Review: DoorDash Food Delivery Service Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

‘It’s the New World Order’ Says One Dasher

By Kurt Stolz on 20 July 2020
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The advent of the coronavirus pandemic introduced millions of people to food-delivery service companies that quickly move a meal from a restaurant’s kitchen to the customer’s dinner table.  Health officials say it’s safe to order from such a service while sheltering at home.

Takeout used to be pizza, Chinese food, or perhaps Italian.  We’ve evolved well beyond that and these companies offer an array of restaurant types that includes chains to greasy spoons to fine-dining establishments and cuisines that range from Middle Eastern to sushi to German to even Thai.  While the local pizzeria would deliver your meal via its own employee in a process that would start with a phone call, today it’s tech companies and apps that rule the roost.  One such company is DoorDash.

Founded in 2013 by Stanford students Tony Xu, Stanley Tang, Andy Fang, and Evan Moore, DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service that uses logistics services to deliver a meal.

Valued at over $13 million, the company serves over 4,000 cities in the United States, Canada, and Australia, with a selection of over 340,000 restaurants and food shops.  It is currently the third-largest delivery service in the States, having surpassed Grubhub in 2019.  The companies in the field include Caviar (owned by DoorDash), Grubhub, OrdersAhead, Postmates, and UberEats (owned by Uber).

The range of restaurants in any given area is vast.  Many local establishments work with DoorDash as do chains including McDonald’s and Carvel.

An order is typically placed via the company’s app or website for entrées, side dishes, desserts, grocery items, or even household items.

The DoorDash app is available in the Google Play and Apple iTunes stores. There’s no minimum order and the delivery fee is $1 for the first order and $4.99 per order thereafter.

We placed several orders from DoorDash in New York City and spoke to one of our dashers about working for the service.  Ordering is simple: we placed orders with five restaurants in a two-week period including one we’d want to visit once restaurant dining rooms reopen, Cha Lom Thai Restaurant in Queens.

The expected delivery window was 26 to 36 minutes, and the food arrived in 28 minutes. Everything was about as warm as one would expect tableside, which was a rather impressive feat, given that the restaurant was a 15-minute drive away.

We also spoke with Joseph, a dasher who has worked there for several years.  He told us that 90% of his customers select contactless delivery, which means he simply leaves the food order at the door.  Almost all customers wait until after the delivery has been made to open the door, but a few open it while he is still present.

His only lament is that he has to go into the restaurants he delivers from to pick up the food, although he emphasized that everyone is social distanced including the employees who work there.

“It’s the new world order,” Joseph wryly noted.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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