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How To Use DoorDash: Payments, Orders and More

Last updated: January 11, 2022
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DoorDash is one of the most extensive food delivery services in North America.

DoorDash drivers (often called Dashers) pick up your food from local restaurants and chains, then bring them right to your doorstep.

DoorDash started in big cities like San Franciso and New York, but now this food delivery app is available just about everywhere.

Recently, DoorDash also started partnering with your local grocery and convenience store.

It’s a convenient option and one you should check out if you’re not already.

We’ll show you how to use DoorDash and how it works for you and your favorite restaurants?

Read on to find out everything you need to know.

How Does DoorDash Work?

DoorDash operates in hundreds of areas around the United States.

First, you look up your address either on DoorDash’s site or through apps from the iOS or Google Play app store.

Then you see a list of available restaurants.

Place your order, put in an optional tip, and enjoy your food!

From there, your Dasher gets a notification to go pick up your food and bring it to your address.

You can track the progress of your order directly within the app.

What Can I Order Using DoorDash?

DoorDash started life as a food delivery service focusing on restaurants.

That’s still primarily what you’ll find.

The restaurant selection is limited to what’s in your area, though.

So if you don’t have a great selection around your house, you unfortunately probably won’t have a great selection on DoorDash.

Recently, though, DoorDash has started partnering with local grocery, convenience, and department stores to compete with Instacart.

You can also buy food from across the country and get it shipped to you.

However, unlike DoorDash’s other services, this one isn’t same-day delivery.

It’s a convenient option to try something new, though!

How Much Does It Cost to Use DoorDash?

There’s no one set answer here.

However, DoorDash fees show up in a few ways that we can break down.

Items

Everything you buy will, of course, cost something.

You might notice that prices on DoorDash are slightly higher than you’d see if you went directly to the restaurant.

These changes often come from the restaurants to offset some fees that DoorDash is charging them.

Service Fees

These are the fees DoorDash charges to use the service.

It’s typically a percentage of your overall total.

Delivery Fees

These will vary depending on how busy DoorDash is at any given time and your proximity to the restaurant.

Restaurants close to you will generally have no or a low delivery fee.

Those further away will cost more.

Peak Hours

At particularly busy times, you may notice that delivery fees are higher.

DoorDash calls these “peak hours.”

Tips

These are optional, but any tips go right to your Dasher.

Of course, you don’t have to tip your Dasher, but a little kindness goes a long way.

How to Save Money Using DoorDash

Like many other services, if you’re willing to do a little bit of extra work, you can save yourself some money on your DoorDash orders.

Here are a couple of ways you can save.

Use a Promo Code

DoorDash usually provides promo codes to new customers and also has various promotions throughout the year.

Check your push notifications and emails to see if DoorDash has any new offers for you.

You can also check sites like RetailMeNot to see if any public coupons are available to you.

It takes just a second to copy a DoorDash promo code and try it out.

Sign up for DashPass

If you’re going to be using DoorDash more than once in a while, you should consider signing up for DashPass.

DashPass is DoorDash’s premium service.

For $9.99 per month (or you can save a little more by paying for more than a year upfront), you get a lot of benefits.

The biggest is that, for most restaurants, you’ll get free delivery for orders over $12.

With many restaurants having a delivery fee of around $5 per order, you’ll see savings very quickly.

You’ll still see other fees, and some restaurants don’t work with DashPass delivery, but it’s the most reliable way to save money on your deliveries.

How Do You Pay When Using DoorDash?

Almost all orders are paid for at the time of the order with a credit card, debit card, or other payment option (Apple Pay, PayPal, etc.).

That includes any fees and tips.

DoorDash does have a cash option called DoorDash Drive, but individual restaurants set that up, and it has not been in use since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

It may come back in the future but isn’t something that you’ll want to rely on.

How to Use DoorDash: Step-by-Step

DoorDash is an incredibly simple, intuitive service.

Once you’ve tried it out once, you should have a good understanding of how it works.

Like anything, though, the first time can seem confusing.

So here’s a brief primer on all the steps.

vector graphic that shows hands on a laptop screen running the doordash website - for how to use doordash post on ridester.com

Creating a DoorDash Account

Either go to the DoorDash website or download the DoorDash app.

You can create an account directly from your Facebook, Apple, or Google accounts or just set one up with your email address.

Browsing Food

Once you enter your delivery address, you’ll see all the DoorDash delivery options, including restaurant names, how pricy it is, and expected delivery time.

If you know what type of cuisine you want, DoorDash has filters so you can look at only certain types of restaurants.

Adding Items to Cart

Once you’ve decided on your location, now it’s time to browse the menu!

After you’ve decided what you’d like, click on the item.

Many restaurants allow you to customize your order, and all give the option to leave a note (to cover things like allergies or special requests).

One thing to keep in mind is that you can only have items in your cart from one restaurant at any given time.

