The Definitive Guide to DoorDash

Everyone loves trying new food. But even if you’ve lived in a city our whole lives, there’s bound to be places you’ve never tried. DoorDash, which is one of the largest food delivery services in the country, is designed to help you discover the best restaurants in your area without ever having to leave the...

Everyone loves trying new food. But even if you’ve lived in a city our whole lives, there’s bound to be places you’ve never tried.

DoorDash, which is one of the largest food delivery services in the country, is designed to help you discover the best restaurants in your area without ever having to leave the comfort of your home.

But DoorDash does a lot more. By hiring gig workers to serve as delivery drivers, DoorDash provides jobs to thousands of people looking to launch a career or just make a little extra pocket money.

And by putting local restaurants’ menu items in front of much larger audiences, they’re also helping local businesses grow. It’s a real win-win.

To help you get familiar with this food delivery service, here’s everything you need to know about DoorDash.

What is DoorDash?

Much like Uber Eats, GrubHub, and Postmates, DoorDash is a food delivery service. It functions through a mobile app, which can be downloaded on either the App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android phones.

Once inside the app, you can search for dining options in your local area. You can either type in a specific restaurant, or browse through the different options to find what you’re are in the mood for.

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You can see full menus from each restaurant, along with delivery time estimates. As you’d expect, deliveries take longer during peak hours, and they will depend on where you order from and how far away you are from the restaurant.

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After choosing a restaurant, you can place your order and pay right in the app using a credit or debit card.

Then all you need to do is wait. You can tip your driver either through the app or in cash once they come to your door.

It’s like ordering a pizza, but way easier.

Where Does DoorDash Operate?

DoorDash functions in almost all major cities across the United States.

Some of the major cities in which DoorDash operates are:

  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • San Jose
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Seattle
  • Boston
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Phoenix
  • Atlanta
  • Austin

But this represents just a small sample of the cities in which DoorDash operates. To find out if it exists in your city, check out the company’s website for more information.

What Are The Benefits of DoorDash?

The benefits of DoorDash are twofold. First, it helps to expand the number of dining options available to people.

Instead of relying on businesses that offer dedicated delivery service, you can now get food brought to your home from a wide range of new and old restaurants in your area.

This makes it easier than ever to discover and try out new dining options.

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Restaurants on doordash.com range from fast food joints like Taco Bell and Wendy’s to slightly more expensive places like California Pizza Kitchen and The Cheesecake Factory to your favorite local restaurants and high-end establishments.

DoorDash also provides a tremendous service to local businesses. Hiring full-time delivery drivers is costly and risky.

But by using DoorDash, restaurants can take advantage of the benefits of delivery service without having to assume any of the risks.

And it also gives smaller restaurants the chance to reach new customers and grow.

Which Restaurants Participate in DoorDash?

This really depends on the area in which you live. To find out which restaurants you can order food from, download the app, make an account, and then begin searching for participating restaurants in your area.

Does DoorDash Cost Anything Extra?

DoorDash makes money in three ways. First, it charges you a delivery fee, part of which goes to the driver and part of which goes to DoorDash.

This fee will vary depending on the restaurant you’re ordering from, as well as according to how much food you’re ordering.

But you can normally expect to pay between $5-8 for DoorDash deliveries.

DoorDash also charges a commission to participating restaurants. Again, this varies, as DoorDash arranges unique partnerships with each restaurant.

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But they will never charge more than 20 percent to a business.

Just like the pricing of Uber eats, some of this commission is passed onto you as a consumer, meaning that between this and the delivery fee, you do end up paying more than if you went to the restaurant yourself.

But this is the price most of us expect to pay when ordering food to be delivered to our homes.

In addition to delivery fees and commissions, DoorDash also charges for ad space in the app. Participating restaurants can purchase premium placement to help increase their exposure and attract new customers.

What About Tips?

Although you are paying a delivery fee, DoorDash drivers, also known as Dashers, do work partly on tips.

You can tip them in the app using your credit card, or you can give them cash when they come to you. How much you tip is entirely up to you.

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Dashers are guaranteed an hourly rate of $10 per hour, though, and they do receive part of the delivery fee, so this may factor into how much you decide to leave as a tip.

You are by no means obligated to give a tip, and if for some reason you receive less than stellar service, you can leave a review of the driver in the app by going back through your order history.

DoorDash for Restaurants

As a restaurant owner, DoorDash can be a great way to grow your business.

It allows you to offer fast delivery service without having to hire your own drivers, and it also allows you to put your menu in front of more eyeballs, which will lead to more customers.

There are two ways for restaurants to participate in DoorDash:

  • As a Partner
  • DoorDash Drive

Becoming a DoorDash Partner

As a DoorDash partner, your restaurant will show up in the DoorDash app.

This means that when people log in to look for where to get their next meal, they will see your restaurant as an option.

