Late-night food cravings may leave people wondering, “How can I get a midnight snack without leaving my house or breaking the bank?”
The obvious answer is DoorDash.
DoorDash is the most popular food delivery service in the United States.
Founded in 2013 in Palo Alto, California, DoorDash now has a 56% market share in the food delivery category.
It owns more of the market than UberEATS, GrubHub, and Postmates combined.
This is largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused many restaurants to close their doors to dine-in patrons and customers to enjoy restaurant food from the comfort of their homes.
One of the reasons the app is so popular is that it always seems to be operational.
Users may be wondering, what time does DoorDash stop delivering?
Here’s what you need to know about when DoorDash stops delivering, and how to get your last order in beforehand.
What Time Does DoorDash Stop Delivering?
DoorDash operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week with deliveries typically stopping at around 11:00 pm.
However, it is a bit more nuanced.
DoorDash is dependent on the restaurants in the area and whether drivers are willing to deliver.
This tends to be around 11:00 pm. In small towns, it can be earlier.
In big cities, it may be later, with some drivers receiving orders until 5:00 am.
The best way to check is to open the DoorDash app and see what time local restaurants close.
Even though some franchises may be open 24 hours, it also depends on whether DoorDash drivers are willing to deliver.
The smaller the town, the fewer the drivers, which means it is less likely for an order to go through in the middle of the night.
Since there might not be many drivers available in the wee hours of the night, customers can incentivize Dashers to choose their order by offering a more generous tip.
What Time Does DoorDash Start Delivering?
Like closing, DoorDash’s opening hours are dependent on restaurant operations and driver availability.
If a restaurant is open at 5 am with drivers ready and willing to carry out orders, then orders will be fulfilled.
On average, though, DoorDash orders tend to start around 8 am.
Drivers are freelance and choose their own schedules.
Since most people don’t want to work the early morning or late night, it can be challenging to find drivers at these times when cravings strike.
Drivers who choose to take unpopular shifts are incentivized with extra pay and tips.
On holidays like Christmas and New Year’s when most people would opt for time off, DoorDash offers up to three dollars extra per order delivered to keep drivers on the road.
This way, DoorDash is a bit closer to fulfilling its 24-hour theoretical operating hours.
How Did DoorDash Start?
In the fall of 2012, three students at Stanford University were working on an app for small businesses when a local bakery asked them for help streamlining orders and deliveries of macaroons.
In January, they started PaloAltoDelivery.com, with most early customers consisting of fellow Stanford students.
The app was an incredible success and was given a grant to expand its market.
DoorDash was officially founded in June 2013.
By December 2018, DoorDash had exceeded UberEATS’s hold on the food delivery market, and by 2019, it surpassed GrubHub as well.
Now, DoorDash is the largest food delivery service in the United States.
In October 2019, DoorDash opened a ghost kitchen.
A ghost kitchen is a location in which multiple restaurants can operate and fulfill orders to be delivered through DoorDash.
It continues to grow quickly.
Immediately after the emergence of coronavirus in the U.S. in early 2020, DoorDash sent hand sanitizer and face masks to drivers to ensure food safety.
It also encourages drivers to sign up for health insurance and offers free support services.
Such proactive measures increase employee morale and retention rate.
In addition to its effective delivery service, DoorDash has established a healthy reputation among customers and employees.
How Does DoorDash Work?
DoorDash is a careful collaboration between four parties.
The restaurant, the customer, the driver, and the app.
Drivers, called “Dashers,” apply to work for DoorDash in an easy process that involves a preliminary background check, submission of a driver’s license, and details about the vehicle that will be used.
Dashers can turn their availability on and off at any time.
Their shifts can last less than one hour if the driver wants.
Dashers can stop their shift at any point, with no penalty.
They can also pause their shifts, so they are not bombarded with new orders while getting gasoline, using the restroom or simply taking a break.
If a restaurant has some sort of technological device such as a tablet, computer, or smartphone, it can receive orders through DoorDash.
Once a customer places an order and there are drivers in the area to accept it, the order will be submitted to the restaurant.
The restaurant begins preparing the order immediately.
After some time, the order is sent to a nearby driver to accept and pick up.
In theory, drivers are supposed to arrive when the food has just been prepared, to ensure that it is warm and minimize wait time.
Customers simply need to download the DoorDash app and upload payment information and an address.
They can then choose from a variety of restaurants.
From there, they can add items to their cart, while also adding customizations and notes to the restaurant.
When they submit their order, DoorDash sends the request to the restaurant.
Once accepted, the app finds a driver.
The app is the intermediary between these three parties, acting as a messenger between the customer, restaurant, and Dasher.
If the driver arrives at the restaurant when the food is not ready, this can be reported on the app, so the driver is not penalized for the delay.
After an order is successfully delivered, Dashers, restaurants, and customers can rate each other on their experience.
For the Dasher: Was the restaurant prepared?
Was the customer’s home easy to find?
Was the delivery location too far?
For the customer: Did the Dasher follow COVID-19 safety protocols?
Was the order timely?
What was the quality of the food?
For the restaurant: Did the Dasher show up on time?
Was s/he pleasant and professional?
These reviews are submitted to a DoorDash database, which influences a restaurant’s favorability on DoorDash, a driver’s likelihood to be booked, and a customer’s likelihood to have their order placed.
How Much Money Do Dashers And Restaurants Receive?
After much criticism from The New York Times, Gothamist, and more, DoorDash revised its pay policy.
Previously, it would take some of the Dasher’s tips to cover the guaranteed minimum.
