DoorDash Review: Is It the Best Restaurant and Food Delivery Service for You?

By Derek Lakin
HighYa Staff Updated on: Nov 29, 2018

By taking your order, sending it off to a restaurant, and assigning a Dasher to pick it up and deliver it to your doorstep, DoorDash is a technology company that promises to help connect the best local businesses to people in their cities.

Whether you sign into their website or app and need delivery to your home, office, or a nearby park for a group picnic with friends, the website advertises that they provide access to a huge selection of restaurants to help you satisfy your cravings. And after your order is placed, you can track it in real time, so you'll know exactly when it's set to arrive.

DoorDash has been in business since 2013 and has grown to serve more than 600 cities, while providing delivery services from 110K restaurants and employing 210K Dashers.

But, have they earned a reputation for always delivering five-star service? Are there other on-demand delivery companies that might provide better value? These are just a couple of the key questions we’ll explore in this brief article.

How Does DoorDash Work?

Overall, DoorDash works a lot like many of the other on-demand delivery services we’ve written about (more soon).

You’ll begin by entering a delivery address on the home screen, which is followed by a screen displaying each local restaurant’s name, the type of food they serve, delivery fee (if any), and current estimated delivery time, which they explain is “based on their evolving algorithm.”

DoorDash emphasizes that you’ll only see options “within a given distance from your location,” to ensure speedy, fresh deliveries. If you have a favorite restaurant outside this distance, you won’t have the option to order.

Clicking on a restaurant’s listing will display its hours and its overall user rating, or what DoorDash calls their "Delight" score. We’re told this aggregates factors like “delivery quality, restaurant popularity, and customer feedback” into a number ranging between one and 10. The higher the score, the more likely it is “you’ll be delighted.”

Dishes, prices, and images accompany all of these details, which can be filtered by Most Loved, Most Popular, and so forth.

Keep in mind that even if you’re able to view a restaurant’s menu, this doesn’t mean that they’re accepting orders.

A “Closed” or “Unavailable” designation indicates you’ll have to wait until they’re open to place an order, and “Busy” means that their “current delivery time exceeds [DoorDash’s] standards for a fast delivery, and [they’re] temporarily not accepting orders for that restaurant.” “Pre-Order” gives you the opportunity to schedule a delivery up to four days in advance.

Availability will also depend on restaurant hours and holidays, although the company begins delivering as early as 8 am and runs as late as 11 pm.

Clicking on a food or dish opens a pop-up box, where you’ll find images and available options, have the ability to instruct the restaurant what to do if they’re sold out of your choice (e.g., go with merchant recommendation, refund the item, contact me, etc.), along with a box where you can indicate any of your preferences. These include allergies, dietary restrictions, substitutions, or special preparations, which the restaurant will accommodate to the best of their ability.

Finally, you’ll add the item to your cart and check out. DoorDash gives customers the opportunity to choose items from different restaurants in the same order, although each restaurant will entail a separate delivery fee. As each order is received, picked up, and makes its way to you, you can track it live on a map in the app or on the website.

You can also adjust, cancel, or change the instructions for your order before the restaurant begins preparation, as well as your address until the Dasher picks up your food. Delivery instructions can be changed at any point during the process.

Although you’ll enter your email address and mobile number when checking out, upon arrival, Dashers will “ask for an ID and use proprietary technology on their smartphones to check the validity of a customer’s form of identification.” As such, make sure you have identification and the card used to make the purchase nearby when they show up.

How Much Does It Cost to Use DoorDash?

The DoorDash FAQ emphasizes that most menu items on the site are the same as you’ll find in-store. “In some cases,” they caution, “menu prices on DoorDash may be higher than in-store prices. We’re working to make prices even lower, so check back often.”

In addition to your order total, DoorDash will also include tax and a delivery fee, which will vary by region and business. At the time of our research, DoorDash offered to waive delivery fees for 30 days for all new customers, with free delivery on orders $15+ thereafter.

Some restaurants will also include an additional service fee of their own, and you’ll always have the option to tip your Dasher (strongly recommended, since they receive 100% of your tips).

You can view a restaurant’s delivery and services fees in advance by clicking on the Delight score from the menu page, as well as on the checkout screen before finalizing your order.

If you indicate special dietary restrictions, substitutions, or special preparations, an extra charge may be required. If so, your order cost will be adjusted after confirming with the restaurant, and they'll email you an updated receipt.

If you order alcohol and the Dasher can’t deliver it, whether you don’t have an ID, aren’t 21+, aren’t the same person who placed the order, or are clearly intoxicated, you’ll be assessed a one-time, non-refundable $20 restocking fee. This is said to cover “the cost of the Dasher's time and the value of the goods purchased from the merchant.”

DoorDash doesn’t have a set-in-stone refund policy, although the FAQ emphasizes that you should visit doordash.com/help if you encounter an issue, and they’ll “do everything we can to make it right.”

