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ICYDK: You Can Skip the Doordash Delivery Fee by Skipping the Doordash Site

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ICYDK: You Can Skip the Doordash Delivery Fee by Skipping the Doordash Site
A closeup of a Doordash sticker on a restaurant door.
David Tonelson/Shutterstock

With the current pandemic and efforts to stay at home, it’s probably very tempting to have your food delivered through a service like Doordash. But that price of convenience adds up quickly, and the delivery fee doesn’t help. How do you save a few bucks? Skip Doordash’s website, and use the restaurant’s instead.

Welcome to ICYDK (In Case You Didn’t Know), a series where we offer tips and tricks that aren’t necessarily new but may have gone under the radar or otherwise not be well known. 

When you order through Doordash, you pay for more than just your food. You’ll also pay a delivery fee, a tip your Dasher (always tip your Dasher, even if it’s in cash), and sometimes you’ll even pay a premium on the food. While it’s not true for every restaurant, some restaurants have higher prices on meals through Doordash than they charge in-store.

Doordash order breakdown vs. Burger King's with BK being cheaper.
Doordash on the left, Burger King on the right. The same food and same tip, yet Burger King will charge $6 less.

And that’s why before you place your order through Doordash, you should check the restaurant’s website first. Your mileage may vary, but recently we ordered Burger King, O’Charley’s, and Jersey Mike’s directly through the website and avoided delivery fees.

And here’s the kicker: in many cases, Doordash (or a similar service like Uber Eats) still handles the delivery. Most restaurants that traditionally don’t offer delivery have turned to delivery services to help. So, when you order through Burger King, they pass on the hard work to Doordash. That means you’ll still get text notifications to update you on what stage your order is at and when your Dasher hits your street.

In some cases, you’ll skip the delivery fee and pay lower prices for the food itself, saving you more money. Oddly, depending on where you live, you may pay less tax by ordering direct as well.

Bypassing Doordash’s website won’t save you money every time. Some restaurants don’t let you order delivery directly; others do but charge a fee. But enough do that it’s worth taking a minute two to find out if you can save money on your next meal.

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