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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Read 93 DoorDash Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 3 1 star:  89
Bottom Line: 1% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 93
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  • Hour old mayonnaise seems like a recipe for food poisoning

    • Arizona,
    • Aug 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Do you think it's safe to eat a burger with mayo an entire hour after it's been prepared, and not kept in a warming container? Probably not. There are reasons restaurants have food safety standards. Not to mention, the soggy lettuce and bun and cold food. The restaurant I ordered from is 1.6 miles and a 6-minute drive from the delivery location. But this company decided to double up on orders so my food arrived, no joke, 50 minutes after I got a notice it was on the way. The company would only offer a partial refund.

    I wrote the company, I explained all of these things to them. I told them I wanted the name of their CEO and email address so I could let them know how their company was being managed, they wouldn't provide me the information.

    They are supposed to deliver the food hot. They didn't and refused to give a refund, which was entirely in their control to do so. They didn't have to double book my delivery.

    I will never order from DoorDash again. I sincerely hope this company learns the value of ethics in business.

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

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  • Fraudulent seller

    • Littleton, CO,
    • Aug 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They said the food would take a certain amount of time to arrive but then increased that time dramatically after I paid, then refused to give me a full refund. When contacting support my concerns were not read and the replies were generic and my concerns were not read.

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

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  • DoorDash SUCKS!

    • Texas,
    • Jul 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    DoorDash SUCKS! I placed an order at Walmart and they decided to use DoorDash. When my order was scheduled to arrive I receive a call from from the delivery who doesn't speak English saying he doesn't have the right address. I texted him my address and 20 minutes later someone from DoorDash calls saying the driver had the wrong address. I gave the caller my address again and an hour later I STILL don't have my order. I will never use DoorDash and I'm going to post negative reviews of DoorDash on every website that I can.

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

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Do not use them! Horrible company.

    • Texas,Dallas,USA,
    • Jun 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    If I could give no stars I would. Can someone explain why they advertise a 17-minute delivery time for a specific restaurant and then once that submit button gets pressed, they tell you it will take 45 minutes? But awesome because they have a cancel button, so you press that button and guess what? Five seconds into submitting that order you can't cancel, so now your stuck waiting for food you don't want because you don't want to wait 45 minutes after thinking you would be eating a burger in about 20 minutes. So you look to contact the dasher and they provide a number. You text that number and guess what, that number is no longer valid for the door dash. So I look online for help, press that button and it takes you to a FAQ page. No way to contact anyone. This is a horrible way to conduct business and I will make sure to advertise how horrendous this service is. Oh, and of course, I don't receive a refund. A big middle finger to this company.

    And before they try to come back and say I had the wrong address, that was an after the fact moment. I tried to cancel before I even knew that.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    DoorDash scam

    • Arlington, TX,
    • May 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Placed an order 05/21 at 6.30 PM. Waited until 8 PM but nothing ever came so we contacted DoorDash. Had a conversation with a so-called agent (I think it was a computer that answered our questions).

    First we were been told the address was incorrect (strange, the last time we ordered the food arrived) and after continuing the so-called discussion with the "agent" they suddenly changed their tune and said he was at the house at 7.30 PM but nobody answered the door.

    They refused to reimburse us. I would have been willing to give them another try but after this experience, I will never use them again. It's like a scam and I wonder how they get away with this. Learned a valuable lesson and will just get my lazy butt out of the couch and get my food myself from now on.

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Do NOT use DoorDash - they won't refund you if your order is not delivered.

    • Grapevine, TX,
    • May 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    DoorDash is a SCAM! I've used DoorDash several times and the past two times have been HORRIBLE.

    One time the food was late by about 10 minutes, which was frustrating, but I get that things happen. My order yesterday was the final straw! I ordered from ChopHouse, which is very close to my office. The estimated time when I was ordering showed 16-18 minutes estimated delivery time. So I went ahead and placed my order...including the tip ahead of time because that's how they are set up, which is RIDICULOUS. When I paid and my order was confirmed, now my order wasn't going to be delivered for 45 minutes (2:27 pm). Again, frustrating, but I had an appointment I had to leave for at 2:45 and didn't have time to deal with it. 2:27 pm comes and goes. At 2:37 pm I texted the driver asking for an update. No response. I go in and try to cancel the order, but I can't because it's out for delivery. I leave at my scheduled 2:45 pm time and get a text finally from the driver at 2:49 pm that he left it at the front door. I call my co-worker that was still there and asked her if someone delivered anything or rang the doorbell that we have a HUGE sign that says to ring and she said no. She goes on a scavenger hunt and finds it finally. The food (turkey burger and fries) were ice cold. And I had ordered a milkshake, which is now just a warm glass of milk. Obviously, since it had all been out driving around with the driver for over 30 minutes and sitting outside for however long.

