Katy tests money-saving apps, tools, and websites to share with readers which ones are legitimate, easy to use, and effective.
What Is DoorDash?
DoorDash is a food delivery service that is expanding to cities all over the United States and parts of Canada.
To order food, you open the app (or site) and choose the restaurant. Then build your cart, place the order, and pay through the app.
Similar to Uber, DoorDash delivery drivers aren't employed directly. They are essentially "contractors" who pick up the order for you and deliver it to you.
You might be apprehensive about DoorDash before you use it. Read my review for important things to know about this service and how it stacks up with other food delivery services.
DashPass: Is It Worth It?
DashPass is a monthly subscription that gives you free DoorDash delivery. I signed up for this when one of my credit cards had a promotion.
You get three months of DashPass for free if you have a Chase Freedom credit card. That's definitely worth checking out if you get delivery weekly or biweekly.
I've used DoorDash in Denver and Atlanta. While I haven't had any major issues, there are some things you should be aware of when ordering food.
I researched customer reviews from all over the internet before placing my first order. Here is the general consensus of DoorDash's delivery service, along with my personal experience:
One of the common complaints I hear about the service is that individual drivers will be late or mess up the order. This happened a lot more when DoorDash was new.
The drivers' performance still varies but all of them are trying to earn good tips. Most problems drivers run into are unavoidable for them, like traffic and delays at the restaurant.
Consider the time of day and popularity of a restaurant before you order. Don't expect drivers to get your order any faster than you could. Set realistic expectations. For dishes that I need hot and fresh (like pho or Chinese), I don't order during peak times.
The drivers aren't responsible for the food quality and the service isn't responsible for poor customer service from the driver.
This leaves the responsibility on you to ensure you're ordering from a good restaurant. I don't usually try a place for the first time using DoorDash unless I hear fantastic reviews from close friends.
Is DoorDash Safe for Customers?
They will collect your location information from your cell if you allow permission. Even if you don't, they will gather your general location from your IP address. This is to provide a more accurate location for deliveries.
Personal and Order Information
They also collect the personal information you submit as well as your orders. Your order history is used to tailor advertisements for you. Their policy also states that they provide this information to restaurants for marketing.
DoorDash collects your payment information and uses it to make transactions at restaurants.
As with most purchases, I'd recommend using a credit card instead of a debit card. That makes it easier to dispute charges. Also, a credit card gives you more protection, whereas a debit card gives the service direct access to your account.
The delivery service charge depends on your area and the order total. So it's difficult to say whether DoorDash is cheaper than other services. Your best bet to find out is to start an order and see what the total is.
But there are a few general trends that help you decide whether to order from Grubhub or directly from the restaurants.
Restaurants that specialize in delivery, like Jimmy John's, tend to be cheaper than using a third-party app. DoorDash and Grubhub pricing tend to be comparable. The exception would be during a really high demand time DoorDash might up their charges, so watch out for that.
Minimum Order for Delivery
One of the tricky things about ordering food is there's usually a minimum order amount. So if you're getting food for just one or two people, you might not meet the minimum. This forces you to spend more than you normally would to get extra drinks or appetizers.
This is where DoorDash is helpful. Their minimums are usually lower than Grubhub and sometimes there's no minimum at all. So DoorDash often ends up the cheaper option.
How Much to Tip the Driver
You need to understand DoorDash's pay model before you tip the driver. When placing your order, you can add a tip for the driver. The driver keeps 100% of the tips. Sounds fair for everyone, right?
Well, the trick is DoorDash uses your tip money to reach the driver's minimum pay for that order. So the more you tip, the less they have to pay the driver.
That means when you tip your driver, you're giving money to DoorDash, not directly to the driver. Something to keep in mind when you choose a tip amount.
DoorDash App Review
DoorDash's app is pretty easy to use. You can see which restaurants in your area you can order from, which is handy.
I've had a few technical issues in the past with the app crashing when putting in a payment. It works when I start over, but it's frustrating to have to go through the process again.
Pros and Cons
After trying other options, here are the pros and cons of using DoorDash:
- Lower order minimums
- You can track your order and see the progress
- Lots of restaurants
- Some restaurants have increased prices
- No direct customer service
Food Delivery Alternatives
When ordering food you usually have a few options besides DoorDash:
- Order directly from the restaurant.
- Use Grubhub.
- Use other delivery services like Postmates, UberEats, or Seamless. These services all have pros and cons and might not be available in your area.
When Should I Use This App?
I like DoorDash best for these situations:
- The restaurant offers takeout but not delivery.
- You want to schedule an order in advance.
- You want less than the Grubhub minimum.
- The restaurant isn't on Grubhub and/or doesn't have an easy app for orders.
There are many restaurants I want to eat from but they're not on Grubhub or they don't have delivery at all.
I frequent a few places that have wonderful food but their delivery service is awful. For those, I'd rather have DoorDash pick it up for me.
© 2019 Katy Medium