What We Learned from DoorDash Online Customer Reviews

Since writing our original article, nearly 40 HighYa readers have provided feedback about their experiences with DoorDash, giving them an average rating of one star. Most complaints referenced less-than-stellar delivery and customer support.

Among more than 330 customer reviews on BrightReviews.com, the company had a slightly higher average rating of about 1.5 stars, with many of the same complaints.

On the other hand, between iTunes and Google Play ratings, 120,000+ users gave the DoorDash apps a meaningfully higher combined average rating of about 4.4 stars. Compliments often revolved around ease of use, quick deliveries from pleasant Dashers, and the convenience it provides.

In addition to those noted above, the relatively few complaints also cited higher prices than at restaurants, along with limited menus compared to what’s available in-store.

DoorDash vs. GrubHub, OrderUp, Uber Eats, Caviar, and Other On-Demand Food Delivery Services

There are several other popular services competing directly with DoorDash, such as GrubHub (3.05% + $0.30 delivery fee per order; other fees vary by restaurant), OrderUp ($3.99 delivery fee), Uber Eats ($4.99 delivery fee, other fees depending on time of day), and Caviar (flat 18% service fee, $1.99 delivery fee).

Like DoorDash, these options provide the opportunity to browse photo menus, order delivery and pickup from local restaurants, schedule deliveries in advance, receive estimated delivery times, and track food after orders are placed.

However, several of other services also deliver additional items depending on your needs, including Postmates (groceries and liquor), Shipt (also includes meal prep), and Google Express (includes home and garden, electronics, sports and outdoors, and home improvement products). Which one should you choose?

Despite the variety of options at your fingertips, the reality is that selecting between DoorDash and another option is going to boil down to two primary factors: 1) If the service offers food from your preferred restaurant, and 2) if their delivery and other fees are worth the convenience of not having to leave home or work.

Is DoorDash the Right Restaurant Delivery Service for You?

The website advertises that DoorDash boasts the largest network among restaurant delivery options, with more than 600 cities currently served. So if you find yourself in a smaller metro region, this widespread presence might make them an ideal option.

On the other hand, DoorDash held an F rating with the Better Business Bureau, based on 220+ closed complaints, as of 8/17/18. Most of these referenced the same issues noted earlier, although it’s important to balance this with the app’s much higher average rating on iTunes and Google Play.

Whatever service you decide to go with, though, just keep in mind that you’re paying a premium for the convenience, so ordering frequently can quickly add up to a lot of extra money spent.

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80 Consumer Reviews for DoorDash

Average Consumer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  76
Bottom Line: 1% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 80
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  • Very poor first experience.

    • British Columbia, Canada,
    • Mar 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I placed an order for the first time, just as food was to be delivered they called to tell me the restaurant is closed and they would credit the refund within 5 to 7 days, which is ridiculous. They took my payment instantly, they can issue a refund instantly too. This sucks, but they won't get me again, my first order was my last. I complained to them and they sent me a return email within minutes telling me the case was closed, with no explanation.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Hidden fees!

    • Idaho,
    • Mar 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    At my checkout they charged me $46, then I got a receipt for $64! They charged me $20 extra in hidden fees. That’s just trickery and thieving. Most food delivery services list their fees and prices accurately BEFORE charging your card. I’d recommend DoorDash try some honesty for a change. At least the driver was on time. The way this company is run is so typical of companies feeling that it’s okay to rip off their clients, and I’m sick of it. I’d avoid them at all costs!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Worst delivery service I know!

    • Cleveland, OH,
    • Mar 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The amount of time it takes to get your food you can walk there and back faster. I have been using DoorDash for about 7 months now and nothing but problems. I get hopes thinking it’ll be better each time, but it doesn’t. It seems to get worse! Over the past couple months I got changes of door dashers, over hour waits, it takes four different calls to get a full refund, cold food, dashers accidentally leaving food at the restaurant and ignoring my calls, the people who work for DoorDash barely speak English. If you want to order food I recommend using Uber Eats or GrubHub (never had problems with them). I don’t recommend using DoorDash. Save yourself time and money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Horrible!

    • Alberta, Canada,
    • Mar 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Awful!

    DoorDash is horrible. First of all, their menu is incomplete. I tried to order from Starbucks and it said "caramel" and the description want perfect, but I assumed it was a Caramel Frappuccino. Their chocolate loaf just said chocolate. They didn’t have all the items either, only elect items, and it is so poorly organized and described.

    The first time I ordered my delivery never came. It turns out I had put the wrong postal code, but the rest of my address was correct. I contacted DoorDash and they first said it looks like the order has been delivered, then I told them I didn’t get anything and they contacted the driver and said he couldn’t locate my address. I don’t understand how they couldn’t figure it out. If you type in my address without postal code, it will show up. It’s not rocket science.

