Even though it entered the market much later than some of its main competitors, DoorDash is without a doubt one of the top food delivery services in the US and Canada. It cooperates with a huge number of eateries, it is known for fast and efficient services, and it represents one of the easiest ways to get your meals delivered from the best restaurants in your area.
However, even the finest food deliveries have their flaws, so sit back and enjoy this no-sugarcoating DoorDash review that is about to reveal everything you should know about this service.
What Is DoorDash
DoorDash is a food delivery service that operates in more than 4,000 cities across the United States and Canada. It features over 340,000 restaurants, bars, cafés, and fast-food eateries and lets you place a delivery or pickup order in a click or tap.
The company is based in San Francisco and it opened its doors in June 2013. It was launched by Stanford students who were interested in facilitating delivery for every business in the food industry, no matter how big or small.
The idea behind DoorDash was born in 2012, through a conversation with a macaroon store owner in Palo Alto. This hard-working lady complained about not having enough drivers to fulfill orders. As DoorDash founders soon discovered, small business owners throughout the Bay Area struggled with the same problem. That is why they rolled up their sleeves and created Palo Alto Delivery in January 2013.
They started receiving orders almost immediately and found themselves delivering food every day. In June, they changed the name of the company to DoorDash and started growing what is now a huge, ever-expanding food delivery marketplace.
According to the words of DoorDash founders, their aim is to create a local, on-demand FedEx and support local economies by being more than a food delivery business. They want you to know that when you use DoorDash to order food, you are supporting small businesses and helping otherwise unemployed drivers pay their bills while enjoying great convenience yourself.
How Does DoorDash Work
The only prerequisite to ordering food via DoorDash is being a registered user. It takes a mere minute to create an account and then you can have whatever you like from whichever local eatery delivered to your home address or prepared for pickup.
You can use DoorDash via your browser, by visiting the company’s website. Alternatively, you can install its dedicated app on your smartphone. The app is available for both iOS and Android phones.
From the moment you decide to use DoorDash to the point where you are enjoying your meal, you go through just 5 simple steps:
- Set up an account with your basic information;
- Browse local restaurants;
- Choose the desired restaurant and items you want to order;
- Go to checkout and pay with your preferred payment method;
- Pick up your food or wait for your order to arrive while tracking it in real-time.
On the other side of the process, DoorDash receives your order and lets the restaurant know what to prepare and when it should be ready. If you place a delivery order, it sends a delivery request to a local courier. Once the delivery request is accepted, the courier picks up the food, pays for it, and brings it to your home.
Registering on DoorDash involves only a single signup form with 5 fields. You need to enter your first name and your last name, your email address, and your mobile phone number. That is all as far as personal information is concerned. The fifth field requires the password that you want to use to log in.
You cannot create multiple accounts with the same email address, but you can change the delivery address in your account anytime. Therefore, you do not need different accounts for different addresses.
Placing an order via DoorDash starts with you entering your exact address. This allows the platform to identify and display the eateries in your area. Then you can start browsing and choosing.
DoorDash lets you know exactly how many restaurants are available and you can browse them all or search for something specific. You can use the search function to look for a concrete restaurant or food type and speed up your search that way.
You can further use filters to browse restaurants by cuisine, food type, and diet type. For example, you can view Indian restaurants only, take a look at eateries that deliver healthy or fast food or find restaurants that serve kosher meals. The bad news is that there are not many filters for dietary restrictions, apart from the standard ones like vegetarian. You can try your luck by entering your dietary requirements in the search field, but this is not of much help with more specific needs and allergies.
As far as additional filters go, there are very few of them. You can browse eateries by rating and affordability, discover those that allow pickup or find the ones that accept DashPass, which is a free delivery subscription we will describe later on in this DoorDash review.
When you settle on a restaurant, you simply need to click or tap the items you wish to order and choose the quantity and size and potential condiments and add-ons. You can further add extra instructions for the restaurant and ask them to prepare your food in accordance with your taste or dietary requirements.
What is nice is that you also get to decide what happens if the item you order is no longer available. You can go with the restaurant’s recommendation, tell DoorDash to cancel the entire order, ask for a refund for the missing item or ask to be contacted in case you cannot get what you are craving.
Once you are done editing your order, you can review your bag and proceed to checkout, where you can choose your preferred payment method.
When it comes to accepted forms of payment, DoorDash does not do as well as most of its competitors. There are only a few options available, including:
- Major credit cards like American Express and VISA;
- Google Pay;
- Apple Pay;
- DoorDash gift cards.
It does not accept any alternative payment methods and paying with cash is not an option. You can only use cash to tip your driver upon delivery.
What is impressive is that DoorDash delivers to all 50 US states. It is the first service of its kind to deliver nationwide. As we have mentioned before in this DoorDash review, it is available in more than 4,000 cities, about 100 of which are in Canada.
There are 2 ways to check whether DoorDash operates in your city. You can view its city list on its official website or you can simply enter your address on the site or in-app and let it know whether you can order.
