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How Late Does DoorDash Deliver? 3 Times You’ll Be Out Of Luck

Last updated: August 13, 2021
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graphic of a hand holding the doordash delivery app with the words

Suppose you’re arriving in a new city in the middle of the night or need a late-night snack and don’t have anything to eat at home.

In this case, there are times you’ll need to make an order from DoorDash for quick and easy food deliveries.

DoorDash has grown a lot since it started as a Bay Area food delivery service, now making up 45-percent of the food delivery market in the United States.

Along with Uber Eats and Grubhub, it is one of the most popular apps for food delivery services.

People place DoorDash orders at all times of the day and night.

Just how late does DoorDash deliver anyway?

Is it a 24-hour service?

This article will help you understand DoorDash’s operating hours, how to find a delivery driver late at night, and what to do if you can’t find a driver for your order.

Let’s get into it!

How Late Does DoorDash Deliver?

DoorDash can deliver throughout the night, depending on your location.

How late DoorDash works depends on three major factors:

  • How late stores in your area are open
  • The number of orders coming in at night in your city
  • How many DoorDash drivers live or operate in your area

In most cities and towns where DoorDash operates, you won’t have any problem getting DoorDash deliveries until around 9-10 PM, or even a bit later.

However, things may change once you get past the 10 or 11 PM mark, depending on where you live.

graphic of a hand holding the doordash delivery app with the words

In major urban areas or cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago, DoorDash effectively works 24/7.

You can place an order any time of the day and night, and you will almost always find a driver pretty quickly.

Those are the largest cities in the United States, so people are always looking to make extra money by delivering for DoorDash.

In addition, New York City and Los Angeles are some of the most expensive cities in the United States.

Therefore, many people with regular day jobs work throughout the night with DoorDash to make extra money to afford to live in those areas.

Cities like New York City and Las Vegas have booming nightlife scenes, so there are always people up at night ordering food.

New York City is the city that never sleeps, so there are always eateries and fast food places open.

However, DoorDash isn’t just available in the major cities; you can use it in 850 cities and towns across North America.

It can be harder to get a DoorDash delivery late at night in some smaller cities and towns.

In some places, almost nothing is open 24/7, and the few places aren’t always on DoorDash.

Also, in more rural areas, many people go to sleep earlier, especially if there is no nightlife scene; it can be harder to find a Dasher, even if places are open.

Standard DoorDash Delivery Times

There are no standard DoorDash operating times; the app works 24/7.

It usually takes 40 minutes and 12 seconds, on average, for Dashes to be delivered.

However, it may take longer in the middle of the night or on holidays, as it may be harder to find a driver.

The same applies during peak delivery times such as lunchtime, as all available drivers may be busy delivering other orders.

If all restaurants on DoorDash in your area open at 7 AM and close at 10 PM, you can only use DoorDash during those times.

Days DoorDash Doesn’t Deliver

There are no official days on which DoorDash does not deliver.

DoorDash operates even on major holidays such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.

In larger cities, there are always people who don’t celebrate Christmas, need extra money, live alone and feel lonely staying at home, or work on holidays for whichever other reason.

However, if you live in a smaller area where everything is closed on Christmas Eve, you won’t be able to place any orders.

Suppose one or two restaurants are open, but the site is very religious, or a family owns it and doesn’t go out during those times.

In that case, it will be tough to find a driver.

How to Avoid Late Deliveries

If you live in a region where it is hard or impossible to find a DoorDash delivery driver late at night, your best bet is to place your orders earlier.

That way, you will avoid the angst and frustration you may experience if you are awake late at night, starving, with nothing at home to eat.

Late-night orders may also come with higher fees.

You have a few options here. One choice is to order early and eat early, so you are not hungry later.

If you are busy working earlier in the evening or need to work throughout the night, you can order earlier and keep your food fresh in the fridge.

Then, take your food out and heat it in the microwave when it’s mealtime.

If you do not have a fridge or microwave, consider buying a thermal container or insulated sandwich box, so you can keep your food fresh and hot for a few hours until it is time to eat.

Another way to avoid late-night deliveries is always to keep some food in your freezer, ready to eat.

It doesn’t matter whether you prepare that food yourself or order it from DoorDash.

Keep a few meals on hand that you can always heat in an instant when you get those midnight cravings.

