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How Does DoorDash Work for Customers?

DoorDash is a food delivery service company in the business of connection. In this article, we’ll cover how DoorDash works, cover basic questions, and show you how to get started with DoorDashing.

Craving a meal from your favorite restaurant? DoorDash, leading the food delivery industry, lets you satisfy those cravings with just a few taps.

Originating in San Francisco, it’s now available in hundreds of cities globally. Simply download the app, search for meals, and track your order. This guide will walk you through its usage and costs.

Key Information

DoorDash Origins

Founded in 2013 by Stanford students, DoorDash grew into the largest food delivery service by 2019, with a presence in multiple countries.

Ordering Process

Accessible via website or app, customers choose from local restaurants and stores. The app offers features like express delivery, group orders, and scheduled deliveries.

Cost Structure

Using DoorDash is free, but expect fees and tips. Some restaurants might have different prices on the app. A premium subscription, DashPass, offers unlimited deliveries for $9.99/month.

Is It Worth It?

DoorDash provides a convenient, user-friendly platform with transparent pricing. Their customer service is commendable, and they offer a wide range of restaurant choices, making it a top choice in food delivery.

What Is DoorDash?

DoorDash is a premier food delivery app based in San Francisco, offering users the convenience of ordering from local eateries and chain restaurants for direct delivery to their homes.

It stands out in the market, surpassing competitors such as Uber Eats, Grubhub, and Postmates. To get started, users need to download the DoorDash app, where they will find a user-friendly guide to assist them in placing orders.

Where is DoorDash Available?

DoorDash operates in over 850 cities across the U.S., Canada, and Australia, including every major U.S. city and significant parts of Victoria and New South Wales. Dominating competitors like Uber Eats and Grubhub, it serves areas they don’t.

To check service availability, enter an address on DoorDash.com. If available, local menus appear; otherwise, a “Stay Tuned” message shows. To order, download the DoorDash app, which offers a user-friendly guide.

DoorDash Options Simplified

DoorDash, known for food delivery, also offers a “Pickup” option. This lets users place orders and collect them from the restaurant, saving on delivery fees and wait times.

Key features include:

  1. Group Order: Share a link with friends to add items to a cart, making group ordering easier and potentially saving on delivery fees.
  2. Scheduled Delivery: Rather than immediate delivery, you can set a future date and time for your order, given the restaurant is available. Note: Group orders can be scheduled up to four days ahead.
  3. DashPass: For $9.99/month, this subscription offers free delivery on eligible orders over $15. Eligible restaurants have a check mark.

Understanding DoorDash Costs

DoorDash offers a unique blend of convenience and variety. But when you place an order, it’s not just the price of the food you’re considering. Let’s delve into the various costs associated with using this popular food delivery platform.

Cost Breakdown

  • Food Price:
    • While many restaurants align their in-store prices with what you see on DoorDash, others might introduce a markup. This additional cost often covers DoorDash’s commission. Interestingly, those restaurants that keep their prices consistent between offline and online tend to see better success.
  • Delivery Fee:
    • Your order’s distance and the current demand largely determine this fee. You can typically expect it to range from $1.99 to $5.99. However, during peak times, be prepared for it to potentially rise. The silver lining? DashPass subscribers get to sidestep this fee entirely.
  • Service Fee:
    • This is DoorDash’s way of supporting its expansive operations. It usually hovers around 10-11% of your order subtotal. Still, it’s worth noting that this fee can vary depending on the restaurant you’re ordering from.
  • Small Order Fee:
    • If you’re ordering something light and your total falls below $10, you might find an additional fee of around $2 tacked onto your bill.
  • Tipping:
    • Here’s where you get to show some love to your Dasher. Tipping is optional, but given that it constitutes a significant part of a Dasher’s income, it’s a kind gesture. Aim for a tip that’s between 15-20% of your order’s value.

Additional Costs and Discounts

Ordering via DoorDash is about paying for convenience. Sometimes, this might mean shelling out a little more than you would if you dined in. But then, there’s also the DashPass subscription. At $9.99 a month, it waives delivery fees and grants you reduced service fees for orders over $12.

Payments and Tipping on DoorDash

Ensuring smooth transactions and rewarding stellar service are vital components of the DoorDash experience.

