The rise of delivery apps confirms that the “gig economy” is real, and anyone can get involved. You now can pick up hours here and there, using just a bike or car to earn money on your terms and schedule.
But now, with so many delivery apps to choose from, you must weigh your options before jumping in. Every app has unique pros, cons, and perks, and research is critical.
We’ve put in the legwork at Steady to bring together all the available apps in one place to streamline and simplify the process of finding the right ones for your situation. This article outlines all the top delivery apps so you can see what’s out there and start earning that extra income today.
Food delivery was a reliable side gig long before there was an “app for everything.” Now, it’s easier than ever to earn, thanks to apps that get you working immediately.
Here are the food delivery apps that give you the best returns on your time and effort.
Uber became a household name with its rideshare service but has since carved out its place in the food delivery space. After a successful launch in 2014, the app is now a mainstream, reliable side hustle for anyone willing to do the work.
The app is available in nearly every city and town, offering a great entry point for side income, provided you have a vehicle that meets the standards.
Pros of UberEats:
Cons of UberEats:
To drive for UberEats by car, you must be at least 19 years old and have a reliable 2-door or 4-door car. You must also have a valid driver’s license and be ready to submit your social security number to pass a background screening before driving.
Delivery by scooter is similar if you have a motorized scooter under 50cc. Just to be sure, sign up for the scooter delivery transportation method when creating your account.
You can also choose to deliver by bicycle or foot if you’re at least 18 years old and have a government-issued ID. This is a great way to save on gas and make quick cash.
UberEats Earning Potential:
UberEats drivers can earn between $14 and $18 per hour in net pay depending on the time, place, and other variables. This means factoring in expenses like gas, maintenance, and other costs.
However, if you take advantage of peak hours and tap into the Uber surge pricing on nights and weekends, that hourly rate can rise well over $20 an hour, plus an increased likelihood of tips. As always, better service and speed equal more pay, no matter what delivery app you choose.
As a direct competitor to UberEats, you’ll see many familiar features and limitations in the GrubHub app. This service was built specifically for food delivery in 2004, not as an add-on to an already successful rideshare app.
GrubHub is available nearly everywhere and is a great way to learn the ropes of food delivery while bringing in extra cash on the go.
Pros of Grubhub:
Cons of Grubhub:
Grubhub is known for its simple and quick sign-up process, requiring only a car, valid ID, and background check. You need to be at least 19 years old to start, and no special training is required.
Grubhub might be one of the faster ways to make money in your city, but the average earning potential is on the lower side, at $12 to $15 an hour.
You can set yourself up for success by tracking your earnings more accurately and determining when - and where - to earn more based on key factors.
Everyone knows about DoorDash, as it currently dominates the online food ordering market with a share of nearly 60%. Let’s see how the features and functions stack up against its competitors and what that means for you as a driver in search of extra cash.
Pros of DoorDash:
Cons of DoorDash:
Dashers need to undergo a more stringent background check to sign up for deliveries and require at least one year of driving experience. This may limit certain drivers who have limited experience or a series of traffic violations.
Apart from that, the sign-up process is relatively quick and straightforward for DoorDash.
DoorDash has a broad range of earning potential based on cities, timing, and incentives. Low-end earners may see an average of $13 an hour, while the top earners can make upwards of $22.
To maximize your earnings on DoorDash, commit to excellent service and stay consistent.
Deliveries aren’t always about the food! Packages and other necessities must be delivered on time, offering more opportunities for you to make money as a driver. Here are the top apps to consider as you expand your horizons.
The online superstore Amazon has paved the way for flexible, gig-based employment that can earn you money delivering packages around your city. This app has features and payouts that are worth a closer look.
Pros of Amazon Flex:
Cons of Amazon Flex:
Amazon Flex Requirements:
You must be 21 or older to sign up for Amazon Flex and have a car that meets the service’s specifications. That means a mid-sized sedan, SUV, or closed-bed truck that can store plenty of packages safely at one time.
You also need to pass a background check and get familiar with the application flow, which is a bit different from basic food delivery services.
Amazon FlexEarning Potential:
The upside of Amazon Flex is the higher earning potential, especially as you master the art of pickups, deliveries, and maximizing your time on the road. Beginners can earn $15 an hour out of the gate, while high-end earners can see more than $25 an hour.
This app is famous for delivering everything, including important documents, dry cleaning, and more. Postmates is a unique service and requires a particular type of person to rise to the task.
Pros of Postmates:
Cons of Postmates:
Postmates isn’t too demanding with its sign-up requirements, allowing nearly anyone over 18 to get started. Be ready to show a valid driver’s license and insurance if you plan to drive.
Postmates Earning Potential:
Of all the apps on this list, Postmates is the most unpredictable in terms of payment. If you’re driving in a larger city like LA or Chicago, you’re unlikely to earn more than $15 an hour when you run the numbers.
However, those who are aggressive on a bike can use this as a courier service and make some decent income in certain cities with bustling financial hubs.
In recent years, grocery delivery apps have become hugely popular for users and participants in the gig economy. Here are the apps worth looking at and what they offer.
This app partners with local grocery stores to get custom orders from the store to the door in a short timeframe. As a delivery driver, you can accept orders, pick up the items in-store, then bring them to customers to earn money.
Pros of Instacart:
Cons of Instacart:
You’ll need to be over 18, pass a criminal background check, have a clean driving record, and be able to lift more than 50 pounds without help to work for Instacart.
Instacart Earning Potential:
Based on your city and how you choose to work, you can earn anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour with Instacart. As you gain experience and improve your service, that number can increase further.
If your city has a goPuff hub, add it to your list of options for side income. The service isn’t as well known, but it can offer a more streamlined and efficient user experience with good pay.
Pros of goPuff:
Cons of goPuff:
You must be 21 or over to drive for goPuff, and spots aren’t always guaranteed. Depending on your goals, you may have to wait longer to become part of the team, but it may be worth it.
goPuff Earning Potential:
Beginner drivers will earn between $12 and $15 an hour, with the potential to rise the ranks and earn more.
The big takeaway from this article is that many variables will determine how much you earn on a given app.
It comes down to time, place, traffic, weather, promotions, and even the customer's mood, so there’s no telling which app is definitively better for side income.
To maximize your earning potential, we suggest using Steady to discover opportunities in your area and make the most of each hour. You can also earn cash rewards through Income Boosters to get you started and try out various apps.
From there, try running several apps concurrently and learn the patterns in your city to create the best schedule and increase payouts. After a few months of experimentation and effort, you’ll find that you can earn far more than the average driver - it just takes strategy.
Ready to start your journey as a delivery driver and start making some extra money? Load up Steady and use the app as your home base to pick and choose the best delivery gigs in your area.
Steady will help you keep your income sources organized, track your progress, and set income goals, so you can determine the best course of action each week.
That’s how you get ahead in the game of modern delivery apps and earn some real money in the meantime.