DoorDash is an online service that can deliver food from your favorite restaurants right to your door, including options like California Pizza Kitchen, The Cheesecake Factory, Lyfe, LuLu’s, and more. And thanks to DoorDash’s “revolutionary logistics technology,” they’ll have your food to you in less than 45 minutes.
All you have to do is log on to the DoorDash website (or use their iOS or Android app), place your order (there’s no minimum size), and sit back and wait. Compared to traditional delivery services though, you can schedule your DoorDash order up to four days in advance.
There’s no doubt that DoorDash could change the way we order takeout. But are there other similar options? Is there anything that separates DoorDash from the competition? And finally, will they provide a solid value?
You’ve got a lot of important questions about DoorDash, and we’re here to provide the information you need to make a wise decision. So to begin, let’s take a closer look at the process.
The DoorDash Ordering Process
Probably the easiest way to begin using DoorDash is to enter your address on their home page, or by clicking on your neighborhood in the list under each city’s name. From there, DoorDash will let you know which restaurants in your area they work with.
At this point, you’ll also be able to view an estimated delivery time, which will be updated again when you check out, depending on the size of your order. Based on when you place your order, a restaurant might be listed as “Busy,” which means “their current delivery time exceeds [DoorDash’s] standards for a fast delivery, and [they’re] temporarily not accepting orders for that restaurant.”
At the time of our research, DoorDash operated in the following cities (we’ll come back around to this in the final section):
- Bellevue, WA
- Los Angeles & LA Valley
- Manhattan & Brooklyn
- Orange County, CA
- San Diego
- San Francisco & East Bay
- Silicon Valley
- Vancouver, BC
- Washington DC
Beginning Your Order
By clicking on the restaurant you’re interested in, you’ll be able to view their menu. If they offer different menus at different times of the day, you’ll be presented with all options.
After choosing your menu, you’ll be able to view all available selections. See something you like? Just click on the dish, choose the quantity, indicate what you’d like to do if an item isn’t available (e.g. refund item, cancel entire order, contact you, etc.), and add to cart. This is also where you’ll enter any special instructions.
After Your Order Has Been Placed
Once your order has been placed, DoorDash will either immediately send it over to the restaurant of your choice. Or, if you’ve selected a specific time (up to four days in advance), DoorDash will send it over at an optimal time in order to ensure it’s “hot and fresh from the kitchen.”
Just how much will all this convenience cost you?
How Much Will DoorDash Delivery Cost?
The short answer: Exactly how much extra you’ll pay for DoorDash’s delivery can vary depending on the company’s agreement with each restaurant, although you’ll be able to review prior to finalizing your order.
The detailed answer: DoorDash is paid a commission by each restaurant they work with. As such, some restaurants may pass the cost of this commission along to their customers (making their base prices slightly higher), while others will keep their prices the same as an in-restaurant visit.
The delivery fee for your first DoorDash order will be $1. After that, your delivery fee can vary, but it will always be listed on the checkout page prior to finalizing your order (along with an itemized list of your order, food cost, and tax). You’ll also be able to enter a tip in this section, and invite friends to earn credits applicable toward future orders.
Note: DoorDash charges a double delivery fee for all orders over $100.
Given all of this, how does DoorDash compare to the competition?
Are There Other Food Delivery Services Like DoorDash?
Although restaurant delivery services are a fairly recent phenomenon, there are already several companies that compete directly with DoorDash, the most popular of which is undoubtedly GrubHub. But you also have other options, including DoorstepDelivery.com, Eat24Hours.com, DiningIn.com, Delivery.com, Foodler.com, and more.
In fact, Amazon is even getting into restaurant delivery and is currently testing their new service in Baltimore, MD!
In other words, DoorDash seems to have some stiff competition, and is even competing against one of the largest companies in the world. Compared to these other options, how does DoorDash fare?
How Does DoorDash Stack Up Against the Competition?
On PissedConsumer.com, there were 23 complaints against DoorDash at the time of our research. While some customers appreciated the company’s easy online ordering process and restaurant selection, many more weren’t pleased.
This included common complaints about high prices (one reviewer mentioned that they spent 78% more than going to the same restaurant in person), late delivery/cold food, and poor customer service (whether from the driver or the company itself).
