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How to order with DoorDash and what makes it better than GrubHub

Key Takeaways

  • DoorDash is a versatile delivery service that allows you to order groceries, hot meals, and convenience store products.
  • To place an order through DoorDash, register for a free account and enter your delivery address, then search for the desired product or restaurant and add items to your cart.
  • DoorDash has additional costs, including a service fee (typically 15%) and a delivery fee set by the merchant. Tipping is not required, but you can tip based on your discretion or the difficulty of the route.


If you haven’t heard of DoorDash, you’re in for a treat. Literally. I’ve used DoorDash countless times, usually to order late-night snacks and food. Getting “insomnia cookies” at midnight is basically a tradition at this point when I visit friends in Philadelphia. But DoorDash is more than just a food delivery service.

Through DoorDash, you can order groceries, hot meals, and even convenience-store purchases. The delivery times are almost always faster than the time it would take to climb into the car and pick up a purchase yourself. That’s because DoorDash drivers, or “Dashers,” are constantly on the move, and you can even track their location to ensure your dinner is on its way.


I’ve also experienced DoorDash from the merchant’s perspective. After a year working in a bustling Italian restaurant, I learned the ins-and-outs of DoorDash deliveries. Thus, to help new users, I created this guide to ordering via DoorDash.

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Three ways to order from DoorDash mobile screenshot

DoorDash/ Pocket-lint


How to place an order through DoorDash

First, register with DoorDash

To get started, you’ll need to register your account. Fortunately, it’s free. You can register using either the website or the app.

  1. Navigate to DoorDash either via the website or the app.
    • The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
    • The website also works on both Mac and PC.
  2. Click/tap “Sign Up” and enter your details.
    • You can skip the manual sign-up by using your Google, Facebook, or Apple account.
    • Select whichever option you prefer and hit Continue to give permissions.
  3. Make sure to enter your main phone number, since drivers may need to contact you should they encounter a problem.
    • They can’t see your number; it gets anonymized.
    • The mobile app can update you on your order status.
  4. You’ll now be prompted to enter your address. You can add multiple addresses later on, but this first one is just a starting point.


Next, place your DoorDash order

Placing an order through DoorDash is easy. With your delivery location entered, you can start searching for what you want delivered, and it doesn’t have to be food. Many convenience stores are also partnered with DoorDash, so you can order all sorts of products right to your door. Here’s how:

  1. Search for what you want using either the mobile app or the web browser. There are three ways to search:
    • You can search for the specific food or product that you want, and the results will provide the various merchants that offer it. For example, “Burritos.”
    • You can select the product’s category by clicking its icon from the options below the search bar. For example, “Mexican.”
    • You can search for a specific merchant or restaurant. For example, “Chipotle.”
  2. Once you’ve found a merchant who offers the product you want, click on their order page.
  3. Add products to your cart by clicking the “+” icon.
  4. When you’re satisfied with your selection, click “Continue.” On the web browser, you can also click on the shopping cart icon to review your order.
  5. On the “Delivery Details” page, choose which delivery option you prefer.
    • Standard delivery is free, while express delivery costs extra and shaves a few minutes off the wait time.
    • You can also schedule a delivery for a later date or time.
  6. This is your last chance to add instructions and ensure your address is correct.
  7. Scroll down to see the bill and add a tip for the driver.
    • You don’t have to tip now, since you’ll have the option to tip after your order arrives.
  8. Fill out your payment method. I used PayPal.
  9. When you’re ready, click “Place order.”
  10. Wait for your order to arrive. You can track the driver’s location and estimated delivery time on the live map.


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ubereats hits uk food delivered in 30 minutes or you get 20 image 1Are there any alternatives to DoorDash?

Yes, DoorDash isn’t the only food delivery service out there. It has fierce competition with three other app-based companies. Here’s the run-down:

GrubHub

Thanks to a 20-year track record, GrubHub is partnered with thousands of restaurants and eateries, so it holds a neck-and-neck competition with DoorDash. It offers pretty much the same service, too, though its network of partners and drivers is different.

Uber Eats

Another app-based food delivery service, Uber Eats operates through the same network as the original Uber taxi service. It has its own partnerships and drivers as well, though prices are sometimes a bit higher for those who select express services to skip the wait.

Instacart

Believe it or not, Instacart is a major DoorDash competitor, even though it’s mostly focused on grocery delivery. Its subscription-based service, Instacart Express, gives members unlimited grocery orders (within certain limits), so it can be a more economic option depending on the frequency of your orders.

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Should you try DoorDash?

Opting for DoorDash over GrubHub, Uber Eats, and Instacart can really boil down to its knack for offering a bit of everything with an easy touch. DoorDash stands out, especially for folks in the US and Canada, for not just hooking you up with a wide array of local eats but also swinging by the grocery or convenience store for you. While Uber Eats might win on global scale and restaurant range, DoorDash nails it with a more hometown vibe, delivering everything from your dinner to daily essentials in one fell swoop, something you might not get with Uber Eats everywhere.

And then there’s GrubHub, which does a solid job connecting you to nearby restaurants but doesn’t quite match DoorDash’s versatility of adding groceries and convenience items into the mix. Instacart, on the other hand, might be your grocery go-to but falls short if you’re craving restaurant fare. DoorDash essentially hits the sweet spot, offering a broad service range that caters to both your pantry and your palate. DoorDash hasan unmatched selection of over 500,000 merchants, including restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience shops.


DoorDash

DoorDash

DoorDash is a food delivery service that allows users to order food and drinks from nearby restaurants. DoorDash also offers delivery of groceries, pet food, and convenience store item

Wikimedia Commons DoorDash Food Delivery Driver

Wikimedia Commons/ Pocket-lint

More DoorDash FAQs

Deliveries are almost always more expensive than picking up an order yourself, since you’re paying for the convenience of getting to stay in your pajamas. The same is true with DoorDash. Fortunately, DoorDash’s extra costs are fairly transparent if you understand how the system works.

Q. Why do products usually cost more on DoorDash?

Merchants that partner with DoorDash get to choose how to price their products. But because DoorDash charges merchants a 30% commission fee on every order, most merchants raise their prices to cover the cost. This was true of the Italian restaurant where I worked, which literally raised all menu items ordered through DoorDash by exactly 30%.

Q. How much is the DoorDash service fee?

According to the DoorDash website, every order comes with a service fee. It’s typically 15% for orders from restaurants, though it can vary depending on the merchant and size of the order. This service fee goes straight to DoorDash.


Q. How much is the DoorDash delivery fee?

Delivery fees are set by merchants, not DoorDash. However, they’re restricted to a range of $1.99 to $5.99, though this policy can change depending on demands. Also, such fees are flat-rate, and the full amount goes to the merchant. Some merchants choose to charge a higher fee to cover the commission rather than raise the prices of their products.

Q. How much should I tip on DoorDash?

Many small-town pizza delivery drivers rely entirely on tips to get paid, but DoorDash works differently. Dashers are paid directly by DoorDash for every order. The amount is based on several factors, including the distance, time, and “desirability” of the order. So whether you tip or not, your Dasher will still get paid.

Thus, the amount to tip is up to you. Many Americans consider 15% of the total bill to be the minimum. Alternatively, you can base your tip amount on the difficulty of the route, weather, and distance traveled. If your Dasher has to battle sheets of icy rain, for example, it’s a good idea to add a little extra.


DoorDash gives both the option of tipping before you submit the order and after it arrives. However you tip, the driver receives the full amount. So, for those who prefer to base their tip on the speed and quality of the service, you can wait until you receive your delivery to figure out a fair amount.

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