Students Work for Food Delivery Service DoorDash

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  • Hill logs into the DoorDash app before a busy afternoon of food deliveries. Hill said some of the most popular restaurants in the area are Chic Fil A, McDonalds and Chipotle.

    Media by Ben Hughes

  • Hill opens the door to McAlister’s Deli in Ballwin after receiving an order through the DoorDash app. Nationally, DoorDash delivers food from around 390,000 restaurants

    Media by Ben Hughes

  • After the order is prepared, Hill carries it to his car to be driven to the customer’s home. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic food delivery apps like DoorDash, UberEats and Postmates have increased in popularity as people are staying in more.

    Media by Ben Hughes

  • Hill loads the order into a DoorDash issued warming bag to keep the food hot while it is delivered. DoorDash has it’s tip amount defaulted to 15% on orders allowing drivers to make an average of $15-$20 an hour.

    Media by Ben Hughes

  • After arriving at the customer’s home, Hill puts the order by the front door and takes a photo of the order to notify the customer it has been delivered. To keep both drivers and customers safe deliveries are done “contactless” where food is left on customer’s doorsteps rather than being delivered face to face.

    Media by Ben Hughes

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After suggestions from friends, Larson Hill applied to deliver for DoorDash, one of several food delivery companies increasing in popularity.

Hill originally applied to replace the income that he lost due to his job washing cars declining this winter.

“I wanted to make some money while I wasn’t doing that and it turned into a really good source of money for me,” Hill said

The requirements to become a “dasher” are to be 18 years old, have a reliable car, a valid driver’s license, a social security number and a background check. Applications are available on DoorDash’s website or via the app.

Dashers have the freedom to work for as much or as little as they want. They can accept or decline orders based on their distance, time or how much they pay. On average dashers can earn $15 to $20 an hour, well above the current $10.30 an hour minimum wage in Missouri.  

“There are no strict schedules or strict regulations,” Hill said. “It’s really just up to you how much you want to work and how much you want to make.”

One thing that sets DoorDash apart from its competitors is the incentives that are offered to dashers during busy times. Called “peak pay”, dashers can get bonus on their base pay for deliveries that they complete during certain times of the day. 

DoorDash also has had to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic to keep dashers, restaurant workers and customers safe, dasher Daniel Altamirano, senior, said. 

“There is not a lot of interaction between people, which I really like,” Altamirano said.

Dashers must wear masks when picking up and dropping off food and instead of picking up deliveries at the door, food is left on the customer’s doorsteps “contactless” to decrease transmission of the virus. Customers can also leave dashers special instructions or request to meet dashers at the door if contactless delivery doesn’t work.

 Altamirano said the job can get difficult sometimes.

“It can get stressful when you are trying to make deliveries on time and following directions to places you’re not familiar with,” Altamirano said.

Marysa Leopando, senior, said DoorDash also offers pay bonuses during busy times or when there are few dashers out deliveries.

“I normally don’t take the orders that are really low in money because I know I’ll get one higher in no time,” Leopando said.

In addition to getting paid, Leopando said delivering for DoorDash can be fun if you go with friends.

“I go with my boyfriend so it’s like a date but we are both making money,” she said.