Focus on food that both satisfies your cravings and fills you up, so you won’t feel a need to order KFC at 3 AM.

If you are a DoorDash driver, take precautions to avoid delivering orders later than the expected delivery time, as that can get your DoorDash account suspended.

The standard delivery times are estimates, so 10 minutes here or there won’t make a big difference.

However, avoid wasting time on your phone or social media, and take routes with less traffic.

When DoorDash Can’t Find a Driver

If restaurants are open in your area, but no drivers are available, DoorDash will wait to see if any driver accepts your order.

After a specific time, they will automatically cancel your order if no driver is around or nobody takes your order.

Sometimes, drivers are available but don’t want to go through the hassle of driving a long distance for very little pay.

One way to make your existing order more attractive to drivers is DoorDash tipping – to offer a larger tip.

However, be generous here — don’t just add $0.50, as that isn’t going to make a big difference to a tired driver.

Instead, add at least $5 or so if you want drivers to pick up your order.

If you are worried about not being able to find a driver, here are some tips to make your order more lucrative to drivers:

  • Order from a place closer to your house. That way, drivers won’t have to drive as long – a few miles makes a big difference to an exhausted DoorDash worker.
  • Order from a place with free parking options and easy access. That may exclude university or hospital cafeterias or restaurants in shopping malls.
  • Finally, order from a place that prepares food quickly, so your driver doesn’t have to wait. Fast food restaurants like Burger King or McDonald’s are good options. Pizza shops usually deliver quickly as well.

Related: Everything You Need to Know about the DoorDash Merchant Program

Why Some Drivers Don’t Drive at Night

There are many reasons drivers will avoid working late at night, and they are all valid.

Here are the most common reasons drivers don’t work at night:

1. There are not enough restaurants open 24/7.

The available restaurants take too long to prepare food and do not provide easy access or free parking options.

2. There are not enough orders coming in.

This problem is common in smaller, more rural areas.

It may not be worth it for a driver to stay up for an occasional order here and there.

They just won’t earn enough.

3. It may be dangerous.

Some urban areas are not safe at night, so drivers may avoid driving around.

That goes for drivers who own cars, but those who deliver on scooters, bikes, or foot face even greater dangers (those delivery methods are available in some locations).

Alternative to Late-Night Orders: Scheduled Orders

A great alternative to placing a late order is to schedule your pickup in advance.

Drivers may be more likely to pick up scheduled orders, as they sometimes offer better compensation.

However, you have to make sure that the store you are ordering from will be open at the scheduled time.

The restaurant will see your order right away in the orders tab.

Still, it will show up in a separate section labeled “scheduled.”

Doordash will only mark it as “needs action” 30-60 minutes before the scheduled time, depending on how many items the order has.

However, be aware that a scheduled pick-up may arrive earlier than expected sometimes, as drivers on the platform may pick it up earlier than expected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Drive For DoorDash at Any Time?

Yes, you can drive for DoorDash at any time of the day or night.

DoorDash provides drivers with a lot of flexibility in that area.

However, you need to make sure there are restaurants on DoorDash open throughout the night where you live.

Also, if you are delivering in a rural area, it may not be worth it for you to stay up at night in an attempt to pick up orders.

You can check the map in your app to see whether it is a busy time.

The more red the map is, the more demand there is.

If the map is gray, that means there are not a lot of orders coming in.

What Food Delivery Apps Deliver 24/7?

DoorDash is one delivery app that delivers 24/7 in the US and Canada, but there are others.

Uber Eats and Grubhub are the two other largest food-delivery apps in the United States that deliver 24/7.

Postmates is another good mobile app that is available 24/7 in urban areas.

What Happens If My DoorDash Order Isn’t Picked Up?

If nobody picks up your DoorDash order, it will usually get canceled.

You will get a refund for anything you paid, including the delivery fee.

In addition, DoorDash may offer you credits if you want to wait a little longer to see if any driver becomes available.

One way to increase the chances of the pick-up of your order is to offer a larger tip or order during more reasonable hours.

How Many Hours Per Day Can You DoorDash?

There is no limit to how many hours you can DoorDash.

Dashers are independent contractors who set their hours.

You can work 20 hours a day or more if you can.

However, there may not be enough orders during certain hours to make it worth it, so you may want to stick to more peak times, such as during lunch and dinner time.

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