Instacart vs Doordash: Best Side Hustle & Pay for Drivers?

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instacart vs doordash

While you can turn to a number of delivery services if you're looking for a part time or full time job or for the way to earn extra cash in your spare time, it's guaranteed you will consider one of the two prominent delivery apps: Instacart or DoorDash.

Both platforms are quite mature at this stage and grew a lot during 2020. With the covid pandemic the height volumes for the home delivery and food and grocery pick up, delivery apps evolved their offer by introducing new delivery options, including same-day, same-week, and scheduled delivery and enhanced pick-up services, such as contactless in-store pick-up and curbside pick-up.

That means both have developed comprehensive features for users and for the independent contractors and there's very little one can do that the other cannot. Still, however, each has its advantages, and there are reasons you might want to choose one over the other.

Pitting Instacart vs. DoorDash, we take a look at the respective strengths of each delivery platform, so you can pick the right one for you the next time you start your next gig.

Understanding the On-Demand Delivery Service

DoorDash Delivery

DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service headquartered in San Francisco -California that operates in + 4000 cities in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It was founded by Stanford students Tony Xu (CEO), Andy Fang (CTO), Parbir Adarkar (CFO), Christopher Payne (COO) in 2013.

The company currently has 50% market share in the US and works with more than 340 000 restaurants and merchants. While the coronavirus pandemic hit hard the US economy, DoorDash is a winner, leading national partners such as Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, Wingstop, IHOP and Five Guys, as well as regional stars such as Dig Inn, Tender Greens, Portillo’s and Modern Market.

In April the Doordash announced to extend their offer delivering groceries and essentials household products from local stores including

  • 7-Eleven
  • Wawa
  • Casey’s General Store
  • CircleK
  • Safeway

The San Francisco based food delivery app is doing pretty well, especially if you compared it with the main rival Uber Eats.

According to the Information in 2019 the company had revenue for $1 billion.

Instacart

Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service headquartered in San Francisco -California that operates in + 5,500 cities in the United States. It was founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta (CEO, co-fonder), Sagar Sanghvi (CFO).

The grocery app has grown tremendously. The company is currently working with +300 grocery stores and has more than 500,000 Shoppers. Instacart is hiring and it is on track to have 750,000 shoppers by the end of 2020.

This is the first and important difference between DoorDash and Instacart. While Instacart is only a grocery delivery service, Doordash is one of the best food delivery apps delivering groceries from select stores in California and parts of the Midwest.

DoorDash vs Instacart: Safety and Reliability

Both apps are safe and reliable.

  • All the delivery drivers are screened through background check
  • Your number stays private while you communicate with the delivery driver.

So paying Instacart or DoorDash is just about as safe as paying any other company. However, you can avoid scams and help to keep your accounts safe from phishing by not sharing your password with anyone for any reason.

From a driver point of view, it is important to know that the payments are made directly through the app and you do not have to deal with cash.

DoorDash

is Dordash safe

The spread of COVID-19 has been hard for everyone, and it has been particularly challenging for people who deliver with companies like DoorDash. Since the start of the global pandemic, Door Dash has supported dashers.

The measures include:

  • All active Dashers in the US, Canada, and Australia can now order consumer-grade masks from the special Dasher store completely free of charge.
  • No-Contact Delivery
  • Through Doctor On Demand, one of the nation’s leading healthcare platforms, all U.S.-based Dashers can complete an online risk assessment for COVID-19 and access virtual urgent care visits if needed for just $4.

Instacart

is instacart safe

In response to Instacart strikes and to protect gig workers, Instacart introduced new guidelines and policies to help support the health and safety of the Instacart shopper community.

These measures include:

  • A new tip policy to protect Shoppers from tip bating. Customers can also be deactivated.
  • A new sick pay policy available to all in-store shoppers who are Instacart employees.
  • The “Leave at my Door Delivery” option.

Winner: Tie

Related Article: Covid and Delivery Drivers

Instacart vs DoorDash: Job Review

To understand the difference between DoorDash and Instacart it is really important to have a complete job review.

DoorDash

It’s a low pressure job, unlike rideshare apps, you do not have to deal with customers.

Dashers earn a living by delivering food to local consumers. DoorDash' customers place delivery orders, so the driver's responsibility is to accept the gig with the dasher app , pick up and deliver food or grocery items. Sometimes the driver must make the necessary purchase by using a special credit card.

The most common complaints from drivers include low-paying orders, and technical trouble with the app itself.

Instacart

Instacart is currently looking for in-store shoppers and full service shoppers. We Suggest you consult our complete guide with all the opening jobs positions.

As an Instacart Shopper, your main duties are:

  • Accept a job with the Shopper app
  • Help customers by shopping for their groceries and general merchandise ordered with the Instacart app.
  • Following Instacart's food safety policies to keep perishable goods fresh. We suggest you consult our guide to couriers gears.
  • Load merchandise into your vehicles and deliver it to the customer house.
  • Greet and thank customers with a smile!

Instacart is a standing gig job and requires physical skills. You must be able to lift up to 40lbs without accommodation.

The most common complaints from shoppers include dealing with missing items, low-paying orders and technical trouble with the app itself.

Winner: Tie. If you like the idea of spending time shopping at the grocery store, Instacart is the right job for you.

Instacart vs DoorDash: The Requirements & Application process

The requirements are pretty similar and if you qualify for one, you will qualify for the other too. If you want a detailed list, we suggest you consult our guide to Doordash requirements and Instacart requirements .

Basically the requirements include:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a valid US driver's license
  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Have access to a vehicle (No vehicle inspection required)
  • Own a smartphone
  • Pass a background check

The application process can be done in a few minutes and it is online for both the platforms.

Winner: Tie. However if you like the idea to earn money riding your bike, you should sign up for DoorDash.

Instacart vs DoorDash Driver Pay

instacart vs doordash pay

I'm a driver for Doordash and Instacart. This means that I’m a 1099 worker and self-employed. One of the great advantages of independent contracting is flexibility to work when and for whom I want. But like all independent work, I’ m responsible for covering my own taxes and insurance.

On the other hand, being a part of the gig economy comes with the benefits of tax deductions including car expenses.When you work as a gig worker, you should always keep track of your mileage.

Here are some important things I wish I knew before starting the job. The first and important question is: Does Instacart or Doordash pay more?

DoorDash

Doordash earnings varies by markets. The company offers incentives to new drivers when they sign up with a referral code.

While working during peak hours the pay can be decent. We suggest you consult our guide to make more money with DoorDash.

Tips are on top of your earnings.

Dasher hourly pay can range from $7 - $25

Instacart

Instacart earnings varies by markets. The company offers incentives to new drivers.

You are paid for each batch you complete. Shopping and delivering for Instacart is a great way to make money on the side, or even as a main gig.

You keep 100% of tips and when a customer tips cash, it's like getting double the amount.

Full Service Shopper hourly pay can range from $3 - $25.

Winner: DoorDash.

Which should you choose?

So then, Instacart or DoorDash: Which should you choose? Both platforms have pros and cons, and, as with many job decisions, your choice will depend on what you enjoy doing.

Working for Doordash is a good experience. There's less to think about, and because it represents the most popular food delivery app, there's an abundance of support and it also places first when it comes to work-life balance, benefits/perks.

I recommend Instacart for those who want to make extra money. However, sometimes it is hard to get the hours you want and you have to be more organized and know how to maximize your earnings.

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