- Delivery fees vary ($0.99 to $5.99), based on distance and demand, directly affecting total cost.
- Service fees, about 10% of the order subtotal, contribute to DoorDash’s operational costs.
- Surge pricing applies during peak hours, increasing costs due to higher demand.
- Small order fee ($2) for orders under $15 encourages larger purchases to avoid extra charges.
- How Much Does DoorDash Cost? Breaking Down the Pricing Structure
- Breaking Down the Cost of a DoorDash Order
- Additional Costs and Considerations
- Example DoorDash Order Cost
- Why Is DoorDash So Expensive?
- Tips for Saving Money on DoorDash
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
How Much Does DoorDash Cost? Breaking Down the Pricing Structure
Using DoorDash involves several costs: the meal price, delivery fees (typically $1.99 to $5.99), service fees (about 10% of the subtotal), and local taxes. Orders under $15 may have an additional small order fee of around $2.50. Tipping the driver is optional but common.
Restaurant prices on DoorDash may be slightly higher than in-store. For frequent users, the DashPass subscription offers free delivery on orders over $12 and reduced service fees for $9.99/month or $96/year.
The total cost varies based on factors like location and demand.
Does DoorDash Mark Up Food Prices?
Yes, some restaurants on DoorDash might increase their food prices compared to in-store rates to cover DoorDash’s commission fees and other costs.
However, DoorDash encourages consistent pricing across platforms to maintain customer satisfaction and is spotlighting restaurants that keep steady pricing.
Breaking Down the Cost of a DoorDash Order
The DoorDash app is free to download and use, with an optional subscription service discussed later. Its pricing includes food costs, order and delivery fees (including surge or small order fees), and an optional driver tip.
On the app or website, you can browse local restaurants, each displaying its delivery fee which varies based on distance. Restaurants set their own menu prices, which may match or exceed in-store prices.
When you select your food, your cart displays the total cost, service fee, and delivery fee.
1. Delivery Fees
The first part of DoorDash’s pricing is the delivery fees.
Luckily, DoorDash makes the delivery fees super transparent. They pop up under the restaurant’s name when browsing through the app or website. This means you’ll know how much you’re going to be paying for delivery before you’ve even chosen your food!
The delivery fees are calculated based on distance and demand; for example, how far you are from the restaurant, and how busy it is for Dashers (DoorDash’s delivery drivers) at the moment.
You’ll find that restaurants closest to you will be a lot cheaper than ones that are further away. The closer the restaurant, the less distance your Dasher will have to travel!
Delivery fees can also go up and down quite quickly. If you’ve ever used the app at around 5 p.m., you’ll notice that the fees jump in price. This is because more people are browsing the app and placing orders.
Sometimes you’ll also notice that DoorDash won’t charge any delivery fees. This is either due to promotions or because it’s a quiet period.
Delivery fees are generally anywhere between $0.99 and $5.99, but they can go a lot higher if you’re far away from the restaurant.
DoorDash splits the delivery fee between themselves and the Dasher. Higher delivery fees help compensate the Dashers for traveling longer distances.
Every DoorDash order includes a delivery fee, typically ranging between $0.99 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.
2. Service Fees
After the delivery fees come the service fees. This is calculated based on the total cost of your order, starting at $0.60.
The service fee varies based on several factors, such as the size of your order. The more food you order, the higher your delivery fee will be!
Generally, the service fee will be a percentage of the order cost. A common amount is around 15% of the order total, but this can increase due to other factors.
The service fee helps DoorDash cover things like marketing, technology development, and payment processing. They help keep DoorDash running so you can get the most out of the service.
The service fee can be annoying, but it is unfortunately mandatory. While delivery fees can be sometimes waived, service fees rarely are.
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. Peak Pricing/Surge Fees
DoorDash sometimes charges extra fees on top of service and delivery. This is most commonly surge pricing, which is where prices change due to increased demand.
This fee gets spread across your food and delivery fees, so sometimes you might not even notice it!
Surge pricing only takes effect during busy parts of the day (for example, during lunch times or the dinner rush).
The prices change because there’s higher demand and less availability. This makes it more competitive for Dashers, who are always seeking the highest-paying orders.
One way you can avoid surge fees is by ordering during off-peak times, such as in the afternoon or early morning. The least busy times of day will mean cheaper fees all around.
However, if you really can’t afford to order during these times, another tip is to close out of the app and wait a bit.