  • Payment Methods:
    • DoorDash simplifies payments by accepting both credit and debit cards. To make your future orders even more seamless, consider saving your card details under the “Account” section.
    • Bonus tip: If you’re a fan of Dunkin’ or Chili’s, you’re in luck. You can apply their loyalty rewards on DoorDash. Just add these details to your account, and you’re good to go.
  • Understanding Tipping:
    • Dashers, like many in the service industry, rely significantly on tips. You can choose to tip through the app, in person, or even adjust the amount post-delivery based on the service quality. Every bit helps, making their hustle worthwhile.

Example of a DoorDash Order

Ever wondered what a DoorDash order might look like in a real-world scenario? Let’s take a trip to Brooklyn:

Imagine you’re swamped with work in Park Slope. Your stomach growls, and you remember the rave reviews about Chipotle’s new smoked brisket bowl. Using DoorDash, your food craving is sorted.

Your bowl, with a generous dollop of guacamole, totals $17.30, service fee included. Considering the cost and time of a subway ride in New York, using DoorDash just might be the most efficient option for your busy day.

How DoorDash Benefits Customers:

DoorDash offers home delivery from restaurants for a delivery fee. Customers can either tip their delivery person in cash or through the app. There’s also a “Pickup” option allowing customers to collect their orders directly from the restaurant without any fees.

Key Features of DoorDash:

  1. Convenience: With busy lifestyles and short lunch breaks, DoorDash provides a solution for those wanting quality meals without the hassle of going out or resorting to fast food.
  2. User-Friendly Interface: DoorDash’s app and website offer a seamless user experience. The main feature? A prominent search bar to input your delivery address. To start, just download the app, available on both Android and IOS, and follow simple prompts.
  3. Easy Payment: The app accepts major credit cards and saves payment details for quicker future orders, unless opted out.
  4. Live Tracking: Once a Dasher accepts your order, you can track its real-time progress on the app. Even if not yet picked up, the app shows the current status of your order.

How Does DoorDash Work For Restaurants?

Restaurants collaborate with DoorDash to facilitate order fulfillment, providing a commission for each transaction. This partnership falls under the DoorDash Merchant program.

As of April 2021, there are three distinct partnership tiers. The first option involves a 15% commission, where a significant portion of the cost is shouldered by the customer. The second option charges a 25% commission, allowing restaurants to gain enhanced visibility by joining DoorDash’s subscription program.

Lastly, with a 30% commission, restaurants benefit from the most expansive service area.

How to Sign Up for DoorDash

Signing up for DoorDash is straightforward.

Here are the five steps:

1. Download the App

First things first, you’ll need to get your hands on the DoorDash app.

Using the app is much better than using a web browser because your phone allows push notifications and automatically locates the restaurants nearest to you. Plus, DoorDash is primarily designed as an app.

Download the food delivery app via the Apple Store or Google Play. When it’s finished downloading, you can feel free to open the app.

2. Enter Personal Information

Once you open up the app, you’ll be prompted to sign up or sign in.

Select the button that says “sign up.”

DoorDash may then ask you whether or not you’re a robot.

Provided that you are and have remained human, tick the box that says “I am human.”

You’ll be brought to a signup page, where you can sign up via a Facebook, Google, or Apple account, or you can simply add your personal information.

Make sure to include the required phone number and email address and select signup.

3. Create Password and Confirm Account

Create a password of eight digits or more.

After that, you’ll be required to verify your account.

This typically occurs with the phone number you provided.

4. Log In

Once you’ve created your account and verified your phone number, you can begin placing orders on DoorDash.

Go to the app again, and this time select “sign in.”

5. Add Payment Options

Before you can pay for your order, though, you need to put in your payment details.

You can use any major credit card, including Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express.

Simply enter your payment details, and then you can get scrolling.

How to Place an Order on DoorDash

Your phone will automatically ask you if you want to allow DoorDash to track your location.

You should select “yes,” as allowing DoorDash to track you will target food to your location so that you only see restaurants currently available to you.

1. Browsing Food

On the app page, you can scroll through the various restaurants and decide which looks yummy. When you decide on a restaurant, you can select that restaurant and then see the menu.

2. Adding Items to Your Cart

Before you add items to your cart, make sure the delivery is going where you want. At the top of the screen, press the option that says “deliver to” and make sure it’s routing to your address.

When you see food items that look good, simply select them, then select add to cart. This is how you’ll add them to your cart.

3. Checking Out

When you’re ready to check out, select the option that says view cart at the bottom of the screen. At the bottom of the cart, if you’re ready to order, select continue.