    I contact DoorDash and they say that they will only refund me for 50% of the transaction. WHAT?! I didn't get my food at all and it was WAY past the delivery time without any communication. They are sticking to their guns of only refunding me 50% of what I paid - that included a tip and fee on top of the food ($26). That is A LOT of money to be thrown away, literally. Plus that stupid driver still gets his tip! And my refund won't come for 5-10 business days. DoorDash is a scam! DO NOT USE THEM! Unless you want to go on a starvation diet and throw money away.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    I wish I could say one nice thing

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • May 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Worst ordering/delivery service ever! 90% of orders are wrong. At first, it looks okay because you can automatically get credits when you report issues. Then they start saying it has to be reviewed. IF you hear from customer service, they say, "we are unable to issue credits due to your account history." The first time this happened I had received a completely wrong order. Only 1 item matched my order. They don’t care. I ordered about 10 times total because I had some credits or they were offering free delivery.

    After referring a friend and neither of us receiving any credits after several orders (it was supposed to be $20 each), I complained again. At first, they just told me where I could find the referrals in my account. I kept retelling them what the issue was and that neither of us had received credits. Then they said the referral’s first order wasn’t over $10. I told them it didn’t state anywhere that the 1st order had to be over $10. Just that the credits would be issued after an order of $10 or more. After more back and forth, they said one of us had violated their terms. No explanation. I asked what was violated. No response.

    I’m done with these cheats and scammers. Stay far away! They don’t give a crap about customers. Use ANY other service!

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful
    Updated review

    Still don't recommend

    • Salem, OR,
    • Apr 30, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Today is 04/23/19. I have now been contacted via email after sending a Facebook message. I have also been reimbursed the cost of this order, but my original statement stands. I would not recommend this company/service.

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

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    • Previous review
    • Apr 23, 2019

    Don't do it

    On Saturday, 4/13/19, my experience went beyond bad. I felt harassed and uncomfortable. My order was placed and then promptly picked up. I then noticed the driver icon on the app was driving in the opposite direction of my location. After 30 minutes (and I was only 5 minutes away from the restaurant), I attempt to contact help/customer service, I was on hold for 15 minutes, as the driver pulled up. She rudely shoved my food at me, and when I confronted the driver about taking my order around town, she was rude in her body language, tone, and eye-rolling. She stated she was making an Uber delivery. I had placed a DoorDash order, so her Uber obligations are not my concern.

    I voiced that I would be making a complaint and she stated she can’t control where they send her. She then proceeded to sit outside my place of work directly outside my office and stare into my window at me for more than 5 minutes. She had no business to remain there and it was unsettling. The containers to my food looked as if they had been opened, I had to throw it away as I am concerned she may have done something to it. I have made several attempts to continue to get in contract with DoorDash as I was charged, and had a horrible experience. To date, I have not received any resolution.

    (read moreread less...)

  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Horrible

    • Lawnside, NJ,
    • Apr 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I thought the company was great because I was getting all my favorite meals. One day I placed an order but during the stage where it was supposed to be picked up, the status changed on the app and I reached out to DoorDash per the instruction. No one contacted me back. After about 40 minutes from when I should have received, I got food elsewhere. But then I received a message stating my dasher was on the way to pick up my food. I thought there was a glitch and said "35 minutes later? I already have food." She called and apologized because she in reality there was an almost 2-hour delivery window from when the order was placed. But I was no longer home and eating elsewhere so I said it’s too late and I’ll request a refund. She said okay, however, DoorDash said no...stating I received my food. Now I’m out of $30 for a meal that would have cost $20 in store and something never received. Very disappointed. Their glory with me was short lived. (App deleted.)

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    They suck

    • Salt Lake City, UT,
    • Apr 16, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Wow...the first order was fine. Second order was so late it spilled into a meeting at work. Order three was fine, I mistakenly thought I didn’t get an item...got a partial credit. Realized my mistake, offered them to take the credit back. Order four, the guy claimed he didn’t have my exact address and instructions, then they mixed up the order. They offered me another credit which I refused, then explained I wouldn’t use the service again...so I didn’t need credit on my account. I was told I’d get a call to sort out the issues...never happened. Got a form email to which I called them out on. Then...cherry on top...I was told I complained too much so I wasn’t getting a credit I already turned down. Please explain to me how this works as a business model.

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

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  • 2 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Beware DoorDash

    • New York,
    • Apr 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Beware of DoorDash as they are deceptive thieves. I order from a website that says free delivery. Tells me that I can see the receipt on DoorDash. When I try, it shows what I ordered with no listing of money. I finally find a place to see what I am being charged because my credit card company shows about $25 more than what I ordered. They tacked on 15% for a tip and $6 for delivery (even though it said free delivery on the site). I tried to stop the order but they refused.

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

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Showing 1-11 of 93

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