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What’s the Doordash Dress Code? What to Wear for Uber Eats Grubhub Instacart Delivery.

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What's the Doordash Dress Code? What to Wear for Uber Eats Grubhub Instacart Delivery.

Is there a Doordash dress code? Are we required to wear a uniform for Grubhub? Are there requirements for what to wear as a Doordash driver (or Uber Eats, Grubhub, Instacart and other delivery full time or side hustles)?

No. We are independent contractors. Gig economy companies cannot require a uniform. If they don't hire you as an employee they cannot control your dress or your appearance.

However, as a business owner, I would tell you that you should create a dress code for yourself. Be more demanding with your uniform than Doordash, Grubhub, Instacart or Uber Eats or other food delivery apps would ever dream of.

Model wearing maroon dress shirt with independent delivery professional logo.

Why I won't wear someone's uniform

When I signed up for Grubhub, they gave me a couple of pretty nice shirts and a hat. They were actually pretty good quality and looked good. When I was one of those new Dashers, they gave me a decent Doordash t-shirt. My first time out, I asked myself, should I wear the uniform?

I do see other drivers, especially Doordash and Grubhub, wearing their company gear. My opinion is they looked good. They stood out.

I'd rather get my food from one of those drivers than I would a lot of other couriers I see. 

But I won't wear wear the uniforms of any popular delivery service I contract with. There are a couple of reasons. 

I am not a an employee of Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, or any other gig company.

I'm not being paid to wear their uniform. This isn't a delivery job where I work for someone else, it's MY delivery business.

Our contract with any gig economy food delivery service is on a delivery by delivery basis. It begins the moment we pick up an order. It ends when we drop it off. 

Doordash is not my employer. Grubhub is not my boss. Neither is Uber Eats The bottom line is, they are my customers. 

I don't wear my customer's uniform.

I'm not paid to advertise for these companies.

Several red figurines shouting "Ad!" at the same time fighting for attention.

Advertising is the job of employees of the company or of any agency they hire to advertise.

We already established that I'm not an employee. There's nothing in my contract about advertising for these companies. 

You see advertising on my site. I get paid for that. There are times I'll recommend stuff whether I get paid or not. I'm sure you do the same.

I'll recommend products on this website. I won't recommend them unless I genuinely believe they're among the best ways to help you out. Sometimes I get paid, sometimes I don't. Either way it has to be something I think will benefit people.

I will wear gear for companies I like and respect

But here's the thing when I recommend something (either explicitly or by what I wear). I have to believe in the company. Sorry, I don't believe in or respect any of these companies. They haven't earned the right for me to advertise for them.

I think a lot of people feel like, if we wear our Doordash shirts or our Grubhub hats, we get the word out. They get more business, we make more money. I don't see a direct benefit there. If they don't have enough customers, they hire less drivers. One more customer or 100 more customers is not going to increase my pay.

I deliver for several companies.

Several phones with android delivery apps and app icons, with the label Multi Apping.

Having only one customer is a bad idea. It just is. That's how I look at Doordash, Grubhub and Uber Eats, as my customers. 

I drop off a Doordash delivery and I might be picking up for Uber Eats next. Every once in awhile you get one of those unicorns where Grubhub and Doordash might have deliveries from the same restaurant going to the same general area.

If I walk into a restaurant to pick up an Uber Eats order while wearing a Grubhub shirt, that can create confusion.

Following any Doordash dress code while delivering for Uber Eats, or a Grubhub dress code while taking a Doordash order is just counterintuitive.

But I still have a uniform.

I do have a uniform that I wear. I impose a strict dress code on myself. 

It has evolved a bit over time. I started out with this.

Picture of me and my version of a Doordash dress code (or Grubhub, Uber Eats or Postmates): Red dress shirt, fedora and bow tie.
My original dress code as a driver for Doordash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and Postmates: Red dress shirt, bow tie, nice slacks and a fedora.

My uniform consisted of a red dress shirt, a fedora, a bow tie (sometimes) and some decent slacks or khakis. 

I still do the fedora. Sometimes the bow tie, but I've updated to some custom shirts that have my own Independent Delivery Professional logo. 

I started wearing my own logo since I'm running my own business.

I created my uniform or dress code for one reason:

A good uniform or personal dress code can improve your bank account. 

Appearance can make all the difference in the world. And more important, a good appearance and well thought out uniform can actually make you more money.

How? 

After all, now that Uber Eats is allowing tipping at the app, most customers have already decided on the tip well before you even received the order. Extra money by way of cash tips is kind of rare.

