I don’t want anyone reading this to be under the impression that this is complicated. It’s not, and dealing with issues are rare.
You’ll get a text alert first, then an offer will show up on your app. Review it, then accept or decline. If you accept it, map yourself to the restaurant. Swipe arrived. Announce that you’re with DoorDash and have an order to pick up.
Once you get the food, check it for accuracy, make sure there’s plastic utensils, napkins, sauces and condiments (if needed.) Check all of the items on your app, then head to the customer’s address. Once you deliver the food, swipe delivered then rate the delivery. That’s it.
Make sure you’re within your zone’s boundaries, then either start you scheduled dash or “dash now” if your zone is red.
If you’re a new dasher, I can’t tell you where to go. If it’s your first time, I’d suggest driving around your zone, and you’ll start to get familiar with where the orders are coming from.
Feel free to ignore the flame icons. They are meaningless. The theory is these are busy restaurants and if you drive there you’ll get a lot of orders. I can assure you that with over 800 deliveries and driving in 3 busy cities, this is not the case.
In cities that are very busy, it almost doesn’t matter where you are…to a point. I always try to stay near busy areas. You’ll come to see where those busy areas are located. Popular places are Chick-Fil-A, Chipolte and fast food (Taco Bell, Wendy’s….)
CONTACTING YOUR CUSTOMER DURING THE DELIVERY PROCESS
A common question I get is “how often should I contact the customer?” I can only speak from my experiences and the only time I contact the customer is via text at the restaurant if the order is going to take longer than 10 minutes.
Once you get to the restaurant, it’s a dead zone for the customer regarding status updates. They see that you’ve arrived, but nothing after that until you leave.
Beyond that, the customer gets alerted during every step; when you accept the order, arrived at the restaurant and left the restaurant – and they can track your car from the restaurant to their address.
GETTING AN ORDER
You’ll get a text alert and the offer will appear on your screen. If I’m driving, I always pull over since I want to look at a few things before I accept. You have 90 seconds to accept an offer, which is a lot of time.
You’ll see four pieces of information:
1) Minimum fee. The amount shown is the least amount you’ll receive. The amount shown includes the tip, if the customer tipped. It would be more if it ends up being an “over-guarantee.” That means the customer tipped more than the minimum. If that happens, you’ll only see that fee after the delivery has been completed.
2) Total distance. The distance stated is the total distance from your location, to the restaurant, then to the customer’s house.
3) Customer’s location. This is the customer’s general location. You won’t get the address until you accept the order.
4) Number of items. This is very valuable information for me. If the number of items is very high on an order I have to place for fast food (ex: 18 items, Taco Bell) I might be less inclined to accept it. However, if the number of items is high for an actual restaurant, when the order’s already been placed, that could be a good sign that I might get an over-guarantee.
After you review the offer, simply accept or decline. You can also just let the 90 second timer run out. If you let that happen, your dash will be paused. Just unpause it to continue.
AFTER YOU ACCEPT THE OFFER
Before I head to the restaurant, I click the top left menu, then click on the customer’s information which shows me their address, then I take a screenshot. Just in case the app snags, I can at least deliver the food.
After that, I map myself to the restaurant from the app. If you’re new, you may want to pay with different maps; Apple, Google, Waze and see which is more accurate for your area.
It’s important to swipe that you’ve arrived quickly upon getting to the restaurant. If the customer or DoorDash cancels, and you’ve already swiped arrived, you get half pay. If you haven’t swiped arrived, you get nothing.
After you accept the order, you’ll see the time the order should be ready at the restaurant. You’ll also see the time DoorDash wants you to deliver the order to the customer. That time is important since if it’s impossible to deliver by that time, you should contact the customer.
As an example, let’s say you accept an order at 5pm. The app states the order should be delivered by 5:15. This is rare. It could be a case where another dasher unassigned the order. Just contact the customer, let them know you just got the order and give them an ETA for delivery.
ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE AT THE RESTAURANT?
From time to time, when you swipe arrived at the restaurant, you might get this message; “are you sure you’re at the restaurant?” It’s only because the GPS is slightly off. If you’re sure you’re at the correct restaurant, just click “yes.”
AT THE RESTAURANT
Note: Be polite and patient with all restaurant staff. They will get to know you, very well. I can testify that everything goes a lot better when they like you. Getting an attitude when you’re told that you have to wait for the order goes nowhere. Also remember the restaurants can rate you.
Head to the counter and let them know you’re from DoorDash then let them know the customer’s name.
