How to Pick Up a DoorDash Order: Finding Your Way Around Any Restaurant

From drive-thrus to fine dining, we walk you through best practices for customer order pickups.

4 min read
Dx Blog - How to Pick Up a DoorDash Order: Finding Your Way Around Any Restaurant - counter pickup

There are over 500,000 merchants on the DoorDash marketplace, each with their own distinct store layout and location for takeout orders. Here are some Dasher-tested tips on how to pick up takeout and delivery orders as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How to pick up a customer order according to seasoned Dashers

1. Navigate to the host or cashier

If there is a clearly designated takeout counter, check in there and state your name and the customer order you’re picking up for DoorDash. Otherwise, ask the host or cashier where you can pick up a delivery order. You may need to show the store employee the order confirmation within the DoorDash Dasher app. 

2. Use your Red Card to pay

If you are placing the order yourself, use your Red Card to make the purchase on behalf of the customer. You can learn more about setting up and using the Red Card here.

3. Be patient

If the food isn’t yet prepared, or if you’ve just placed an order for a customer, ask a staff member where you should wait until it’s ready. In a busy restaurant environment, patience goes a long way. Remember that everyone is doing their best to serve customers as quickly and effectively as possible.

“There is going to be a lot of trial and error, [...] and patience is going to be one of the keys to your success.” - Alfonso A., Davidson, NC.

Picking up an order at a drive-thru

Picking up fast food orders

Fast food restaurants may have more pick-up options than most. If it’s your first time at a location that has a drive-thru, consider picking up the order inside and ask the staff if you can pick up future orders from the drive-thru window. A quick look inside might help avoid long lines of drive-thru traffic at busy times, so it’s often worth the extra effort.

Can you pick up DoorDash in a drive-thru? 

While some fast food restaurants have a drive-thru window that could be used for order pick-ups, many restaurateurs prefer that Dashers walk inside to pick up an order. Here’s why.

It means restaurant managers don’t need to pull a cook off line, or a server out of service, to find that order and confirm the delivery. Letting the front-of-house staff handle it makes everything faster for everyone, as you’ll get the order as soon as the kitchen has produced it.

Mistakes can happen when Dashers are thrown into the mix of a restaurant’s regular service. Speak directly to the hosts, and you’ll get on your way faster with the customer order you came for. When picking up restaurant orders, Alfonso A. from Davidson, NC says “Don't forget to use your red bag — and always make sure the drink lids are on tight!”. Having your DoorDash bag visible and your phone screen showing the customer order can help front-of-house staff identify you more quickly as a Dasher. When it comes to drive-thru and mobile order pickups, restaurant staff can’t confirm as easily or quickly.

Pick up point for DoorDash customer orders

Picking up customer orders from a fast-casual restaurant

Fast casual restaurants often have a location where orders can be matched to the DoorDash customer and picked up with ease. Keep an eye out for visible pickup areas, as in the case of Portillo’s, who added racks clearly marked with “delivery” to help streamline the pickup process.

“We wanted to see what would happen if we empowered drivers to move as fast as they want,” explains Dino Northway, Director of Off Premise Dining at Portillo’s. “Allowing Dashers to pick up delivery orders without having to interact with our team could help them get back on the road faster and get food to guests faster. This is especially important because our stores are so busy.”

Dino Northway

With the pickup racks for DoorDash orders, we're seeing a reduction in overall delivery time, and Dashers are happy with the time they save.

Dino Northway, Director of Off-Premise Dining, Portillo’s

Check if there is a visible pickup spot for orders. If it’s not obvious, ask a member of staff.

Picking up customer orders from a fine-dining restaurant

Fine dining locations are often designed for a very specific ambiance, and Dashers should be careful not to be intrusive while inside these locations. The good news is, fine dining spots require liaising with the front-of-house staff — so the hosts will be ready for you. Let them know what you came for, and be patient while waiting. They will get you on your way as soon as possible.

All the best ways to pick up DoorDash customer orders 

While the options for order pick up will be different at each restaurant, working with front-of-house staff can help you get customer orders out the door quickly and effectively. And in the event that a restaurant might be busy or experiencing delays for takeout orders, remember that patience and communication are key.   

Want more info about dashing? Check out our blog to learn more about everything from in-app safety features to the benefits of biking.