How can a good dress code make you profitable with Doordash, Uber Eats, Instacart, Grubhub and others?

Here are a few ways I've found that my dress code makes a difference for me, and how I think it can help you.

Your uniform can get you priority treatment with the restaurants

A ton of restaurant owners and managers are hesitant about using on demand food delivery service. I've talked to several who manage local restaurants. They hate that they cannot control the customer experience.

Drivers give them attitude. Some drivers just look like crap. 

Fresh food platter laid out decoratively for good presentation value.
Whether it's how a plat of food is decorated or the appearance of whoever delivers the food, presentation is extremely important to many restaurants.

Presentation is huge for local businesses like restaurants. Especially with the best restaurants (the ones whose customer’s tips are typically higher). The food has to look good. The servers have to look good. 

Many mangers tell me the reason they do third party delivery at all is exposure to new customers. The customer gets a good first impression of the food, they'll be more likely customers place orders AT the restaurant the next time.

That's when they make their money.

If Doordash delivery drivers or Uber Eats couriers come in looking like they just crawled out of the dump, restaurants don't want to deal with them..

My uniform makes me memorable. Owners recognize me. They can see I care about what I'm doing, that I'm a professional. They trust me with their food more easily.

One driver told me he thought of his unique look as a form of branding. It went a long way to creating a good relationship with the restaurants. They know him and it makes a huge difference.

As a driver competing for orders with other drivers, staff actively helping you track down your order ahead of other drivers is huge.

Here's the funny thing. I see couriers complain all the time about getting terrible treatment from restaurants. That's never an issue for me. I always thought I was just lucky, but how you relate to the restaurant really does matter. A good dress code is part of that.

A uniform gets you in and out of restaurants faster

I cannot tell you how many times there will be a group of drivers waiting at the restaurant or in the dining rooms, and when the host or counter person comes to serve us, I'm the first one they go to. 

It's not unusual for me to be the last one in and the first one out.

One of the biggest challenges at too many restaurants is, the team members at the restaurant don't know if you're a delivery driver or a customer. When they think you're the customer, you get stuck waiting with the other customers.

Usually, between what I'm wearing and the delivery bag, they know immediately I'm there for a delivery.

Time is money concept with fancy hourglass on top of a pile of $50 bills.

It happens over and over. Other couriers are trying to get the attention of the staff, but when I walk in they're asking who's order I'm there for. 

It's not always that what I'm wearing necessarily shouts “delivery guy!' to the restaurant staff. I don't think a Fedora is standard issue. But it's different. 

Maybe it helps I'm a big guy. That much red has to help, right? 

Time is the most important factor to increasing your profits. The estimated time of delivery is more important to me in accepting an order than the dollar amount.

The faster you get done and the shorter the delivery time, the more food orders you get. One more delivery equals one more delivery fee. I know that getting in and out of restaurants more quickly because of my dress code has increased my earnings.

A good uniform can speed up the drop off side of the delivery.

Think of how many times you have to deal with a concierge at a hotel or apartment complex. 

I don't have to explain to people who I am. It's obvious what I'm doing there. The concierge isn't going to have as many reservations about letting you in to complete the delivery when you look decent.

Concierge sign on a nice desk in a luxury hotel or condominium community.
Sometime the concierge's trust in you makes all the difference in getting a delivery done quickly

When I walk into a business with a delivery for a customer, I look the part. That means I don't have to waste time explaining why I'm there.

Many of my deliveries wrap up with the customer coming out to meet me. When it's clear that I'm a delivery guy, they're heading my direction to get their food.

It might only be seconds saved, and it may only happen a few times. But it's your own time and time is money. Every minute saved is worth 50 cents as I figure it. If I can shave a few minutes off of my delivery times, I can usually squeeze one more delivery in. That's more money.

A good uniform makes your customer feel better

As I mentioned earlier, most customers tip in advance. It's generally not going to make a difference in your customer tips (though sometimes it happens).

These days with contact free deliveries, the customer often doesn't see you.

But when they do, it makes a difference. 

A doordash customer choosing how to rate a Doordash, Uber Eats or Grubhub driver choosing between Need Improvement, Fair, Good and Excellent buttons.

Think about it. You're carrying someone's food. How you look matters.

But if you're not getting a bigger tip, how does this increase your gross earnings? 

How people respond to you begins with that first impression. If you look like you care about getting their food to them, that can go a ways to diffuse difficult situations that can hold you up.