Take notice of the time listed in the app. If you’re very close to the restaurant, you might get there at 6:15 but they might have just got the order. If the time listed in the app says “6:30” the restaurant know they have until 6:30 to hand you the food, but it may go past that if they’re busy.
When I come in early, I say “I’m from DoorDash, I know I’m early but I just wanted to let you know I’m here.” Then I just sit down and relax.
If it’s a fast food order you have to place, look at the order first. If it’s simple, you can choose the drive-through. If it’s a bit more complicated or if you simply prefer, go inside and order.
If the order’s already been placed, I let them know I’m here and wait for it to come up.
While I’m waiting I map myself to the customer’s address to make sure there’s no issues.
When the order’s up, I check it to the best of my ability, make sure there’s napkins, plastic utensils, condiments and sauces (if needed.) I also verify that it’s for my customer.
OPENING CONTAINERS AND BAGS
We cannot open containers and cannot open sealed or stapled bags. Each restaurant has to right to choose how we deliver the food. Chick-Fil-A, for example, puts a sticker on each bag.
In these situations, the best we can do is just go over the order verbally before we leave.
ISSUES AT THE RESTAURANT:
1) Restaurant states that it’s going to take longer than the time listed. If that case, I text/call the customer and let them know I’m at the restaurant, they’re busy and give them an ETA.
2) Restaurant is out of a menu item. Call the customer, let them know they’re out of that item and try to find a substitution at the same price. If the customer doesn’t want a substitute but wants you to continue with the rest of the order, that’s fine. Open up a chat with support and let them know. They’ll take the item off the order. We cannot add or remove items.
3) There’s an issue with the order, out of an item, can’t reach the customer. This is a judgement call. If they’re simply out of a particular drink, I’m not going to stop the order over a drink. I’ll default to getting them a Coke, and when I deliver it, simply tell them they were out of their requested drink and you tried to contact them.
However, I’m not going to do that over a main course. If a restaurant is out of a main item and you can’t reach the customer, open a chat with support.
WE DON’T WORK WITH DOORDASH
Only twice has this happened to me; I got to the restaurant, went to the counter and they told me they no longer work with DoorDash. That’s fine. Open a chat with support, they’ll call the restaurant to confirm, you’ll get half pay.
Pay very close attention to the order and really make sure you’re ordering the correct items. If you can’t figure something out, contact the customer. After you place the order, you’ll have to check off each item and swipe two times. The first time sends a message to DoorDash. The second time sends a message to the customer.
This very important. After you swipe that you have the order, check for delivery notes before you leave. If there’s a note, it’ll show up in yellow. Sometimes customers don’t put in order instructions and mistakenly put in details in the delivery notes. It might say something like “don’t forget extra sauce.” This isn’t something you want to discover once you’re at the customer’s address. (You can actually check if there’s a delivery note by clicking the customer’s information which you can do before you swipe that you have the food.)
HOW TO UNASSIGN AN ORDER
There are times when you have to unassign an order:
1) Accepted the order by mistake
2) It’s going to be a very long wait at the restaurant, longer than 30 minutes (that’s only my parameters)
3) Customer contacts you and is very rude or vulgar
4) Personal/vehicle emergency
You can unassign from the app before you take delivery of the food. Click “help” then “can’t do this order.” Choose a reason and it’s unassigned. Once you have the food, you need to open a chat with support to unassign the order.
DELIVERING TO THE CUSTOMER
Note: Never swipe that that order’s been delivered until you hand it to the customer. Once you swipe delivered, you can’t contact support from the app. If you swipe delivered by mistake and the customer isn’t available, contact support (see contact page) immediately.
You cannot leave an order at the door if the customer isn’t available unless the customer stated to do so in the notes. If the customer puts in the notes “please leave on porch” that’s fine. I take a photo of the food on the porch.
In most cases, this is going to be very simple; arrive at the address, hand the food to the customer, thank them and you’re done. But…
1) Trouble finding an address: Try other maps. Google, Apple and Waze can find different places. After that, call the customer. If they can’t be reached, open a chat with support.
2) Apartments. Some are easy to navigate. Some are nightmares. If it’s a nightmare I’ll call the customer and see if they can help guide me.
3) Customer wants to meet in an area that’s uncomfortable for you. The customer texts, calls, or puts in a note to “meet you in an alley behind their building.” In this case, chat with support. Let them know the customer doesn’t want you to meet at the address listed, but instead a location you feel uncomfortable with.