Sometimes the prices might go down after five to ten minutes. So, if you don’t mind waiting longer, this can be a good way to get cheaper fees on your order.
DoorDash implements surge pricing during busy periods like lunch or dinner times, leading to higher overall costs due to increased demand.
You can avoid these surge fees by ordering during off-peak times or by waiting a few minutes before placing your order, as prices may decrease.
4. Small Order Fees
The other extra fee DoorDash charges only applies to small orders.
A small order is usually classed as an order under $15. You’ll be charged an extra $2.50 on top of your order cost.
This gets added to make the trip worth it for Dashers, who would otherwise not accept a small order.
This fee is separate from the pre-existing service and delivery fee. It gets listed as “Small Order Fee” below the other costs.
One way you can avoid this fee is by simply ordering more food. Try adding a side dish or a drink to your order to bump it over $15!
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.
5. Tips for Dashers
You also have the option of adding a tip for your Dasher. You can either do this while checking out or immediately after the delivery.
Tipping is suggested to help support your driver. While tips aren’t mandatory, they can be a great way to reward your Dasher for their hard work.
You might consider adding a tip if your Dasher goes above and beyond to deliver your order, or if they correctly follow tricky delivery instructions.
A standard-sized tip is around 10 – 20% of the total order cost. You also have the option of adding a simple amount, such as $1 or $3. DoorDash doesn’t keep any of the tips; it goes straight to the driver.
While tips are an annoying extra, they are a nice way of thanking your Dasher. Without delivery drivers, you wouldn’t have your food in the first place!
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.
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.
Additional Costs and Considerations
There are a few other costs to consider outside of DoorDash’s standard fees.
There are optional fees to be aware of, such as the Express Fee. This is the fee that you get when using Express Delivery on checkout, and it’s usually only a few extra dollars. You essentially pay more for faster delivery.
There are also other fees associated with DoorDash’s operating costs, such as Regulatory Response Fees.
You’ll encounter these sometimes when DoorDash’s operating costs increase due to local or state regulations. It might not be fun for you, but it helps DoorDash pay its drivers while still providing the service you want.
You can see a breakdown of the fees you were charged on your receipt after the order has been completed.
If you think you might’ve been charged too much, you can always try to request a refund with DoorDash!
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
|Fees & Estimated Tax
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
|Fees & Estimated Tax
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.
Tips for Saving Money on DoorDash
Unfortunately, DoorDash isn’t free, but you can check out our tips for getting free DoorDash from time to time!
Here are some quick ways to save money on DoorDash:
1. Use promo codes
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.
2. Choose pickup over delivery
Yes, the point of food delivery apps is food delivery, but picking up your order is a great way of saving a few extra bucks!
If you have the means, you still use DoorDash to order food then either walk or drive to pick it up. You’ll save yourself the delivery fee using this method.
3. Try DashPass
If you’re a frequent DoorDash user, you can join DashPass — the company’s subscription program — for the most consistent savings available.
For a monthly fee of $9.99 or an annual charge of $96, DashPass members enjoy $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders over $15 from a wide range of merchants.
This includes national chains like 7-Eleven, Chipotle, The Cheesecake Factory, and Denny’s, among others. The DoorDash app conveniently allows users to filter and find DashPass-eligible restaurants.
Additionally, students can benefit from a discounted subscription rate of $4.99 per month or $48 annually. The subscription is flexible, allowing users to cancel at any time.
DashPass is particularly beneficial for those who rely on DoorDash regularly or prefer larger orders, offering significant savings on delivery and service fees.
Non-subscribers can still use DoorDash, but DashPass members gain access to exclusive discounts and conveniences, making frequent food delivery more affordable and accessible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a monthly fee to use DoorDash?
DoorDash is currently free to use. They offer an optional subscription model for users to opt into called Dash Pass. This gives subscribers access to $0 delivery fees and cheaper service fees.
Is Uber Eats or DoorDash cheaper?
DoorDash is sometimes cheaper than Uber Eats. In general, DoorDash has cheaper service fees compared to Uber Eats. To find what’s currently the cheapest for you, compare the same order on each platform.
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.
In conclusion, DoorDash’s pricing structure is made up of the cost of the food and additional fees such as delivery and service charges.
Understanding how DoorDash’s fees work can help you save money on food delivery in the long run! When you know how much you can expect to pay for DoorDash, you’ll be able to better plan your deliveries.
The next time you order from DoorDash, keep these points in mind for a better ordering experience!
The sources we reviewed to write this article.