Whenever I am in an unfamiliar place, I love trying new foods and restaurants so I can broaden my horizons. I’ve had amazing pineapple upside down pancakes, discovered a love for kimchi fries and kimchi rice bowls, devoured some of the best breakfast tacos I’ve ever had, and much more. All of this has been possible without me even having to leave wherever I was staying thanks to DoorDash. Today, I will be sharing my review of DoorDash and how the service helps me as someone with a vision impairment.
What is DoorDash?
DoorDash is an on-demand food delivery service that serves over 300 cities and regions in the United States and Canada. Each area features over a dozen different restaurants, though many regions have over 100 restaurants available, many of which are locally owned and operated. Users can access DoorDash on the web at www.doordash.com, on the iOS app, or the Android App. Download DoorDash for iOS on the App Store here and Android on Google Play here.
From my experiences, the prices for menu items on DoorDash are the same as the standard restaurant prices. A delivery fee is typically charged, ranging from free to $7.99, and an additional DoorDash fee of about 7% to 15% of the total order cost. Users can also pay $10 a month for unlimited free delivery fees on many restaurants. The extra fees usually aren’t much more expensive than using a ridesharing service to get to the restaurant and back.
After typing in their delivery address, users are given a list of restaurants that deliver in their area, along with the delivery fee. Users can search for specific foods or food types in the search bar, or select a restaurant from the list and browse their menu.
The website supports large print and screen magnification software well, and I was able to figure out descriptions of the foods I was looking at easily. In addition, the website works well with VoiceOver and screen readers- I was able to scroll through the lists and figure out what foods I wanted to order as well as how much they cost. Read more about using VoiceOver here.
As mentioned, many of the restaurants on the app are small businesses that are locally owned and operated. There are some chain restaurants on there though, such as Wendy’s, McDonalds’s, Taco Bell, Jack-in-the-Box,The Cheesecake Factory, Freebirds, Chipotle, and more. I prefer to order from the locally owned restaurants and often find myself ordering from the “most loved” section of their menu.
How to place an order
To place an order, follow these instructions:
- Open the DoorDash website or app
- Type in your location (if different from your default location)
- Scroll through the list of available restaurants and click on one that interests you
- Choose item(s) by scrolling through the menu and selecting items to add to the cart
- Once finished, click the checkout button
- Choose whether you want items for delivery or pickup
- Choose what time you want it delivered- more on that in a bit
- Select payment method
- Add a tip
- Click “place order”
Where to get it delivered
Whenever I am staying in a hotel, I have food delivered to the lobby and I ask the courier to call me when they are downstairs. On campus, I have the courier meet me outside of a neighboring building that is easy to access and well-lit, which is something that security recommended I do. There’s nothing wrong with having the couriers deliver to your front door, but since I live in a dorm building, that isn’t possible.
Scheduling orders ahead of time
When I was at the Grace Hopper Celebration (read more about my experience at Grace Hopper Celebration here), I would schedule delivery for breakfast the night before since I was often up very late. This ended up being really helpful and I would just turn up my phone volume all the way so I knew when the delivery was coming. Plus, waking up to a spicy egg scramble is pretty awesome.
Examples of how I use it
Here are some ways that I have used DoorDash in the last few months:
- Getting Korean food delivered after a long flight
- Eating tacos and churros at midnight with my friend (Hi B!)
- Ordering dinner so I didn’t have to walk alone in the dark in a strange city
- Having chili from my favorite restaurant near campus after an ER trip
- Getting Peruvian chicken delivered while I’m at a busy conference
I love using DoorDash to try new foods and restaurants that I normally would not be able to access because of my disability and chronic illness. I highly recommend using DoorDash and supporting locally owned restaurants whenever possible.