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How Much Does DoorDash Cost? Fees & Pricing Explained

DoorDash is a food delivery service that provides meals directly to your home via delivery drivers. DoorDash costs include delivery fees, service fees, taxes, and other charges.

In today’s digital age, DoorDash stands out as one of the most popular food delivery services. But a common question many potential users have is, “how much does DoorDash cost?”

In this article, we’ll dive deep into DoorDash’s pricing structure, exploring everything from its delivery and service fees to the factors that influence its charges.

Key Information

Meal Cost Variations

Prices on DoorDash might be slightly higher than in-store to offset commission fees. Non-partnered establishments have estimated prices with possible refunds or discounts based on actual cost.

Fees Breakdown

Taxes are locality-based. Delivery fees support DoorDash operations and collaboration with local eateries. Service fees vary, and tipping Dashers is customary but optional.

Promotions & Subscriptions

New users get free delivery on orders over $10 for the first month. Frequent users benefit from DashPass, offering free delivery on orders above $12 for a monthly fee.

Worth the Cost?

While food delivery can get pricey with markups and fees, DoorDash provides convenience. Deciding whether the service is worth the cost depends on individual preference for convenience over cost.

How Much Does DoorDash Cost? A Pricing Overview

DoorDash orders combine various charges to determine your final payment. The first, and largest, of these is the meal cost, which typically forms the bulk of your order.

Prices are sometimes set higher on DoorDash than in-store because restaurants offset DoorDash’s commission fees. However, the added cost is usually minimal, with some restaurants even offering exclusive DoorDash deals.

For non-partnered establishments, DoorDash sets estimated prices. If the actual cost is lower, customers are refunded the difference; if it’s higher, they pay the estimated amount, essentially receiving a discount.

Other charges and fees you’ll incur include:

  • Taxes: Based on the locality of the order.
  • Delivery Fee: This fee ensures DoorDash can operate and collaborate with local eateries.
  • Service Fee: Another necessary charge for DoorDash’s operations.
  • Tip: The app allows users to tip their driver, known as a Dasher.

Does DoorDash Mark Up Food Prices?

Yes, some restaurants on DoorDash might increase their food prices compared to in-store rates. However, DoorDash promotes consistent pricing across platforms to avoid reduced sales and negative customer experiences.

To emphasize this, the company is spotlighting restaurants that maintain steady pricing and downplaying those that significantly mark up their prices on the app.

Types of DoorDash Fees Explained

DoorDash incorporates various fees to remain operational, work with restaurants, and provide home delivery services. These fees encompass the delivery fee, service fee, minimum order fee, and optional tips for Dashers.

1. Delivery Fee

Every DoorDash order includes a delivery fee, typically ranging between $1.99 and $5.99.

This cost can vary based on the restaurant and demand. During peak hours, typically from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., these fees might increase due to high demand.

New customers enjoy free delivery on orders over $10 for the first 30 days. Thereafter, DoorDash often lists restaurants offering free or discounted delivery rates for orders above a certain amount.

For those using DoorDash frequently, the DashPass subscription provides free delivery on orders above $12 for a monthly fee.

2. Service Fee

The service fee, usually around ten percent of the order’s subtotal, can vary based on the customer’s location and demand.

Within the DoorDash app, the “fee and estimated tax” section provides a breakdown of this fee. It’s rare to find discounts on this fee, so always factor it in when placing an order.

3. Minimum Order Fee

DoorDash enforces a minimum subtotal, generally between $8 and $10, depending on the city. If your order falls short of this amount, a small order fee of about $2 is charged.

It’s often more economical to add an additional food item, like an appetizer or drink, to reach the minimum and avoid this fee.

4. Taxes

Your checkout page will list a “Taxes and Fees” charge, comprising the local sales tax and the aforementioned service fee. While the service fee can vary, sales tax is determined by the local rates of the city you’re ordering from.

Remember, if you’re ordering alcohol, taxes might be higher based on state or local regulations. DoorDash ensures full compliance with these tax laws.

A subtotal plus taxes and fees in the DoorDash app

Ordering pick-up is a great way to avoid a service fee, but you will still need to pay sales tax regardless of what type of order you’re placing. To see the exact breakdown of how much you’re being charged in taxes and fees, you can tap the info icon next to the charge on your checkout page.

5. Tips

Tipping your Dasher is optional but customary. While a recommended tip is usually 15%, DoorDash provides convenient options to tip in preset amounts or allows for custom gratuities. You can also opt to tip in cash upon delivery.

The options for adding a Dasher Tip in the DoorDash app

Dashers receive 100% of the tip, separate from any promotional codes or bonuses. The delivery or service fee doesn’t go directly to the Dasher. Instead, their earnings are a combination of base pay, promotions, and tips.

Base pay often ranges between $2 and $10, with occasional promotional rates when there’s high demand for drivers.

Example DoorDash Order Cost

Suppose you are craving a burrito. First, you would search through the DoorDash app for a restaurant that offers the food you like.

After adding all of the items you’d like to eat into your cart, you will see the total listed and a breakdown of the fees described above. DoorDash might also notify you that you failed to meet the order minimum, which would add a small fee.

An example might look like this:

Meaty Cheesy Burrito$17.00
Fees & Estimated Tax$ 3.99
Delivery$ 2.99

Then the total cost of your order will appear at the bottom of the screen within a red “Continue” button, which will lead you to complete your order when pressed.

After moving forward, an option exists in the app to add a tip of 10%, 15%, 20%, or more for your Dasher. You can tip when you order, when the order arrives via cash, or after the order is delivered.

Consider tipping your Dasher since drivers rely on these service-based payments for support.

Meaty Cheesy Burrito$17.00
Fees & Estimated Tax$ 3.99
Delivery$ 2.99

Why Is DoorDash So Expensive?

In some cities, the cost of ordering food through delivery apps has increased since the beginning of the pandemic.

Restaurants have increased the price of food items they serve, and those food prices shape DoorDash’s service fees, so they transfer those costs to the customer.

However, DoorDash is offering a service. Customers are paying a delivery company to perform a job for them, which costs a particular market rate. Customers would not expect a doctor to offer a free physical exam, nor should DoorDash users expect free delivery of a specific service.

While the cost of the fees associated with DoorDash can add up, the company works to offset those costs through promotions and subscriptions.

Our Take: Is DoorDash Worth It?

Food delivery can get incredibly expensive once the markups, fees, and tips have been included. Oftentimes, the order can nearly double – just with the added costs. However, we still think DoorDash is worth it.

At the end of the day, users are paying for convenience. But, that convenience is going to cost money. After all, somebody else is physically driving to pick up – and then drop off – your order to you so that you don’t have to.

I always ask myself if the convenience is worth the tradeoff. If it is? I’ll order with DoorDash. If it’s not? I get the order myself.

How to Save Money on DoorDash

While customers are paying for a valuable service, it is customary to save as much money as possible when using food delivery apps. On DoorDash, there are two main ways to save money – a promo code or a subscription.

Using a DoorDash Promo Code

For new users, DoorDash promo codes provide a welcome opportunity to save. After signing up, a new customer might receive an email with a link offering free delivery for their first month on the app.

Additionally, promo codes can often be found on coupon websites, shared by other users. A simple internet search could reveal codes that help reduce costs.

For regular customers, there are other ways to save. DoorDash rewards referrals, adding credit to your account when you introduce friends and family to the app. Moreover, existing users periodically receive promo codes directly from DoorDash via email.

Read More: Learn about all the ways existing DoorDash users can earn free credit.

Saving on DoorDash Fees With DashPass

If you’re a frequent DoorDash user, you can join DashPass — the company’s subscription program — for the most consistent savings available.

As a paying user, you can receive big discounts on eligible restaurants, which have checkmarks next to them on the DoorDash app.

DoorDash fees: A zero delivery fees promise on the webpage for new user signups

When you become a DashPass user for $9.99 per month, you will automatically receive free deliveries and discounted service fees whenever you order at least $15 from select merchants. You are free to cancel at any time.

DashPass-eligible restaurants include national chains like 7-Eleven, Chipotle, The Cheesecake Factory, Denny’s, and many more.

Your DoorDash app actually lets you sort by DashPass restaurants, so you can easily find the local and national merchants you can save money on.

Related: How to Easily Cancel DashPass After Signup

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we will attempt to answer some frequently asked questions new and existing users have when considering DoorDash as an option for foodservice delivery.

Does DoorDash Take Cash?

While DoorDash has a program called “Cash on Delivery,” it is not currently available due to pandemic restrictions and contactless delivery implementation.

Otherwise, cash on delivery allows delivery drivers to accept some money for the food order and then input the information into the DoorDash.

The app will reduce the cost of food from the cash payment electronically.

For Dashers, DoorDash will deduct cash amounts collected by you from your next scheduled direct deposit.

It is unclear if DoorDash will offer the “cash on delivery” option again as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Which is Cheaper, DoorDash or Grubhub?

Generally, Grubhub is often cheaper because the restaurant establishes the delivery fee.

On the other hand, DoorDash includes a delivery fee and a service fee to the restaurant.

However, price is just one factor to consider when thinking of ordering via a food delivery service.

Other considerations include customer service, variety and number of contracted restaurants, and ease of use.

Individual preference often dictates which food delivery app will work best for you.

Is There a Minimum Order for DoorDash?

While there is no minimum order amount for DoorDash, if you are ordering food and the total is less than $10.00, you will be charged a small order fee.

Additionally, if you are a DashPass subscriber, you must purchase at least $12.00 worth of food from a participating restaurant to qualify for zero delivery fees.

DoorDash Arriving Soon

Food delivery services are growing in popularity, and DoorDash is no different. With a wide variety of restaurants signed up to work with the delivery service, DoorDash can deliver dinner right to your door.

Especially in these unprecedented times where many people do not feel comfortable dining inside a full-capacity indoor restaurant, DoorDash provides a safe option.

When using the services, customers can enjoy their favorite foods from the comfort of their homes. DoorDash provides a meaningful service, so delivery and service fees are a necessary part of placing an order to ensure customer satisfaction and employee compensation. Delivery drivers, or Dashers, rely on customers to tip as they see fit, while states and cities require taxes on each food purchase.

While the cost and fees associated with delivery might seem high, DoorDash takes every step to mitigate that effect by offering promotion codes and a subscription program. If you are interested in trying a food delivery service, download the app and get started with DoorDash today.

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