Based on 91 reader reviews, DoorDash seemed to fare better on Reviews.io, where the company had an average rating of 4.29 stars. Many customers seemed pleased with DoorDash’s fast service, friendly drivers, and solid customer support. Again though, many also complained about high prices and hit-or-miss quality.
Regarding their apps, DoorDash had a 4.5-star rating on iTunes, and a 3-star rating on Google Play. Overall, it seems like both of these apps work reasonably well, and most complaints referenced the same concerns we’ve already discussed.
From a company perspective, DoorDash, based out of Palo Alto, CA, had an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, despite having only 4 closed complaints (as of 12/4/15). Unfortunately, no complaint details were available, although DoorDash didn’t bother responding to any of them.
Is DoorDash a Convenient Way To Order Food?
Like any delivery service, yes, DoorDash can make it more convenient to get food from some of your favorite restaurants delivered right to your door. However, when it comes to DoorDash, we think it’s less a question of convenience and more a question of value.
From this perspective, while placing a delivery order will almost always come with some kind of added cost (such as a tip for the driver), you might be paying more on all sides when it comes to DoorDash. In other words, your food might be more expensive due to the restaurant’s commission with the company, on top of DoorDash’s delivery fee and any tip (although this last part is certainly optional).
Add to this that, even if you live in a city where DoorDash operates, you’ll still need to be in a very specific neighborhood (often urban and centralized) in order to take advantage of their service.
For example: I live in a city where DoorDash does business. However, despite the fact that I’m less than 2 road miles from nearly all of the neighborhoods where DoorDash delivers, their website tells me, “There are no restaurants near your location.” As such, the only option is to sign up for the waitlist.
So, it seems like DoorDash is very specific about where they deliver, and won’t venture outside these areas—even just a little bit.
Given all of this, along with DoorDash’s mixed online customer reputation, means that we’d strongly recommend exploring all your options before placing your order. Because if you’re not satisfied (even if it’s clearly the company’s fault), it doesn’t appear you’ll be able to get a refund.
Deliberately make it difficult to contact the company itself
When I first discovered this company, I thought it was genius, and was very grateful.They still get 2 stars because a) genius concept and b) I have used them 3 times before and nothing went wrong on any of those occasions.
That said, something DID go wrong for me today, and that's how I became aware of how absurdly difficult they make it for you to contact them. Yes, you can write them an email; but if your question is urgent, who knows when they'll see it? As per a phone number, they list NONE on their site, and when realizing that my hitting CANCEL on an order somehow failed to actually cancel it (so minus some points there for a dysfunctional website, which is inexcusable when your entire business model relies on a website). I called the restaurant and was informed they I had to reach out to Door Dash directly to prevent double-billing. The restaurant has no direct control over payment.
So I went on a long search for a number and finally found this one: (305) 477-1164. When I called, I was at first treated to a dismissive-sounding voice message which only at the very end clarified that if this was an "emergency," I could press 9 for immediate assistance. When I did, my call was answered by someone who apparently has no ability to make changes or do anything on her own, but could only take down my information in order to have someone else call me back.
This paltry excuse for customer service is why I'm giving the company such a low rating. To sum up:
- "Cancel" option on my order did not actually cancel it.
- There's no way to chat with anyone via the site, as Eat24 and other, similar services allow you to do.
- No phone number listed on their website.
- Voicemail upon calling gives the immediate impression that you can't talk to anyone and you have to stick around and listen to the whole thing in order to learn that you can.
- The person who will answer your call can't directly help you.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Terrible DoorDash Experience
Terrible service. Our order was missing the main items and they were NEVER brought back!
We ordered: 2 Capri pasta orders -- only received the garlic bread. 1 Bangkok Salad -- that came but missing the bread and butter. 1 Savory Crepe -- only received the side salad. Total: $75.
Talked to Collin at 1:20pm and he assured me our food was on the way. No one came. Talked to Barbara at 2:00pm and she said someone is picking it up now. No one came. Called again at 3:18pm and talked to a guy who said no one has been issued to our order.
WHAT A MESS. Never ordering from DoorDash again.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend