By: Erin Ware, Multimedia Reporter
The food delivery industry has boomed over the past decade. DoorDash, UberEats, and Instacart are just a few of the many services that have dominated the app store over the years.
The service is built on convenience, allowing the customer the ability to have food or groceries delivered to their doorstep with the press of a button. These apps provide convenience to not only the customer, but to all users of the app, including the delivery drivers.
Drivers for the service are able to create their own work schedule, working as many or as little hours as they want. The flexible expectations for the apps’ drivers has caught the attention of many students at Georgia Southern University.
Many delivery drivers at GSU joined the apps for the same reason: extra money. However, what started as a side gig for many of the students quickly became their main source of income.
“I started doing DoorDash and Instacart on the side, and ended up making more money through it than my restaurant job,” said Boaz Whealy, a DoorDash and Instacart driver at Georgia Southern, “so I transitioned to being a delivery driver fully.”
Jalen Sanders, a senior at GSU, says he makes twice as much as an Instacart and DoorDash driver compared to his prior retail job.
“I was making $9 an hour at my last job,” explains Sanders, “as a delivery driver, I can make that money in 30 minutes from one order.”
Drivers for the delivery apps receive a direct deposit of their earnings at the end of the week. DoorDash, however, offers a new method of payment called “Dasher Direct.” Drivers who are approved for the Dasher Direct program receive a DoorDash prepaid debit card, which allows drivers to access their money directly after completing a delivery.
“The Dasher Direct card also gives you two percent cash back on gas,” Sanders said, “and access to accident and life insurance.”
While being a delivery driver for these apps seems like the perfect job for a busy college student, there are a few things to consider when delivering in a college town. Shay Brown, a DoorDash driver and recent GSU alumni, quickly learned the biggest downside to dashing for college students.
“Whenever there are breaks during the school year, such as Christmas or spring break, it can be a very slow week for delivery drivers,” said Brown.
Despite the slow weeks, Brown still believes being a delivery driver is an easy way to make a little extra money in college quickly. In fact, the process of becoming a driver only takes a couple of days with a brief online registration and background check.