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DoorDash uses a scheduling system to maintain the right balance of Dashers. But if you can’t get on the schedule or Dash Now, you can’t earn!
It’s a major setback when you can’t get schedule as many hours as you want, but there are a few things you can do to ensure you get on the schedule.
In this article, learn all the ways to get more hours for DoorDash delivery shifts and how to give yourself the best chance of scheduling the best hours.
The best way to get more hours is by unlocking Early Access Scheduling or Top Dasher.
Early Access Scheduling gives you priority access to shift blocks, and Top Dasher allows you to Dash whenever you want.
Deliver for DoorDash! Apply to become a dasher here
How to get more DoorDash hours
The best ways to get more hours for DoorDash:
- Get Early Access Scheduling and claim hours as soon as they are released—3 pm local time
- Without Early Access, check for hours at midnight
- Use the Dash Now feature when it’s busy (zones marked red on the map)
- Schedule longer blocks of hours. There is no penalty for ending your dash early
What time does the DoorDash schedule open?
New hours become available on DoorDash at 12 am, midnight. Dashers with Early Access can view and schedule new hours at 3 pm each day.
How to schedule and edit DoorDash shifts
It’s theoretically easy to schedule DoorDash shifts: In the Dasher app, visit the Schedule page and tap the day you’d like to schedule.
Find the market location where you’d like to work and tap on an available time slot. Set your preferred start and end times, then tap Save Dash.
To edit a scheduled shift, visit the Schedule area of the Dasher app and select the “Scheduled” option beneath the days of the week.
Scroll to find the shift you’d like to edit or delete, then tap it and make your changes
Shifts can be in high demand! If you live in a busy market saturated with Dashers, you will likely find that the ‘good’ hours, the lunch rush and dinner rush, aren’t always available.
“No time slots available for this day”
Sometimes when you look at the schedule, a message will say, “No time slots available for this day.”
That can mean two things: No hours are available, or there’s an error.
Check other days of the week to see if it’s an error. If no hours are available on any day of the week, it’s likely an error. Check to see if DoorDash is down.
More helpful reading on DoorDash
- DoorDash Driver Requirements: Do You Qualify?
- Are DashMart Orders Worth it for Dashers?
- Deactivated by DoorDash? How to Get Reactivated
- Real Data: How Much DoorDash Drivers Make
- Examples of Dasher Pay: Big and Small Payouts
- Become a Dasher: Click here to apply
Early Access scheduling: Get first choice on DoorDash shifts
A DoorDash feature called Early Access Scheduling allows dashers to schedule hours up to 6 days in advance. New hours are released at 3 PM every day.
By default, Dashers can see the Dasher schedule only 5 days in advance, so Early Access Scheduling can give you a one-day advantage over dashers who don’t have Early Access.
For example, if you don’t have Early Access Scheduling and it’s Sunday, you can schedule hours for the following Friday (5 days away).
If you have Early Access Scheduling and it’s Sunday, you can schedule hours for the following Saturday (6 days away).
How to qualify for DoorDash Early Access Scheduling
There are two ways to qualify for Early Access Scheduling:
- Complete at least 5 deliveries in the past 7 days
- Or complete at least 500 lifetime deliveries
- You must also maintain a customer rating of at least 4.6 and a completion rate of at least 95%
DoorDash refreshes Early Access qualification every Friday.
If you haven’t completed 500 total deliveries, you can lose Early Access privileges if you didn’t complete 5 deliveries in the past week.
Some markets have different Early Access qualifications. Check help.doordash.com for more info.
Early Access shifts are released at 3 pm each day
The #1 way to schedule the highest number of good hours is to check for new shift listings each day at 3 pm. There is generally a mad rush to grab shifts, so the closer to 3 pm you check, the better your chances.
If you don’t have Early Access, new shifts appear at midnight each day
Early Access Dashers get first dibs on new shifts. Everyone else can fight for the leftovers at midnight each day. Checking your hours at midnight is the second best way to get hours.
Is there an acceptance rating requirement for Early Access?
There isn’t currently an acceptance rating requirement to qualify for Early Access. You don’t need a minimum acceptance rate to get Early Access, so feel free to decline as many orders as you want.
Early Access not working? What you can do
Occasionally, you won’t be able to access Early Access shifts even though you qualify. If that’s the case, you must contact DoorDash to ask for assistance.
Typically the reason is that you missed the cutoff or an app bug/error is causing more significant issues with the scheduling system for all Dashers.
Dash Now: How to dash without scheduled hours
Most DoorDash markets have a system that allows Dashers to schedule hours or drop in without a schedule when order volume is high enough.
The ‘Dash Now’ option allows you to go online without a schedule.
On the DoorDash Dasher app home screen, busy markets are outlined in red, and less busy markets are outlined in grey. When a market is outlined in red and labeled as ‘busy’ or ‘very busy,’ you can choose the “Dash Now” option.
The ability to use Dash Now is dynamic and changing constantly, so you can’t always rely on Dash Now to get lots of hours.
