Should You Become a Grubhub Driver? Here Are the Pros and Cons
Working for any job within the gig economy will have its ups and downs. In order to be successful in this space, you need to roll with the good and the bad.
It’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows. As a food delivery driver for Grubhub, you may have great days that pay hefty delivery fares, and you may have days where you’re waiting around for an elusive order to come your way.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of driving for Grubhub. Then we’ll cover the the requirements for getting started as a Grubhub driver, the application process, making your first Grubhub delivery, and how to make the most of every minute you spend driving for Grubhub.
- Pros of Working as a Grubhub Driver
- Cons of Working as a Grubhub Driver
- How to Become a Grubhub Driver
- Your First Grubhub Delivery
- Frequently Asked Questions
Pros of Working as a Grubhub Driver
Driving for Grubhub has both its perks and, like any job, its drawbacks. It’s really about what is important to you. Here are the best elements of working as a Grubhub delivery driver.
Set Your Own Schedule
Probably the most enticing aspect of driving for Grubhub is the flexible work schedule.
As a Grubhub delivery driver, you have flexible hours and have nearly full control of what time of day you want to work, what days of the week you want to drive, and how many hours you want to put in.
If you think you’re not getting enough hours, your flexible schedule allows you to sign up for extra shifts or hop on the clock whenever you feel like it. If you think you’re getting burnt out or have prior obligations you can’t miss, then you can pull back on some hours.
Be Your Own Boss
Being your own boss also ranks pretty high on a driver’s list. As a Grubhub driver specialist, you won’t have a supervisor breathing down your neck.
As long as you’re following Grubhub’s general rules and guidelines, you can do things your way and answer to nobody besides yourself. The Grubhub driving experience allows you to set your own rules and make decisions on your own.
Make Extra Cash on the Side
Grubhub is an excellent way to make extra money on the side. Some drivers prefer to drive full-time and others would rather work part-time. It’s all up to you.
If you just want to pick up some hours on the side, a Grubhub paycheck is a great side hustle that can supplement your income. Maybe you already have a full-time career and just want to make an extra hundred bucks on the weekend — that’s completely doable.
Guaranteed Minimum Earnings
Grubhub promises its many of its drivers a guaranteed minimum hourly pay while they’re on the clock. This prevents drivers from making less than minimum wage if they log on and don’t receive orders because it’s slow.
There will definitely be times where you’ll be on the clock and not receiving any orders. This can be disheartening as you sit and wait, and nothing seems to be coming through. Lucky for you, you may qualify for a guaranteed hourly minimum wage.
It’s important to know that not all markets qualify for these guaranteed minimum earnings. In some cities, you won’t be able to reap this benefit. Also, even if your city does have minimum earnings levels, you’ll need to maintain a certain attendance and acceptance rate to qualify.
On top of guaranteed minimum earnings, you can access additional perks and benefits for maintaining high attendance rates, high acceptance rates, and low block drop rates.
For instance, in the snapshot below, you’ll see that if you keep your driver rates high, you can climb to the Pro and Premier driver levels. These give you perks like early access to scheduling blocks.
Find New Restaurants
There’s no better way to find up-and-coming restaurants in your city than to be a Grubhub driver. Since you’ll be on the clock picking up orders from many local restaurants in town, you’ll be able to keep a running tally of all the new restaurants you want to try next.
Who knows, maybe when you’re off the clock, you’ll pick up your food ordering app and place your own order at a new favorite restaurant.
You’re on Your Own
Another nice part about driving for Grubhub is that you’re alone and can deliver food from the privacy of your own vehicle. For other gig opportunities, including driving for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, you need to hold conversations with new passengers all throughout the day.
With Grubhub, you simply drop off the order to the customer, ask them how their day is, give a pleasant smile and a thank you, and then you’re on your way. Your interaction with customers will rarely exceed 30 seconds since they’re hungry and you need to get back on the road for your next order.
Cons of Working as a Grubhub Driver
We’ve gone over the good parts of working as a Grubhub Driver. Let’s see the other side of the coin. Here are the downsides of working as a Grubhub delivery driver.
Wear and Tear on Your Vehicle
One of the biggest downfalls of working for Grubhub is that it takes a toll on your vehicle. All of the maintenance, depreciation, and auto insurance from your vehicle is your responsibility, and Grubhub will not compensate you for this.
If you put in many hours working for Grubhub, you’ll also start to accumulate many miles on your vehicle. Since you’ll be putting a ton of miles on, this means spending more on fuel, oil changes, new tires, and any other maintenance that comes along with it.
All the expenses that result from this wear and tear will come straight out of your own pocket.
