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What is DoorDash, and how does it work?
Food delivery services make it a breeze to enjoy restaurant food in the comfort of your own home. Despite various fees and restaurant surcharges that add a lot more to your bill, the convenience is undeniable, and millions rely on these services to cover their meal and grocery needs. DoorDash is one of the biggest services in the sector and enjoys the majority of the market share in the US, even with popular competitors like Uber Eats and Grub Hub. But what is DoorDash, how does it work, and how do you use it? Here’s everything you need to know.
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What is DoorDash?
Founded by four Stanford students, the delivery service started in Palo Alto, California, in 2012 as the aptly-named paloaltodelivery.com before becoming DoorDash in 2013. DoorDash has since spread to more than 7,000 cities across the US. In the US, DoorDash faces stiff competition from Uber Eats and Grubhub. But it was during the lockdowns that started in 2020 that the service saw a massive surge in popularity and gained the majority of the market share in the sector.
DoorDash’s international reach is limited compared to the likes of Uber Eats, though. While the latter is in more than 30 countries, DoorDash is available in 80 cities and towns in Canada and Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane in Australia.
How does DoorDash work?
DoorDash has mobile apps you can download from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store or use the DoorDash website to place food or grocery orders. Instead of relying on a restaurant’s delivery option, DoorDash hires independent contractors, whom the company calls Dashers, to complete your delivery. Once you place your order, a DoorDash driver will pick it up from the restaurant and deliver it to your doorstep. You can save on delivery charges and other fees by picking up the food. But that defeats the purpose and convenience of services like DoorDash.
DoorDash accepts various payment methods, including cash, major debit and credit cards, gift cards, and mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Available payment options depend on your location, though. Cash on delivery, in particular, depends on whether the restaurant accepts the option. DoorDash drivers also have to opt-in to receive cash payments, which could limit the number of drivers available to deliver your order.
How to signup for DoorDash
Download the mobile app or go to the DoorDash website to signup for the service. DoorDash offers plenty of options, and you can link DoorDash to a Google account, Facebook account, or Apple ID. You can also sign up with your email address without linking the two accounts. Open the app and tap one of the options to start.
If you choose Continue with Email, tap the Sign up tab, enter your name, email address, and phone number, and tap Sign up. If you choose Google, Facebook, or Apple, ensure the phone number linked to those accounts is current. However, you can change associated information, like the phone number and saved addresses, later.
How to use DoorDash
How to add and remove an address on DoorDash
To add an address, go to the Account tab and tap Addresses. You can select Enable location services to let the app find your address or type it into the search bar at the top. Tap Adjust pin to provide delivery drivers with the accurate location. You can enter an apartment or suite number, select between the two drop-off options, and add extra information, like a buzzer code, in the text box at the bottom. Tap Save to add the address.
To delete saved addresses, tap the pen (edit) icon next to an address and the bin icon at the top right corner.
Add and remove payment methods on DoorDash
To add a payment method on DoorDash, go to the Account tab and tap Payment methods. Select one of the payment method options available. In most cities, you can add a credit or debit card in the Add payment method section. Tap Credit/debit card and add your card information.
You cannot delete the payment method that is set as the default. For other options in the Saved payment methods section, long press on the card and tap Confirm to delete the card.
Creating and placing an order on DoorDash
You can start placing your order now that you have saved your address and payment method. Depending on where you are, you might see hundreds of restaurants listed on DoorDash. The app helps sort through everything with filters. It groups restaurants by cuisine, shows the fastest options nearby if you’re in a hurry, and lists offers and deals. You can also filter results by picking a minimum rating, delivery duration, and price range. The adventurous can go to the All stores section and doom scroll until they find a restaurant.
There’s more to sort through after picking a restaurant. Tap on a place, and you can schedule a pickup or create a group order. You will also see a side-scrolling list of featured or frequently ordered items. Scroll down to the menu and tap the item you want to order. Make any additional selections if required, and tap Add to cart.
Tap View cart once you’re ready to check out. Check the items in the cart and tap Continue to confirm or the X at the top left corner to return to the menu. Ensure that the address, phone number, and delivery instructions are accurate. Choose a Dasher tip, confirm your payment method, and tap Place order to complete your order. DoorDash will do the rest of the work for you. All you have to do is wait for your meal.
How to cancel a DoorDash order
DoorDash lets you cancel an order any time before the order gets delivered. However, you must cancel it quickly to get a full refund. If the restaurant has confirmed your order and a delivery driver is already assigned, you will get a partial or no refund. To cancel an order in progress, go to the Orders tab, tap Help at the top right corner, and select Can I cancel my order. A customer service rep will tell you whether you can cancel the order and get a refund.
Get help with your order
You can get help if you have a problem with your order after delivery. Problems include receiving someone else’s order, missing items, late arrivals, and more. Go to the Orders tab, tap the order, and select Get help. Choose one of the listed options to get help with your issue. You can also use this section if your order was never delivered but is completed in the app. DoorDash will connect you to a customer service rep to fix your problem.
What is DashPass?
DashPass is DoorDash’s subscription service that offers zero delivery charges and lower additional fees when you place an order of $12 or more from any restaurant. You also get other benefits like a 5 percent DoorDash credit on pickup orders, more and faster grocery delivery slots, and other restaurant-related exclusive deals and offers. A DashPass subscription is priced at $10 a month or $96 with the annual plan.
To signup for DashPass, go to Account > DashPass, and tap Get DashPass to confirm. You can cancel your DashPass subscription at any time. If you plan to use DoorDash frequently, DashPass is absolutely worth it. You can save at least two or three dollars with every order, so DashPass should pay for itself with just a few orders.
DoorDash accepts cash in specific locations. If available, you will see Cash as a payment method option while checking out. However, cash on delivery depends on the restaurant and whether a Dasher accepts cash. So your options might be limited, and delivery times could be longer.
Yes, you can use DoorDash gift cards to order food on the app. You can buy a gift card for someone else or yourself directly from DoorDash or sites like Amazon. You can also use Visa or American Express prepaid gift cards since they work like debit cards by adding them as a payment method. DoorDash doesn’t accept gift cards from other stores.
Yes, you can use your EBT card on DoorDash, but only for grocery deliveries. For now, SNAP/EBT is only accepted in select cities in California and when ordering from Safeway.
Yes, DoorDash delivers alcohol in certain locations. Regional age limits apply, so you must meet the delivery driver to show your ID.
Uber Eats and DoorDash work the same way, but delivery charges, fees, and even item pricing vary on both apps. Some orders may be more affordable on DoorDash and vice versa. However, CNET found that DoorDash is cheaper than Uber Eats, sometimes by a significant margin. If you plan to use either delivery service often, it’s best to stick with one and sign up for its subscription service. Remember that an Uber One subscription also has ride-sharing discounts when using the Uber app.