Ramen from Underbelly packed into a recyclable plastic bowl — broth is packed separately so everything retains its texture
  • Ramen from Underbelly packed into a recyclable plastic bowl — broth is packed separately so everything retains its texture
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For our latest foray into restaurant home delivery services, I checked out a new app that hit town with a strong marketing push the past couple of months. DoorDash enters what’s become a crowded market with the same basic premise: enlist a slew of local restaurants to offer delivery services, put their menus online for convenient ordering, and hire a platoon of drivers to do the work.

DoorDash offers a strong mix of restaurants, allowing you to order to your mood, be it sushi, Mediterranean, high-end comfort food, or something meaty and cheesy from your favorite pub. The only problem is, if you don’t have a specific mood, browsing the restaurants proves tougher than it should be.

DoorDash’s tile presentation slows you down.

DoorDash’s tile presentation slows you down.

As with most of these delivery apps, you enter your home address and then view a list of restaurants servicing your area, in this case with an estimate of how long the delivery will take (usually 45 minutes to an hour). The designers of DoorDash have decided to present the restaurants in a tiled format — their names are listed alphabetically, in rows of four, meaning a lot of scanning and scrolling the screen.

To make matters worse, there’s no other way to sort. Once you click to view a restaurant, you can see the delivery fee and order seamlessly through an online menu. But if you decide not to order at this point then you must return to the results screen, which reloads and sends you back to the top of the list. You then have to scroll down again.

I tried DoorDash a couple of times, ordering some personal favorites — fried chicken from Tender Greens Downtown and ramen from Underbelly North Park. In both cases the order came quickly, the driver was friendly enough to deserve a tip on top of the delivery fee, and the food stayed warm and tasted great.

The high cost of delivery is always a consideration, but one benefit of DoorDash is no minimum order. So while another favorite of mine, Tajima Ramen, may be ordered through DoorDash for a $6.99 fee, competitor Bring It To Me wll do it for $4.99 with a minimum $15 order. So if I’m ordering a ten dollar ramen for myself I’d use DoorDash, but if my roommate’s involved we’d easily hit the $15 cutoff and save a couple bucks on delivery.

The app usually offers a discount to first-time users, so you may be able to try it first for little more than you’d pay to visit the restaurant in person.

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