    Anyways, so they say they are not able to issue a refund for an incorrect address an I asked to speak to a supervisor. He called me and said he will give me credit since it was my first time. Ok cool. I placed the order again, my driver calls me almost yelling that they didn’t put money on the card and he was calling and they didn’t answer so I had to contact them to resolve the issue, and when it finally came, it wasn't even the right order.

    They need major work and improvement. I will not be using again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Information is NOT secure

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Feb 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Before you order - BEWARE!

    When I first made an order, my credit card was almost immediately compromised, starting with a few other smaller DoorDash charges when I only made one order, followed by random purchases totaling up to around $800 before I noticed and canceled my card.

    Then, today, someone logged into my Google account. I got the security notice and changed my password immediately, so luckily no damage done. However, this has never happened to me before, my Google password is unique, and I changed it just a week and a half ago, and only ever log in to my account on my own secure wifi (my phone otherwise keeps me logged in for Chrome/Gmail access). I use a Mac and iPhone, and my partner is in tech and recently checked it for bugs and helped me clear out some stuff, so it couldn't be any virus, and I don't have my email password written down anywhere.

    After changing my password, Google notified me that DoorDash had FULL ACCESS to my Google account, which I immediately removed (as Google recommended). I used Google to log in to DoorDash, which I've done with other websites in the past, and I assumed that just meant they could see my name and basic contact info like those other websites. I don't see why DoorDash needs full access. This could be the only thing that compromised my password

    I found articles from the end of last September about how several users had their DoorDash accounts compromised. DoorDash took no responsibility or further action to improve their security, they simply said it must have been because they used weak passwords, or used the same passwords on other sites, despite several people saying they used a secure password that wasn't used on any other sites. There was no sign of them investigating these claims, or updating the security of their systems at all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Terrible

    • Ohio,
    • Feb 19, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We ordered food, DoorDash charged my card, but never bothered to pick up my food. The restaurant called me to tell me my food was sitting there. I had to pick it up and pay for it again. When calling DoorDash, it took over an hour on hold to have my money refunded back to me in 5-6 business day.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • NEVER order through DoorDash unless you want cold food and 2 HOUR waits

    • Sunrise, FL,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I will NEVER order through DoorDash ever again. Their service is horrible. I placed an order that gave an estimated delivery time of 40 to 50 minutes. I placed the order at 4:40pm, and it said delivery estimated at 6:00pm. One "Dasher" was listed and was almost at the restaurant according to the app, then all of a sudden I get an update that it will be delayed by 15 to 20 minutes and that it will arrive at 6:20 at the latest. THEN I get another update a few minutes after that stating it's been delayed an additional 30 minutes. THAT'S ridiculous.

    I contacted the support and aside from an apology wasn't even offered a restitution for the TWO HOUR delivery. When the food finally got here at 6:35 pm, it was ICE COLD and they were missing part of my order. When I contacted the driver, she was like "oops." Returned a couple minutes later and turns out she'd missed it in her bag. I still was missing an item. I was supposed to get bread and butter with my meal based on what it told me in the app when I ordered. Never got it.

    I order from Uber Eats all the time. I have never had an order take 2 hours to get it. They're always spot on. I will never order through this service again. Horrible.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Charged for cancelled order.

    • Addison, TX,
    • Feb 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I canceled my order and this was confirmed by DoorDash. My canceled order was magically delivered to an empty residence (it wasn't), they charged me and refused to refund the order.

    I filed a chargeback with my bank. Terrible service and absolutely incompetent employees. Never again.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    DoorDASH

    • Alberta, Canada,
    • Feb 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    You call yourselves DOORDASH, this company is everything but dash. I have been waiting for 2 hours and never received my order. The driver had to drive 36 minutes then I got a text saying the restaurant did not get my order and already closed? They did not even inform the driver and the customer about this. Never heard from them. I got a refund but still hungry. What a huge inconvenience. FIRST AND LAST time I will be using this app. I have never experienced a delivery company that does not care about the drivers and customers.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Never again

    • Miami, FL,
    • Feb 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We just used this service for a Pei Wei order, and it was A DISASTER. "Fabio R." (Miami, Florida) came to our apt gate and just sat there I guess. He sent one text and then left and refused to answer the phone or any texts from us or the restaurant. Pei Wei washed their hands of the matter. Sad. We’re very frequent and longtime Pei Wei customers and would've used DoorDash again. That was the last $31 they'll get from us. We’re not ordering from DoorDash or Pei Wei ever again. BUYER BEWARE.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • Chipotle has issues with them

    • Ohio,
    • Jan 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I used them with Chipotle. After never receiving the order, we called the restaurant and inquired about the order. They claim they have issues with them and to call DoorDash to see if they can issue a refund. We've been on the run around an hour later, still unresolved. We found out that there was never any drivers around to even pick up the order. This service is awful. Waiting times are about 15 minutes to talk to someone and are unhelpful. Do not use it unless you like to gamble your money away. So many other reviews have given DoorDash 1 out of 5 stars.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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