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How Much Does DoorDash Cost? Understand Fees, Pricing & More

Last updated: August 14, 2021
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man holding a phone standing in a city with money coming out of his phone to indicate the doordash cost he's seeing on his app

Since food delivery services like Uber Eats first hit the market, their popularity has exploded and only grew during last year’s pandemic.

DoorDash allows customers to enjoy the comfort of your own home.

This food delivery app allows customers to choose various foods to be delivered directly to their doors.

Nearly every municipality in the United States has adopted a food delivery app, and DoorDash is the most common.

Understanding how much DoorDash costs is an important consideration when deciding to use the service.

Customers will notice that the cost of food delivery certainly includes more than just the price of the food itself; it also includes DoorDash delivery and service fees as well as the option to add tips for the Dasher.

The customer needs to know how their money is being spent, so we will discuss DoorDash’s costs, pricing, and more in this article.

DoorDash Pricing Overview

A DoorDash order comprises a few charges and totals that add up to your final payment.

Pricing includes the actual cost of the food, any necessary taxes, a delivery fee, and a service fee.

Additionally, the DoorDash app allows customers to add a tip for the driver who delivers the food.

Customers are paying for the actual price of the ordered food and the service of the delivery drivers, called Dashers.

The service fee and the delivery fee are required for DoorDash to continue to operate successfully and work with local restaurants.

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.

How Much Does DoorDash Cost for Restaurants?

Since DoorDash Merchant works with each restaurant they service differently, restaurants might not have the same service usage rates.

Indeed, DoorDash has not shared a standard commission rate, but restaurants have reported the usual rates are within a range between 10 and 25 percent.

Restaurants benefit from working alongside DoorDash.

First, DoorDash introduces users to various places, some of which they may have never seen before.

It provides an immediate sale and the opportunity to build a customer base.

Second, businesses continued producing food products when many locations were forced to close their doors to the public.

DoorDash helped keep many restaurants open during the pandemic.

Types of DoorDash Fees

Restaurants cover charges relating to commissions and food costs, and customers pay for a few distinct types of DoorDash fees.

To remain operational, hire drivers, and work with restaurants to provide home delivery of food, fees are required.

DoorDash costs include a delivery fee, a service fee, a minimum order fee, and optional tips.

1. Delivery Fee

Usually ranging from $1.99 to $4.99, delivery fees are always displayed in the app.

The delivery fees can shift and increase due to high demand and a limited supply of drivers.

DoorDash works to list delivery fees as transparently as possible by showing the cost in various places within the app – like under the restaurant name, on the restaurant page itself, and again on the final order page.

One way to save money on DoorDash costs is to search by which restaurants offer a free or discounted delivery rate.

Additionally, DoorDash has established a regular customer program called DashPass.

For a small monthly subscription fee, food orders of $12.00 or more have no delivery fee.

If you are ordering via DoorDash a few times a month, this subscription is a great option to save some money and enjoy food service delivery.

2. Service Fee

The DoorDash service fee can shift depending on the customer’s location and the demand in that area.

Usually, the service fee adds around ten percent to the subtotal of the order.

In the DoorDash app, you can find the service fee within the “fee and estimated tax” delineation.

The app offers more detailed information to the consumer using a small “i” emblem to pop out a breakdown of each fee and tax.

Service fees are rarely waived or reduced, so when ordering dinner through DoorDash, factor in these costs.

3. Minimum Order Fee

A minimum or small order fee is added to the total of your order if the amount of food purchased does not meet a required threshold.

Usually, the charge for failing to meet the required minimum is around $2.00.

What’s more, the minimum order requirement shifts from city to city but is usually approximately $10.00.

Often, it is advantageous for a customer to add another food item to their order to offset the small order fee.

If you are ordering Chinese food, then the cost of an eggroll or a wonton could compensate for the minimum order fee while bringing some additional and delicious food your way.

4. Taxes

The taxes assessed as part of your order are required for DoorDash to operate in a specific location.

The state or municipality determines tax rates.

If you have ordered alcohol as part of your meal, the required state or local tax might be higher.

DoorDash has no control over the taxes associated with each order and can only adhere to state and local laws to ensure compliance and continue operation in a particular area.

5. Tips

Drivers are paid for their work by DoorDash, but like other waitstaff working in the United States, they rely on tips to make a living wage.

While customers might assume that the delivery or service fee goes to the Dasher, it does not directly pay their compensation.

Instead, delivery drivers receive payment through a combination of their base pay, any available promotions, and tips.

The base pay for drivers is between $2.00 and $10.00 but often is on the lower side.

When demand for drivers increases in a particular area, DoorDash offers promotions for drivers where rates of pay increase for a set amount of time.

Dasher count on tips paid by users for increased funds.

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
  • Subtotal: $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.

Payment Types

vector graphic of a hand holding a doordash gift card surrounded by other food delivery service gift cards

Payment is exclusively electronic and contained within the app.

Adding credit or debit card information to the app is the easiest way to accomplish this.

Once stored in the app, the customer must only select which card to charge and continue with the ordering process.

In select circumstances, however, DoorDash can take cash.

Regardless, delivery drivers can accept cash tips.

Editor’s Note:

You can add DoorDash gift cards in the same section of your account that you use to modify payment.

Using a preloaded gift card is a great way to budget for the hidden DoorDash costs ahead of time.

How to Save Money on DoorDash

vector graphic of doordash refund - money going from doordash app into a wallet

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.

Promo Code

For new users, DoorDash promo codes offer a way to save.

For instance, when a new customer signs up for DoorDash, a link might be emailed so that that customer can access free delivery for their first month using the app.

Sometimes other customers will share promo codes on couponing websites, so a quick internet search might yield a code that will lower the total cost.

Once you have become a regular customer, obtaining credits can help save money.

DoorDash will add credit to your account for future orders when referring friends and family members to use the app.

Additionally, some promo codes apply to existing users and are often emailed directly to you by DoorDash.

DoorDash Subscription

For regular users, adding a subscription to your plan is very cost-effective.

DashPass, the DoorDash subscription program, costs $9.99 per month and includes no delivery fees and reduced service fees on all orders $12.00 or greater.

DashPass is worth investing in if you order in a few times a month.

Being a DashPass member is like joining the V.I.P. club for DoorDash and can save many money-saving benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

vector graphic showing doordash driver delivery food to customer to be placed in is doordash worth it post

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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