What Is DoorDash? The Latest Food Delivery Service Explained

Staff Writer
Updated

If you're tired of ordering in food from the same restaurants, you're in luck. Instead of using Seamless to place orders from pizzerias and the same old eateries you're used to, you can take advantage of DoorDash.

What is DoorDash?

DoorDash is one of the latest delivery services (joining the likes of Caviar and Postmates) that allow you to get food from area restaurants, the ones that don't have their own delivery persons.

How does DoorDash work? Where is it available?

You download the DoorDash app, available from the iOS App Store and Google Play, or open their site, and bask in the glory of your new delivery options. DoorDash's major areas of operation are California, Seattle and Minneapolis, as well as other major metropolitan areas, including Houston, New York City, Chicago, Boston and Atlanta. Seamless is more widely spread throughout the United States while Postmates and Caviar are in a similar number of territories.

MORE: What Is Amazon Prime Now?

How can they do this? What are the fees?

In order to maintain its fleet of Dashers, the delivery persons who deliver your food, DashDoor tacks on a service fee. It varies by restaurant, but in my testing, I've seen an 11 percent service fee upon checkout (even for businesses that list free delivery).

In DoorDash's site, they note that this is possible "because restaurants that have a formal partnership with us share the cost of providing delivery." Testing out DoorDash against Postmates, I've seen that the service fees for ordering for Shake Shack, for example, were slightly lower at DoorDash, because my order wasn't huge. Postmates places a $3.99 fee on deliveries from the famed burger flipper, and DoorDash's $3.30 fee was derived by calculating 11 percent of my order.

On top of that, of course, you tip your Dasher and can do so in the app. You tip for delivery, right? Good.

What does DoorDash have over its competitors?

Since the list of restaurants available to services such as DoorDash is always changing (though it is premium) the service found a very good way to get a leg up on Postmates and Caviar.

Group ordering, a built-in option to collaborate with other DoorDash users on a single order, is DoorDash's primary differentiator. As someone who frequently orders from these delivery services, I can attest to the fact that I wish Seamless had this option. Yes, the corporate version of Seamless has this, but I'm a writer, not an office manager.

Also, at least on iOS, DoorDash is amazingly well-designed, to the point where it looks like one of Apple's own apps. Caviar and Postmates are by no means ugly, but DoorDash is prettier.

Is DoorDash right for you?

Well, download the app and check it out first, and see what's available near you. Based on the system of fees, though, I can recommend DoorDash to those who are just ordering for themselves, as you'll spend a little less.

DoorDash's group ordering feature, though, means the service is also useful for larger orders, especially if you're tired of taking your friends' orders for them.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm starving.