You’re Responsible for Your Own Taxes
On top of all the expenses you’ll be responsible for, you’ll also need to understand that you’re an independent contractor and will be responsible for your own taxes.
As a Grubhub driver, you’re not a salaried or hourly employee. Instead, you’re an independent contractor who is required to file a 1099 tax form at the end of the year. This means that you are fully responsible for your tax liability, and need to set some money aside to cover any income taxes you’ll be required to pay.
To help yourself out, you should always track expenses incurred while working for Grubhub. Any expenses relating to fuel, car insurance, vehicle maintenance, and mileage added to your vehicle can be written off at the end of the year.
Grubhub pay can fluctuate throughout the day and week. Depending on how busy it is, the current weather, or how many drivers are on the clock, your pay is vulnerable to fluctuations.
There will be slow times throughout your shifts where you’ll be sitting around twiddling your thumbs. This can be deflating knowing that time is money and you’re wasting it away without making a dime.
On the other end of the spectrum, there will also be extremely busy weeks where your paycheck will be substantially higher and you’ll make great money. But this unpredictability can be frustrating.
Penalized for Missed, Rejected, or Dropped Orders
Grubhub wants to make sure that they have a reliable workforce that rarely misses a shift or cancels an order. For this reason, they penalize drivers who don’t accept orders or who miss their shifts.
Many drivers report that the standards that Grubhub sets are nearly impossible to uphold. In order to move up to higher tier program levels with Grubhub, drivers must come as close to perfection as possible. This means a 100% acceptance rate, 100% attendance rate, and a 0% block drop rate.
Sometimes things will happen like the Grubhub driver app glitches, you accidentally miss an order, or you get a flat tire. If this ever happens, your driver score can fall drastically, which means you’ll notice fewer orders coming your way.
Dealing With Cranky Customers
It may not happen on every order, but dealing with unhappy customers is unavoidable. At some point, you’ll see customers who are disappointed that their meal showed up late or that they didn’t receive the right items.
The only thing you can do is apologize. In many cases, the reason for an order being late is outside of your control. This could be delays at Grubhub delivery partner restaurants, inclement weather, traffic, or cases where you received the order late because another driver canceled.
It’s important to let the customer know that you did everything in your power to get their meal there on time and warm.
Customer Service Is Sometimes Difficult
Many drivers complain that Grubhub’s customer care is difficult to get in touch with. They ask you to reach out through the app, which is available for iPhone and Android. But the app doesn’t always connect you right away. This becomes a problem when you have an urgent issue that you need resolved immediately.
If you have a problem, you’ll need to get ahold of Grubhub’s driver support. But you may experience times when you’re not able to reach a customer service representative or they’re not able to solve your problem.
How to Become a Grubhub Driver
In order to start driving for Grubhub, you need to go through a quick application process, provide a valid driver’s license, pass a background check, and complete a speedy onboarding session.
Now that you know all of the ups and downs that come along with being a Grubhub driver, there’s a good chance you know if you’d like to take the plunge.
If you think driving for Grubhub is a good fit for you, then you can begin the application process at driver.grubhub.com.
Grubhub Driver Requirements
First things first, if you’re going to become a Grubhub driver, you have to meet the minimum requirements for the food delivery service.
Grubhub requires all of their delivery drivers to:
- Have valid auto insurance (if driving a car)
- Have two or more years of driving experience
- Own an iPhone (with iOS 8 or higher) or Android device (with a data plan for the Grubhub app)
- Have a valid driver’s license or valid state ID
- Complete a background check
- Be at least 19 years old (except in Chicago, where it’s 21 years old)
If you meet all of these requirements, head over to Grubhub’s driver sign-up form to start the application process.
Be sure to have your driver’s license (or state ID), valid auto insurance, and routing and bank account information (to set up direct deposit) with you before you get started filling out the form.
Grubhub Driver Application Process
For new food delivery drivers, the process may seem foreign. But for anyone experienced working with Uber, Lyft, Postmates, or TaskRabbit, the process will feel very familiar. The initial sign-up form is divided into three main parts: required documentation, basic contact information, and Grubhub terms and conditions.
Once you fill out the form and select “Start Earning,” you’re redirected to a six-question survey. The survey verifies that you have a working mobile phone capable of running the Grubhub app, that you’re at least 19 years old, and that you are comfortable dealing with restaurants and people.
After you submit the survey, you’ll receive an email confirmation from Grubhub and then need to complete an online onboarding session or in-person interview. It’s less of an interview and more of a driver training.