4. The Checkout Process

Once you’re ready to pay, click continue on the bottom of the “my cart” screen. You’ll then see final details that you should confirm:

  • drop-off location
  • ETA
  • drop-off option (leave at my door with contactless delivery, e.g.)
  • and the tip you’ll leave for the dasher.

Do I Pay Beforehand for The Food or At the Door?

For DoorDash pay, all expenses, including tips, are arranged beforehand. You can pay for an order you want right now, or you can pay for an order to be delivered at some time in the future.

If you decide to receive an order in the future, you can schedule an exact date and time. Then, whether by bike, scooter, or car, your food will arrive reliably when you’ve scheduled it.

What to Expect After Placing an Order

After you place your order, the waiting game begins. You’ll be brought to a screen with a map that shows your Dasher’s expected route to get from the restaurant to your residence.

1. DoorDash Confirms Your Order

Four icons are arranged in a timeline at the bottom of the “waiting” screen after placing an order.

The furthest to the left is the DoorDash logo.

When this logo is colored in, DoorDash has confirmed your order.

2. Waiting for Your Order

You’ll wait for your order, watching it progress in real-time on the waiting screen.

The three icons on the bottom of the “waiting screen” are, from left to right, an icon depicting a building, an icon depicting a car, and an icon depicting a home.

If the building icon is lit, the restaurant has received and is preparing your order.

If the car icon is lit, a Dasher has confirmed delivery and is bringing the order to you.

If the home icon is lit, your delivery has been completed.

3. Receiving Your Order

Depending on whether or not you selected contactless delivery, you will receive your order either on your doorstep or from the hands of the delivery driver.

4. Tipping Your Driver

If you’ve decided to pay with a tip at the outset of the purchasing process, no further action is necessary.

The driver will receive one hundred percent of your tip, which will go towards helping them support themselves as DoorDash drivers.

5. Rating Your Driver

After you’ve received your order, you’ll be asked to rate your driver.

Remember that receiving good ratings is important to drivers, so you should always award the driver five stars unless something very strange happens.

DoorDash Customer Service

If you’re ever stuck in the DoorDash ordering process or need any other assistance with the platform, DoorDash customer service is available on multiple channels to help you out.

Customers can easily head to their support page to start a live chat for time-sensitive issues.

Alternatively, they can tap the “Email” option on this same page to fill in a contact form and get their questions resolved via email, usually within a business day or two.

DoorDash customers can also try contacting the company through this phone number: (855) 973-1040.

And if you have a fairly common question or want to try resolving an issue on your own, you can always go to this customer help page to avoid waiting for a response.

This help page can answer questions about anything from ordering on DoorDash to resolving account and payment issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions concerning DoorDash and DoorDash drivers.

Do DoorDash drivers get free food?

DoorDash drivers, as a rule, don’t get free food.

However, DoorDash is one of the only food delivery companies with a benefits program for its employees.

Dashers may unlock benefits through fidelity that include higher pay, gas credits, and DoorDash credits.

Is DoorDash better than Uber Eats?

The question of whether DoorDash is better than Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates, or other food delivery services depends on who you ask.

DoorDash has fewer requirements for drivers meaning they have a much larger potential workforce.

Additionally, DoorDash is one of the cheapest delivery apps, and can be cheaper than Uber Eats.

However, this depends on the specific restaurant and whether or not they’ve decided to opt-in to DoorDash’s restaurant subscription service as detailed above.

Does DoorDash leave food at the door?

As of 2020, all DoorDash deliveries are non-contact by default.

This means that the Dasher is given the heads-up that you want them to drop off your food in a safe and secure location on your doorstep, then send you a notification when they’ve delivered the order.

You can read more about this policy and how to change to contact delivery on the DoorDash Help Pages.

How do I cancel a DoorDash order?

You can only cancel your order on DoorDash before the restaurant starts cooking your food.

In order to do this, you should log on to the order status page. If you are not too late, the order can be canceled, and your money will be refunded.

You cannot cancel your order while the delivery is in process. If the dasher is en route to the restaurant you can only change some delivery instructions or your delivery address.

However, you cannot cancel the order and receive a refund at that point.

Should I tip my DoorDash driver?

You can tip your dasher in two ways. One way to do it is by using the app and transferring funds upon the completion of the delivery. You can also tip your dasher with cash in person.

Wrapping Up

DoorDash is the modern solution to our quickly dwindling free time.

You need to eat, so why would you settle for some cheap fast food location in your area?

Support a local, sustainable city ecosystem with DoorDash while saving time and money.

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