You might see that a market is busy and accepting Dash Now drivers, only to arrive there 20 minutes later to find that you can no longer hop in.
Dash Upon Arrival
It’s frustrating when you drive to a Dash Now zone only to find that it turned grey during the drive over.
DoorDash launched an option called Dash Upon Arrival that lets you check into a Dash Now zone before you arrive.
You can tap on a red zone you’re not currently in and select Dash Upon Arrival. When you arrive, you can deliver even if the zone has turned grey on the map.
It’s a great way to guarantee that you won’t waste time and miles driving to a red zone only to get blocked from dashing if it turns grey.
Dash Upon Arrival may not appear if:
- You are further than 30 minutes or 15 miles from the zone
- If too many others have selected the option
- You have an upcoming scheduled Dash
Top Dasher: Dash whenever you want
Some markets offer “Top Dasher,” a program that allows you to Dash whenever you want, without a schedule.
The catch is that you must keep your acceptance rating above 70%, which means accepting low-paying orders. You must also maintain a 4.7 customer rating and a 95% completion rate.
Many Dashers find that Early Access scheduling is a great way to get plenty of hours without accepting so many low-paying orders, so you might find that Top Dasher isn’t worth it.
Scheduling rules and strategies for more hours
Early Access shifts are released at 3 pm each day — If you have access to Early Access Scheduling, you need to schedule your shifts as close to 3 pm as possible. Shifts go fast.
There is no penalty for taking lots of hours and trimming them down later — One common strategy is to grab as many hours as possible, then edit them down once you know which hours you want to drive.
There isn’t a penalty for this, and most other drivers do it. Hours you abandon become available to other drivers, so you’re not depriving anyone of work by overscheduling.
Schedule long hours, then end your dash whenever your want — Let’s say you schedule yourself for 1130 am–5 pm. Now it’s 3 pm, and you feel like you’re done for the day.
You can log off without penalty. So it’s in your best interest to schedule longer shifts that give you the option of a long day.
Schedule breaks in between blocks of hours — If you want to dash for a full day, schedule blocks of hours with ~30 minute breaks in between.
That gives time to take longer breaks while still giving you the option to keep dashing. And if you get kicked out of one of the hour blocks, you can restart later.
You can’t extend a shift during your shift — Let’s say you snagged a few early hours, and during your shift, you’d like to trick your way into the lunch rush by extending your hours while you Dash.
The system won’t allow that. Also, you won’t be able to extend the Dash within 30 minutes of the scheduled start time.
You can lose your hours if you don’t log in on time — The only penalty for being late to your scheduled hours is that DoorDash may automatically cancel the shift if you don’t log in within 30 minutes of the start time.
DoorDash sends automated warnings that you’re late, so there is at least a heads-up.
Dasher support can’t add hours or extend a dash — Only you can schedule, edit, or extend your scheduled hours. DoorDash support can’t do that for you.
The large order program: Unlock catering orders
The large order program is an invite-only feature that unlocks access to high-value orders and catering orders. It’s a great way to increase your order volume and give you the opportunity to earn the highest tips.
You must meet certain qualifications to get invited, and inviations are only sent out when DoorDash needs more Dashers in the program.
Instant Dashing: For new Dashers who don’t have a Red Card
There’s one special circumstance that applies only to brand-new Dashers that can allow you to work without a Red Card and a schedule.
Certain markets allow “Instant Dashing,” when a new driver without a Red Card can sign on for Dash Now shifts.
The Red Card is a credit card that allows Dashers to pay for certain orders in person. DoorDash ships the red card within 5 days of your activation as a Dasher, and you’ll need to carry it on all shifts.
You will receive an alert from DoorDash if Instant Dashing is available. They’ll let you know that you’ve passed screening and that you can now sign on to begin Dashing.
Instant Dashing is only available for 10 days. After 10 days, you’ll need to input your Red Card info before you can sign on to Dash.
What’s the best way to get more DoorDash hours?
Early Access Scheduling is the best way to get the most DoorDash hours!
After you get Early Access, check for hours every day at 3 pm and reserve as many hours as you can. Once you figure out your actual schedule, trim down your hours so other Dashers can grab them.
If you don’t have Early Access, check for new hours at midnight each night or as early in the morning as you can manage.
For those who prefer the flexibility of Dash Now, get to know your market. Observe when markets are likely to allow drop-in Dashers, and be open to earlier or later start times.
Paul Gerst says
When a Dash is delivered outside of your assigned “territory” you are advised upon leaving the delivery that you may not get assignments because other Dashers may have taken that territory. Often it takes 30 minutes or more in rush hour traffic to return to your territory. Doordash does not advise you of the drive time outside of your assigned territory, and the penalty for not accepting these distant dashes is severe.
I also note that Doordash will often route the delivery on expensive toll roads to minimize mileage, I presume at the cost to the Dasher who must pay tolls to return of incur mileage and time penalties not being on minimum pay restraints while returning.
Equity is not negotiable, but Doordash is trying, I think.