What is DoorDash and is it appropriate for my child?
Here are 5 FACTS every parent needs to know about DoorDash:
#1 On Demand Food Delivery
DoorDash defines themselves as a technology company who connects people with the best in their cities. Their model is to empower local businesses (mainly restaurants) to reach more people with their services thereby generating more business for them and creating jobs within the community.
Through the app or website, customers in eligible cities place food orders from restaurants for delivery to their home. Thus, it is necessary for you to provide your address to DoorDash for them to know what restaurants are available to you.
DoorDash, compared to its competitors, is often considered the most consistent and reliable food delivery app. They work with 310,000 restaurants in 4,000 cities and suburbs.
There is no minimum on deliveries. Thus, if you craved Chik-fil-A fries at 9pm on a Saturday night – you could have a sole order of waffle fry-goodness delivered to your doorstep.
DoorDash drivers are called Dashers. Driving/Delivering for DoorDash is an easy way to make extra money for simply picking up food at a restaurant and delivering to a customer’s doorstep.
The app notifies Dashers of the restaurant location and destination and also calculating the distance between each point (including the driver’s current location). If the dasher accepts the delivery they see their “guaranteed amount” of earnings that includes mileage, base pay, and “tip”. DoorDash asks customers to tip before the food has arrived.
At the restaurant, the Dasher may have to place the order, pay for it using a DoorDash card, and wait for the order to be ready. Mostly, however, Dashers can pick up the food and go.
Dashers are responsible for their own gas, car maintenance and insurance.
Almost all restaurants will have increased menu pricing through the DoorDash app/website. An entree costing $11 for dine-in, may cost $13 for DoorDash delivery.
Most often a delivery fee of up to $5.99 is applied. During certain promotional campaigns this fee may be discounted. Promo codes and coupons are also offered as bonus deals through purchases with other businesses (such as Ticketmaster). Additionally, DoorDash advertises their national partners upon opening the website or app. Restaurants like Subway, Cheesecake Factory or Chipotle will offer no delivery fee on your first order with these promos.
If you are a frequent DoorDash user, you can purchase a DashPass subscription for $10/month. This grants free delivery fees and lower service fees to thousands of restaurants nationwide.
#4 Compared to: Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates
DoorDash is not the only service in the food delivery market.
Grubhub is known for how often they put up promo codes for delivery discounts. (DoorDash does this too, just not nearly as often.) If you don’t mind browsing online and looking for deals, then Grubhub can be a cheaper option than DoorDash. Grubhub doesn’t have a set delivery fee. The restaurants they partner with can choose to set a fee which you can see before you submit an order. They still take an average of 13.5% commission on orders, which means that the online prices will be significantly higher than on-ground locations
Uber Eats is an extension of the already popular Uber rideshare platform. Uber Eats seems more affordable at least as far as delivery fees are concerned. Although they boast 320,000 restaurant partners, many are fast food, not so many local spots like DoorDash has. Uber Eats also boast the fastest delivery times and allow customers to track orders from the restaurant to their door.
Postmates is not limited to food deliveries, although they partner with more than 500,000 restaurants in 4,200 US cities. You can have their drivers pick up orders from supermarkets, restaurants, hardware stores, pharmacies and anything else you can think of. They charge a delivery fee between $1 to $10, plus a variable percentage-based service fee during busy times. Like DoorDash, Postmates also has a subscription option for frequent orders. Postmates Unlimited costs $10 a month or $100 annually, and gives you free delivery on all orders over $15, along with other perks like no increased pricing during busy hours.
#5 Parental Controls & Ratings
App Store: 12+
Google Play: E (Everyone)
Brave Parenting: 18+
DoorDash’s user agreement states clearly it is a service for adults over the age of 18. They go as far to say, “You agree that you shall monitor your account to prevent use by minors, and you will accept full responsibility for any unauthorized use of your password or your account by minors.”
Thus, there are no parental controls on the DoorDash app.
Generally speaking, food delivery can be extremely convenient but could develop some terrible habits in the busy/lazy teen years. Financially, no teen should be able to afford eating out on a daily basis. Health-wise, eating out while remaining sedentary while young can lead weight issues and disease later in life.
However, considering that formerly, our only deliverable food option available was pizza, ordering a grilled chicken breast and vegetables for delivery sounds like a great improvement. They key, of course, is helping your nearly-adult/adult children make those healthy food choices.
*On a personal note: We downloaded the app for “research” and couldn’t believe how many different local restaurants DoorDash offered. It became extremely tempting for us, as parents, to jump on board the convenience train of food delivery. Granted, the final review was done during COVID-19 “shelter-in-place” ordinances, and therefore, our mental strength was probably not to be trusted.