4) Customer changes the address. You can only mark a delivery as completed if you’re at the location listed in the app. You cannot change their location, only DoorDash can. First, route yourself to the new address and make sure you’re willing to drive there. Click help, then open a chat with support. Let them know there’s a new address. If you’re willing to drive there, ask for extra pay. If you’re not willing to drive there, they’ll cancel the order.
5) Make sure it’s the customer. I’ve had a few cases where I pull up, and someone comes walking up to my car. Is it the customer? I ask for their name and where they ordered from before I hand over the food.
6) Office buildings. No issue with a receptionist or co-worker accepting the order. They may tell you the customer is busy. In this case, I’ll always text the customer and let them know who I left the food with.
7) When handing over the food, they check the bag, claim something’s missing and want you to go back to get it. This is up to you but as a rule, we do not go back. If it’s 100% my fault (such as I forgot the drinks) I might go back but I’m more prone to telling them to call DD for a credit. This is also why I go over every order before I leave.
8) Customer contacts you before you arrive, tells you that they need to add something to the order but you’ve already left. Politely tell them no. Or they want you to stop by a convenience store and pick up something for them. They want you to pay for it and they promise a huge tip and to reimburse you. That’s your call. My answer is no.
CUSTOMER’S NOT AVAILABLE, HOW LONG DO I WAIT?
I do my best to contact the customer, but time is money. I’ll knock….wait, then ring the bell. Then I’ll knock louder. Then I call and text. If there’s no response, I click “help” then “customer not available.” A timer will start. When it runs out, you keep the food and leave.
Important note: You cannot leave the food at the door unless the customer contacted you (or put it in the delivery notes) that it was ok to leave the food.
DELIVERED THE FOOD BUT CAN’T CLOSE OUT THE ORDER, SAYING I’M NOT AT THE ADDRESS
You can only close out the order (swipe delivered) if your GPS is putting you at the address the customer gave when they ordered. If you’re at the correct location, then the GPS might be off. You’ll have to open a chat and let support know the food has been delivered. If the customer called/texted or put a different address in the notes, you need to open a chat with support and let them know the customer requested that the food be delivered at a different address. (Note: in this situation, you want to let support know of an address change before you leave the restaurant.)
I DELIVERED THE ORDER, NOW THE CUSTOMER IS TEXTING ME
Once you deliver the order, or end the countdown timer if the customer isn’t available, they have the ability to contact you until you accept another order. If you get a text from a customer after you left their house, ignore it. There is nothing you can do for them once you’ve left, and responding to a customer who is upset just makes matters worse. If you choose to reply, that’s up to you, but all texts are saved so I’d be as polite as possible.
A stacked order is when you get another order after you’ve already accepted one. It could be for the same restaurant or a nearby restaurant.
Whether or not you want to accept the stacked order is up to you. If will lower your acceptance rate which doesn’t matter, except for peak pay.
If you accept the stacked order, it will recommend the course of action; which restaurant to go to first and who to deliver to first. You have the ability to change the order if you want.
Also, work smart. Let’s say you accept a stacked order. They want you to go to restaurant #1, then to restaurant #2. You now have the food from the first restaurant but when you get to the second one, they said they’re slammed and it’s gonna be 20 minutes. In this case, I’m gonna leave and make the first delivery, then come back.
LETTING OFFERS TIME OUT
When you get an offer, you can click accept or decline. But you can also just let the timer run out. If that happens, your dash will be paused. You’ll need to unpause your dash to continue.
This is important if you’re in an area with a very poor signal or you have a poor cell plan. You may get offers that don’t show up on your screen (very rare, but it happens.) You always want to check your app to make sure you’re not on pause.
Also note that if you get a text alert for an offer but don’t see it on your screen, quickly close your app and re-open it and you should see the offer.
VERY RARE, BUT CUSTOMERS WHO ARE SCAMMERS
This has only happened to me twice. Scammers will try to sneak in free food. For example, the customer orders a burger and in the notes put “2 more burgers.” They are not charged for anything in the notes section. I had one Wendy’s order where they ordered a burger and next to the order they put “x5.” It’s only 5 burgers if the X is in front of the burgers (5X burgers) and you can see they got charged for it.
Some are not pure scammers but they want free stuff; “please tell the restaurant I want a double portion of mac-n-cheese” or they want an upgrade for free; “instead of cheese, just add more chicken.” Open a chat with support. Most restaurants are not giving them anything for free.
In cases where they try to sneak in free food, the red card is likely to decline. Open a chat with support and let them know the issue.
Note: Also very rare, but customers who want to troll you. As an example, you get a Taco Bell order, small, just a few items but they want 80 sauce packets. I’m not giving them 80 packets.