DoorDash uses a bit of a hybrid system when it comes to the DoorDash schedule. You can always log into the Dasher app and click “Dash Now” if there’s room for more Dashers. That’ll allow you to Dash on-demand, whenever works with your schedule.
The other option is to schedule your Dash in advance. If you do this, you’ll reserve your Dash slot. When the time comes, you’ll be able to log in and start Dashing, even if you wouldn’t be able to Dash because there are too many Dashers on the road.
This puts us in a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, becoming a Dasher is great because of the flexibility – you can turn on the app and start Dashing whenever it works for you. On the other hand, if you have to schedule in advance to be able to work, you lose that flexibility and it starts to feel more like a job where you have set working hours.
So what should you do? Do you need to worry about the DoorDash schedule or not?
In this post, we’ll take a look at how the DoorDash schedule works and whether it’s something you need to think about when you’re doing DoorDash. The short answer is that, in some markets, it may very well matter. In other markets, you’ll never have to think about the schedule.
How Does The DoorDash Schedule Work?
You can find the DoorDash schedule in your Dasher app, in the bottom row where it says “Schedule.”
DoorDash lets you schedule up to a week in advance. There aren’t specific time slots. You can instead pick any start and ending time that you’d like (in 30-minute increments). For example, if you wanted to Dash from 4 pm to 9:30 pm, you would log into your Dasher app, go to the schedule, then select those times for the day that you want.
Once you’re scheduled, you’ll be able to log in and start Dashing during those assigned times. One thing to note is that while you don’t need to log into your Dash exactly at the assigned start time, you do have to log in eventually or else DoorDash will drop your schedule for that time. The grace period is generally 30 minutes, so you’ll need to log into your Dash within 30 minutes of the start time.
Another thing is that there isn’t really a penalty if you schedule yourself but don’t log into your Dash. I probably would try to avoid doing this too often, but if it happens, don’t sweat it. Also, you can log out of your scheduled Dash whenever you want, so don’t worry about the end time you set yourself with. If you want to stop Dashing, just log out.
Early Access Scheduling (i.e. Priority Scheduling)
DoorDash also has a system that gives priority access to the DoorDash schedule for Dashers that meet certain criteria. If you meet the following, you’ll get access to priority scheduling (more info is available here on the DoorDash website):
- You qualify if you have a Customer Rating of at least 4.6, a Completion Rate of at least 95%, and have accepted and completed at least 5 deliveries on the DoorDash platform betwe12 am2am the previous Friday and 11:59 pm the previous Thursday; OR
- You qualify if you have a Customer Rating of at least 4.6, a Completion Rate of at least 95%, and have accepted and completed at least 500 lifetime deliveries on the DoorDash platform.
If you meet these criteria, you’ll gain access to the schedule 6 days in advance starting at 3 pm each day. By contrast, if you don’t qualify for early access scheduling, you’ll only be able to access the DoorDash schedule 5 days in advance. It’s a 1-day difference, which might or might not matter for you depending on your market and where you live.
Qualifying for early access scheduling usually shouldn’t be too difficult for the most part except for maintaining the completion rate. Keeping a customer rating of 4.6 or higher is something you should be able to do as long as you provide solid customer service (i.e. picking up food on time, handling the food properly, etc). Meeting the delivery requirements shouldn’t be a problem either. Doing 500 lifetime deliveries isn’t very much. And completing 5 deliveries in a week also isn’t difficult.
The main issue is maintaining a completion rate of 95% or higher. While your completion rate does matter and you should ideally aim to complete every order you accept, there are reasons you might opt to cancel an order you accepted. If the wait is long or you’re multi-apping and receive better orders from another app, it can make sense to drop the DoorDash order in favor of another order. I usually aim to keep my completion rate at 90% or higher, but I don’t often stay above 95%.
Remember, your acceptance rate does not matter. But your completion rate does matter because if it drops below 80%, you risk deactivation. Keeping your acceptance rate above 95% so you can have access to priority scheduling can also make sense and isn’t too difficult so long as you’re strategic about the orders you accept.
DoorDash Schedule Vs. Dash Now
You might be wondering whether the DoorDash schedule matters or whether you can simply rely on the Dash Now feature, which lets you Dash whenever you want.
Whether you need to schedule in advance depends on your market. I’ve found that in most markets, scheduling in advance isn’t something you need to do. For instance, in my market, I never schedule myself in advance and I’ve found that, except in rare circumstances, I’m always able to click Dash Now and start working (I live in Minneapolis).
If you’re in a market where you can Dash whenever you want, I would ignore the DoorDash schedule and not even think about it. However, if you’re in one of the few markets that are saturated with Dashers, then you’ll probably have to schedule yourself in advance to be able to work.
In that situation, I recommend scheduling yourself for wide swaths of time. That way, you can cancel your Dash early if you want to do something else. Remember that DoorDash doesn’t appear to penalize you for scheduling yourself, but then canceling your Dash early.
Do You Get Better Orders If You Schedule Yourself In Advance?
This question is always subject to speculation, as the DoorDash algorithm is not public and no one really knows how orders are assigned. That being said, many people claim that DoorDash prioritizes Dashers that schedule in advance or that have Top Dasher status over those that choose the “Dash Now” option. This is often stated without any citation, so whether it’s true or not is unclear (if anyone has a source directly from DoorDash that says this, please let me know).
I’ve never had issues receiving consistent orders when I’m working during prime hours. The only exception is if there’s a large peak pay bonus in effect, which is when I find I receive few orders because so many Dashers are logged into the app.
In short, no one knows how the algorithm works and you’ll likely have to try things out to see if you notice any difference.
The DoorDash schedule is fairly straightforward. You can schedule yourself in advance up to 5 or 6 days in advance depending on if you’ve qualified for early access scheduling. This differs from Uber Eats, which doesn’t have advanced scheduling and allows any driver to log in whenever they want.
I’ve never had to schedule myself in advance and don’t plan to do so, but that might be specific to my market. That being said, I’ve done deliveries in other major cities and have never had an issue Dashing whenever I want.
Try things out and see what works best for you.
*If you’re getting an error message that says, “Dasher must be active to schedule Dashes,” then check out this post: Dasher Must Be Active To Schedule Dashes – What It Means And Why It Happens.