If you have driven for any delivery app for any period of time, you have likely either ran into other drivers or done some kind of research online and heard of the term "multi-apping" and got an idea in your head about what it is and how it works.
While I agree that on the surface it can seem rather misleading and may come across as a conflict of interest with your other apps, and there is a certain truth to that, however there is a way to do multi-app that is beneficial for all parties involved.
For customers, for the companies you would work for, and for you and your bank account!
So in this article, I am going to go over everything you would need to know about multi-apping and how to make the most of it! I am also going to go over some common pitfalls in multi-apping and how to avoid them.
But before any of that, My name is Joseph Mandracchia, I have been working full-time with the gig economy since 2018 and have completed over 8000 orders and deliveries across several different platforms and pay models, as well as other forms of income.
It is my hope to impart some of my knowledge and experience unto you to help you make the most money in your side hustle and help you on your journey to achieve financial independence so you can choose to live your life in anyway you would find valuable to you.
Disclaimer: I am not a financial, tax or legal advisor of any kind. I am not giving you financial, tax or legal advice. I am simply expressing what I have done to overcome in this area and hoping you can find a take away for yourself within this article.
What is Multi-Apping?
Multi-apping is having multiple apps active at the same time and managing orders from both of them. This is best done during times where there are bonuses and times where orders can come in consistently.
This is mainly done with food delivery apps and rideshare apps. Not normally done with grocery apps, although not unheard of. However, it is also done with multiple food delivery apps OR multiple rideshare apps, not with a mix of both.
With grocery apps, you have to go and pursue those orders as opposed to having those orders sent to you, which is why grocery apps tend to not do well with multi-apping.
Benefits of Multi-Apping
So with multi-apping, you are able to see and have access to a great number of bonuses and benefits whereas with only one app, you get whatever the company is willing to pay you.
Most people who drive for multiple apps consistently have such a spike in income due to having multiple options available to them. So much so that $1000 a week is relatively easy when you have multiple ways to receive orders and to complete orders.
It also allows you to have experiences and more opportunities to find different benefits that would otherwise be unavailable to you, such as platform exclusive discounts and offers for partnering companies.
The Disadvantage of Multi-Apping
The only disadvantage from doing this, if you can even really call it a disadvantage is that you might need to choose to not accept an offer in the event that you are in the middle of an order for another platform.
If you try to complete 2 orders on different platforms at the same time, you are going to risk complaints, contract violations and even deactivation!
App Management Strategy
So when it comes to driving for multiple apps at the same time, there is a specific strategy I like to use that allows me to make the most money possible, in the least amount of time, which is ultimately anyone's goal in any industry.
Choosing Your Apps Wisely
The first thing we need to talk about is what apps we want to have active when we are multi-apping. If we are going to make the most money possible, part of that is choosing the best apps possible.
So usually I would only use 2 at a time, and the ones that pay the most because that is the overall goal with any of these apps. The two that I prioritize the most are Doordash and UberEats, because they are the most active and available in my area and they pay the most.
However, you can choose to use other apps instead such as Postmates or Grubhub. If you are taking the rideshare approach, you can use Uber and Lyft, etc. Just make sure you are using apps that send you orders frequently.
Also, when choosing to use these apps, make sure you know how to take yourself offline, and understand how each of your apps guidelines work, and what you need to do to maximize making the most of each one.
For Example, with Doordash you have a pause option that lasts for 35 minutes, and for shifts you have to schedule yourself in. With UberEats however, you can basically turn it on and off at your leisure.
Another guideline to keep in mind is do your apps have zone limitations? With Doordash, you have starting points and you have to stay within your zone to have the highest chance to receive an order.
With UberEats on the other hand, you don't have those limitations and you can receive an order almost anywhere, which is normally great but it can take you out of the zones of the other apps you have active which is something that should be kept in mind.
Setting Your Standards
So for any of these apps you have active there is something I talk about constantly and that is setting standards of what you are willing to accept in the work you are doing, and this applies to both apps and how they work with each other.
Like I said earlier, how far outside of your starting point are you willing to go?
How much are you willing to make per order on app 1? How about app 2? Which app has more priority over the other?
What about overall distance? Is there a "too far" for you, or are you willing to drive further out for the right price?
What kind of orders do you want to receive? Will you take any order for the right price, or do you have different standards for different locations? If you are doing food delivery do you have a running No-Go list?
I cannot decide this for you, however I can tell you how I choose to do this and hopefully you can get an idea on what a good standard set looks like.
I am willing to go outside my starting point to deliver the food, but not to continue to accept orders outside of my starting point. So if your home is outside my starting point that is okay, but for restaurants, not so much.
For Doordash, I am willing to accept any order that is $8.50 or better, per order because usually that order is higher in value that what is displayed.
For UberEats, they are rather open about how much you will be tipped and so my orders I will take are usually $10 or better.
I usually allow priority to go to Doordash because they have more limitations locationwise and they tend to pay me better consistently than UberEats normally would.
As far as distance goes, I use the dollar amount as a guide to whether or not I will accept an order. For Example, I will drive 1 mile for every dollar for the order, however I will make sure I have enough wiggle room in case of driving error or unplanned events.
