DoorDash peak pay is a bonus DoorDash offers to Dashers during periods of high demand.
Most of the time, your pay on DoorDash consists of two parts: (1) the DoorDash base pay; and (2) any tip that the customer leaves you. However, when demand is high and DoorDash wants to incentivize Dashers to work, they’ll add a peak pay bonus, which is a bonus payment that goes on top of your base pay and tip. (In addition to this traditional payment model, DoorDash also recently introduced “Earn by Time,” which pays you based on time, rather than per order).
DoorDash peak pay is nice when it’s there, but it’s not something you should rely on. And indeed, at times, a high peak pay can even work against you by increasing the supply of Dashers higher than the demand for delivery is at the time.
In this post, we’ll take a look at how DoorDash peak pay works, why you shouldn’t rely on it for your earnings, and how it can sometimes work against you.
DoorDash Peak Pay – How It Works
To begin, let’s look at how peak pay works. If there is a peak pay bonus being offered in your area, you’ll see it in the Dasher app. Here’s an example of what it looks like in my account:
As you can see, the area with a peak pay bonus is offering a $2 bonus, which means that I’ll earn an extra $2 for each delivery that I complete in that zone.
The good thing is you don’t have to enroll or do anything special to earn the bonus. As long as you are logged into that zone, you’ll earn the peak pay bonus for each delivery you complete in that zone.
You Shouldn’t Rely On Peak Pay Bonuses
Peak pay bonuses can help you earn lucrative amounts from DoorDash. During some high-demand times, I’ve been able to earn huge amounts because of especially high peak pay bonuses that made every order valuable (this was especially true during the pandemic when delivery demand was really high).
When the peak pay bonuses are good, even non-tip orders can work out well because the bonus can make the delivery worth it. When I’m delivering during peak pay bonus times, I’ll often accept no-tip orders that I’d normally reject simply because I know I can complete them quickly.
That being said, peak pay isn’t something you should rely on for your earnings. You never know when DoorDash will offer a peak pay bonus, so when you are figuring out what you can earn as a Dasher, don’t take peak pay bonuses into account.
Instead, think of peak pay as exactly what it is supposed to be – a bonus that can help supplement your earnings.
Peak Pay Bonuses Can Sometimes Work Against You
One of the paradoxical things about DoorDash is that you often earn less as a Dasher when the peak pay bonuses are especially high. That’s because when peak pay bonuses are high, more Dashers will log in to do deliveries. This often leads to fewer delivery requests because there are so many Dashers to accept deliveries.
I see this happen a lot when peak pay gets above $4 or so. At those levels, everyone will log into DoorDash to try to cash in on the extra earnings. This leads to fewer deliveries available for everyone.
When peak pay bonuses get really high, I often find I get less than half of the delivery requests I’d normally receive. Sometimes, I’ll log in and won’t receive a single delivery request for an entire dinner shift, even if demand is supposedly high because of a high peak pay bonus.
This gets me to an important thing to consider. When you’re trying to figure out where you should work, I don’t recommend chasing areas that have peak pay bonuses. Even though you might earn more per delivery in those areas, if the bonus is high, you’ll likely find that you receive fewer delivery requests.
Instead, it’s best to stick to areas that you are familiar with and that you know are consistently busy. These might overlap with the areas that are offering peak pay. The important thing is don’t go out of your way to work in areas solely because they are offering peak pay. It very well may backfire on you.
DoorDash peak pay bonuses are nice. When they’re offered, they can help supplement your earnings and help you earn more from Dashing.
But while peak pay bonuses are nice, I don’t recommend relying on them. In many circumstances, you’ll earn less from peak pay bonuses because more Dashers are logged in.
Instead, treat peak pay bonuses exactly as they should be treated – as a nice bonus on top of what you’re already aiming to earn.