The online version is similar to the in-person training, except that the in-person training will get you a Grubhub uniform and delivery bag. If you complete the online training, then these items will be sent to you in the mail.
Now that you have an official driver uniform and understand everything there is to know about food delivery, it’s time to complete your very first order.
Your First Grubhub Delivery
At some point during the process of getting ready for your first delivery you’ll want to download the Grubhub Driver app.
If you did not receive a text link to the app, you’ll notice that it’s not listed in the Apple App Store or the Google Play store. You can only download the driver app by visiting this Grubhub URL from a mobile device.
If you have the driver app downloaded and your new red shirt freshly laundered, then you’re ready to complete your very first Grubhub delivery.
First, make sure you are currently within a delivery zone. Grubhub uses zones in order to make sure areas with the most demand have enough drivers.
Open up the driver app and select the navigation in the upper left-hand corner. Select “View Region Boundaries” to verify that you are within the boundaries.
Next, you’ll need to tell Grubhub, via the driver app, that you are ready to start accepting deliveries. With the driver app open, click on “Unavailable” and toggle the red dot to “Taking Orders.”
When your first order comes in you’ll be notified from the app, and you will have 90 seconds to respond before the order is offered to another driver.
As you get more experience Grubhub will automatically start to send you more orders. You can even get larger catering orders regularly if you maintain good ratings within the platform and respond to a high percentage of orders.
The Couriers of Reddit subreddit has plenty of threads on how you can optimize your time and tactics to bring home a bigger paycheck.
There’s also honest answers from real drivers to many of the most common questions asked by beginners. A few of the most common are listed here to get you started.
Frequently Asked Questions About Driving for Grubhub
What Are Program Levels?
Grubhub creates different tiers of excellence to reward quality drivers within the platform. Each level unlocks has different qualifications and unlocks unique Grubhub benefits.
Here’s the most recent list of Grubhub program levels.
- Partner — Achieve Partner status and unlock priority scheduling on weekends, third access to catering orders, and driver discounts at select retailers.
- Pro — To qualify for Pro status you must attend all your scheduled blocks, have a block drop rate of less than 20 percent, and accept at least 85 percent of orders. Once achieved you’ll receive secondary scheduling on Fridays, unlock marketing referral programs, and get second access to catering orders.
- Premier — The qualifications for Premier status are the same as Pro. But once you unlock it you’ll get priority scheduling on Thursdays, first access to catering orders, and additional marketing referral program bonuses.
Do I Need to Wear the Grubhub Uniform?
Grubhub says, “Yes.” However, the consensus from delivery drivers on Reddit is that you should wear whatever is most comfortable.
Over time you’ll start to see more catering orders from large companies if you achieve higher program levels. And you might want to look more professional if you start delivering to boardrooms and executives.
What Are Blocks?
“Blocks” is the terminology Grubhub uses to schedule drivers. A block is a predetermined amount of time that you’ll be accepting deliveries.
Blocks allow Grubhub to predict supply and make sure they can meet daily demand. You can set your blocks in the Grubhub driver app, but priority scheduling is given to veteran drivers.
How Much Do Grubhub Drivers Make?
The consensus on Reddit and in driver forums is that Grubhub pays better than most other food delivery services. Since all of them are a little different, here’s what you can expect to get paid when driving for Grubhub.
- Flat Rate — Grubhub offers a flat rate fee of $3.50–$4 (depending on the market) for each delivery you accept.
- $0.50 Per Mile — In addition to the flat rate, drivers receive compensation of $0.50 per mile from the restaurant pickup to the delivery location.
- 100 Percent of Tips — Grubhub’s app actually encourages diners to leave a 15 percent tip automatically on every order place. Driver get to keep 100 percent of tips left by diners.
- Guaranteed Pay — In some markets, drivers receive guaranteed pay up to $10.50 per hour worked. To qualify for guaranteed pay you have to work a certain number of hours and accept 85 percent of orders during those hours.
It’s hard to say exactly what you will make as a delivery driver for Grubhub since it depends on so many variables. Anecdotal reports on the internet suggest that the hourly rate for Grubhub drivers is anywhere between $11 and $30 per hour.
Your pay will depend significantly on your experience level since more experienced drivers get notified first about large catering orders. It will also depend on the city you live in. Grubhub has more demand than any other platform, but in some cities, Caviar might offer more competitive pay.
Deliver Food for Grubhub
As the most popular food delivery app on the market, Grubhub is a great platform for new drivers. They take good care of their drivers and are one of the few services to offer flat-rate pay with every single delivery.
If you’re hungry for a new adventure and want to join the gig economy, then it’s time to hit the road with Grubhub.