Working as a food delivery driver can be a great way to earn extra cash on a flexible schedule. One popular option that may be available in your area is Grubhub.
In this article, I’ll take a close look at being a driver with Grubhub. I’ll include details on how to get started, how much you can expect to make and tips to help maximize your earnings.
This article was updated in July 2023 and I review it every 12 months. Detailed notes on all updates can be found here.
4 Things To Know Before Becoming a Grubhub Driver
If you have a car with up-to-date insurance and a working smartphone, you can earn money by driving with Grubhub. Similar to DoorDash, Uber Eats and other food delivery services, Grubhub hires freelancers to complete deliveries in exchange for per-delivery pay and customer tips.
Before you get started, consider these four things to know about driving for Grubhub:
What Is Grubhub?
Grubhub is a food delivery service that lets customers order from nearby restaurants. Once a customer places an order, the nearest Grubhub driver is alerted to pick it up and deliver it.
There are two different apps for Grubhub: the food delivery app for customers (iOS and Android) and the driver app for freelancers (iOS and Android). Both apps are free to download, and accounts are free to create. Of course, if you’re interested in becoming a driver for Grubhub, you’ll need the driver app.
How Much Do Grubhub Drivers Make?
As a Grubhub driver, you’re able to choose when and how often you work. Because of that flexibility, earnings vary greatly between one Grubhub driver and another. How much you can make will also depend on where you’re delivering and what times of day you’re working. Try to pick up shifts around lunch and dinner as well as on the weekends in order to maximize your earnings.
According to Glassdoor, Grubhub drivers make an average of $16-$23 per hour. That number is based on 5,000 reported salaries according to Glassdoor. Of course, your experience may be higher or lower depending on when, where and how often you deliver.
When I drove for Grubhub myself a few years ago, I delivered for about five hours per week over the course of three weeks. I ended up making about $17 an hour and averaged around $85 each week. Below, you can see a breakdown of my earnings from one of those weeks.
As a Grubhub driver, your earnings will include delivery pay, tips, Grubhub contributions and any bonuses or adjustments. Delivery pay includes the mileage per order and time spent on the road. Grubhub drivers get to keep 100% of customer tips.
One great feature that Grubhub offers is hourly minimum pay. If you schedule yourself to drive to Grubhub and receive few or no offers, you’ll still earn money if Grubhub offers an hourly minimum in your area. For Lexington, the hourly minimum was $10. To earn this, you must accept a certain percentage of offers during your scheduled block. The Grubhub contribution amount is added at the end of the day. It can take up to 24 hours to display.
Grubhub sometimes offers bonuses, challenges, sweepstakes and other incentives that can boost your pay. These offers vary throughout the year and from one location to the next. Still, they can make a big difference in your total pay!
While I was working with Grubhub, I saw offers that required completing a certain number of deliveries within a specific time frame. Of course, you’ll have to accept a certain percentage of offers in order to earn the bonus pay.
There are expenses that come with the job including the wear on your car and the gas you use. Also, note that as a freelance Grubhub driver, you’ll need to hold out your own taxes. Even taking these expenses into consideration though, it’s still possible to earn good hourly pay with Grubhub.
To Maximize Your Earnings as a Grubhub Driver, Follow These Tips:
- Schedule your shifts. You can get on the app and mark yourself as “available” to take orders at any time. You can also click on the “scheduling” tab to sign up for future blocks. The blocks range from two to four hours, and you’ll see how many available slots there are during each block. This is a great way to plan ahead and hold yourself accountable. Plus, Grubhub sends you reminders about your scheduled blocks.
- Take advantage of bonus opportunities. I’ve seen bonuses that offer an additional $10 for every three deliveries in an evening, which can be a great way to boost your overall earnings. If you do plan on earning a bonus, just make sure to read the fine print and understand the requirements. Generally, you’ll have to accept 70% to 90% of all the offers you receive during your scheduled block to be eligible for bonus pay.
- Be strategic about which orders you accept. Whether you’re working toward a bonus or not, it’s OK to reject certain offers. Before you accept or decline an order, you’ll be able to see the total pay you’ll earn including customer tips. You’ll also be able to see the general location of the pickup and drop-off destinations on the map, but you won’t be able to see an actual mileage amount. If the distance is too far or the order total is too low, it may not be worth it to accept a certain offer. Your acceptance rating may go down, but this won’t affect your ability to accept orders. Also, you can accept multiple orders at once to increase your pay.
In short, your earnings can vary greatly from hour to hour depending on where you live, when you’re driving and whether customers leave tips.
How Does Grubhub Work?
Grubhub works by connecting customers with freelance drivers and nearby restaurants. As a driver, you’ll use your smartphone and vehicle to accept and deliver orders. You’ll earn delivery pay, which includes mileage and time, as well as 100% of the tips that customers leave. You can also earn bonus pay by completing incentives and challenges.
If you’re thinking about driving for Grubhub, follow these steps to sign up and start earning money today.
The first step is to download the Grubhub driver app for iOS or Android. Once you open the app, click “Sign Up.” Then, you’ll enter your name, email address, phone number, city and state before creating an account.
After you enter this information, you’ll answer a few basic questions: your age, your ZIP code and your delivery method (car, motorcycle, bicycle, etc.). If Grubhub is hiring drivers in your area, you’ll be able to continue creating your account. Unfortunately, I was placed on a waiting list and wasn’t officially accepted until six weeks later.
Once you do qualify for the next step, you’ll be ready to set up your profile. This will include providing your shipping address so that you can receive your Grubhub gear. Then, you’ll need to upload photos of your driver’s license and car insurance card. Finally, you’ll need to enter some information to authorize a background check and fill out your Grubhub Delivery Partner Agreement and IRS Form W-9.
After your background check comes through, you can set up direct deposit to your bank, take a profile picture, sign in and complete the driver onboarding process. You can also expect to receive a welcome package in the mail including your Grubhub driver card and an insulated bag.
I also received two face masks and some hand sanitizer with my welcome package, though I signed up during the pandemic.
Once your background check comes through, you can log in and start delivering. Log in to the app, and if you want to start driving immediately, click the “Menu” button in the top-left corner of the screen, click “Tasks” and click on the red button above the word “Unavailable.” From there, you can use the slider to change your status to “Taking Offers.”
If you want to schedule a block to work in the future, you can click the “Scheduling” tab from the in-app menu and click “Update Schedule.” You can schedule yourself to work up to two weeks in advance (as long as there’s an opening during the time block you choose).
When your status is “Taking Orders,” you’ll get a push notification when an offer is available, and you’ll have a short period of time to accept or reject the offer before it’s offered to another driver.
If you accept the job, you’ll see the address for the restaurant in the “Tasks” tab. You can click the location icon on the map to open up the navigation app of your choice.
You’ll be able to mark checkpoints throughout your trip in the app including when you arrive at the restaurant, when you get the order, when you’re leaving and when you arrive at the customer’s address. You’ll also be able to see the details of the customer’s order so that you can check it for accuracy.
It’s easy to keep track of the whole process in the “Tasks” tab, and that’s especially helpful if you accept multiple deliveries at once. This tab is also where you’ll see the customer’s preferences for delivery. If customers request contact-free delivery, a text update or a call, you’ll get an alert when you arrive to drop off the order.
Once you’ve completed the delivery, your delivery pay and tips will be added to your earnings for the day. Then you’ll be ready to accept your next order. If you’re eligible for minimum hourly wage adjustments or bonus pay, those totals will be added at the end of each day but may take up to 24 hours to show up in the app.
You’ll receive payments via direct deposit to the bank account you listed when signing up. Grubhub pays drivers weekly on Thursdays for the work completed the previous Monday-Sunday. Of course, it can take a few days for your bank to process the payment.
Alternatively, you can use the Instant Cash Out feature to transfer your available earnings directly to your bank account at any time. There is a $0.50 fee for each Instant Cash Out transaction, but if you’re using a Chase checking account, this fee will be waived.
Pros and Cons
Overall, driving for Grubhub is a great way to earn extra money. Signing up is easy, and you can get started as soon as your background check comes back. Still, it’s important to sign up as soon as possible if you want to become a Grubhub driver because you could end up on a waitlist for a little while depending on where you live.
If you’re wondering whether or not you should freelance as a Grubhub driver, here a few of the major pros and cons to consider:
- Minimum hourly pay makes up for slow days
- You can earn bonus pay and keep 100% of customer tips
- You get to choose which orders to accept
- The schedule is flexible
- “Instant Cash Out” is available
- Pay can vary greatly from one hour to the next
- You have to have a high acceptance rating during your scheduled blocks to be eligible for most bonuses, and sometimes order totals may be too low or distances too far to make the delivery worth it even after bonus pay
If you do decide to become a Grubhub driver, be sure to hold back enough of your earnings each week to cover your estimated tax payments. If you make $600 or more in a calendar year, you’ll receive a 1099-NEC form. Even if you don’t earn that much, you’ll be expected to report your earnings at the end of the year and pay the appropriate taxes.
Have you earned extra cash through Grubhub or a similar company? Tell us about your experience in the Clark.com Community.
- July 24, 2023: Updated average driver salary based on information provided by Glassdoor
- July 24, 2023: Grubhub now displays estimated mileage before you accept a delivery; removed from cons list