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Is DoorDash Cheaper Than Uber Eats? A Price Comparison

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Key Takeaways

  • DoorDash generally offers lower delivery and service fees than Uber Eats.
  • Both platforms charge similar meal prices, but additional fees vary.
  • Prioritize ordering during non-peak hours to avoid surge pricing.
  • Consider membership plans for further savings on delivery costs.

Just because food is a necessity doesn’t mean you have to blow all your cash on it, and choosing convenience shouldn’t mean you must pay expensively to get what you need.

We compared the popular meal delivery services, DoorDash and Uber Eats, to find out which food delivery app charges less for meals and delivery services. DoorDash emerged as the winner out of the two.

Each delivery app has its specific charges and service fees that make up the total costs. This article provides a breakdown of these costs and how they affect your overall meal expenses.

The Winner—DoorDash or Uber Eats?

If you’re looking for a quick TL;DR version of this extensive breakdown, here’s what you need to know.

Both DoorDash and Uber Eats have similar price ranges; however, a few factors contribute to DoorDash emerging as the cost-effective option.

When comparing their base meal prices, Uber Eats had higher prices than DoorDash for some restaurant options.

When we compared the costs of the additional fees attached to your order, we found that DoorDash also offered lower delivery fees and a more flexible service charge.

How Much Does It Cost to Order a Meal from Uber Eats?

Based on the data we obtained from a 2023 price comparison by CNET, here’s a list of what an average order costs at different types of restaurants listed on Uber Eats.

Note that these costs don’t include the extra fees attached to restaurant orders.

  • Dunkin: $9.22
  • Deli: $11
  • Wings: $11.95
  • Indian: $21
  • Pizza: $20
  • Chinese: $52.50
  • Thai: $54.75
  • Greek: $84
  • Italian: $110
  • American: $141

Uber Eats doesn’t add extra prices to restaurant menu items listed on their platform. It’s the local restaurants that set the price of your food orders.

However, since Uber Eats charges them fees, the restaurants may increase food prices to cover such costs.

How Much Do DoorDash Meals Cost?

Still following the food delivery price comparison chart, here’s what an average DoorDash order costs depending on the type of restaurant you order from:

  • Dunkin: $9.22
  • Deli: $11
  • Wings: $11.95
  • Indian: $21
  • Pizza: $20
  • Chinese: $50
  • Thai: $54.75
  • Greek: $84
  • Italian: $110
  • American: $123

Judging from the comparison of both prices, it’s safe to agree that the base price of a meal on both food delivery apps is about the same amount.

DoorDash, like Uber Eats, doesn’t markup prices, and encourages merchants to maintain a steady pricing.

Restaurant owners, however, sometimes increase their food prices (in comparison to the in-store prices) to cover their operating costs and the various fees charged by the platforms.

If both platforms offer similar meal prices, you can decide which option is cheaper by comparing the platforms’ additional fees.

Breaking It Down: What Other Fees Apply to DoorDash and Uber Eats Orders?

The additional service and delivery fees attached to every order are the reason why the total order cost is increased. Let’s see what they’re like for DoorDash and Uber Eats.

DoorDash Fees

Doordash charges delivery fees, service fees, peak/surge pricing fees, small order fees, taxes, and tips for Dashers (optional).

1. Delivery Fees & Express Delivery

Delivery fees on DoorDash range between $0.99 and $5.99. The further you are from the restaurant, the higher the delivery fee you’ll pay.

If you want Express Delivery, an optional service that guarantees Dashers (DoorDash’s delivery drivers) deliver your meal first in a stack of deliveries, you pay $1.99 – $2.99.

Before you place your order, you’ll see how much the delivery service will cost you, so you can decide beforehand if you want to proceed or not.

To calculate the cost of delivery, DoorDash considers the restaurant’s distance to your location, and how busy it is at the time of ordering.

2. Service Fees

This is calculated based on the total cost of your order. It’s usually around 10% – 15% of the entire cost of your order, but other factors like the order’s size can affect it.

This fee helps DoorDash keep its platform operational, covering things like advertisements, marketing, payment processing, etc. Unlike delivery fees that may sometimes be forfeited, you always have to pay a service fee.

3. Peak Pricing

Peak hours usually fall around the time when people eat lunch or dinner — 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. At this time, the cost of your order will go even higher.

This cost may be added to the delivery fee or spread out across the food cost, delivery fee, and service fee, so you may not even notice it.

If you’re familiar with the typical cost of your order and notice it slightly jumps at a certain time of the day, it may have been affected by the surge.

DoorDash uses this technique to meet the increase in order demand by attracting Dashers who are looking for high-paying orders to fulfill.

4. Small Order Fees and Taxes

DoorDash charges you if your order falls below $15. They charge an additional $2.50 to encourage Dashers who don’t like to accept small orders to pick your order up.

To avoid paying this fee, order a drink or appetizer to push your order over the Small Order range. This fee is different from service fees.

One more fee you’ll need to cover when you order a meal on DoorDash is the tax. DoorDash charges taxes based on the rates of the city you’re ordering from. For orders that include alcohol, the rate may go even higher.

Uber Eats Fees

Uber Eats charges service fees, delivery fees, priority delivery fees (optional), small order fees, and other fees.

1. Service Fees

When you order food on Uber Eats, you’ll need to pay a service fee that costs about 15% of your meal.

The lowest service fee is about $3, while the maximum is $9. For large orders, the service will fall below 15% of the order total.

2. Delivery Fees & Priority Delivery

Uber Eats collects between $0.49 and $10.99 for delivery per order. This fee depends on your distance to the restaurant. If you’re close to the restaurant, you’ll pay lower delivery fees.

If your delivery fee seems higher than normal, there may also be a price surge due to the unavailability of delivery drivers—or you’re too far from the restaurant.

If you’re in a hurry, and you want your order to be given priority over the others, Uber Eats charges a small fee of $1.99 – $2.99 for that. Paying this fee assures you that your order will get to you before other orders in the set.

3. Small Order Fees and Other Fees

Ordering less on Uber Eats means paying more. If your order costs less than $1, you pay a $2 fee. And if it totals less than $15, you pay $3. Also, if you make changes to your address after placing the order, you’ll receive a delivery adjustment charge.

If you live in California, you’re expected to pay a CA Driver Benefits fee, and if you live in New York, you pay a $2 New York Courier fee.

Cost Comparison: DoorDash vs. Uber Eats

Now that you know all the costs associated with your order, let’s compare the DoorDash and Uber Eats fees side by side to see which one charges higher.

Type of FeeDoorDashUber Eats
Delivery Fee$0.99 – $5.99$0.49 – $10.99
Express/Priority Delivery$1.99 – $2.99$1.99 – $2.99
Small Order Fee$2.50$3
Service Fee10% – 15% of order subtotal15% of order subtotal

Based on the above comparison, it’s clear that, between the two apps, DoorDash offers lower fees.

While the cost difference may not be substantial on the surface, if you frequently order meals from food delivery services, DoorDash is the most affordable option in the long term.

Wrapping Up

Ordering meals comes at a cost for the convenience they offer. However, not all food delivery services charge exorbitantly. If you need a cheap and affordable food delivery service for the long term, DoorDash is a good choice.

Based on a comparative analysis of its meal prices and additional fees, it comes in slightly cheaper than Uber Eats. Bear in mind that a lot of the costs attached to meal orders vary depending on different factors.

To maximize savings and reduce costs, order meals during favorable hours when traffic is slow, and leverage the exclusive discounts many of these delivery apps offer.

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