13 Ways to Make Money Delivering Food, Packages and More

Delivery driver with food
Andrew Angelov / Shutterstock.com

This story originally appeared on DollarSprout.

Convenience has become increasingly important to people these days.

Given how busy our schedules are, it’s easier to have packages, groceries, restaurant meals and prescriptions delivered instead of using our limited free time to run errands.

If you’re looking for a way to make some extra cash, and you’re familiar with your local area or spend a lot of time in your car, you can take advantage of this demand by making deliveries on the side.

When people are busy, the last thing they want to do is go grocery shopping or spend a few hours at a restaurant waiting for a meal. So, they turn to food delivery services. You can take advantage of these delivery apps to make money in your spare time.

1. Postmates

pizza delivery mask working
Anna Tryhub / Shutterstock.com

Postmates is a food delivery app that hires drivers that it calls “couriers” to deliver groceries, restaurant meals and personal items to customers. Drivers are paid for miles driven, time waiting for orders, and how many orders they can complete in an hour. As a driver, you also get to keep 100% of your tips — one of many perks that sets Postmates apart from other delivery services.

Drivers can set up alerts for new delivery requests, which they can accept or reject, or register for auto-accept to be automatically assigned deliveries. You won’t have the option to reject offers if your profile is set to auto-accept.

How to get started
If you choose to deliver for Postmates, they’ll start by confirming your information and performing a background check. You’ll receive a welcome kit with a prepaid credit card and delivery bag. As soon as you pass your background check and receive your kit, you can download the Postmates app and activate your prepaid card to begin making deliveries.

Requirements
To make deliveries for Postmates, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have access to a car, truck, van, bike, or scooter.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have access to a smartphone.

How much can you earn?
$10 to $20 per hour plus tips.

2. DoorDash

Delivery driver.
New Africa / Shutterstock.com

DoorDash drivers deliver food to customers from local restaurants. Once customers place an order through the app, a delivery driver will pick it up and bring it to the customer’s home, office, or other location. The delivery and service fees depend on the restaurant they select.

About one to two weeks after acceptance, new drivers can download the DoorDash app to start earning money. You have the option to schedule a future shift or start right away by clicking “Dash Now.”

How to get started
To become a “Dasher,” you’ll fill out an online application and undergo a background check. If you pass the background check, you’ll get an Activation Kit with an insulated bag and prepaid debit card or “Red Card” that you’ll use to pay for food at fast-food restaurants.

Requirements
To be a Dasher, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have no major moving violations in the last seven years.
  • Have no more than three accidents or moving violations in the last three years.
  • Own a car, scooter, or bicycle.

How much can you earn?
$9 to $12 per delivery plus tips.

3. Instacart

Grocery delivery mask handing bag of groceries
Skylines / Shutterstock.com

Instacart offers same-day grocery delivery and pick-up services to customers who shop local grocery stores online or via the Instacart app. Once they finish shopping, they can request a personal shopper to pick up and deliver their order to them the same day.

Unlike other apps, Instacart offers two options for shoppers: full-service and in-store only. As a full-service shopper, you shop for orders and deliver them to customers. In-store shoppers shop for items and prepare the order for the customers to pick up. This option provides a little more flexibility, especially for those without a vehicle.

How to get started
Enter your personal details on Instacart’s online application. After you do, you’ll get a text with a link so you can download the Instacart app. When you download the app, you can choose to become a full-service or in-store shopper and select orders that fit your schedule.

Requirements
To become an Instacart full-service shopper, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be eligible to work in the United States.
  • Have access to a vehicle and smartphone.
  • Lift 50 pounds without any help.

To become an in-store shopper, you must meet the same requirements, with the exception of a vehicle.

How much can you earn?
$10 to $16 per hour plus tips.

4. Shipt

Home delivery man mask gloves thumbs up
ViDI Studio / Shutterstock.com

Target-owned grocery delivery service Shipt allows customers to use its app or website to order groceries from local supermarkets. Shipt Shoppers shop on their behalf and deliver their groceries in as soon as an hour. Customers pay a monthly membership fee plus a delivery fee if they spend fewer than $35.

How to get started
Complete the Shipt Shopper application by providing basic information like your name, age, and driving experience, and wait 24 to 48 hours for approval. Upon approval, you’ll download the Shipt app and go through training where you’ll learn the shopping rules as well as how to navigate the app.

You’ll also need to pass a test at the end of your training.

