Make Money

7 Best Food Delivery Jobs & Apps for Making Money Fast

Best Food Delivery Apps
Some of the links on our website are sponsored, and we may earn money when you make a purchase or sign-up after clicking. Learn more about how we make money.

If you’re looking for part-time work that you can do on your own schedule, working as a freelance food delivery driver 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.

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 earning potential, demand and flexibility.  

#1. Uber Eats

Quick summary: Uber Eats is a restaurant food delivery app that enables independent drivers to work on their own schedule and get paid the same day. With over 100 million active customers per month, it’s one of the largest on-demand delivery platforms.

Best for: We think Uber Eats is the best option for most people who are looking for a food delivery job. It has a huge customer base, is available in more than 900 cities and towns, and it offers some of the best pay rates available. 

Requirements: Uber Eats drivers must…

  • Be at least the minimum age required to drive in your city (to deliver by car); be at least 18 years old to deliver by bike or on foot; or be at least 19 years old to deliver by scooter/moped.
  • Have a delivery vehicle that meets the company’s requirements.
  • Provide a Social Security number for a background check.
  • Have valid car insurance.

Deliver by: Car, scooter/moped (50cc minimum), bike or foot. (Foot delivery is available in select cities.)

How and when you’re paid: Uber Eats partners are paid via direct deposit and can cash out through a linked debit card as many as five times per day after signing up for Instant Pay, making this one of the best same day pay jobs.

Pro tip! If you’re already working as a gig economy driver, you can increase your earnings by getting paid to advertise on your car. You’ll earn more the more you drive, and companies specifically look for couriers to work with. (Uber even has its own car-top advertising program in select markets.)

#2. DoorDash

Quick summary: DoorDash is exclusively a restaurant food delivery service. As with Uber Eats, 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 thousands of cities across the United States, Canada and other countries.

Best for: Unlike with Uber Eats — which allows you to work whenever 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. (There is an on-demand work option called Dash Now, but it’s only available during peak hours.)

Requirements: To work as a DoorDash driver you must…

  • Be at least 18-years-old.
  • Have an iPhone or Android smartphone.
  • Have a valid driver’s license with at least one year of driving experience.
  • Have a delivery vehicle that meets the company’s requirements.
  • Have valid car insurance.
  • Pass a background check.

Deliver by: Car or motorcycle/scooter.

How and when you’re paid: As a DoorDash driver, you can see how much a delivery is worth before accepting it. Just like with Uber Eats, customers can tip through the app and Dashers keep 100% of their tips. Payment is made once a week via direct deposit, and there’s an instant pay option for a small fee.

Learn more in our DoorDash delivery driver review.

#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 an Instacart shopper and driver, you can make your own schedule. Note that if you opt for the shopping-only role, you have to schedule shifts in advance.

Requirements: To work as an Instacart shopper you must…

  • Be at least 18 or 21-year-old, depending on the state.
  • Have access to a reliable vehicle (if operating as both a shopper and a delivery person).
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have an iPhone running at least iOS 9 or an Android device running 5.0 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 payout for each delivery request. 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 delivery company that’s very 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 in certain markets 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: To work as an independent contractor with GrubHub you 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 delivery 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, but there’s also an instant cash-out option available for a small fee.

#5. Shipt

Quick summary: Shipt is a delivery job that is very similar to Instacart. As a Shipt shopper, you have the option to shop for groceries, deliver them, or do both. Orders come through on the app, and you can see how big the order is, the store you’ll shop or pick up from, and 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: To work as a Shipt shopper, you 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 shoppers are paid once a week via direct deposit, and there’s an instant payout option available for a nominal fee. The platform (which is owned by Target) offers competitive pay with average rates of between $15 and $20 per hour. The company also says that shoppers who have completed at least 100 deliveries earn up to $24 per delivery request.

#6. Saucey

Quick summary: Saucey is a service that delivers alcohol, snacks and tobacco products. Currently, the service is only available in about four dozen large cities across the United States.

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 50 cents per item in the order. Drivers keep 100% of their tips.

Editor’s note: The Saucey courier application is not always available, so you may need to check back from time to time if you’re interested in this particular delivery driver job.

#7. Favor Delivery

Quick summary: Favor is a delivery company that focuses on partnering with local restaurants and other businesses in Texas. While that means it’s only available in select cities, it offers competitive pay if you happen to live in one of the dozens of communities it services.

Best for: People looking for delivery app jobs in Texas, who would rather work for a small company as opposed to a mega corporation.

Requirements: Favor Delivery drivers must…

  • Be at least 18-years-old.
  • Have a clean driving record.
  • Have an iPhone or Android device that can run the company’s app.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have valid auto insurance.

Deliver by: Car or motorcycle/scooter.

How and when you’re paid: Favor drivers earn a portion of each delivery fee plus 100% of any customer tip. Payments are automatically issued five times per week.

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 any customer tip. Payment is made twice a week via direct deposit.

Learn more in our Amazon Flex review.

#2. Dolly

Quick summary: Dolly is a gig worker delivery 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.

How to Tell Which Gig Worker 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’re a person who works a traditional 9-5 job and has 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, Dolly 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.

Food Delivery App Jobs FAQ

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about working for food delivery services. If you have questions about delivery apps in general, or about a particular platform, let us know in the comment section; we’ll research and add the information to this FAQ.

Which food delivery app pays the most?

There is no simple answer to this question, because pay rates depend on factors like your location, demand for deliveries at a given moment, and the number of couriers working in a particular area. For these reasons, food delivery apps typically use a dynamic payout system in which you’ll make more per-delivery when demand is high and less when demand is low.

With the said, our research suggests that Uber Eats offers the best overall pay rates — in large part because the app aggressively encourages customers to tip.

Do you pay for your own gas when working for a food delivery service?

Yes, and it’s important to factor this into your equation when calculating your earnings. As an independent contractor, you don’t work for the company and you’re in turn responsible for all related expenses, including fuel and insurance. If you decide to try this side hustle, using an app like Upside to get cash-back on your gas purchases, and/or a credit card that offers cash-back or point bonuses at gas stations, can help you reduce this expense and keep more of your earnings.

Can you make a living working for a food delivery service?

It’s realistically possible to earn between $15 and $25 per hour as a courier. Whether that’s enough to live off of depends on your needs and financial situation.

However, you should be aware the demand for deliveries and the supply of couriers fluctuates regularly, which means your earnings can be inconsistent.

Additionally, while these jobs pay a solid per-hour rate for the work involved, there’s limited upside — your earnings will not increase over time, and there’s no opportunity for promotion.

Finally, these jobs do not provide benefits.

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, generating extra money without losing sight of your other goals — whether that’s your primary job, school, your family, or whatever else is important for your future.

Financial Tips and Deals Every Friday

Join over 10,000 subscribers and stay ahead with personal finance insights, the best deals, and the best money-making opportunities every Friday.

R.J. Weiss
R.J. Weiss, founder of The Ways To Wealth, has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 2010. Holding a B.A. in finance and having completed the CFP® certification curriculum at The American College, R.J. combines formal education with a deep commitment to providing unbiased financial insights. Recognized as a trusted authority in the financial realm, his expertise is highlighted in major publications like Business Insider, New York Times, and Forbes.

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Read our comment policy.