These 5 Companies Pay up to $25/Hour and They Let You Pick Your Own Schedule

A woman receives groceries from a person at her front door.
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Plenty of money-making options for drivers don’t involve real, live humans. For example, you can get paid to deliver food — whether that’s groceries or takeout — or even retail purchases. In my opinion, the gig seems less daunting than ride sharing, and you can still make a substantial side income.

But which delivery app pays the bestThat will depend on a lot of factors, such as your location and when you’re able to log in. But some apps might have features that make the gig more attractive to your situation.

To help you get the most out of your hours driving around town, we’ve compared five popular food-delivery services to determine which will help you make the most money.

1. Get Paid to Drop off Starbucks

Your city is filled with two things: Starbucks, and people who want Starbucks.

An app called Doordash will pay you to pick up and deliver an extra latte when you’re already out and getting your caffeine fix. And it’s not just coffee. You can deliver from Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, Five Guys and hundreds of other restaurants in your area.

With Doordash, you set your own hours and work as much or little as you want, meaning how much you make is up to you.

You’ll earn money for each delivery, plus tips.

The best part? No passengers — that grande, no-whip macchiato will be the only thing to hear your beautiful singing voice.

If you sign up for Doordash now, it’s possible to get your first paycheck this week.

2. Be a DoorDasher

This is arguably the best title on our list of food-delivery gigs: DoorDasher.

With DoorDash, you’ll be delivering food from restaurants in your area.

Here are more details:

  • Locations: DoorDash is in more than 300 cities around the U.S. 
  • Pay: The site lists no specifics, but one guy reported making an average of $18 an hour last December, which he says was his lowest earning month.
  • Schedule: Flexible, though many report Sundays are the busiest days.

Requirements: You must…

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a valid driver’s license.
  • Have valid car insurance.
  • Have an iPhone or Android smartphone.

3. Become a Shipt Shopper

A woman takes groceries to her car.
William DeShazer for The Penny Hoarder

If you sign up as a Shipt Shopper, it’s your job to pick and choose grocery orders to fill and deliver. Take notes from Destiny Frith, who used Shipt to earn up to $20 an hour when she was between jobs.

Here are more details:

  • Locations: Shipt is currently available in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, and expanding throughout the rest of the country. An easy way to see if it’s in your area is to enter your zip code here.
  • Pay: The Shipt site says shoppers can earn up to $25 an hour. Shoppers are paid per order, so that’ll vary by order count and tips.
  • Schedule: Flexible, though peak days are Sunday and Monday, according to the driver application.

Requirements: You should…

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a reliable vehicle that’s less than 15 years old.
  • Have an iPhone (iOS 8 or newer) or Android (4.4.2 or newer) phone.
  • Have a valid U.S. driver’s license and auto insurance with at least a year of driving experience.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Own an insulated cooler bag.
  • Know your way around the produce section.
  • Be able to lift at least 25 pounds.
  • Be able to avoid smoking on the job.
  • How to apply: Fill out the short online application. Shipt will email you with more details within 24 hours. You’ll have a virtual interview, either through your computer or on your phone. Shipt says it takes approximately 15 minutes.

You might have seen Shipt in the news. Target bought the service, which means Shipt Shoppers will  get to spend more time at Target in the future, and what could be better than that?

4. Deliver Takeout With Uber Eats

Courier On Bicycle Delivering Food In City
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Ahhh, the sweet smell of takeout stinking up your car.

OK, it might not be the most appealing thing in the world — you might want to crack a few windows, depending on the type of cuisine you’re delivering — but Uber Eats offers flexible food-delivery opportunities.

Here are more details:

  • Locations: Uber Eats is all over the U.S. — and the world, really. For a full list, go to its location page.
  • Pay: Drivers are paid a pick-up fee, for the distance traveled and a drop-off fee. Uber takes a service fee. Once you link a debit card, delivery partners can cash out up to five times a day with instant pay.
  • Schedule: Flexible.

Requirements may vary by location: In general, you must…

  • Be at least 19 years old if delivering by car.
  • Delivery options via car (must be a 1997 or newer with at least two doors), bike, scooter or foot depending on your area.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have a valid driver’s license and insurance (if you deliver by car or scooter).

5. Get Paid to Grocery Shop as an Instacart Shopper

Instacart is different from other grocery-delivery services because it offers shoppers two different money-making opportunities.
Your first option is to sign up as a full-service shopper, which requires you to shop and deliver groceries. Then there’s the in-store shopper option, which doesn’t require making any deliveries. The in-store shopper simply shops in the store and bags the items so they’re ready for pick-up.

To be consistent with the delivery trend we have going, we’ll focus on the full-service shopper.

Here are more details:

  • Locations: There’s a big ol‘ map of Instacart’s service areas. Enter your zip code to get more details about your area.
  • Pay: Instacart doesn’t share any average earnings, though you’re paid per delivery. Some recent Indeed reviews of Instacart have mentioned $9 an hour in Indiana. In a bigger area, like San Francisco, one independent contractor cited making $15 to $20 an hour.
  • Schedule: Flexible, no note of popular times.

Requirements: You must…

  • Be 18 years or older.
  • Be eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Have reliable access to a vehicle and two or more years of driving experience.
  • Have a smartphone (iPhone 4S or Android 4.0 or newer).
  • Be able to lift 30 to 40 pounds.
  • How to apply: Enter basic information here. Then, attend an assigned in-person group session, where you’ll get an overview of Instacart, its app and your next steps.