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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70 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:  66
Bottom Line: 1% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 70
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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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  • No delivery from a delivery service

    • Ohio,
    • Jan 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We placed an order, then waited for an hour for it to arrive. It never did, and we happened to check the computer again on a whim. That was when we found out that they can't actually deliver our food from that specific place, we would have to place an order on the restaurant's website and THEN DoorDash could pick it up. After an hour of waiting. Apparently they "tried to call" but it shouldn't have been an issue in the FIRST place, because they shouldn't have it listed on their website if it isn't actually an option.

    We won't be using DoorDash again after this. This is unacceptable.

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

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  • Non-delivery of food and REFUSED REFUND

    • Palm Springs, CA,
    • Jan 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    DoorDash customer support person Clark David M, refused to refund us for items never received. We have multiple front door cameras and were watching them during the ETA, but no car or person came near our address or rang our door bell. Clark David M responds stating that it is DoorDash policy to not refund for items not delivered! Essentially, anyone can work for DoorDash, not deliver items. and refuse the refund. This was our second time ordering from DoorDash and our last time. The first time, the food arrived cold, but we said nothing. DoorDash is a fraudulent company! We have cameras to prove it.

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

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  • Meh

    • Florida,
    • Jan 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I placed the order at 10:00 AM and understood that the restaurant didn't open until 11:00 AM and the delivery time said it would be at 11:30 and then it became 12:30 and didn't see anyone or the status update to someone delivering it. I called customer service and got what sounded like an 18-year-old with an attitude and terrible listening skills. He kept interrupting me with "mhmm" before I even finished a sentence. Very annoying, and as I kept trying to repeat myself he kept saying "mhmm," and I just said "nevermind" and he laughed. And not that my food not being delivered on time is the worse thing in the world. That attitude needed some work. My first experience with DoorDash was okay, not the best. There were some items missing and sauces missing, and I give very detailed notes. They did make it up with some credits and decided to use them again, and the customer service rep told me that there was no driver assigned? Was anyone going to notify me, or do I just sit here and wait all day? Poorly managed and run. Mind you all, I am actually easy to deal with and a patient person in general. Just kind of annoyed the first two times I use them was terrible. But maybe I have too high of expectations since I was using bite squad and they were pretty good.

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

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  • Worst delivery ever

    • California,
    • Jan 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I’m so angry. I ordered food and never got it. I called customer service, they told me she delivered it to the "house" on the porch. I live in an apartment. We talked to her before I called customer service and she was rude and cussed at us and said she delivered it to the wrong place and hung up on us. OMG. I’m so mad and starving! Never again!

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

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  • Absolutely awful!

    • Aurora, CO,
    • Jan 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Basically, they took our money and never bothered showing up, now their customer service is refusing to resolve. Absolutely awful. We tracked the whole thing, the driver was in our neighborhood, then he completed the order, but didn't even come to our door, call, text or anything. We waited for three hours, called customer service, who referred it to a manager, waited over 24 hours for an email, all for the manager to say sorry, not sorry, nothing we can do. Thieves, blatant thievery!

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

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  • Don't work for DoorDash!

    • Colorado,
    • Jan 6, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    DoorDash offers a $500 bonus for referring a friend and after that friend does 150 dashes within a certain amount of time. I referred a friend, she did the dashes, and now they're refusing to pay the bonus money. They're liars, cheaters, and thieves. Do not work for them! The pay is ridiculous, and it's definitely not worth the wear on your vehicle.

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

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  • Don't use!

    • Oregon,
    • Jan 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Horrible experience. I scheduled a delivery at 2 in the afternoon for 6:45 at night. At 7, I was told it would be there at 8 pm. At 7:30 we decided to pick up from somewhere else because we couldn't wait any longer. When the food arrived, it was cold. The restaurant said it had been sitting there since 5:57. When I contacted the company, I was told a $5.00 credit was all they could give me. I've had a much better experience with GrubHub and Caviar.

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

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  • Horrible, i.e. no customer service.

    • Michigan,
    • Jan 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I placed an order. Ten minutes after, I needed to cancel it. Simple in theory, huh? Click on the button...says it might take a few seconds to go thru. One hour or so later and it is still going and not saying anything new. Meanwhile, I checked their website on how to reach them. No option but an email. I filled out one to complain and, nothing. I have since been notified via their website/text messages that the order has been picked up and is on its way to me.

    So, I will get an order I cancelled but never back from them. Why even bother to pretend that you offer customer service, when you do not?

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

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  • Worst customer service on the planet

    • Los Angeles, CA,
    • Jan 2, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I tried to order food for delivery. There was a problem with my credit card (information put in correctly). I called my credit card company. There's no problem with my credit card. I tried again - removed that card, put in another card. There was a problem with that card (information put in correctly). I called my credit card company. There's no problem with that credit card either.

    I submitted a help request. I needed the food THAT DAY. Christmas Eve, for my 84-year-old mother, who was alone and not able to leave the house. I searched your website for a way to talk with a human being. No luck. I searched the internet and found a phone number (with the info on the web, why make people rely on other customers to find a way to reach out to you - very short-sighted and bad customer relations). I called. Sorry, there's nothing we can do. Here - I'll send you information in an email about what to do (seriously, you can send me an email with what to do but can't actually voice the words over the phone?). I relay everything I've already done and confirmed that the email will tell me something different. Oh yes, the email will have the correct instructions. Great.

    So, the email walks me through the exact steps I already tried. So, I call again. Oh, your concern has been "escalated." Great. You'll get a phone call in 2-4 days. Super - that will sure help with the order I'm trying to place for delivery today. I call the restaurant - sorry, the only way we can do delivery is through DoorDash. I get an email asking me when they could call. I say "now," then I wait. Finally get a call back, but unfortunately, now I'm at a movie and can't answer the phone. Then I get an email, "we tried to call you, but no one answered. Please reply to this email with a time we can call you back." Seriously, even then you can't bother to leave a phone number for me to call, I have to email you back with a time for you to call me back, after that's already failed?

    I am truly shocked at the poor customer service from DoorDash and will certainly never use this service again.

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

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  • Late, ice cold, no communication

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Dec 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Our order was 50 minutes later than the expected delivery time. We got our food two hours after ordering, and it was actually ice cold, upside down, and sideways. This is not the first time, but it was the worst time, and will be the last time. There were no communication options other than sending in an email, which there was no response to. The "real time" delivery tracker didn't work. We quite literally could have walked to the restaurant, ordered and ate there, then walked home. Had we known it would be such terrible service, we would have!

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

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