How Does DoorDash Work? | Digital Trends (2023)

DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service powered by gig workers. It is, to put it simply, an Uber for food (much like Uber Eats). Founded in 2013 and headquartered in San Francisco, the DoorDash app lets you order food from a variety of nearby participating restaurants. It also lets people sign up to become food deliverers (nicknamed Dashers) and, obviously, lets restaurants sign up to have their food delivered to customers.


  • For eaters
  • For drivers (aka Dashers)
  • For restaurants
  • Frequently asked questions about DoorDash

According to a November 2019 report from the consumer analytics firm Second Measure, it’s the most popular app-based food delivery service in the U.S., ahead of Uber Eats and GrubHub. The app currently holds about 38% of the U.S. food delivery market and has only become more popular in 2021 due to changing times and lockdown needs like safe, contactless food delivery. If you haven’t tried it yet, here’s what you should know.

For eaters

Hungry? Well, the first step in using DoorDash is to download it from either the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. One thing you should remember is that, currently, DoorDash is available only in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.

Step 1: Once downloaded onto your iOS or Android smartphone, you should then open the app and begin signing up for a customer account. To do this, you have to fill in basic personal information, such as your name, physical address, email address, and phone number. If you want, you can sign up via Facebook or Google. You also have to create a password, which you should carefully note down afterward.

Step 2: Once signed up, you can begin ordering food. You can do this by browsing through the DoorDash app’s main page, or you can tap theSearch icon at the bottom of the screen to type the name of a restaurant or tap a specific category of food. Since it knows your address, Doordash can offer local deals, past favorites, and fastest delivery options, along with all options available under All Restaurants. Estimated delivery times, fees, and ratings are all shown for each restaurant. Note that if a restaurant is grayed out, that means it’s closed and cannot deliver.

Step 3: If you tap a restaurant, you’ll be taken to that restaurant’s menu page. Here, you can tap on specific food items or tap on categories (e.g. popular items). Restaurants can customize what they offer here, but there are typically options to select additional ingredients, add meat or make things vegetarian, add or remove dining utensils, and more. Once you’ve made any desired changes, you can then tap the Add to Order button at the bottom of the screen.

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Step 4: After ordering your first item, you can add additional items by tapping theClose button at the top of the screen (it looks like an X). If you want to place your order, you need to tap theView Cart button. Here, you can see the items you’ve selected and also the total price of your order. If you’re ready to pay, tap theContinuetab.

Step 5: If this is your first time, you’ll be prompted to select a payment method. You can choose either Apple Pay or Google Pay (depending on your smartphone), or you can choose to pay with a credit or debit card. If you choose a credit or debit card, you’ll be prompted to enter your card information (if you haven’t ordered before). Tap Saveafter entering the correct information. The payment process is automatic after this, so you don’t need to worry about doing this again unless you want to switch payment methods.

Step 6: You’ll then come to the checkout page. Double-check your address details and add delivery instructions (such as what to do if no one answers the door). Also, check all your fees: DoorDash will divide fees based on the cost of the meal, the delivery fee, and the tip you are paying the driver. The tip is usually set from $4 to $6 based on a variety of factors, but it can be adjusted. Finally, tap Place Order.

Step 7: DoorDash will now give you a progress bar that shows when your order is picked up, on its way, and delivered, noting how many minutes this should (not guaranteed) take. It includes a map that shows your destination, the restaurant’s location, and the location of the driver who takes your order. Drivers may text or call you with updates, menu changes, and other information, although this can be a little hit or miss. After delivery, you will be asked to rate the Dasher and the restaurant.

DoorDash DashPass subscription

How Does DoorDash Work? | Digital Trends (8)

Users also have the option to sign up for DashPass, which is a subscription service for frequent users. DashPass helps you save money in a few different ways — but with a $10 monthly fee.

The service includes benefits like zero delivery fees for orders above $12 (the exact amount may vary, but it’s usually between $10 and $15). Not all restaurants participate in DashPass savings, but it’s quite common, especially for larger chains. Subscribers also get priority customer support and special promotions for local restaurants. Deals can also change over time.

There is no contract for DashPass: You can sign up and cancel any time you want. DoorDash estimates that it pays for itself if you make three large orders per month. Just a simple two-dish order tends to be above $12 for most places, so it isn’t hard to activate.


DashMart is an additional service that DoorDash provides beyond basic food delivery. With DashMart, you can order food ingredients, basic medications, hygiene supplies, and a variety of pet supplies for quick delivery as well. DoorDash has partnered with businesses like Walgreens, 7-Eleven, CVS, Wawa, Pet-Smart, and others to make this available. The key value offering here is the speed of delivery, which is designed to be around 30 minutes, like their food delivery service.

