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DoorDash is testing a new order payout for Dashers that offers guaranteed hourly pay while you’re on a delivery.
It’s called Earn by Time, and it’s slowly coming to more and more cities.
Here’s what an offer looks like under the new hourly system:
“Earn at least $15.75/hr in DoorDash pay, from when you accept an order to when you drop it off. Customer tips are additional.”
A guaranteed hourly minimum might seem like a great deal if it’s more than what you typically make, but there is fine print to consider.
The hourly payout only counts toward active time on a delivery, so you won’t get paid when you’re waiting for orders.
And the other catch is that your dash will end if you decline too many orders.
This is still a relatively new feature on DoorDash, so expect the precise details to change as time goes on.
Read on to learn how earn by time works and see reactions from Dashers who have seen hourly offers in their cities.
Time Earnings Mode aka Earn by Time
In some markets, Earn by time is an option that you can choose before you start your dash. When you go online for a dash, you will see two options: “Earn per order” and “Earn by time.”
When you earn by time, you will get a guaranteed hourly pay for active time on delivery.
If your base pay earnings don’t match the hourly guarantee, DoorDash will add a bonus to match the minimum.
Only your ‘active’ time on delivery counts toward the hourly minimum. Active time starts when you accept an order and ends when you drop it off.
You can only decline one or two orders per hour or your ‘earn by time’ dash will end. You can restart your dash, but only if Dash Now is available.
Peak pay is not available when you earn by time, but other promotions and challenges are still applicable.
Another potential drawback is that you don’t get upfront earnings info when you earn by time. That means that you can’t filter out the lowest paying orders.
A second system in some markets is a more flexible option that sends you by-the-hour orders mixed in with regular requests.
So instead of earning by time for your entire Dash, you can do an order that pays by the hour followed by a regular order from another restaurant.
Example of an earn by time delivery
In the delivery payout above, a dasher was in time earnings mode for $10 per hour. They did a stacked order with 2 deliveries that took 31 minutes from the time of acceptance until drop-off.
Base pay from DoorDash was $5.33 and neither order had a tip. $5.33 for 31 minutes works out to more than $10 per hour, so DoorDash did not have to send any supplemental earnings to match the minimum guarantee.
Most dashers will agree that 30 minutes of delivering for only $5.33 is not a great delivery. By earning per order, you could wait for much better orders.
How DoorDash counts active hours
When you accept an order that pays per hour, the fine print says that you’ll earn the hourly amount from when you accept an order to when you drop it off. DoorDash calls those ‘active’ hours.
That means you don’t get paid on the return trip, and you don’t get paid while you wait for the next order.
Example of the active time calculation: The offer is $15 per active hour. If a delivery takes 30 minutes from acceptance to drop-off, DoorDash will pay you $7.50. If you don’t get another order in the next 30 minutes, your total hourly pay will be $7.50 (not including tips).
Why is DoorDash testing hourly pay?
DoorDash wants Dashers to accept more orders!
Under the existing system that pays per delivery and displays tips upfront, Dashers can easily skip the lowest-paying orders while they wait for better ones.
That can lead to longer wait times for customers and restaurant shelves filled with undelivered food.
DoorDash is betting that if you can score a high guaranteed hourly pay, you’ll be happy to accept back-to-back orders. No more cherry picking and no more completed orders sitting around without anyone to deliver them.
Hourly pay may also help prevent dashers from unassigning orders at restaurants with long wait times. Many dashers unassign if the wait time is longer than 5 or 10 minutes.
But if you’re getting paid an hourly rate, you might not mind sitting around for 10 or 15 minutes while the order is prepared.
Is earn by time worth it?
It goes without saying that hourly pay offers are not worth it if you regularly earn more than the offer.
But earn by time can be worth it if the guaranteed hourly rate is as much or more than you usually get.
Are you making $20 per hour by skipping out on no-tip orders and only picking up from restaurants that you like? Of course an offer for $10 per hour won’t seem that great to you.
Sure, you could still end up with $20 per hour after adding tips, but the hourly system doesn’t show you tips in advance. What if you have an hour of no-tip orders and only get the $10 hourly pay?
Hourly pay might also change the way you handle restaurants that have long wait times. If the hourly pay is high enough, you might consider taking orders at slower restaurants again.
“I find it typically pays well, as you still get the tip on top”
“I can earn way more than the minimum”
“I would pass by default”
“If you sit in your car for 30 minutes before getting an order, you’re not getting paid”
“This is to trick people who don’t pay attention to the fine print”
“The only way this would be worth it is if they paid you for the time in-between orders on top of drive time”
More reading for Dashers
- How much Dashers actually make: Real data
- DoorDash requirements: How to get started
- Is it worth it to be Top Dasher?
Doordash is definitely stealing yalls tips ,im not doing dash by hour unless they offering $20 an hour. Doesn’t anyone find it weird that customers usually tip pretty often depending on the customer you get. Your at least bound to run in to a tipping customer very frequently. But once you get on dash by hour ,nobody tipping all of a sudden.
I’ve been doing by the hour all week. Today was the only day my miles matched my dollar amount. Every other day I was doubling my dollars per mile. It could be worth it depending on where you’re working…
Tested it today. Hit dinner really cruddy orders with low/no tips. Also in my area is only for 8/hr
Maria Angelopoulos says
I was going to say the same thing my area is only $8 definitely not worth it.
I did the earn by hour for the first time yesterday and never again. I ran all around town for 5 deliveries and made $12 the customers left no tip and I wasn’t able to know my pay out before hand NOT WORTH IT. I then switched back to pay by order and made $34 on 3 orders.
Since pay by time came into force, all good deliveries just disapired, no extra pays, I forgot when I delivered for Chocolate Factory, Chili’s, or other good restoraunt. And I am a top dasher, have more than 80% acceptance rate. Tried per by time got only 10 miles deliveres.
adam smith says
It’s just another way for DoorDash and the other companies to take advantage of ignorant drivers. This is going to wind up meaning a LOT more miles for drivers who think they’re doing great, when in reality they’ll bank half or less per mile than the old way.
The BEST way to do these jobs if you really want to make bank is to multi-app. It can be confusing at first, but you really need to run multiple apps. You can use an older cell phone with your wifi hotspot to run the UberEats app so you don’t accidentally accept orders switching screens or just touching the phone. I recommend using DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, Shipt, UberEats, Uber, and Lyft at the same time. It only takes a minute to pause or turn off the others when you get a request.