As a Dasher you are an independent contractor. That means that you can decide which orders you want to deliver and which you would like to skip. The best way to set yourself up for success is to decide how much you want to earn per mile. When you see a new order pop up, divide miles by pay to decide if it fits your criteria.
Find Which Restaurants You Like/Dislike
Some restaurants are almost always slow. It sucks to wait around. There's nothing you can do about it the first time it happens, but when you're forced to wait for food multiple times at the same restaurant it may be best to avoid future offers from that establishment. Other restaurants may have fast service, high tipping customers, great parking or other features that encourage you to accept more orders from them.
Work Lunch and Dinner Hours
The best time to deliver food is when the most customers are ordering it, these are the lunch and dinner hours. It may make sense to work a different gig during other hours, such as grocery or package delivery.
Don't accept all orders. This goes along with previous points. You are allowed to let your acceptance rate drop, and as an independent contractor you have to make the decisions that are best for your business - by filtering low pay orders and long distance orders.
This applies for some, not all downtown areas. In high population areas, downtown will have more traffic, less parking and more high rise deliveries. An offer that looks like it will be a quick two miles could end up taking 45+ minutes to deliver.
Use a Mileage Tracking App
As an independent contractor, you're responsible for paying taxes at year end. The easiest way to do this is to track your miles and multiply them by the standard mileage deduction rate (about 59 cents). This is also the method recommended by most tax professionals.
Find Best Locations In Your City
Find the areas that pay the best and don't get too much traffic. College campuses and wealthy suburbs are usually good areas to start.
Review your earnings monthly and measure them against your expenses. Make sure that your business is profitable and that you earnings are enough to pay the bills and put some money away for savings.
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