For drivers (aka Dashers)

How Does DoorDash Work? | Digital Trends (9)

For anyone who wants to become a Dasher, the registration process with DoorDash is relatively straightforward. You have to sign up via the company’s website, and then enter your email address, telephone number, and zip code. Most importantly, you also have to fill in a background check, which requires info such as your birth date, Social Security number, and vehicle type.

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Once you’ve done this, you’ll then have to wait while DoorDash checks your details and approves your application. It almost goes without saying, but you have to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license, valid insurance, and a clean driving record. You can use any road-worthy vehicle to deliver food with DoorDash.

Once your application has been accepted, you can log into the DoorDash app to check for available pickups and drop-offs. Once you’ve accepted an order, you’ll then have to arrive at the restaurant just before the provided pickup time. You then use the app to confirm your arrival at the restaurant, and you also have to check off each item of the delivery. Then you drive to the customer’s address.

Door dashers should definitely check to see if they’re eligible for a bit more money via the DoorDash Drive program—which compensates drivers for larger food delivery orders. Most drivers are eligible to sign up for this program if they have an average customer rating of 4.8 over at least 100 deliveries and a 90% order completion rate at a minimum.

For restaurants

If you’re a restaurant owner hoping to reach the DoorDash customer base, you need to go to the company’s website and fill out a Partner Application. Whether your restaurant is one of many in a country-wide franchise, or a small, mom-and-pop diner, you can partner with DoorDash. Restaurants of any size can also check out DoorDash’s custom financial advice and Storefront service. That program gives restaurants the chance to establish an online DoorDash store and services through the DoorDash Drive program.

After a restaurant has partnered with DoorDash, a representative will need to customize exactly how the restaurant would like to receive food orders and share its name, address, and functioning phone number. There are a few plans to choose from: the DoorDash Tablet plan costs about $6 every week, to give you an idea, and the Tablet Printer plan reaches about $9 a week. It’s important to note that DoorDash’s commission is currently 30% of all DoorDash orders’ value. This is a generous rate, but the company says that their app can also boost restaurant takeout sales by a whopping 50%.

Frequently asked questions about DoorDash

Can a customer request a specific DoorDash driver?

At this time, the app does not allow customers to choose a driver. Once an order has been placed, the process is somewhat automated, and drivers are assigned based on internal rules. For instance, drivers close to the customer’s address will be prioritized, while ones not in the vicinity may only see the order if a nearby driver is unavailable. Other factors like driver ratings also influence which drivers see the order first, thus creating a specific system of organization for assigning drivers to orders. So, for now, customers can’t really influence this process.

Can I block a DoorDash driver?

Customers can’t really choose or block specific DoorDash drivers, but you can avoid deliveries from a specific driver. If you’ve experienced trouble with a specific driver, you can contact customer support, and it’s possible they may internally block the driver from delivering to your address. This doesn’t mean the driver will stop working for DoorDash, but they may be prevented from delivering to your house again.

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Can I order anything on DoorDash?

DoorDash offers a wide variety of participating restaurants for customers to choose from. You can enter your location in the app and discover new and popular restaurants nearby. You, as a customer, can choose to order anything from these restaurants, based on what’s available (although remember, some dishes may be seasonal or holiday specials). You can order a single dish or combine multiple dishes based on your personal preferences. You can also order groceries on the app.

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What is DoorDash and how does it work? ›

DoorDash is a technology company that connects local consumers and local restaurants with delivery made possible by independent contractors. And, that's just the beginning: use the DoorDash platform to be your own boss, and you'll earn money-making deliveries when you want, where you want, and how you want!

How does the DoorDash algorithm work for drivers? ›

DoorDash assigns orders to drivers based on their proximity to the restaurant. So, if a Dasher is trying to increase their chances of getting an order, they will most likely hang around strips with many restaurants.

What acceptance rate will get you kicked off DoorDash? ›

There are minimum Consumer Ratings and Completion Rates required to remain active on the DoorDash platform. Dashers with a Consumer Rating below 4.2 or a Completion Rate below 80% may be subject to deactivation once they have accepted at least 20 orders.

What algorithm does DoorDash use? ›

Logistics. DoorDash uses ML algorithms to provide accurate data and mixed-integer programming or reinforcement learning to strengthen their reward maximisation system.

How does DoorDash work for a customer? ›

Customers of DoorDash agree to pay a nominal delivery fee in exchange for a DoorDash delivery person to bring food to the customer's home. Optionally, customers can add a tip to their DoorDash order, a way to thank the delivery person for coming all the way out to the home and delivering the food.