Requirements
To become a Shipt Shopper, you need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a valid driver’s license and car insurance.
  • Own a reliable vehicle that’s 1997 or newer.
  • Know how to properly select produce.
  • Own insulated cooler bags.
  • Be able to lift 40 pounds.
  • Have a smartphone.

How much can you earn?
$16 to $22 per hour plus tips.

5. Uber Eats

Pizza delivery man
Luis Molinero / Shutterstock.com

Uber Eats is an online food ordering and delivery app. Customers browse hundreds of Uber Eats restaurant partners, place their order through the app, and wait for delivery. The distance between the customer and restaurant will determine their delivery fee.

Uber Eats provides an alternative for working as an Uber rideshare driver.

How to get started
Download the Uber app and register to become a driver. You’ll have to complete a few digital forms and upload documents for a background check. Then you’ll link your bank account or add a debit card so you can get paid. Once you’re approved, the app will show you available delivery jobs nearby for you to accept.

Requirements
These depend on whether you deliver with a car, scooter, or bike. If you plan to deliver with a scooter or bike, make sure to choose those options when registering.

Car delivery requirements

  • Meet the minimum age to drive in your area.
  • Have a reliable two-door or four-door car made in 1999 or after.
  • Hold a valid driver’s license, registration, and vehicle insurance.
  • Have at least one year of driving experience.
  • Pass a background check.

Scooter delivery requirements

  • Be at least 19 years old.
  • Have a motorized scooter under 50cc.
  • Have a valid driver’s license, registration, and vehicle insurance.
  • Pass a background check.

Bike delivery requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a government-issued ID.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Have a smartphone.

How much can you earn?
$10 to $15 per hour plus tips.

6. Caviar

Female courier and package delivery driver in a truck
Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock.com

Caviar is a food ordering and meal delivery service specializing in local and independent gourmet and fine dining restaurants. It partners with restaurants in select cities and metro areas, making it easier and quicker to fulfill orders. There are also a few features that separate it from other delivery services, including no driver rating system, free occupational accident insurance policy, and higher rates.

How to get started
To start delivering with Caviar, you need to create an account and complete an online application. If you’re accepted, you’ll receive an email inviting you to attend an in-person or remote orientation. The email will detail all the pertinent information you need to bring, so make sure you have that documentation ready and on hand.

You also want to make sure you live in or near the areas Caviar serves. These include Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, and Los Angeles, but you can check the website for the latest list.

Requirements
To work as a Caviar courier, you must:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Own a vehicle, bike, scooter, or motorcycle.
  • Have a smartphone.
  • Have two years of driving experience.
  • Pass a background check.

How much can you earn?
The website claims you can earn up to $25 per hour, but that depends on where you deliver, how many orders you accept, the total cost of the customer’s purchase, and tips.

7. GrubHub

Food delivery man
Yuriy Golub / Shutterstock.com

GrubHub is the self-described largest and most comprehensive food delivery service, available in 4,000-plus areas. Through its app, website, or by phone, customers can order food from local restaurants and have it delivered to their home, hotel room, dorm room, or office. Drivers can set their own shift hours or work in blocks.

GrubHub is part of Seamless, so if you sign up to work with one, you can likely drive for the other.

How to get started
The first step to working for GrubHub is applying online or via the GrubHub app. After you submit that, you’ll need to take a brief survey to ensure you’re a good fit, and then provide documentation including copies of your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and bank account information. You will also need to consent to a background check.

If you pass all of that, you’ll need to attend an onboarding session and select your insulated delivery bag before you can start making deliveries.

Requirements
As long as you’re 19 or older (or 21-plus in Chicago and Las Vegas) you can drive for GrubHub. You must also have:

  • A car (or bike in select areas).
  • A valid driver’s license (for at least two years) or a valid state ID (if delivering via bike).
  • Car insurance.
  • An iPhone with iOS11 or higher or Android with 5.0 or higher and a data plan.
  • A checking account.

How much can you earn?
Earnings vary based on location and type of order but on average, drivers earn $12 per hour plus tips. If you choose to deliver in blocks of time, GrubHub may contribute to your earnings if you don’t meet a minimum per hour (only available in certain locations).

8. Local Restaurants

Restaurant cook in mask and gloves
Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

Chances are good that there are a variety of restaurants in your local area that offer delivery services to their customers. These may be chains like Applebee’s and Outback Steakhouse or smaller, locally-owned restaurants. In most cases, they’ll charge delivery fees that depend on how far the customer’s home or business is from their location.

