How does DoorDash work?

Everything you need to know about DoorDash, an app-based food delivery service

DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service. 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.

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 United States, ahead of Uber Eats and GrubHub. But despite already serving 35% of the market, it’s still growing, so if you’re someone who hasn’t yet tried the app, this article will explain what DoorDash is and how to use it. It covers what you need to do if you’re looking to eat, and also if you’re looking to deliver.

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 United States, 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 the Search icon at the bottom of the screen to type the name of a restaurant or tap a specific category of food.

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”). Once you’ve selected a food item, you’ll come to a screen that lets you add extras or ask for ingredient substitutions. It also lets you change item quantity. Once you’ve made any desired changes, you can then tap the Add to Order button at the bottom of the screen.

Step 4: After ordering your first item, you can add additional items by tapping the Close button at the top of the screen (it looks like an X). If you want to place your order, you need to tap the View 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 the Continue tab.

Step 5: You’ll be prompted to Select Payment Method. You can choose either Apple Pay or Google Pay (depending on your smartphone), or you can choose Credit or Debit Card. If you choose Credit or Debit Card, you’ll be prompted to enter your card information (if you haven’t ordered before). Tap Save after entering the correct information.

Step 6: You’ll then come to the Checkout. Double-check your address details, add delivery instructions or a tip if you like. And finally, tap Place Order.

From there, you’ll be shown a map detailing where your order is and when it’s likely to arrive. After delivery, you can leave reviews of both the deliverer (the ‘Dasher’) or the restaurant.

For drivers (aka ‘Dashers’)

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. You need to enter your email address, telephone number, and zip code. More importantly, you also have to fill in a background check, which requires such info as your birth date, Social Security number, and vehicle type.

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, have a valid driver’s license, have 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 pick-ups 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.

Also, Dashers should note that they can potentially qualify for DoorDash Drive, a higher-paying service that handles large catering orders. It’s reserved for the best-rated drivers, with Dashers needing to complete a minimum of 100 deliveries, with a 4.8 average customer rating and a 90% completion rate.

For restaurants

Once again, restaurants that want to sign up to make their food accessible to DoorDash users need to go to the company’s website and apply to become a ‘Partner.’ You don’t have to run a big national chain to sign up, so if you’re a local restaurant it’s also worth considering.

When you sign up, not only do you provide your restaurant’s name, address, and number, but you also choose how to receive orders. For example, the Tablet plan currently costs $6 a week, while the Tablet and Printer plan is $9.15. Also, it’s worth noting that DoorDash’s commission rate is currently 30% on the value of orders placed through DoorDash. This isn’t insubstantial, but DoorDash claims that restaurants can increase takeout sales by 50% by using the app.

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