These individuals will be able to order food from your restaurant right from the app, which will trigger a notification to Dashers in the area. It’s then your job to complete the order in the given time.

And when the order is ready, a Dasher will show up at your restaurant to pay for the order using their RedCard, which is provided by DoorDash.

At this point, your job is pretty much done. The Dasher will deliver the order to the customer and you get to keep on working.

Some Things To Consider

To become a DoorDash partner, you need to sign up on their website and provide them with information about your business. You’ll need to give your contact information, as well as the address of your restaurant.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to go into your account and set your menu, along with prices.

You can change this at any time, and you’re encouraged to do so when an item on your menu goes out of stock.

You will also need to choose how you want to be notified of orders.

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Your choices are fax, email, tablet or smartphone.

For tablet and smartphone orders, you will need to download the DoorDash app for iOS or Android. If you do not have a tablet, you can request on from DoorDash.

They may send it to you for free if you meet their requirements, which you can only learn about by contacting a DoorDash representative.

DoorDash Drive

The other way to use DoorDash as a merchant is to use DoorDash Drive. With this service, you decide when you make deliveries.

It’s great if you want to offer delivery for catering services or other specialty orders.

Using DoorDash Drive is easy.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Sign up for the service by filling out your information here
  2. Once you’ve signed up, download the app
  3. Inside the app, you can schedule deliveries for whenever you need them
  4. Dashers will accept the deliveries and come to your restaurant at the desired time to pick up your order and deliver it to the customer.
  5. The main difference between being a partner and using DoorDash Drive is that with DoorDash Drive customers place orders directly with you, and you’re responsible for scheduling the delivery.
  6. If you’re a partner, then orders are placed in the app and deliveries are coordinated by DoorDash through the app.

Becoming A DoorDash Dasher

The DoorDash business model depends on Dashers, which is the term used for the people who actually make the deliveries. While technically DoorDash employees, Dashers are freelancers who can work as much or as little as they want.

Becoming a courier is relatively easy, as long as you meet the DoorDash driver eligibility requirements, which are:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must have no major driving violations in the last seven years, which includes: DUI, Reckless Driving, Homicide or Assault, Driving with a suspended or expired license, or failure to stop
  • You have less than three incidents in the last three years. An incident is defined as any violation that is not one of the major violations listed above

After you sign up and you’ve been conditionally approved, DoorDash will do a criminal background check on you.

These background checks will be done in accordance with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, they will always be individualized, and they will only look at arrests or criminal violations from the previous seven years.

How to Dash

Once you have been approved, you’re essentially ready to dash. But you’ll need a few things first, such as:

  • DoorDash gear, which will be shipped to you
  • A Red Card. This is works like a credit card. It’s how you will pay for orders you pick up at different restaurant. This will be mailed to you after you’ve been approved as a driver.
  • A hot bag. This you must purchase on your own, either from DoorDash or any other store. It’s very important you have a hot bag, as some vendors will refuse to let you deliver DoorDash orders without one
  • A way to get around. This can be a car, a scooter, a bike, or even your own two feet. DoorDash will tell you which delivery modes are acceptable in your area when you sign up through the DoorDash app, which is available for both Android and iOS.

Once you have these things, Dashing is simple. Start by logging into the app and scheduling a time to Dash.

There will be options you can choose from based on the amount of demand in the area. And when it’s time for you to Dash, go to busy areas and check the app frequently.

After an order is placed, you’ll get a notification telling you where to get the food and where to bring it. And then once the delivery is made, mark it as complete in the app, and then wait for the next order to come in.

How Much Do Dashers Make?

The obvious advantage to dashing is that you get to work how much and how often you work. But the question on everyone’s mind is: how much money can you make?

Dashers are paid $1 per delivery, plus a “pay boost,” which depends on the area where you’re dashing, as well as how far you need to go to deliver the order.

This can range anywhere from a few bucks to as much as $25. For example, if you live in Manhattan, you’ll make a guaranteed $15 per delivery, and $25 if you need to travel to another borough.

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But in Chicago, you’re only guaranteed $8 per delivery.

The other way you get paid is through tips, which are 100 percent yours. People can tip you on their credit card in the app, or they can give you cash when you deliver the food.

Altogether, you can expect to make between $15-25 working as a Dasher.

What About Insurance?

You need to supply your own vehicle, but DoorDash provides commercial insurance that covers up to $1,000,000 in bodily injury and/or property damage to third parties that comes about because of an accident that occurred while making a DoorDash delivery.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that DoorDash will not cover vehicle maintenance.

The more you Dash, the more wear and tear you’ll put on your car. Remember this when you become a Dasher, as this could wind up being an unexpected expense of the job.

DoorDash makes it easier for restaurants to sell to more customers, and exposes customers to new restaurants. Plus, it’s a chance for people with a car or motorcycle to make some extra cash. If DoorDash is available in your area, consider giving it a try today.

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