How to get started
Do some online research and find out which restaurants deliver in your area. You can go to Google and type in “restaurants that deliver near me” or “delivery jobs near me.”

Once you find a restaurant you’d like to deliver for, visit its website to find out how to apply. If it’s a smaller restaurant, you may have to go there in person to learn more and apply.

Requirements
Each restaurant will have its own set of requirements for delivery drivers. Usually, however, they’ll require that you’re at least 18 years old and have a reliable car with a valid driver’s license and car insurance.

How much can you earn?
Pay will depend on the restaurant you deliver for.

9. Amazon Flex

Amazon delivery
Lutsenko_Oleksandr / Shutterstock.com

In the past, Amazon relied on companies like UPS and FedEx to deliver packages. Now, Amazon uses its own delivery program, Amazon Flex. Drivers work as independent contractors and can deliver traditional packages, groceries, and other items to customers.

Amazon Flex isn’t always hiring, so make sure to check its website to see if it’s recruiting in your area.

How to get started
To apply, you’ll need to sign in to your Amazon account or create a new one. Then, download the Amazon Flex app and fill out the job application. The application will ask you some questions about when you’re available to work and where you’d like to deliver.

If you live in a high-demand area, you may be able to start right away. If you don’t, you’ll be placed on a waitlist. Before you begin delivering packages, you’ll need to submit a copy of your driver’s license, bank account information, and Social Security number.

Requirements
To deliver packages for Amazon Flex, you need to:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Own a midsize sedan, SUV, van, or pickup truck with a covered bed.
  • Have a valid driver’s license and car insurance policy.
  • Have a smartphone.

How much can you earn?
$18 to $25 per hour.

10. UPS and FedEx

UPS delivery driver
elbud / Shutterstock.com

UPS and FedEx are the two leading delivery service companies in the U.S. While FedEx usually uses independent contractors to deliver its packages, UPS prefers for its delivery drivers to be temporary or permanent employees.

Each company offers its own perks, so do some research to see which one is a better fit for you.

How to get started
UPS has a page on its website dedicated to delivery drivers. Visit the page to search for delivery driver opportunities in your area. You’ll have to complete a comprehensive training program before working.

The FedEx Careers page has more information about available delivery driver jobs and what you can expect if you work for the company.

Requirements
These will depend on the company and the specific job you apply for. In most cases, you’ll need a valid driver’s license and must be OK with wearing a UPS or FedEx uniform. Being able to lift packages that weigh between 25 and 35 pounds is another common requirement.

How much can you earn?
UPS: $21 per hour plus benefits.

FedEx: $18 per hour.

11. Roadie

driving a car
g-stockstudio / Shutterstock.com

Roadie is a community of delivery drivers who make money delivering items in places they’re already headed. For example, if you’re driving to Atlanta, you can pick up a box of cupcakes and drop it off to a customer’s aunt who lives there. Its affordable delivery services are available to both individuals and businesses.

How to get started
You can fill out a short driver sign-up form or sign up using your Facebook account. Once you pass a background check, you’ll download the Roadie app and go to the Roadie Map to see available gigs.

To learn more about a certain gig, just click on its marker. You’ll find out what needs to be delivered, where it needs to go, and how much you can earn.

Requirements
To work as a Roadie driver, you’ll need to:

  • Own a reliable car.
  • Hold a valid driver’s license.
  • Have a car insurance policy that meets your state’s requirements.
  • Maintain at least a four-star rating to stay active.
  • Pass a background check.

How much can you earn?
$8 to $650 per delivery, depending on the distance.

12. TaskRabbit

Man in car
g-stockstudio / Shutterstock.com

TaskRabbit is a micro jobs site known for matching handymen and contractors to customers who need help with everyday tasks. These can include things like assembling furniture, cleaning gutters, or delivering items for customers.

How to get started
To become a “Tasker,” you’ll need to register with your name, email, phone, and ZIP code. Once you receive an email confirming you’ve been approved, you’ll attend an onboarding session in your local area. After you complete the onboarding session, you can download the app and start accepting delivery tasks near you.

Requirements
If you’d like to make deliveries as a “Tasker,” you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age.
  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Own a reliable car.

How much can you earn?
$30 per hour.

13. GoShare

Happy driver
AJR_photo / Shutterstock.com

GoShare is an on-demand app that connects individuals and businesses with local movers and delivery drivers. Customers can book services in advance or last minute, and they can get a free estimate before they book. Drivers use their own vehicles, including cars, pickup trucks, box trucks, and cargo vans, and which jobs they accept are based on the type of vehicle they own.

