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Every dasher wants to deliver on the best days of week during the best hours of the day.
But if you can’t get on the schedule or if the app won’t let you “dash now,” you’re stuck on the sidelines while other dashers are working the best hours.
That’s where Top Dasher comes in. With Top Dasher, you can dash anytime without a schedule.
To become Top Dasher, you have to maintain certain ratings requirements.
But is Top Dasher worth it? Some dashers think that the benefits aren’t worth it, while other dashers think that the benefits make a big positive impact on their income.
And in some cities, the Dasher Rewards program replaced Top Dasher. In cities with Dasher Rewards, you must reach the Platinum level to earn the same benefits as Top Dasher.
- What is Top Dasher?
- Top Dasher requirements
- Do you earn more with Top Dasher?
- Top Dasher vs. Early Access Scheduling
- When Top Dasher is worth it
What is Top Dasher?
Top Dasher is a program that gives special benefits to drivers with high customer ratings, high acceptance ratings, and frequent deliveries.
Top Dasher benefits
- Dash anytime, without a schedule — You can dash whenever and wherever you want. You can “Dash Now” at any time, without scheduling hours
Former top dasher benefits that are not currently available: Order priority, priority access to high-value orders
Requirements to become Top Dasher
- Customer rating of 4.7 or higher
- Acceptance rate 70% or higher
- Completion rate of 95% or higher
- 100 deliveries completed during the previous month
- At least 200 lifetime deliveries completed
Top Dasher status is awarded on the 2nd day of each month
Top Dasher is awarded on the 2nd day of each month, and the benefits last for a full month.
DoorDash will send you an email when you’ve achieved Top Dasher, and there will be a Top Dasher badge in your account settings.
You can also view your Top Dasher status and benefits in Account > Dasher Rewards.
You will keep the benefits for the entire month even if your ratings dip beneath the requirements.
To re-qualify for Top Dasher, you will need to meet the eligibility requirements on the last day of each month.
You can see their status and benefits in the Dasher Rewards area of the app.
One strategy is to let your acceptance rating fall after you get Top Dasher, then build your AR back up to 70% in the final week of the month.
Some new dashers are automatically rewarded Top Dasher for the first two weeks
In some markets, all new dashers are awarded Top Dasher for the first two weeks.
Being Top Dasher helps new dashers to figure out DoorDash without being restricted by the scheduling system.
It also exposes new Dashers to higher-paying orders, which may incentivize them to continue with their new gig.
Is Top Dasher worth it? Do you earn more?
It might seem like dashing anytime without a schedule is a major benefit, but many Dashers believe that Top Dasher has more downsides than upsides. Here’s why.
Maintaining a high acceptance rate = Accepting too many low-paying orders.
The main criticism of Top Dasher is that to achieve a 70% acceptance rating, you have to accept too many low-paying orders.
Dashers are free to decline as many orders as they want—you can’t be deactivated for a low acceptance rating—so many Dashers prefer not to accept low-paying orders if they don’t have to.
Order requests display the order payout, so many Dashers will decline low-paying orders (some as low as $3) and wait until a better one comes along.
Being selective about orders typically means that you can’t meet the acceptance rating requirement to become Top Dasher, but the more selective strategy could result in higher overall pay.
The scheduling benefits aren’t that great. Another criticism of the Top Dasher benefits is that being able to Dash anytime isn’t that great of a benefit in the bigger picture.
All Dashers can Dash when a zone is busy (marked red in the app), and a busy zone will mean high order volume.
Top Dashers can Dash even when a market isn’t busy (marked gray), but why would you want to Dash if a market isn’t very busy?
Instead of using the benefits of Top Dasher, it can be better to schedule good hours using the Early Access system and only Dash Now when a market is busy.
If you follow that system, you won’t need the scheduling freedom of Top Dasher, and you’ll be free to decline as many low-paying orders as you want without having to worry about your Top Dasher status.
Top Dasher used to unlock other benefits like order priority and access to high-value orders, but that those are no longer offered.
Top Dasher might contribute to low payouts for all Dashers. Some Dashers are frustrated that order payouts can be as low as $3, and that the Top Dasher system encourages Dashers to accept every low-paying order that comes their way.
If Dashers would reject all low-paying orders, the logic goes, then DoorDash might be forced to increase order payouts for everyone.
Top Dasher vs. Early Access Scheduling
The freedom to Dash whenever you want is the biggest benefit of Top Dasher, but Top Dasher isn’t the only way to get more scheduling flexibility.
Early Access scheduling is a feature that can give you more hours without forcing you to maintain a high acceptance rating.
Early Access allows you to schedule hours up to 6 days in advance. Without Early Access, you can see the schedule only 5 days in advance. That extra day can be a big advantage in busy cities.
With Early Access, getting the hours you need is easier without having to accept more than 70% of orders.
How to qualify for Early Access scheduling
To qualify for Early Access, you must:
- Customer rating of at least 4.6
- Completion rate of at least 95%.
- No acceptance rating requirement
- Do one of two: Complete at least 5 deliveries in the past 7 days or complete at least 500 lifetime deliveries.
Early Access qualification is refreshed each Friday.
With Early Access, you can work the best hours while still being selective about the orders you do. The benefits of Early Access make it so Top Dasher may not be worth it.
When it’s worth it to be Top Dasher
Many Dashers will say that Early Access scheduling combined with being selective about orders is the secret to max profits.
But there are certain times when the benefits of Top Dasher can solve real problems and boost earnings.
Get the best hours in competitive markets: Good shifts can be very hard to come by in competitive markets, even with Early Access scheduling.
Top Dasher might be the only way to get good hours in the busiest markets.
Switch zones during a shift: The scheduling system locks you into your scheduled area, and you can lose your hours if you leave the area for too long.
With Top Dasher, you’ll be free to switch zones during your dash. That’s especially helpful if you live near the border of several different zones.
Is Top Dasher right for you?
For some, getting Top Dasher status can be the difference between working lucrative shifts and not earning enough money each day.
But you don’t have to go for Top Dasher just because it exists.
If you find that declining low-paying orders works better for you, feel free to cherry pick orders all day long, and don’t bother with the high acceptance rating requirements of Top Dasher.
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