When placing your delivery order, you can decide whether you want to have your food delivered as soon as possible or you wish to schedule it for a later time. You can choose a time window during the same day or schedule for a future date and time.
Once a courier accepts your request, you can start tracking your order live. In your account, you can view a map showing the courier’s location and their distance from the restaurant and your address. You can track the courier’s movement on the map and see how much longer you need to wait before your meal arrives.
How Much Does DoorDash Cost
DoorDash does not charge any registration fees and the use of the platform is free in itself. However, there are a few costs that you need to take care of in addition to the food value.
Your order total includes the subtotal, that is, the price of the food items in your order, plus sales tax if applicable, a tip for the courier, and a delivery and/or service fee.
Delivery fees vary from one restaurant to another, but the average fee is about $4. Service fees are usually small and may amount to just $0.50. You decide on the tip amount, but the recommended tip is about 20% of the order value.
If your order is worth less than $10, a small order fee may apply. Normally, you are required to pay about $2. If you wish, you can add more food and avoid this fee.
When ordering alcohol, you should make sure to comply with DoorDash’s alcohol delivery terms and conditions. For example, be sure to have your ID and credit card with you to confirm that you are of legal drinking age and that you are the one who placed the order. If you fail to comply with the terms, you cannot receive your order and you can be charged a $20 restocking fee.
Now, let us talk about the DashPass we mentioned earlier. This is DoorDash’s monthly subscription that lets you save cash on delivery. It costs $9.99 per month and it lets you enjoy free delivery on all orders over $15. However, keep in mind that other charges like the service fee and sales tax still apply.
How To Drive For DoorDash
The good news is that virtually anyone can apply to become a DoorDash driver, that is, a Dasher. No prior work experience is required. You just need to be 18 or older and have an Android or iPhone smartphone. Whichever car, scooter or bike you drive, it is fine, just keep in mind that not all modes of transportation are available in all areas.
It goes without saying that in order to become a Dasher, you need to have a valid driver’s license and registration, insurance, and of course, a clean driving record.
To get started, you should fill out the application form on the company’s website, located in the Become A Dasher section. In addition to the most basic information like your name and your email address, you need to provide your driver’s license number and your social security number if you live in the US.
After you apply, you are asked to authorize a background check, as well as a motor vehicle check if you drive a motorized vehicle. If everything checks out, you can proceed to schedule an orientation. Alternatively, you can ask DoorDash to mail you an Activation Kit, including a hot bag, a getting started manual, and your Red Card, that is, the card you use to pay for DoorDash orders.
The final step is setting up a direct deposit to receive your earnings. Then you can start accepting delivery requests and start making cash.
As a Dasher, you can work as many or as few hours a week as you wish, with no minimum. You can work anywhere the road takes you, not only your city of residence. You can accept or decline order requests. You get to decide on everything and your decisions determine how much you earn.
How Much Do DoorDash Drivers Make
You may have seen DoorDash advertisements claiming that Dashers can earn $25 per hour. While this is true, it is unfortunately not the average pay. Most Dashers report earning $15 per hour on average ($12 to $18).
For each delivery you make, you get a base pay ranging from $2 to $10, depending on the mileage, the time it takes to complete the delivery, and the desirability of the order. In addition to the base pay, you can get 3 kinds of bonuses.
You get the Peak Pay bonus during busy hours. Peak Pay usually amounts to several extra dollars.
Challenge bonuses are awarded to particularly active Dashers who meet weekly earning goals set by the company. When there is a Challenge in your area, you are automatically added to the list of participants and you can earn a bonus of about $20.
Another way to earn extra cash is by completing DoorDash Drive orders requested by restaurants. These are usually larger catering orders. They pay more, but in order to qualify for DoorDash Drive, you need to have completed at least 100 deliveries in the past and you should have a high customer rating and a high completion rating.
Since you also get 100% of customer tips, you can earn much more than $25 per hour on a good day. Just keep in mind that there are always slow days as well.
DoorDash Pros & Cons
To make sure DoorDash meets all your standards and expectations, it is important to know its biggest advantages and disadvantages. With a short overview of its pros and cons, you can easily decide if DoorDash is the right food delivery app for you.
- Over 340,000 eateries available
- Available in 4,000+ cities in 50 US states and Canada
- Excellent live order tracking feature
- Delivery scheduling
- Reasonable fees
- Free delivery with DashPass
- Transparent costs
- Needs more filters
- Few payment options
How do I delete my DoorDash account?
You can deactivate your DoorDash account but not delete it. To deactivate, file a support case with your name, email address, and phone number. Pick Account Settings as the category and write Request to deactivate DoorDash Account in the description.
How can I cancel my DoorDash order?
You can cancel your DoorDash order if the restaurant has not accepted it yet. Just enter the DoorDash platform, choose the person icon in the top right corner of the screen and select Cancel Order. For belated cancelations, contact the support staff.
How much should I tip on DoorDash?
On DoorDash, the recommended tip amount is equal to or greater than 20% of the order value.