Doordash Drive Program Review - The Surprising Reveal


In 2019, during the time when the Top Dasher program was established a bit further a new program was released within the Doordash system and those who were invited were notified about this program in a text.


Those of us, who wanted to take part in this new and exciting program were instructed to fill out a form and told they would receive a start up package or they had to go to their local Doordash Office.


And after a while, a lot of us have learned more about this program and now people want in on this. But, what is the Doordash Drive program? How does it work? Is this program something you should consider pursing, or is it just hype?


My name is Joseph Mandracchia, I have been making money using driving apps on a full-time basis since mid-late 2018 and have completed over 7700 deliveries. It is my hope to impart some of my knowledge to you to help you succeed in the gig economy!


What is Doordash Drive?


Doordash Drive is a separate program within Doordash where people who are ordering Large Deliveries can order through this program in advance, and Dashers can claim those deliveries within a day beforehand receive what is normally a HUGE tip.


Which makes sense because these deliveries can be huge group orders from the merchant or restaurant, Large Catering orders for a customer, or Large Corporate Orders.


Some orders may ask you to help them set up, and yes you would be required to, which isn't all that big a deal, especially when they do ask that it's because they are planning on tipping you better.


How do I Qualify for Doordash Drive?


Doordash drive has what looks like a very low barrier of entry, and is a low barrier of entry, though not as simple as what it looks like on the surface.


They have claimed that this can grow and change over time, as they have the right to do so, but I can't imagine it changing too drastically in the near future.


So let's unpack this a bit and see what it really takes to be a part of this program!


Customer Rating


The first qualification that you must have is a good customer rating, more specifically a 4.50 out of 5.00 or better.


Customer rating is calculated on a 5.00 rating system and based on the last 100 deliveries that you were fairly rated on, and is on a rolling basis.


All unfair ratings deemed by Doordash specialized team are excluded and will not count against your overall rating.


So if you do have a rating of less than that, you are doing it wrong and should really look at what you are doing to become better in customer service as a Dasher.


Lifetime Deliveries


The next qualification that you must have is at least 20 lifetime deliveries, which honestly is not a lot and seems it is only here to make sure newbies can't take Drive orders when they haven't done anything to prove they can be trusted with them yet.


The Invitation


The last qualification that you must have to be a part of the Doordash Drive Program is the actual invitation to be a part of it.


I know that they didn't directly say that is a qualification, but let's be real honest here, you can have everything else right with no invite and you still can't accept Drive orders.


It is an invite only program and while the barrier isn't all that high, doesn't mean they have the availability of people who can accept those orders in your area.


Not every area is set up for drive orders and those that are may have all the "Drive Dashers" they need for the program to be ran effectively so when they need more Drive Dashers, an invitation may be extended unto you.


How Does Doordash Drive Work?


In order to be able to talk about this properly, I am going to break this up into 3 parts. In advance before doing the order, just before doing the order, and while doing the order.


In Advance Before Doing the Order


When someone orders a Drive order, it would appear in your schedule tab. You can go to your schedule tab and view the available Drive orders in your general area, which would be defined by all the zones you see in your map.


For example, If I live in the NY: Wantagh zone, I can see all the orders in the Tri State area, and if I live in the FL: Pompano Beach/Deerfield Beach zone, I can see all the orders in South Florida.


That being said, just because it is available doesn't mean you should take it so please make sure you are doing your mile checks on this.


Now there are a few key differences to note here, and I think it is important to talk about them before moving too far into this.


Mindset Shift


First is the total mindset shift between normal dashing, where orders come to you, to Doordash Drive, where you have to pursue the orders.


This is very similar to Instacart where you have to claim the order before someone else accepts it. Which can be a pain but still not a big deal. It is just a different way of thinking about Doordash.


Time Frames


Next difference is the orders themselves as you decide to claim them. They have a very specific time frame. In fact, it ends up in your schedule as a completely separate dash which is detailed by the minute.


For Example, you can be scheduled 12:47pm- 2:02pm, which is very different than the normal on the half hour schedule system we are used to.


For this, you better have some good time management and planning skills under your belt before accepting these orders and mixing normal dashes with Drive orders in your schedule tab.


Information Shortage?


Another difference to note here is the amount of information you are given about the order.


