Trying to decide between rideshare or food delivery?

Side hustle or full time job as a gig worker can always be very demanding, depending on the type of gig you do, there are pros and cons to each, but which is better now that the pandemic restrictions are being lifted in a lot of states?

There are far more delivery companies than there are rideshare companies. When it comes to rideshare you are basically limited to the two big giants: Uber and Lyft, or at least if you want to get bonuses and stay busy that is. Uber and Lyft are in every major city, although there are some smaller rideshare companies out there, they just can’t compare to the rider base that Uber and Lyft currently have.

But with delivery services there are way more options to choose from. Food delivery services typically in most cities are UberEats, Doordash, Grubhub, Postmates, Caviar (now owned by Doordash) & bitesquad. Although majority of states will also have a few smaller food delivery companies as well.

If you are looking to do package delivery there is Amazon flex & Roadie. Or maybe grocery shopping, which would include Amzon Flex, Ship, Instacart & walmarts own delivery service Spark driver.

Which gig pays more?

While there are many factors to pay & each gig app might have their own pay structure, in a nutshell, typically food delivery or grocery delivery will have higher payment amounts, simply because customers will most likely tip higher for those services. You are also more likely to know what your pay is up front when doing delivery services compared to rideshare, as delivery typically pays a set amount and rideshare pays per mile/minute. If done correctly a delivery driver should be able to average well over $1.00 per mile, while in most markets Uber/Lyft pay less than $0.70 per mile.

The downside to delivery services is that it is time dependant, you aren’t always busy all day long and normally you would have to split your shift between breakfast, lunch and dinner depending on your financial needs, where as rideshare is typically a 24 hour position and you can typically find rides almost all day long.

Which gig is easier?

By direct comparison, rideshare is much easier, you get a ping, pickup the passenger and drop off the passenger.

To delivery packages, groceries or food the driver must:

  • Go inside to place/pickup/verify the order
  • Load/unload their vehicle
  • Find places to legally park
  • Place packages/orders by customer door or directly to the customer

    With rideshare you never have to worry about finding parking, spilling drinks or food inside your vehicle. The downside is your car should always be extra clean, as that is what the passengers are expecting.

    On the reverse side of things, when doing delivery services you don’t have to worry about drunk riders being aggressive, throwing up or damaging your car, or getting a complaint that your car might have dust in it.

    But any rideshare or delivery driver will tell you that there is much more to each of those gigs though and each does come with its own set of problems.

    For delivery services:

    • You have to deal with the merchant to place/pickup/verify order
    • You have to deal with support when something is wrong
    • You might have long wait times at a store (sometimes up to an hour)
    • Customer might put in the wrong address or not answering the door
    • The package/order isn’t correct or not scanning
    • Possibility of deliverying the wrong order to the wrong customer

    For rideshare services:

    • You have to wait for the customer to come out
    • You have to verify the correct amount of passengers
    • You have to deal with passengers directly for extended period of time
    • You might have multiple stops you have to wait for the customer at
    • You might have a “toxic”, “drunk” or “aggressive” passenger

    This doesn’t mean it all just “sucks” or these gigs are “terrible”, there are plenty of pros as well, such as you can earn money anytime you want and there really isn’t a cap on the amount you can earn. They also have very flexible schedules and most apps will allow you to sign in/out when you want, if one type of service is slow you can simply sign into another at the same time, there are plenty of drivers that run 2 or more apps every time they work.

    Which is better on my vehicle?

    On average delivery drivers will do less miles than rideshare drivers, because the per mile average & payout is higher, so they can typically stay inside a smaller range from restaurants.

    As with rideshare your money comes directly from driving, so you the more miles you put on the car equals more pay, which creates more wear and tear on your vehicle and would have to replace it far more often.

    So I would definelty say that delivery is far better on your vehicle and you would require less maintaince over time. 

    My Summary

    If you are doing rideshare you should be at the very least running both Uber/Lyft at the same time, this will increase your rides per hour and your overall miles that you can gain, as we pointed out before, the more miles, the more money. If you have an android device you can manage both very easily with the Maxymo app.

    If you are a delivery driver then you will want to make sure you are accepting profitble trips, low paying offers/shifts should be declined or ignored, you only make money if your per mile/per order amounts are higher, taking 2 $10 orders per hour is way better than taking 7 $3.00 orders per hour.

    For the doordash contractors, I suggest using the Drivers Utility Helper app, it will give you breakdowns of your per mile, per order amounts, give you a stats summary that will let you know the best time to work food delivery and assist you with accepting profitible orders and declining unprofible ones.

    Amazon flex drivers can use the Flex Alert app, this will allow you to automatically refresh the screen for orders, or get custom pricing alerts when new orders comes in, so you can do other things besides watching your phone all day for big paying shifts.

    My advice would be to sign up for every service available in your area, even if you don’t plan on working it currently, so you at the very least have options should one service be slow, but I would try to prioritize delivery over rideshare if possible, your vehicle will thank you later and you will overall have a better experience doing delivery versus picking up passengers.