Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Instacart vs Doordash: Compare the On-Demand Delivery Services

Not sure whether to use Instacart or Doordash? Figure out which service is right for you, whether you're a shopper or looking to work as a driver!

This post may contain affiliate links - which means we may receive compensation from purchases made through links on this site. Learn more ›

If you’re looking for delivery jobs, you’re probably going to choose Instacart or DoorDash.

But which one is best? It can be tricky deciding which delivery service to go for, especially when you want to do a great job as a delivery services driver.

In this article, we’ll sift the fact from the fiction and give you the lowdown on these on-demand food delivery apps.

We’ll take these two giants head to head; and see who wins in the battle of Instacart vs Doordash!

Instacart vs DoorDash: The Basics

Let’s start with the basics.

What Is Instacart?

Instacart vs Doordash: Compare the On-Demand Delivery Services

Instacart is a home delivery food service app that allows you to get your food delivered to your home in as little as an hour.

It was founded by an ex-Amazon employee back in 2012.

As well as having a great range of food, you can also tag some of your favorite grocery items for easier shopping.

What’s more, you even have a personal shopper, and you can chat with your shopper directly in the app. Neat, huh?

The Instacart app is available on both Android and iOS devices, and is easy to manage and install.

You can pay on Android or Apple Pay for your groceries, and they will arrive the same day.

What’s great about Instacart is that it allows you to shop a wide variety of stores at their current retail price, meaning you get great value for your money.

What Is DoorDash?

Instacart vs Doordash: Compare the On-Demand Delivery Services

DoorDash is an on-demand delivery service app founded in 2012.

It’s different from Instacart as it’s connected to restaurants rather than retailers, so it is similar to Uber Eats and other types of restaurant food delivery services.

On the DoorDash app, you can choose from a huge range of restaurants (over 110,000) across the U.S. and Canada to get some delicious food delivered fresh to your door.

On DoorDash there’s no minimum spend — you can order as little or as much as you want!

Instacart vs Doordash: Food Variety

So what will you be delivering as a home-delivery driver?

It’s important to know.

Instacart Food Variety

If you’re stuck at home and need a food delivery quickly, Instacart may be the answer.

Customers can browse hundreds of retailers on the app including Costco, Whole Foods, CVS, Safeway, Basha’s, and many more.

In terms of the food itself, there’s a huge range of products catering to every taste, budget, and dietary condition.

Customers can browse nutrition info or filter by organic, gluten-free, or vegan diets.

It’s simple to add to the cart — just one click adds the item to the basket.

The information is clear too, so there’s no danger of choosing the wrong item and ending up with an incorrect order!

Instacart sources its food from over 150 stores in total and is always adding new ones to the list.

Be aware that not all stores may deliver in your area.

DoorDash Food Variety

DoorDash also has an incredible range of food.

Depending on where you’re located, you could be making deliveries from The Cheesecake Factory, Taco Bell, Carl’s Jr, Baskin-Robbins, Buca di Beppo, Buffalo Wild Wings, and California Pizza Kitchen, just to name a few.

Instacart vs Doordash: Compare the On-Demand Delivery Services

There are over 110,000 menus on the DoorDash app, so when you’re ready to drop off your order, it pays to understand the food variety.

Customers can choose from sushi, pizza, noodles, fries, and more when they order with DoorDash.

It’s not just about the junk food though — there’s a wide range of healthier options including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options.


Although DoorDash offers a wide range of restaurant food, Instacart offers pretty much everything — from dog biscuits to fresh fruit.

So for sheer size and food variety, Instacart’s the clear winner here.

Instacart vs Doordash: Pricing

Instacart Pricing

Instacart can keep their prices low as they offer products at retail store prices, meaning you get what you pay for, with no nasty surprises.

What’s more, the free delivery with your first order means customers can try before they commit to a regular delivery, saving them all the hassle of waiting in lines at the store or using gasoline to get there.

Instacart also offers free delivery for a full 14 days.

Standard delivery is usually $5.99, but that can be waived if customers pay the $149 annual Instacart Express subscription.

There’s also a small service fee of around $12.

Regular deals help to keep the prices competitive, and so Instacart users will regularly find offers similar to that which you’d find in your local store — buy one get one free, for example.

One of the great things about Instacart is that they accept coupons, some of which save up to a huge 40 percent.

Instacart vs Doordash: Compare the On-Demand Delivery Services

DoorDash Pricing

DoorDash also has a seamless way to get you to sign up — a whole month for $1 delivery services.

You can pay via Apple Pay or credit card, and it’s quick, simple, and easy — perfect for those lazy Sunday afternoons.

Their standard delivery fee is $5.99, and this can go up to as high as a whopping $8 depending on the agreement the person has with the restaurant.

This makes it cheaper than other competitors such as Grubhub, but it still can add up, especially if you order from different restaurants.

There are also additional small fees, such as a $2 small order fee, and of course, we can’t forget the tax.


With its super-enticing delivery pricing and low food prices, we’ve got to say that Instacart nudges ahead of DoorDash with its pricing and offers.

Instacart vs Doordash: Earnings

Instacart Shopper or Instacart Delivery Driver

There’s two ways to earn money with Instacart.

Firstly, you can become an in-store shopper.

This means that you pick items for customers off the shelves in the store.

It’s usually a part-time job, and you can pick the hours that suit you.

It’s just shopping; there’s no driving involved.

Wages are between $9–$16.

A full-service shopper means that you’re an independent contractor for grocery delivery, so there’s no hourly wage involved, although reports say you can make up to $25 an hour.

For this option, you’ll need a car, as you will be a delivery driver.

When you’re a shopper, you can usually make tips on top of your earnings.