How does food delivery services work? ›

The consumer selects the food items they want to add to their order and places the order. Once confirmed, customers enter their payment option, including debit, credit, PayPal, or cash on delivery. The app will notify the courier to pick up the order and deliver it to the customer.

How do I get a higher paying order on DoorDash? ›

A: Dashers must have a customer rating of at least 4.5 and an acceptance rate of 50% or higher to unlock priority access to high paying orders. Dashers who have an acceptance rate of 70% or higher will receive even more priority for high paying orders.

How do you increase your odds on DoorDash? ›

How to Get More DoorDash Orders
  1. Choose Your Orders Wisely. Only choose orders that make sense. ...
  2. Manage Multiple Deliveries at Once. ...
  3. Choose the Right Time to Work. ...
  4. Be in the Right Place at the Right Time. ...
  5. Pre-Schedule Your Deliveries. ...
  6. Give Great Customer Service. ...
  7. Stack Your Orders. ...
  8. Research the Weather and Traffic.
24 Feb 2022

How do I get a higher base salary on DoorDash? ›

Deliveries that require Dashers to travel a longer distance, that are expected to take more time, and that are less popular with Dashers will have a higher base pay.

Does top Dasher get better orders? ›

If you have Top Dasher status, you'll be the one to get access to that delivery instead of Doordash delivery drivers who do not have the same ranking. In 2021, DoorDash also provided a new Top Dasher perk. Now, if you qualify for the program, you will gain access to high-value orders.

Should I accept every DoorDash order? ›

You can increase your completion rate by making sure every order you accept is delivered to the customer. It is also a rolling average, which means it may take a few opportunities before you see an increase in your average.

Does DoorDash punish you for declining orders? ›

Can Doordash punish you for declining orders? No. Doordash is not your employer. As such, they cannot take punitive action.

What was the DoorDash glitch? ›

The glitch was caused by a payment processing issue that allowed users to check out without an authorized form of payment. The DoorDash glitch went viral on Twitter as people found out about it, resulting in restaurants across the country having to take orders and deliveries en masse.

How do you become a top Dasher fast? ›

DoorDash Top Dasher Requirements: What You Need To Know
  1. Customer rating of at least 4.7.
  2. An acceptance rate of at least 70%
  3. Completion rate of at least 95%
  4. 100 completed deliveries during the last month.
  5. At least 200 lifetime deliveries completed.

Should you knock when doing DoorDash? ›

If the customer asks you not to knock, don't knock. If they ask you to put the food somewhere specific, put it there. Most of the time, DoorDash customers leave pretty straightforward instructions. But if you come across something complicated or confusing, feel free to contact the customer about it.

What are the benefits of DoorDash? ›

DoorDash Benefits Overview

- Premium medical, dental, and vision insurance plans, including fertility coverage. - Monthly gym and wellness reimbursement. - Flexible vacation days for salaried employees. Generous vacation and sick days for hourly team members.

What are the benefits of driving for DoorDash? ›

There are a few benefits to working as a DoorDash driver. The first is that you receive higher hourly pay on average than minimum wage.
Pros of Driving with DoorDash
  • Higher pay than minimum wage.
  • Flexible schedule.
  • Same-day or week payments.
  • Lenient vehicle requirements.
22 Feb 2022

How does DoorDash work without a car? ›

You do not need a car for Doordash, you can work without a car and deliver on a bike, rent a car for deliveries, you can walk or use any kind of transportation, including: Car. Bike. Truck.

How does delivery system work? ›

The driver stays in standby mode somewhere near the restaurant. Thus, the driver can deliver the food at a fast pace when some orders the food. For example, the delivery person waits near the restaurant and, when the food ordered by the customer, he can pick it up and deliver it quickly.

How does the delivery process work? ›

The three stages of the shipping process consists of receiving, processing, and fulfilling an order. These stages impact how quickly and accurately you can prepare a customer order and have it shipped directly to its end destination.

How does DoorDash pay per delivery? ›

Base pay from DoorDash to Dashers ranges from $2-$10+ per delivery depending on the estimated duration, distance, and desirability of the order. Deliveries that are expected to take more time, that require Dashers to travel a longer distance, and that are less popular with Dashers have higher base pay.

What's the biggest DoorDash tip? ›

Over the last 5 years, Dashers (aka delivery drivers) have traveled 340 million miles. You could circle the globe 13,600 times or take more than 700 round-trip flights to the moon and back. The largest tip a Dasher has received for one single order was $900!