On the schedule tab, you can see the available orders and accept one of the orders based the value of the order. They give you the same information as the same dash orders you would normally see so far.


The number of miles, the map, everything... except one thing. Now instead of you knowing what how much they will tip you, you only know the base pay of the order, which is confusing to some because the base pay it upwards of $10 normally.


Which is huge in comparison to the $3 that you more often get, but no sight of tip yet. This is what makes Doordash Drive so appealing to those who are not in the program because they hear about this think it will be a great amount of money, and it is.


Just Before Doing the Order


Now that we have set ourselves up in advance to do this order and the time to start is approaching, let's get ready to do the order!


Clear out your car for as much space as possible and bring catering bags. Trust me, you will need them if they give you the order in a bunch of smaller bags.


Once you are physically ready, open up the app.


Now unlike normal Dashing, you can start from anywhere and you don't need to be at the starting point it talks about.


Also, it will remind you that this is a Doordash Drive order and tell you to claim it, instead of the Dash Now button that would normally be there.


So you hit Claim Order, and the order comes up, confirm and shows up like you took an normal order... except now you can see the tip. Which when I took my first order I yelled "HOLY S***" because it was claimed at $18 and was now $76!


That's a whole day for some dashers! So now let's talk about doing this order!


While Doing the Order


Now once you get this order onto your system and you are ready to go, if you had any reaction like me you want to get this done as soon as possible! Though, you can't without hurting yourself.


So with Doordash Drive, you have to be at the location within 10 minutes early or late and NOTHING MORE. Otherwise your on-time rating will decrease and you will be SOL... or will you?


Like let's say you arrive early and waited to swipe until the pick-up time, who is to say you were early? So if you are early, just be patient. You can notify the restaurant that you are there but do not mark as arrived until the time is right.


So pick up the order load in, deliver it to the customer. The customer may request you to help set up and yes you do have to. I don't think it is a big deal but some people are annoying about it.


Other Benefits of Doordash Drive


Outside of the obvious benefits of Doordash Drive, let's talk about some of my favorite hidden benefits!

The first is you get 2 FREE Catering bags from Doordash! Doordash has been generous before but this is a big giveaway. From $40 bucks each to absolutely free!


Now the other side of this is how well it works with the Top Dasher Program. Which most people don't want to be a part of currently but it makes sense.


This program was released in the same year Top Dasher was released so it being coincided would be a great promotion overall. Now that being said, you can also do Drive without Top Dasher as long as your time management skills are up to par.


Downsides to Doordash Drive


So as I've said a lot throughout this article you need solid time management skills in order to use the Drive program without Top Dasher. It isn't impossible by any means, but let's go over pitfalls and maybe you will see what I mean.


Doing Doordash normally ahead of time, if an order runs late for any reason and you need to get to that order, you will need to drop whatever you are doing to get to that order or you risk losing it.


Also, if the order starts at 12:29pm, you cannot schedule a Dash until 12pm because it is within 30 minutes of another Dash, being your drive order, the same goes with the back end, 1:01pm, can't start another Dash until 2pm.


It is a scheduling nightmare for me, and does the size of the order make up for it? Not always, So let's say from 12:29p-1:31pm was the length of time for the order.


You have to end your Dash at 11:30am on your schedule tab, and start a new one at 2:30pm. That's a 3-hour gap for you to do this order, so it better be worth at least more than you would make in those 3 hours.


Because you can't see the tip ahead of time you can't REALLY know for sure. That being said, you can tell Top Dashers are really making out with this here.


Is Driving for Doordash Drive Worth it?


I would say for someone who isn't a Top Dasher, who is not great at time-management, and/or is doing this full-time instead of part-time. I would say you would lose too much time on the road.


However, if you are a Top Dasher/are great with time-management or just a part-time Dasher. Go for it!


In the future, this can improve and change and that is still 100% possible that in the future this can be different. However, as of now, I am not prioritizing Drive orders in my calendar.


Final Remarks


This article is not to tell you which is best in your area, or to promote or tell you not to do Doordash Drive, this is based on my experience and this may or may not be true in your case.


So if I did have one recommendation is to just give it a shot and be open minded, there is so much more to be gained in new experiences.


With that said, thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! I hope you found some value and that you can apply and help you succeed in this gig economy!