As far as location goes, I want to go to a nice middle class neighborhood or a financially well-off neighborhood so I can receive the best tips. I have a running No-Go list of restaurants that I will absolutely not go to for orders for excessive wait-time and poor payouts.
Driving error referring to missing a turn or exit, and unplanned events such as road closures and accidents that haven't been accounted for via the GPS you are using.
I personally would prefer to say within my area, however for the right price you might get me to go out further than I normally would want to go.
Receiving an Order
So when receiving orders on one of these apps there are somethings you have to keep in mind, especially when multi-apping. The first is knowing how the timers work for each app, and the second is what to do when you accept an order.
So when you receive an order you have a certain amount of time to decide if you want to take the order or not. UberEats gives you 15 seconds, Doordash gives you 45 seconds per order (stacked orders have been known to give more time to decide).
When you do accept an order make sure you go offline/pause your session so you don't receive more orders while doing the others. The last thing you want to continuously get distracted or try to do multiple orders on multiple apps at once.
UberEats allows you the luxury of going in and out at your leisure. Where with Doordash, you can't unless you are a Top Dasher, which in my opinion is not worth the time or energy to pursue.
However, they do have a phenomenal pausing system which lasts about 35 minutes and if you end up needing to pause for longer you can just turn it off and on again and it should reset.
Completing an Order
Once you finish the order you were assigned, make sure you turn go back online for both apps and be ready to receive more orders. If you happen to be outside of a starting point make sure you are within those borders and then turn them both on.
Just make sure you are not having both online at the same time, especially while driving or you risk going into an accident, missing a turn, not to mention it is illegal in the first place.
Common Pitfalls of Multi-Apping
So there are some common misconceptions when it comes to multi-apping, most of which actually come from the term "multi-apping" on its own, and causing some pitfalls for drivers to almost never experience the benefits of multi-apping again.
Some of those misconceptions cause people to fall into some pitfalls that can cause drivers to lose money in the long run and major challenges for their accounts. Potentially leading to deactivation and a total loss of income entirely.
So in an attempt to help you avoid those pitfalls let's go over some of those challenges by making you aware of them so you don't end up doing those same things.
Too Many Apps Active
Some drivers who go into multi-apping for the first time think they should have as many apps active as possible and in some cases this can be true, although in my experience this only lead to a serious headache.
While I do agree that you should sign-up for as many apps as possible, I don't think you should have more than 2 active/online at a time.
Bad Combination of Apps
When people sign up for these apps, some will choose to mix a combination of apps that is normally bad for business and even realize what it is or why. It is likely because the apps themselves are not bad, although the combination of those apps are bad.
For Example, driving for a food delivery app AND a rideshare app. Rideshare and grocery, grocery and food delivery.
Another indication are the zone layouts of each of these apps, and the zones you are in don't completely overlap properly across both of them. Which is why I usually recommend 1 app with boundaries and 1 app without.
Accepting Too Many Orders at Once
This is something we talked about earlier, but it is such an important point it needs to be said multiple times for multiple reasons, and that's accepting too many orders at the same time!
Doing this will not only add stress on yourself, it will cause your customer to wait longer for their food unnecessarily, causing it to be cold. This can lead to some bad ratings and serious complaints to the companies you are driving for!
You are also opening yourself up to account violations and deactivations because you are getting food to your customer in a timely manner, and since customers can see how you are driving to their location, you are only making things worse.
Just keep things simple and easy and accept only one order at a time and turn off the other app when you are ready.
Not Having their Standards Set
This is a problem regardless of you multi-apping or not, but we do need to talk about it, and that's not having your standards set from the beginning.
Not only can you potentially take orders that are low paying and costing you time or money, if you don't know which orders to take from the beginning, you may lose good opportunities by waiting too long and the timer running out before you have a chance to accept them.
It's is amazing how much time, energy and effort is taken out of the equation when you already know what type of orders you want to take, you know your boundaries, and by simply making those decisions ahead of time.
The more time you spend making those decisions, the less time you have to receive better orders, and you would be surprised at how much time that can add up to. So make sure you know what you want per order, per app and you will be okay.
They say the first obstacle you have to overcome is yourself and that couldn't be more true than with multi-apping. Whether that's arrogance, lack of experience, or a poor customer focus as a delivery driver, it all starts in your mind.
While this is the last pitfall on our list it may be the biggest one, and I know I have fallen into this one more times than I am willing to admit in this article.
So if I impart anything unto you, simply gain experience, don't become arrogant, and focus on helping the customer as best you can.
Multi-apping is a great way for drivers to make more money and if you have experience in your area I do recommend it for you, however it can also get you in trouble if you don't have that experience already.
So if you are new to the delivery driver scene I recommend driving for one app and know exactly how it works before driving for multiple apps and if you are experienced and trying to find ways to make more money, I would give some other apps a go to see what you like.
And above all, I always recommend doing what you think is best for you!
With that said, thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! I hope you found some value in what you read here and will apply this information in your life and success in your side hustle!