Unlike many delivery apps, GoShare offers cargo and liability insurance policies to its drivers and it also has an option for people to work as “helpers.” Helpers assist with jobs that involve heavy lifting but do not earn money with their vehicles.

How to get started
You’ll need to fill out an online application that includes personal information as well as information about your vehicle. If you pass the initial screening, you’ll receive an email invitation to watch an orientation video. After that, you’ll need to pass a vehicle inspection and a background check, as well as upload copies of documents related to your vehicle including registration and proof of insurance.

If you pass all of that, you need to provide your bank information to set up direct deposit. Once that’s done, you’ll be set up on the GoShare platform.

Note that you’ll need to pay for the background check out of pocket. You may receive reimbursement if you’re hired, but the company does not reimburse for failed background checks.

Requirements
If you want to drive for GoShare, you must:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Have a vehicle that’s fewer than 15 years old that can pass inspection. It must not have a salvage title.
  • Pass a background and driving history check.
  • Own a smartphone that can support the app.
  • Have a checking account for direct deposit.
  • Be able to speak English.
  • Have a valid driver’s license, registration, and insurance.

How much can you earn?
Drivers can earn $33 to $67 per hour (depending on the type of vehicle they use) plus tips. Helpers average $39 per hour plus tips.

Other ways to make money delivering stuff

Woman with money
Serhii Zavalnyi / Shutterstock.com

While groceries, restaurant meals, and packages are some of the most popular items you can deliver, there are plenty of other options. Senior citizens and disabled individuals who can’t make it to their local pharmacy may pay you to deliver prescription medications to their homes.

If you don’t mind heavy lifting, delivering furniture or appliances is another option. Many stores work with third-party logistics companies that hire independent contractors to deliver these types of larger items.

Delivering wine, beer, liquor, mixers, and ice is another possibility. On-demand alcohol delivery services like Drizly and Minibar partner with liquor stores in select cities and metro areas. After searching the sites to find stores in your area, you can contact those stores directly to see if they’re hiring drivers.

You can also land a gig delivering legal documents to law firms, balloons or flowers from a florist, or laundry and linens to hospitals and other institutions. You can even find work driving cars from one state to another.

And don’t forget about local or state-specific apps. For instance, platforms like Burro, Burpy, and Favor all operate only in Texas and offer opportunities for drivers to make money delivering groceries, takeout, and other items. And if you live in California, you might consider working for Eaze, a cannabis delivery service.

There’s no shortage of delivery jobs available. All you need to do is search for delivery jobs in your area to find opportunities.

What to consider before hitting the road

Thinking woman
mimagephotography / Shutterstock.com

Before you take on a delivery gig, there are certain things you should keep in mind.

  • Extra car expenses. Since most delivery jobs require you to use your car, you’ll need to keep it in great shape. This means staying on top of gas fill-ups as well as oil changes, tire rotations, and other maintenance and repair services.
  • Insurance costs. Most companies require that their delivery drivers have a car insurance policy and possibly other types of insurance. If you can’t afford your current policy or believe it’s too expensive, do some research and find a more affordable insurance option.
  • Personal safety. While delivery driving can give you the chance to earn money, it can also be dangerous. You never know what types of people or situations you may encounter, so it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings. If you feel like you’re in danger, leave immediately and if necessary, contact the police.
  • Fees and commissions from the apps. Many of these apps take a cut of your earnings in the form of commissions or fees. Before you accept a delivery job, find out how much will be taken out of your pay. This can help you avoid unwanted or unexpected financial surprises.
  • Earned income vs. time spent delivering. Making deliveries takes time. You have to accept a job, visit a place to get the order or package, and drive to the customer’s destination to deliver it. Do the math and make sure that every job you take is worth your time.
  • Taxes. Working as an independent contractor, taxes aren’t taken out of your paycheck. Instead, you’re responsible for paying them yourself, so be sure to set a percentage of your earnings aside for that. Consider speaking with an accountant who can help estimate how much you may owe.

You don’t necessarily need a car to get started

Young man on bike.
kazoka / Shutterstock.com

Many people think they can’t make money delivering things unless they have a car. The reality is this isn’t true. You may be able to make deliveries with a scooter, bike, or even on foot. Also, if you land a gig with a delivery company, it may provide you with a vehicle or give you the chance to rent or borrow one.

While delivering food and other items is a potentially lucrative side hustle, you might find it’s not for you. If that happens, there are still plenty of other apps you can use to make money.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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