How much can you make with DoorDash in 3 hours? ›

The average income for most DoorDash drivers ranges between $15 and $25 per hour. You may also earn more than this if you get plenty of additional income from tips for your orders. If you can work during peak times or maximize your delivery efficiency, you could be on the higher end of this scale.

How do you get 1000 a week on DoorDash? ›

How much can you make with DoorDash a week? Driving a long shift like that over the weekend is a jumpstart toward that $1000 weekly pay. And, if you continue to drive smart and hustle, you might be able to make the grand in a week with just five days of driving.

How do I maximize my DoorDash driver? ›

Use the following pro-tips to earn more.
  1. Arrive on-time. Arrive to the store at or slightly before the quoted pickup time. ...
  2. Verify you are picking up the correct order. ...
  3. Check off each item in your Dasher app. ...
  4. Grab some freebies. ...
  5. Communicate with your customer. ...
  6. Follow delivery instructions.
3 Jun 2022

How do I make my DoorDash tip bigger? ›

Can I adjust the tip I provide to the Dasher? Yes. At the checkout page, before selecting “Place Order,” you have the option of selecting a specific amount to tip your Dasher.

What is the highest salary on DoorDash? ›

Salaries at Doordash range from an average of $54,652 to $160,657 a year.

Do you get a bonus after so many DoorDash deliveries? ›

Example of Guaranteed Earnings offer:

In this example, if you complete 150 deliveries in your first 30 days as an active Dasher, you will earn at least $1500. If you earn $1250, DoorDash will add $250. Your total earnings for these deliveries will then equal the $1500 guarantee.

Why is DoorDash peak pay so high? ›

The DoorDash Peak Pay times are those moments when there simply are too many orders coming in for dashers to handle. DoorDash offers its dashers a financial incentive here with higher delivery earnings to ensure customers receive their meals quickly and as expected.

What is an elite Dasher? ›

An elite dasher is one who completes their orders in as timely of a manner as possible (and doesn't drive like a maniac) communicates with merchants and customers effectively when necessary and always goes the extra mile when possible.

Why do some dashers get more orders? ›

Batched orders allow Dashers to quickly complete two or more orders in less time than usual. Often, batched orders will be picked up at the same restaurant which increases a Dasher's earnings and efficiency. These batches may happen from time to time, especially during peak hours.

Is being a top Dasher worth it? ›

“The short answer is, no, for most people, meeting the Top Dasher requirements and getting Top Dasher status isn't worth it. The main reason is that the main benefit of Top Dasher status – being able to Dash anytime without scheduling – is not worth meeting the high acceptance rate requirement….

Can DoorDash fire you for low acceptance rate? ›

Driver's are not penalized for having a low DoorDash acceptance rate, but they will miss out on extra income. A driver will not get fewer requests if they have a low acceptance rate. Not completing the orders you accept is the only way to be in danger of account deactivation.

Can I accept my own DoorDash order? ›

Self-Delivery Basics

After hearing from many restaurants who say, "I have my own delivery team," the DoorDash product suite has expanded and the answer is yes. It's possible to fulfill your own DoorDash orders with our self-delivery service.

Do scheduled dashers get priority? ›

Do Scheduled Dashers Get Priority? The Dasher Support website does indicate that the dashers who schedule their shifts ahead of time get priority. DoorDash has stated that those Dashers who are on the schedule ahead of time will be first in line to receive orders before dashers who select the Dash Now option.

What happens if you steal a DoorDash order? ›

If DoorDash determines that a driver stole an entire order or even part of it, it is immediate grounds for account deactivation. DoorDash will fire the driver, and the driver will never be able to work for DoorDash again—although they may sign up for accounts on other food delivery apps.

Does DoorDash have a blacklist? ›

Open a support ticket by emailing to blacklist the Dasher and prevent them from delivering future orders.

What does OD mean in DoorDash? ›

Walgreens and DoorDash Announce On-Demand Delivery Collaboration.

Does everyone get the same DoorDash challenges? ›

Challenges are sent to Dashers based on additional criteria other than geographic location (e.g., new Dashers, long time Dashers etc). So if you did not get notified of a certain challenge, there may be a different one for you later on!

How many violations can you have DoorDash? ›

A: At this time, one contract violation does not constitute grounds for deactivation. However, multiple never delivered violations could lead to deactivation. For more information on our deactivation policy, visit the official DoorDash Deactivation Policy page here.

How many Dasher violations are there? ›

For example, deactivation is inevitable in the case of an incident coming up in a new background check. But in other cases, Dashers on various platforms have reported being able to accumulate up to six contract violations within 100 deliveries and still not being deactivated.