In order to work as a shopper or driver, you need to meet a handful of basic Instacart requirements:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Have access to an iPhone 4s or an Android 4.0 or newer
  • Be able to lift between 30 to 40 pounds by yourself or with some assistance

In addition to the above, a full-service Instacart shopper must have:

  • Consistent access to a vehicle
  • Minimum of two years or more of driving experience with a clean record

You can download the Instacart Shopper app to apply and start earning today.

Doordash Delivery Driver

DoorDash calls its delivery services drivers “dashers.”

You earn a minimum of $10 per hour, and you can choose your hours.

DoorDash dashers pick up and deliver the food rather than the restaurant, and also have the benefit of receiving tips.

DoorDash suggests a default tip on their checkout window.

You can even earn extra pay if you arrive on time and for long distances.

Instacart vs Doordash: Compare the On-Demand Delivery Services

To become a Dasher, you need to meet the DoorDash driver requirements:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have access to a vehicle or bicycle
  • Own a fairly new iPhone or Android smartphone
  • Driver’s license with at least one year of driving experience
  • Have valid insurance — with your name on the policy
  • Provide a Social Security number for them to background check


Earning as a driver can be profitable if you work hard.

Because of DoorDash’s suggested tip promoting extra earnings for drivers, DoorDash is the winner here.

Instacart vs Doordash: Coverage

Instacart Coverage

Instacart is available across the entire U.S. and is now expanding into Canada.

It competes with the likes of delivery companies like Amazon Flex, and delivers pretty much anywhere — from Austin to New York to Los Angeles.

It also offers some great options for grocery delivery:

  • Scheduled delivery
  • Same day delivery
  • One hour delivery (Instacart Express)

You can track your delivery with Instacart, so customers know right from the moment you add to your cart, from the minute they deliver at your door.

What’s more, customers can even chat with their shopper, so they have peace of mind that those oranges they forgot to order can be added to the delivery.

DoorDash Coverage

Doordash is available in 600 cities across America with hundreds of restaurants in its portfolio.

It has recently expanded to Canada, and some of the areas include Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver.

It’s delivery service runs until 11:00 p.m or 12:00 a.m. in some areas.

Peak meal times are lunch (11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.) and dinner (5:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.). It pays to be a Dasher during these busy windows!

As a Driver, you can check available deliveries in your area using the Dasher App, which will give you lists of orders recently placed.

To begin the order, you just need to tap “accept” to start dashing.

Dashers are only usually allowed to pick up from restaurants if they have their hot food bag, which keeps the order warm for the customer.


With its extensive coverage, real-time interaction with the shopper, and the ability to save you from a last-minute food shortage, Instacart wins this one.

Instacart vs Doordash: Brand Image

Instacart Brand

The huge on-demand delivery giant Instacart is currently worth $7.6 billion.

Since they started out they’ve had lots of growth, but also some media controversy over working hours after several complaints from its shoppers were posted online.

There was also a “bug” that withheld shopping tips and money-off coupons, which meant that their brand reputation has been damaged somewhat.

Still, there are many millions of households that continue to love and trust Instacart, both as a way to earn additional income and also to get great value food at a sensible price.

DoorDash Brand

DoorDash is currently valued at $1.4 billion, not bad for a growing company with lots of potential.

They recently formed a major partnership with Chipotle.

Despite the occasional complaints from delivery drivers, their app rating is good.

They have done a lot to show they’re not just about the profits: They recently started Project Dash, which is eliminating food waste by taking it from the restaurants and giving it to those who are really in need.

A cool initiative!


There’s a clear winner here, and it’s DoorDash.

By focusing on corporate social responsibility projects, they are doing much to alleviate any negative press about their brand.

Instacart vs DoorDash: The Results

As a delivery driver, you want to earn the most money, but with a reputable company.

Instacart edged out DoorDash by winning one more category in our review than DoorDash, but both companies have potential for growth and a wide variety of food and incentives for drivers.

What you choose really depends on your schedule.

If you’d prefer to be less customer facing, try being an in-store Instacart shopper.

But if you don’t mind trying to hustle for those tips, a Instacart Full Service Shopper may suit you better.

Just remember, being a Dasher means you’ve got to deliver hot food, so time is of the essence.

But if you do the job well, you’ll see those tips and earnings roll in!

1 thought on “Instacart vs Doordash: Compare the On-Demand Delivery Services”

  1. I would like some tips on how to make more weekly. Gas is high right now so letting those 4 & 5 dollar orders add up is kinda hard now. Give me some tips how to already average 700+ a week.


Leave a Comment

FRH Article Default
  • App-based-gig

How Much Does Instacart Cost? Is It Worth The Fees & Price?

November 27, 2023
7 min read
image showing the Instacart logo on the screen of a mobile phone - for Instacart free delivery post on Gigworker.com
  • App-based-gig

How To Claim Instacart Free Delivery On Your Next Order

October 17, 2023
2 min read
FRH Article Default
  • App-based-gig

Complete Guide to Uber Eats Bike Delivery [2023]

August 25, 2022
5 min read

Explore More within Gigworker

Other App-Based Gigs
Get to work faster with jobs in the gig worker industry.
post explore

Browse Our Gig Headquarters

The gig economy is booming, and thanks to COVID-19, more people than ever are getting involved. But what is this new sharing economy and how does it work?

Important Gig Economy #Fundamentals to Understand

gigworker logo icon
What is the Gig Economy?

Side Hustle Ideas

Get inspired with our list of 750+ side hustles. Sort by category, rating, and other custom taxonomies.

Browse Side Hustles

Gig Companies

Browse our complete list of gig economy companies, and the gigs they’re hiring for.

Browse Gig Companies

Helpful Content

Read thousands of informative posts, written specifically to help you excel in your favorite gigs.

VIP Membership

Unlock access to VIP-only benefits like content, downloadable, and resources – all ad-free.