Delivery platforms are paying more attention to customer satisfaction and complaints. A bad Doordash driver review can make the difference in a deactivation. A complaint to Grubhub or Uber Eats could reduce your earning potential.

In an age when drivers can lose their ability to deliver due to unhappy customers, great service and a great impression makes a huge difference in keeping your revenue streams open.

Here's how I see it. It's not about the base pay or the tips. It's the total earnings that count. My pay model is to get as much money as I can in the least amount of time. One of the best ways to do that is to increase the number of deliveries I can complete. When the customer is happy, I can do that more easily.

A good uniform makes you feel like a professional

Here's the deal: You ARE a professional. Treat your work that way. 

How you dress does impact how you feel. When you choose to look the part of a professional, you feel the part. 

Sometimes, that feeling can make all the difference between going on when the day gets frustrating, and calling it quits and heading home. 

How to create your own dress code for Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Instacart or any other gig app

What should you wear? 

There's no one answer. I've been teased a lot that I need to lose the fedora. It may not be the answer for you.

Is it okay to wear the red Doordash t-shirts or a Grubhub hat? A lot of people in driver forums will give you grief for being an employee. Ignore the twits.

I have no problem if someone wants to wear the logos for the delivery companies. It shows a professionalism and it can accomplish many of the benefits above. 

Polo shirt from my personal Doordash Grubhub, and Uber Eats dress code: A red polo with the Independent Delivery Professional written next to the Entrecourier courier logo.
I created my own logo as an Independent Delivery Professional.

Because I choose specifically not to wear their gear is not a reason for you to pass. If the reasons I gave above resonate with you, then maybe you choose something else. If you deliver exclusively for Grubhub or Doordash or whomever and it makes sense to wear their stuff, that's your decision.

Here are the things I would suggest thinking about.

1. Wear something nice.

This is one of the most minimum requirements.

Stay away from ratty jeans, beat up t shirts or tank tops.

I recommend business casual. You don't have to go all suit and tie or wear a dress or anything like that. But if you have something that just says you are willing to put the extra effort into what you wear.

2. Find a way to stand out.

That's what the fedora is for me. I've been told no one wears a fedora any more, and that's precisely why I wear it.

It may be out of style, but it stands out.

I got the idea when I read about a study that said women who wear a ribbon in their hair earn significantly more than those who didn't.

A ribbon in my hair probably doesn't work. However, I think the reason it works is that it's just something that stands out. It's an extra that makes you memorable.

I feel like making a Dos Equis guy meme. “I don't normally wear a bow tie and a fedora, but when I do…” But you know, I think that's why it's been effective for me. It's not a look that says I'm a customer.

3. Consider something red.

Red stands out. 

Red also is associated with a lot of delivery companies. Grubhub and Doordash give out red shirts. I found that even without their logos, my wearing red was often enough to suggest that I'm here to pick up a delivery.

In fact I have some red polos with the Independent Delivery Contractor logo. 

I have had a couple of times where someone mistook the red for Doordash. Usually that's an issue with an Uber Eats delivery where there really isn't an associated color. Even then, the shirt did its job – it communicated that I was there for a delivery.

The bottom line is, getting noticed is huge, especially in busy times.

4. Accessorize

And by that I mean, bring your delivery bag with you. Having the right equipment adds to the look.

I'm not sure my look is always enough just by itself to say for sure I'm a delivery person. When combined with the delivery bag that I'm holding up in full view, there's no doubt.

Whether you believe it helps actually keep the food warm or not, restaurants believe it. It's one more thing that communicates you're taking care of their order and their customer.

And, it tells the customer you're taking care of their food. It's the exclamation point to your uniform.

A good uniform just makes sense

Yes, there will be days where it might not seem to make a difference what you look like. 

When I think of the drivers I see while picking up at restaurants, it seems like they fit into three categories. It's a new twist on the 80-20 rule, maybe we can call it the 10-80-10 rule. 

There's the 10% that just look…. scuzzy. Ratty clothes. Don't look very clean. Seriously, if I'd ordered food and some of these drivers brought the food to my door, that's got a huge negative impact on the desirability of the order. It's a hard pass for me because I'm not hungry any more.

Then there's the 80%. They're okay. They don't look bad, they don't look great. 

Meh. 

They don't stand out. In most cases you can't tell them from the regular customers. The folks they're delivering to can't tell them apart from everyone else strolling down the street. 

And then the 10% who, you just know they care about what they are doing. Whether they're wearing their Grubhub polo or Doordash hats or they created their own dress code.

You just know they care about what they're doing. That can make all the difference in the world.  

Could this help someone else? Please share it.

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