Food delivery services (DoorDash, Grubhub, Postmates, UberEats, etc.)

It’s convenient and I’m lazy. I got delivery constantly before COVID too.

It gets some money to the restaurants, I’m only in walking range to pick up from a couple of restaurants, I can’t drive, and I’m not gonna eat in the restaurant until I’m fully vaccinated and even then maybe not for a while.

Add “hopelessly overwhelmed by work and childcare” and this is us. That said, we are really sick of the local limited) delivery options at this point, so I suspect we’ll order a lot less in the near future. Now that we can do pickup and go the to store again, there’s strong motivation to do so.

That is a problem I do not have.


Considering where you live, I’m not surprised you have a plethora of great options. Honestly, there’s merit to traveling to that city for the sole purpose of eating oneself into a coma.

Just ordered a pepperoni and mushroom pizza from Doordash. I had a $10 credit from the order they canceled on me yesterday night and the restaurant had a $5 coupon, so my out of pocket was just over $20. Then the pizza came and they forgot the mushrooms. Contacted support, and they refunded $30 for the pizza and applied another $10 credit.

So on one hand, it was annoying last night’s order was canceled and they got my order wrong. But on the other, they just paid me $20 to eat dinner.

What is the split you get on -

  1. Order arrives as ordered and is hot
  2. Order arrives but is not correct
  3. Order arrives as ordered but is cold
  4. Order just doesn’t arrive (canceled)

You mention getting credit quite a bit, so curious how often a high volume orderer gets food as expected. Getting discounts for DD or restaurant fuck ups is nice for sure since it sounds pretty automatic, but always wonder what folks tolerance level is for them.

Personal experience speaking as someone who’s used these services for most meals for the past 8 months would be something like:

Order arrives and is at least edibly warm: 70%
Order arrives but is not correct: 10%
Order arrives as ordered but is so cold it needs reheating: 15%
Order just doesn’t arrive: 5%

Mind you, often stuff in the first category still benefits from warming, but it’ll eat as is. Getting something genuinely piping hot is a rarity, and only occurs with places very nearby, but that was true even back when I was picking stuff up myself and bringing it back.

I should clarify that this is using DoorDash. The numbers for GrubHub were considerably worse, which is why we don’t use them anymore.

Order arrives as ordered and is hot: 10%
Order arrives and is at least edibly warm: 30%
Order arrives but is not correct: 20%
Order arrives as ordered but is so cold it needs reheating: 35%
Order just doesn’t arrive: 5%

Averaging about 2/week for the duration of the pandemic, so a little over 13 months straight.

  1. Good and hot: 50%
  2. Not correct: 10%
  3. Cold: 15%
  4. Super late (well over an hour): 20%
  5. Canceled: 5%

I typically complain and get credits for #2, 4, and 5.

Our DoorDash experience. We typically average 3 orders/week.

  • Order arrives as ordered and is warm enough - 85.5%
  • Order arrives but is not correct - 12.5%
  • Order arrives as ordered but is cold (or contents spilled) - 1%
  • Order just doesn’t arrive (canceled) - 1%

Results will largely be a product of your location and what store you order from. I’m in a suburb of a major city so there are a variety of restaurants and enough available dashers while not seemingly overwhelmed with orders.

For every order incorrect, we have received a credit exceeding the amount of the item(s) missing or incorrect.

Apart from one time when the driver just left someone else’s order entirely without a receipt or anything to ID it (like, no way it was restaurant error - it wasn’t even the same cuisine), I’ve never gotten an incorrect order that I can think of, although anytime I have given the restaurant instructions they just ignored it. But that’s not “please make this order in a special way” - I don’t bother with that usually, just things like “I don’t need utensils, I’m eating at home” or “please identify which container is the dish with the kitfo because I don’t want to reheat that” and then they include utensils or leave all the containers unmarked. Sigh.

Also don’t usually get things too cold to be eaten, although I admit my mouth is heat-sensitive enough that I often leave piping hot stuff to sit a bit anyway. Haven’t had too much trouble with super late lately with Doordash but it was common enough with Bite Squad, especially since with them I was often trying to feed myself for lunch, that I quit using them.

Thousands and thousands of restaurants…all selling the exact same chicken wings. Truly the delivery service dystopian endgame.

"Taco Bell was the only restaurant to survive the franchise wars. Now all restaurants are Taco Bell .”

His other concern is longer term, and one shared by many in the industry: that the delivery apps themselves will launch virtual brands. They have the data on what foods perform well, and they control what restaurants rank highly in search; what’s to stop them from launching a virtual brand themselves, asks Guarino, or offering brands to restaurants willing to pay them higher fees? “That’s the moment that the independent restaurant community has always been afraid of,” he says.

Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, compares it to Amazon’s practice of using data gleaned from its Marketplace to identify successful products and sell its own version. “It’s kind of the next logical step,” says Rigie. “It’s like Amazon Basics, where they say, ‘Okay, we’ll continue to sell your burgers, but now we’ve learned how to make our own burgers, and if you want your burgers to be listed above our burgers, you’re going to have to pay an additional premium.”

Honestly, I don’t know why it hasn’t happened yet.

My wife is working through a notice at one job while searching for another. As a side gig, she starts her journey as a Doordash delivery person today. Now I’ll get to hear firsthand about the experience I guess. We generally tip drivers TO US a decent amount, in cash if possible. My guess is she is going to see the other side of that, which is going to be a smaller amount of tipping.

Anyone else here drive for any of the meal deliveries or is still doing so today?

This will be very interesting to hear about, as I’ve always wondered how feasible this would be.

I had always assumed that after expenses, there wouldn’t be much left over. But I guess that would depend a great deal on how many runs per hour, among many other variables.

Please keep us updated! Not just about pay, but the experience in general.

So far she’s only done Doordash. I asked her if she’s going to mix and match the other services in case one is substantially better than the other and she wants to but each has a slightly different approval process. We’ll see.

She ran mostly a lunch/early-afternoon time period so far with three evening deliveries the same day. Roughly 9 deliveries in not that much time put in (her first day.) She made $48 total according to the app, so roughly $6 per delivery. She picked and chose which ones she wanted to do and kept them all close to where we live so she would know where to get the food and go to. We live in a pretty popular area for restaurants so that’s good. She estimated based on that, a day where she drove as much as she worked in her current job wouldn’t be a huge amount of money, maybe $100-$200 dollars on a weekday, maybe more on a weekend. But that’s based on about a 6 hourish day. I’m sure there are drivers that work more than that.

There were a ton of deliveries with low pay that were probably 35 minutes away with traffic so she avoided those. There were also a lot of clustered pickups, like say, Shake Shack get three orders and all are delivered within a large neighborhood. Since she didn’t do much night delivery (dinnertime) she didn’t see some of the bonuses they apply to areas when there are a lot of current orders. I think up to $2.50 extra on a delivery from what she saw just looking at them. These are displayed as a highlighted region on the app map you look at for orders.

Some things we learned so far:

  • They absolutely can and do pick and choose orders to pick up and deliver. This is very much NOT like calling the place you want food from and getting delivery from them directly. You’re guaranteed to get the delivery from them if you do that. With at least Doordash, you’ll be waiting until one of the drivers decides to take that delivery.
  • They get points for doing successful deliveries. They get major subtracted points for picking up but then cancelling a delivery (in the app, not necessarily the food.) We aren’t sure if those points allow them to see larger orders or keeping their job as delivery, etc.
  • Most of the deliveries were small orders, so that note above made her wonder if they hold back large orders being seen by relatively low ranked drivers.
  • Every delivery she had tipped within the app and that was it. Many of them also just wanted her to leave the delivery at the door.
  • She wore a mask the entire time but noticed other delivery drivers doing pickups were not. :(
  • Based on her experience with one place she saw, we won’t be dining there, ever.

When we use delivery services we have much larger orders and also tip some in cash, something she did NOT see. Since the locations they deliver from vary with the restaurant lists, she’s interested in seeing the difference with GrubHub and Uber Eats. Perhaps one of those two gets bigger orders and a subsequent bigger fee.

I haven’t tipped cash for a delivery in about 20 years, I think. For one thing, we just flat out never have any. We’ve done nothing but no-contact since the pandemic started and I can’t think of a single reason to ever do anything else, honestly.

Yeah, our delivery drivers stopped wearing masks when everyone else did - right after the CDC effectively declared the pandemic over. This despite our place having an enclosed, shared hallway.

Gotta say, as a customer, I hate when my order gets bundled with some yahoo who lives “on the way” to me that ends up consuming 20 minutes of my driver’s time. I live south of downtown, and ordered from a Five Guys north of downtown the other night. On the way to me, the driver stopped at a high rise apartment building there to deliver an order, which meant finding parking in a busy downtown area, getting through building security, taking the elevator up, finding the right door, dropping it off, and reversing back out of all those steps to their car again. Then on to me.

Which mostly meant insanely soggy fries, gross burger-veggies, and a completely melted shake.

I’d gladly pay an extra $2 fee to guarantee my order isn’t bundled.