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Can I Really Make $20 Per Hour With Grubhub?

Quick Reference: Tax and PPP help.

How much can you earn with Grubhub?

You may have seen ads that touted you could make up to $20, or maybe even $25 per hour. For a lot of people, that seems too good to be true.

Is it possible? Yes. My average with Grubhub is higher than that. Is it probable? There's no way I can really answer that. There are a lot of factors to weigh in.

How much can you earn with Grubhub? There are many factors involved.
how much can you earn with Grubhub? There are many factors involved.

How much can you earn with Grubhub? Before we answer that, there are things you have to know.

If you are thinking about signing up to deliver for Grubhub, there are things you have to understand before you get started.

Grubhub is not hiring you as an employee.

Now this may change in some markets depending on local legislation, but Grubhub's practice is to hire drivers as independent contractors, not employees. It's very important you know the difference.

You can read more on what an independent contractor is here, but in a nutshell what it means is that you will be working for them as a business, not as an employee. That means a number of things:

  • You pay for all your own expenses. That means there is no reimbursement for your miles or your gas or anything like that.
  • You are paid on a per delivery basis.
  • There is no minimum wage or overtime.
  • You have no insurance from Grubhub. There is no worker's compensation
  • There is no unemployment insurance.
  • You withhold your own taxes
  • You pay MORE taxes.

These are just a few things. You do not have ANY employee protections.

There are no guarantees.

Earnings are really dependent on where you are, and on you. As mentioned above, there is no overtime, there is no minimum wage. There is no actual guarantee.

Now in some markets, Grubhub will advertise a minimum hourly amount. This is not a true guarantee. First of all, there are strings attached. Second, it is not a true guarantee, as it does not always take into account the entire time worked.

The money you receive from Grubhub is not the same as earnings.

Here's the deal folks: When you are an independent contractor, your earning power is a lot different than it is working a job as an employee. Because of the extra taxes you pay and because of your expenses, and when you take into account things like paid time off that might come with a traditional job but doesn't come with Grubhub, bringing in $20 per hour is often the equivalent of earning $12 to $14 per hour in a traditional job. The bottom line is, the money you receive from Grubhub is not what you are making. As a business owner, you have to understand that your PROFIT is what you are earning, meaning that your earnings are what is left over AFTER your expenses are taken out. And then you have to take taxes out of that to get a better picture of your take home.

But Really? How Much Can You Earn With Grubhub?

Grubhub usually isn't going to tell you all that stuff up front, so I felt it was really important to make that all clear. The reality is that a huge share of independent contractor couriers are actually profiting less than minimum wage, many without even realizing it. You need to go in with eyes wide open.

Having said that all, Grubhub CAN be a profitable gig. I know a lot of drivers who do bring in $20 and more per hour from Grubhub. Some actually profit $20 per hour. There are markets where Grubhub is busy enough and pays well enough that you can earn decent money.

There are a lot of factors that influence how much you make:

Your own efficiency

A lot of this comes with experience. Getting around quickly makes a big difference. You are paid on a delivery by delivery basis, so getting more deliveries completed will help you out tremendously

The market you are delivering in

Every city is different. Grubhub has a stronger presence in a lot of markets and may be just getting started in some others. If they are busy where you live, your chances of earning more are much higher.

The deliveries you accept

One thing that you need to understand as an independent contractor is that you can choose which deliveries you accept and which ones you reject. My experience is that accepting every order with Grubhub is not as profitable. They like to throw in a lot of long distance deliveries that don't pay well, so you have to be selective. There are some areas where you might find it makes more sense to take every order, depending on how busy things are.

The distance you are driving

When you are using your own car, your car expenses are MUCH higher than most people think. It's more than just gas – you can read more here.. If you drive around a lot, if you drive in an area where restaurants and customers are more spread out, your costs go up quite a bit higher, which means your profits go down.

What Does All This Mean About What You Can Earn With Grubhub?

My experience is that Grubhub is a great option. Personally, they are the prominent company that I deliver for. I can stay busy and I receive a high enough average pay per delivery with them. I do mix it up with other providers.

Much of it depends on you. If you are an entrepreneurial type who is focused on staying profitable, you may do well. Should you enjoy the challenge of operating as a business owner, this could be a good option for you. If you are in the right market where every delivery seems to be great, it could be a great option for you.

If you're not willing to hustle, if you're not willing to think through your decisions, if you're not as inclined to think like a business owner, you may be more likely to struggle. You might have a harder time keeping expenses in line.

In some places, yes, it is possible to earn $20 or more per hour. How much can YOU earn with Grubhub? That may depend a lot on you.

Could this help someone else? Please share it.

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