Do dashers get more than tip? ›

100% of tips are yours on top of base pay and promotions. The amount DoorDash pays will never vary based on the tip amount. For example, for two identical deliveries where one customer leaves a $3 tip and another customer leaves a $6 tip, one Dasher will earn $3 more than the other.

Are new Dashers top Dashers? ›

New Dashers in select markets are added to the program automatically as part of a test, and they will retain Top Dasher status for 2 weeks thereafter.

Can DoorDash see if you tip? ›

If you decide to tip beforehand, the DoorDash driver will be able to see your gratuity. This food delivery app allows you to tip either before the food gets delivered when you place the order or after the driver completes the delivery.

Does DoorDash track your speed? ›

No, DoorDash does not track your speed.

Can someone ride with you while doing DoorDash? ›

Yes, as an independent contractor there are no rules against having any passengers, including friends!

How does a DoorDash driver get paid? ›

Drivers delivering with DoorDash are paid weekly via a secured direct deposit to their personal bank account — or via no-fee daily deposits with DasherDirect (U.S. Only). Dashers in the U.S. can withdraw their earnings once daily with Fast Pay ($1.99 per transfer).

How much do DoorDash drivers make? ›

Base pay from DoorDash to Dashers ranges from $2-$10+ per delivery depending on the estimated duration, distance, and desirability of the order. Deliveries that are expected to take more time, that require Dashers to travel a longer distance, and that are less popular with Dashers have higher base pay.

Is there a monthly fee for DoorDash? ›

What is DashPass? DashPass offers unlimited free delivery for any order over $12. A DashPass subscription normally costs $9.99 per month. According to DoorDash, DashPass members save $4-$5 in delivery fees per order.

What food delivery pays best? ›

The food delivery service that pays the most is Instacart, with drivers reporting earning as much as $30 an hour. Before you quit your day job to deliver food, you need to consider the responsibilities of a delivery job.

How do I increase my DoorDash earnings? ›

Top 19 Tips on How to Make the Most Money on Doordash
  1. Understand Where Your Money Comes From.
  2. Strive for Good Reviews.
  3. Deliver During Peak Hours.
  4. Schedule Your Dash Ahead of Time.
  5. Avoid Traffic Jams.
  6. Find the Perfect Waiting Spot.
  7. Take Advantage of Low Competition.
  8. Know When People Order More.

Can door Dashers see tip? ›

DoorDash drivers can't technically see the tip before they deliver the order, but in practice, they can tell if the order comes with a tip based on the payout they're getting for the order.

Does DoorDash give bonuses? ›

As of 2022, the current sign-up bonus for DoorDash guarantees food delivery drivers up to $1,000 in earnings. You will need to have a valid DoorDash driver referral code to qualify for the DoorDash sign-up bonus. The program is known as Guaranteed Earnings incentives.

How much can you make with DoorDash in 4 hours? ›

Average DoorDash pay is in the range of $15-$25/hour.

If you worked 4 hours, you could make $60-$100/day. That would be as if DoorDash was a part-time job. If you worked it like a full-time job, working 8 hours a day, you could make around $120-$200/day.

Why is DoorDash base pay so low? ›

Doordash says base pay is determined by distance, duration, and desirability of a delivery. The real answer is that base pay is the least amount they can get away with paying. Doordash doesn't publish their formula. There's no transparency.

How much do you tip DoorDash? ›

If you're going to tip your DoorDash driver, it is recommended that you follow general service-industry tipping guidelines. In other words, think about tipping the same amount you would tip your server at a restaurant or your pizza delivery driver. In most areas, this equates about 15%-20% of your total bill.

How do you make 500 a week on DoorDash? ›

According to DoorDash, drivers earn $23 per hour on average across the United States. This means to make $500 a week with DoorDash, the average driver needs to deliver almost 22 hours per week. If you Dash a bit seven days a week, this works out to just over three hours of DoorDash per day.

Why did I get charged 9.99 from DoorDash? ›

In some areas, we offer DashPass, a subscription program that offers members free delivery and reduced service charges when they order $12 or more from any restaurant that accepts DashPass (look for the checkmark). You can cancel the subscription at any moment with no penalties for doing so; it costs $9.99 per month.

Can DoorDash take cash? ›

Look for orders that say Cash on Delivery and accept just like any other order—the only difference is you'll get paid in cash when you drop them off. Get paid the minute you deliver the order. Once you collect the payment, you're done. Keep 100% of the cash (including any cash tips).

Why are DoorDash prices higher than restaurant? ›

Many restaurants and eateries list the price of menu items higher on delivery apps like DoorDash. They do this to help offset some of the commission fees. That means you may be paying a higher price for your food than if you were to order directly from the restaurant.


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