So, if you want to order a pizza from one place and burgers from another, you totally can, but it will have to happen in two separate orders.

Placing Order

After getting all your items into your order, you can place your order.

Here, you can review your order one last time.

Make sure the delivery address is correct.

You can also have the opportunity to leave special instructions and indicate whether you want your Dasher to leave your food on a step or porch or to ring the bell.

Checking Out

Once everything is correct, you can make your payment on the order.

If you’d like to add a tip for your Dasher, you’ll also do that at checkout.

Again, DoorDash will suggest different percentages for you.

If you want to pick up your order, you’d indicate that at this stage as well.

Waiting for DoorDash Delivery

Once you place your order, all you have to do is wait!

DoorDash has an order tracking feature, so you’ll know when the restaurant accepts the order, when your Dasher picks it up, and when your order’s on the move.

Your DoorDash driver has GPS, so you’ll have their exact location.

You can also message or call them directly within the app if you have questions.

The DoorDash app is equipped with push notifications to let you know when your delivery person is close.

Taking Delivery of Food

Your Dasher will have the instructions you put in with your order for delivery.

If you ask them to ring the bell, they’ll do that.

If you said to leave it on the porch, that should be what they do.

Sometimes, your Dasher will message you in the DoorDash app to tell you that your food has arrived, but it’s not mandatory.

Completing Order & Tipping Your DoorDash Driver

Your Dasher will usually take a picture of the food on your porch, and that will trigger that the order is complete.

After that, you should be all set to enjoy your meal!

If you’ve chosen to tip your driver at the time of the order, that part’s all set.

100% of tips go to the Dasher.

If you want to adjust your tip or forgot, you can contact Customer Support.

Other Important Things To Know

That covers most of the basics, but what if you’ve gotten some credit for a previous error like above, or you got a DoorDash gift card?

Don’t worry.

We’ve got you covered.

How to Use DoorDash Credit

If you’ve received credit from DoorDash for any reason at all, it will automatically apply to your account.

You can see your balance at any time.

During your next order, any credits automatically apply to your DoorDash wallet, which you’ll see when you go to check out.

If you don’t want to use your credit right away, you don’t have to.

That said, credits expire six months after DoorDash issues them, so don’t wait too long!

How to Use DoorDash Gift Cards

Gift cards are redeemable under your Account Settings.

Just put in the relevant information, and your gift cards will show up as DoorDash credit on your account.

How Does DoorDash Work for Dashers?

Dashers are independent workers.

In other words, they don’t work for any particular restaurant.

When you place an order with DoorDash, Dashers in the area get a notification of the delivery in a special Dasher app.

Once a Dasher claims the order, they go to the restaurant, pick up your order, and drive it to you.

DoorDash delivery drivers get some base pay from DoorDash along with other promotions.

They also keep 100% of their tips.

How Does DoorDash Work for Restaurants?

The restaurant owner signs up with DoorDash to feature on the service.

Some percentage of what you’re paying to the restaurant goes back to DoorDash with each order.

When you place your order, the restaurant is alerted.

They confirm the order along with the expected wait time.

This information goes out to you and Dashers in the area.

Once the restaurant finishes preparing your food, they hand your order off to the Dasher.

Frequently Asked Questions

Using DoorDash is pretty straightforward, but sometimes things pop up.

Here are some questions that come up most often.

Can I cancel a DoorDash order after placing It?

Yes, you can. There’s a Help option that you can access from your Orders page.

You can cancel an order at any time, but refund eligibility depends on how far along it is.

For example, if you placed an order by mistake and the restaurant hasn’t started working on it, you can generally expect a full refund.

If your order’s out for delivery?

Don’t expect a refund.

How late does DoorDash deliver?

DoorDash itself doesn’t set those hours.

Delivery hours are set entirely by the stores and restaurants themselves.

The DoorDash app is very clear about when restaurants will stop taking new orders for the day.

You should be aware that restaurants might choose to stop taking orders before they actually close.

Can I request a specific DoorDash driver?

At this time, no. When you place an order, all eligible drivers get the notification.

If you have concerns or complaints about a particular delivery, you can contact DoorDash Customer Service.

How can I contact DoorDash customer service if I have an issue?

If something is missing from your order or you’re unhappy with your delivery in any way, DoorDash offers excellent customer support either on the site or in the app.

You can log your issue, including what item is incorrect/missing and what the item is.

DoorDash will usually offer credits for future orders to make it right for you.

Should you have an issue, though, always go through DoorDash support first rather than contacting the restaurant or your Dasher directly.

DoorDash communicates with them so that you don’t have to.

Wrapping Up

DoorDash is a great way to get terrific food delivered to your doorstep.

You don’t need to call in an order, pick anything up, or even have cash on hand!

Give DoorDash a try for an old favorite or something new, and you’re sure to have a great experience and a great meal.

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