In 2019, one Dasher filed a class action lawsuit against DoorDash for its misleading tipping policy.
Fortunately, Dashers now receive 100% of the delivery fee and tip.
The DoorDash website details its formula for determining a driver’s pay per delivery.
First is the base pay determined by distance, desirability, and time.
Second is promotions such as peak time pay and challenges.
Third is tips that come directly from the customers.
These three things amount to a driver’s total earnings.
When an order is offered to a driver, an earnings estimate is also shown, so the driver can choose to accept or decline the order.
This means that a driver’s earnings per hour are dependent on his/her willingness to drive to varying areas by a certain time in addition to availability during peak times.
Drivers have the opportunity to earn more money when orders are stacked.
In DoorDash lingo, this means that multiple orders may come from the same restaurant, which the driver can then drop off at different houses.
This is great for Dashers because it means more tips and fewer restaurant pickups.
As Dashers establish a good reputation with the company, they may be offered higher paying orders, such as “Drive orders,” which are catering pickups.
DoorDash does not disclose how much it withholds from restaurants but some estimates dictate somewhere between ten and 25%.
On average, it seems that DoorDash takes approximately a twenty percent commission from restaurants.
The Continuing Rise Of DoorDash
In 2020, many customers were obligated to discontinue dine-in services due to COVID-19.
The restaurant industry, therefore, became heavily dependent on DoorDash to remain afloat.
Now, even though dine-in services have resumed at most restaurants, many customers are still afraid to eat inside restaurants due to the transmissibility of COVID-19 and its variants.
Some cities like New York City and Boston now require proof of vaccination to eat inside.
This means that unvaccinated patrons are now required to get takeout or delivery if they want to enjoy their favorite restaurant foods.
Over the past year, customers have gotten used to eating in the comfort of their homes and ordering from DoorDash.
They continue to opt for delivery because it is now safer and more comfortable.
DoorDash provides an added benefit to restaurants because they are not required to hire their own delivery drivers.
This is beneficial because it involves fewer employees on the payroll and means that they don’t have drivers waiting around on the clock, even if there are no deliveries to be made.
Restaurants also avoid the designation of a delivery vehicle and additional fees incurred from gas and mileage.
They also don’t need to worry about liability and insurance since DoorDash is an independent contractor.
What Services Does DoorDash Provide?
Most notably, DoorDash provides restaurant food delivery.
Since it has been so successful in this market, the company has expanded to include other services.
Now, DoorDash provides grocery and prescription delivery.
Some concerns have been raised over privacy with prescriptions.
DoorDash has responded to this by ensuring that all prescription orders are handled in an opaque, sealed bag so that the Dasher cannot open nor see the contents.
Most medication deliveries require a signature.
If the customer is not there to accept the prescription delivery, the driver will return the order to the pharmacy and the customer can try again later.
Like restaurant delivery, DoorDash offers a 24/7 prescription delivery service, but it is subject to the pharmacy’s operating hours and the availability of drivers.
Dashers can also deliver alcohol to customers along with their restaurant order if both Dashers and customers can verify that they are of legal age.
Contactless delivery is not available for prescription and alcohol delivery.
Deliveries can also be scheduled through the DoorDash app.
This is useful if customers know they will be busy at a certain time and won’t be able to place an order right before they want their meal to arrive.
It is also beneficial to Dashers who want to establish some sort of schedule for themselves.
Where Does DoorDash Operate?
DoorDash is the most successful food delivery service in the United States.
Its exponential success has inspired the company to expand into international markets.
In 2015, DoorDash initiated operations in Toronto, Canada.
In 2019, it opened outside of North America in Melbourne, Australia and then expanded to other Australian cities.
In June 2021, DoorDash debuted operations in Asia by launching in Sendai, Japan.
DoorDash has expanded its grocery delivery services to include California and the Midwest.
It now offers DoubleDash, delivery from multiple merchants to the same customer, in 20 U.S. states.
It is expected to offer these services to more U.S. states in 2022.
The company has recently acquired other companies including Caviar, Scotty Labs, Chowbotics, and Wolt.
Caviar delivers from upscale restaurants that usually do not offer delivery.
Scotty Labs focuses on self-driving and vehicle-controlled technology.
Chowbotics is a pioneer in robot-operated salad creation.
Wolt is a Finnish company that specializes in delivery services.
It operates in 22 countries such as Japan, Israel, Greece, Poland, Malta, Kazakhstan, and much of Eastern Europe.
This gives DoorDash a foothold in much of the world’s delivery market.
DoorDash is the most successful delivery service in the United States.
It is quickly becoming the most popular in the world.
The app is operational 24/7, which leads some customers to be confused over what time it stops delivering.
The bad news is that there is no straight answer.
The good news is that the app remains operational if restaurants and drivers are willing to cook and deliver orders.
On average, most orders stop at around 11:00 pm when the last restaurants in the area close.
In big cities, however, with more 24-hour restaurants, DoorDash may accept orders much later.
Customers can increase the chance of having their midnight requests accepted by offering their drivers higher tips.
DoorDash has been incredibly successful since its founding in 2013.
It achieved unprecedented success when the COVID-19 pandemic forced restaurants to shut their doors to dine-in patrons.
DoorDash immediately complied with additional safety measures by providing Dashers with masks and sanitizer and offering customers the option of contactless delivery.
DoorDash continues to expand its hold on the market through recent acquisitions of companies that offer upscale and grocery delivery and similar services in Europe and Asia.
If DoorDash continues to grow in size, profit, and scope, restaurants and drivers will be incentivized to keep their doors open longer, as long as customers continue ordering.