College students working for DoorDash as a flexible “side hustle”


DoorDash driver Brandon Mendez, a senior finance major at Kent State, drops off a no-contact order on Sept. 17, 2020. He places the order in front of the customer’s door, takes a picture of the delivered food, knocks on the door and walks back to his car ready to complete the next order.

DoorDash, a food delivery service, could be a great potential side job for students working through college, offering relaxed hours and at least minimum wage.

Brandon Mendez, a senior finance major at Kent State, said that in a typical work week of 10-15 hours he makes anywhere from $16-25 an hour. However, with car and gas expenses, earnings equal out to about minimum wage, making the real perk of working as a Dasher the adjustable hours.

“The main reason I chose this job was because of the flexible hours. It’s rare to have unavailable shifts so you can work whenever you have time, plus the driver is in control of what is or what isn’t worth their time,” Mendez said. 

Long term, however, Mendez doesn’t see DoorDash as an option for a single source of income. 

“DoorDash is a good side hustle, but I probably wouldn’t do this as a full-time job because you’re putting so many miles on your car that in the long run it is not a good investment,” Mendez said. 

For now, DoorDash is enough to meet the wants and fun extras for Mendez as his second source of income, making money through the cost of the order, miles driven and primarily tips.

Dalimar Solis, a junior fashion design major at Kent State and frequent DoorDash customer, likes the convenience of its service, but struggles with the high prices after adding the cost of the food, delivery fee and tip money altogether, although Door Dash provides better prices than its competitors.

“I prefer to drive with a friend to get the food because ordering through DoorDash, the prices are higher than just getting the food myself. It doesn’t seem like a lot of extra money when you are first placing your order, but at the end you see that it’s a lot, and we’re college students, so it’s very expensive,” Solis said. 

Mendez agreed with Solis, calling DoorDash “expensive” when he has used it himself as a customer. And he has noticed that his customers are often students who have no other option for getting food, like Solis who comes to Kent for school but doesn’t own a car here since her hometown is in Puerto Rico. 

“I know that most people use DoorDash whenever they go out to the bars and they cannot drive, so of course the only way to get food is to make it at home or order it through an app like DoorDash and have someone deliver it to you,” Mendez said. 

Mendez likes the easygoing hours and that he can continue dashing across state borders as he travels back and forth from San Diego during school breaks, considering it a “good temporary college job.”

Josie Thomas covers jobs and money. Contact her at [email protected].


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.