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Ordering food from your smartphone may be convenient, but before you turn DoorDash into a part of your weekly routine, you need to be aware of the costs that come with the time you save. Beyond paying for your meal, you can expect to encounter a few DoorDash fees with every order.
On-demand food delivery services never come for free, but when you’re ordering from the DoorDash app, you may not know exactly what costs to expect before you get to the checkout page. Much like Grubhub, Postmates, and similar apps, DoorDash charges extra fees that help cover the cost of their own operations.
Each of these DoorDash fees enables the company to continue providing a smooth user experience, whether you just need to order food from a delivery app or you need customer service support from the company. In this article, we’ll give you a detailed breakdown of the costs you should expect.
- Meal Cost
- Delivery Fee
- Taxes and Fees
- Small Order Fee
- Dasher Tips
- Saving on DoorDash Fees With DashPass
- Frequently Asked Questions
In most cases, the bulk of your final total will be made up of your meal cost. This isn’t technically a DoorDash fee — prices are set by restaurant partners, rather than the company itself — but customers should be aware that the pricing of menu items is often higher on DoorDash than in-store.
The reason for this is simple: Merchants charge more to cover the costs of DoorDash commission fees. DoorDash takes about 20% of restaurant earnings per order in exchange for connecting the merchant to customers.
Luckily, the extra charge you’ll face is rarely more than a few dollars over the normal price. On the flip side, instead of charging more, some restaurants will actually offer DoorDash-exclusive meal deals, which you can find on the front page of the app when they’re available.
If your selected restaurant isn’t directly affiliated with the DoorDash app, you may also be charged a different price. For these non-partnered merchants, your order isn’t instantly sent to and accepted by the restaurant. Rather, the order will be placed by your delivery driver (or “Dasher”) when they arrive.
Because of this, DoorDash simply sets estimated prices when you order from unaffiliated merchants. If the actual total ends up being lower when your Dasher checks out, you’ll be refunded the difference. If the total ends up being higher, you only pay the estimated price, which means you luck out with an unofficial discount.
DoorDash, as you probably expect, charges a delivery fee with every delivery request. This fee usually ranges from $1.99 to $5.99, though the exact charge will depend on the restaurant you select.
Like Uber Eats and other delivery apps, DoorDash does raise this fee during times of high demand. According to the brand, DoorDash peak hours usually occur during lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Customers do have ongoing opportunities to save on DoorDash delivery fees though. As of May 2020, all new customers automatically get free delivery on all orders over $10 for their first 30 days, just for signing up. Once this first-time user deal expires, you can often find restaurants offering free delivery within the app, often in exchange for spending a certain minimum amount.
Delivery fees are always waived for pick-up orders, which you need to pick up at your restaurant of choice once your meal is prepared.
Taxes and Fees
When you reach your checkout page, you will see a charge labeled “Taxes and Fees.” What this includes is your sales tax and service fee, which helps DoorDash fund its operations and keep its app and customer service functioning well.
Your sales tax is based on the local rates in whichever city you’re ordering from. Your service fee, on the other hand, is a DoorDash fee that is typically around 10% or 11%. This fee may vary from merchant to merchant and from city to city.
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.
Small Order Fee
To make every order worth your restaurant and your courier’s time, DoorDash sets a minimum subtotal in every market, usually around $8 to $10. In the event that you don’t reach your local minimum, you will be charged a $2 small order fee.
That said, if you’re ever a couple dollars short of the minimum subtotal, you can add a drink or a side to ensure you’re getting extra food instead of a needless charge.
The final DoorDash fee that you should expect to impact your total cost is your Dasher tip. While tipping your DoorDash drive is optional, it’s custom for all customers to tip at least 15% per delivery.
On your checkout page, you’ll find options to tip $2, $3, and $4 for your convenience, but you can always calculate and customize your exact gratuity amount yourself. You can also tip in cash when your courier arrives if you prefer.
DoorDash takes zero commission from Dasher tips, which means your drivers will receive 100% of your tip amount.
While DoorDash did once include tips in minimum payout promises — which essentially meant it was using tips to subsidize itself — the company has since changed its policy. The DoorDash pay model now always separates customer tips from promotions (including minimum earnings guarantees), so there’s never any overlap.
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.
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.
As of May 2020, DoorDash is offering a 30-day free trial on the subscription program when you sign up at doordash.com/dashpass.
Frequently Asked Questions
DoorDash fees are easy to understand once you break them down, but you may still have a few questions on your mind. Here are questions you may have about payments when using the food delivery service:
1. How much do I need to pay if I cancel my order?
If the restaurant you ordered from hasn’t accepted your order, cancellation is completely free and you won’t be charged for your canceled meal request.
However, if the restaurant has accepted your order and thus has begun preparing it, no refunds can be given. Luckily, DoorDash does not charge a separate cancellation fee, so you’ll only need to pay the price that you were quoted at checkout.
2. What payment methods does DoorDash accept?
DoorDash currently only accepts payments made with debit and credit cards, including most major credit card issuers like Visa and Mastercard. In the United States, DoorDash credits — which are usually earned through gift cards or customer referrals — can also be applied to any order.
3. Do I need to pay extra for scheduled deliveries?
There is no extra charge for scheduling deliveries ahead of time. Instead, you might actually be able to save money by finalizing your order before the lunch or dinner rush, as you won’t have to deal with increased fees as demand rises.
Understand Your DoorDash Payment
Getting to know all the DoorDash fees that go into your final cost can help you budget and ensure you’re never overcharged. On-demand food delivery naturally comes with extra charges, which may seem intimidating at first. However, once you see the breakdown of where exactly your money is going, you can better see how your payment helps couriers, restaurants, and DoorDash.
If you want to learn more about how other food delivery apps are priced before you commit to DoorDash, we recommend starting with our guide to Uber Eats fees and pricing. In the guide, we again break down all the costs that you can expect, so you can directly compare them to DoorDash fees.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.