 21-years-old.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have valid auto insurance.
  • Own a qualifying vehicle.

Deliver by: Automobiles only (bikes are allowed in select locations).

How and when you’re paid: Amazon Flex earnings vary according to a number of factors, including the delivery area, demand, and whether or not the delivery is eligible for tipping. Drivers keep 100% of their tips. Payment is made twice a week via direct deposit.

#2 — Dolly

Quick summary: Dolly is a service that offers moving, delivery, and heavy lifting help. Dolly workers can choose to work as “Helpers,” which are people with a vehicle who can move or haul things and are willing to lift heavy objects, or as “Hands,” who do the same but without a vehicle. The app is available in nearly three dozen cities.

Best for: Those who have a good bit of strength. Both Helpers and Hands must be able to lift at least 75 pounds.

Requirements: Dolly Helpers and Hands must…

  • Be at least 21-years-old or older (Helpers).
  • Be at least 18-years-old or older (Hands).
  • Helpers must have a pickup truck, cargo van, box truck or vehicle with a trailer that is from 2000 or later.
  • Be capable of lifting 75 pounds.

Deliver by:  A pickup truck, cargo van, box truck or vehicle with a trailer.

How and when you’re paid: Customers post how much they’ll pay for their job, and Dolly workers can accept or reject it. The client pays through Dolly. Each week, the funds (minus Dolly’s cut of 15-20%) are deposited in your PayPal account. You keep 100% of your tips.

#3 — Burro

Quick summary: Burro offers one hour delivery for a variety of items, including those purchased from sites like Craigslist and Nextdoor, furniture stores, and hardware stores. Like Dolly, those without a vehicle can work as helpers.

Best for: Those available on short notice, as the Burro app is an on-demand delivery service.

Requirements: Burro drivers must…

  • Be 21 years of age or older.
  • Be able to lift 100 pounds.
  • Pass a DMV and criminal background check.
  • Have a full-sized truck with a bed at least nine feet long and 48 inches wide between the wheel wells.

Deliver by: Full-sized pickup truck.

How and when you’re paid: Burro states that drivers will make at least $40 per job. Customers pay through the app, and funds are transferred to the driver or helper. You keep 100% of your tips. Because most jobs are small, requiring only the delivery of one or two items, drivers can conceivably make $200 a day during a busy period.

How to Tell Which Food Delivery App Is Right For You

There are so many delivery apps now that you may not have even heard of some of those on this list. It can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide which one will be the best fit for you. The good thing is that these are all no-experience jobs, so as long as you meet the specified requirements, it’s easy to land one of these side hustle gigs.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • What’s closest to you? Do you live closer to the city’s best restaurants, or to large grocery stores?
  • If you work a traditional 9-5 job and have little time during the week, your best fit might be shopping for groceries, as demand spikes on the weekends.
  • If you live in a college town where not everyone has a car or kitchen, one of the restaurant delivery services will keep you busy.
  • If you live in an urban area where many people don’t drive, Burro could be a great fit as few residents have a truck to pick up the stuff they buy on Craigslist and other sites.
  • The restaurant delivery gigs are a great job for introverts because contact with the restaurant and customer is minimal.

Best Food Delivery Service to Work For: Final Thoughts 

Not that long ago, working as a food delivery driver usually meant applying for a part-time job as a regular employee of a single restaurant. The hours were limited, the pay wasn’t great, and your boss made your schedule.

Today, things couldn’t be more different. If you have a vehicle — whether it’s a car, an electric scooter or a bicycle — you can earn extra money and make your own hours working part-time or full-time as an independent contractor.

Having such a flexible schedule is a major benefit of this type of work. While you can earn solid hourly rates with the options on this list, chances are your goal is not to make a career out of delivery. That’s also been one of the major downsides of a delivery side gig: your schedule was at the mercy of your employer.

Being able to work when you want, and as little or as much as you need, gives you the ability to boost your income without losing sight of your other goals — whether that’s your primary job, school, your family, or whatever else is important for your future.