DoorDash Late Delivery: Meaning, Factors Responsible, Implications & How To Avoid It

DoorDash is not renowned for late deliveries. The food delivery platform averages about 30 to 40 minutes per order delivery, which is immense. While this sounds great, late deliveries might be inevitable at some point.

Late deliveries occur due to several (controllable and uncontrollable) factors. Some include bad weather conditions, gridlock, and correcting a wrong order. In other words, not all late deliveries are the driver’s fault. 

This guide explains what qualifies as a late delivery on DoorDash, how it calculates the estimated delivery time for every order, and how to avoid it (as a Dasher and customer). You will also discover the possible implications of late deliveries and how to get a refund. 

What Qualifies as a Late DoorDash Delivery? 


To qualify a DoorDash order as late, you must understand how the estimated delivery time for every order is calculated. DoorDash uses Google Maps to calculate how long a delivery should take. 

It considers factors like distance traveled, traffic conditions, transportation type (bike, scooter, or vehicle), and other factors beyond human control. 

If DoorDash estimates that a pickup and delivery for an order should last 30 minutes, it expects the Dasher to pick up the order at the restaurant within 15 minutes and deliver it in the next 15 minutes. 

In other words, if the Dasher accepts an order by 2 pm, he or she should arrive at the restaurant by 2:15 pm and deliver the package to the recipient by 2:30 pm. 

However, since it considers uncontrollable factors, if the Dasher arrives at the restaurant by 2:25 pm and delivers the package by 2:40 pm, such an order won’t be considered a late delivery. 

Please note that anything outside 2:40 pm may be considered a late delivery and a violation, provided it is not related to wait time during pick up, group or multiple orders, and technical glitches. 

Factors Responsible for Late Deliveries 

Aside from wait time, traffic conditions, and other uncontrollable exceptions, your order may arrive late if:

1. You ordered during peak hours 

Peak hours, such as late nights on Friday and Saturday, are a gold mine for Dashers. Due to how busy these periods are, they may try to accept multiple orders, resulting in slightly late deliveries. 

2. Your location is far from the restaurant 

Most Dashers avoid long-distance trips. The fact that it may take a while to get a driver to accept your request is enough to shift your expectation in terms of estimated delivery time. 

3. There are not enough DoorDash drivers 

Ordering very late at night or when the weather is bad may result in the availability of a few drivers. With fewer drivers, the order acceptance rate is slower, which may result in your food arriving later than anticipated. 

4. You are not tipping generously 

One of the most effective hacks to ensure your order is accepted and delivered early is to include a very generous tip. While Dashers may not know the exact tip amount until they complete such a delivery, they can estimate. 

On the other hand, when your order features little or no tip, you may have to wait longer for it to be accepted and delivered. 

How to Avoid Late Deliveries [As a Dasher & Customer]

For Dashers

  1. You can pause a Dash if you need to take a break or are delayed by factors beyond human control. 
  2. Utilize shortcuts if you sense the possibility of gridlock or are familiar with the route leading to the customer’s residence.
  3. Keep the customer up-to-date regarding any challenges. 

For customers 

Aside from including a generous tip and avoiding rush hours, you can: 

  1. Schedule your DoorDash orders in advance to beat any rush. This hack gives DoorDash enough time to find you a Dasher and deliver early. 
  2. Choose only merchants with great ratings. DoorDash allows customers to review restaurants based on experience. As a result, it is very easy to stick with only the reliable ones. 
  3. Patronize less popular merchants (with great reviews). This is because such restaurants will only have a few orders in the queue, unlike McDonald’s and Pizza Hut on a weekend night. 

Will Your DoorDash Account Be Deactivated Due to a Late Delivery? 

DoorDash established lateness-based violation contracts to ensure Dashers and Merchants continue to deliver orders at optimal levels. Based on this contract, every late delivery reflects your rating. 

However, one late delivery or contract violation is not enough grounds for account deactivation. Only multiple or a track record of lateness violations will result in deactivation. 

Please note that deactivation based on extreme lateness is usually permanent. However, if your deactivation email features how you can appeal, it means there is a chance of getting your account reinstated. 

Can You Get a Refund for Late DoorDash Orders?

DoorDash refunds customers provided their order arrives much later than it should have. To get a refund on an extremely late order: 

  1. Go to the DoorDash app and click the “Orders” tab. 
  2. Choose the order you want a refund for. 
  3. Select the “Help” tab and choose “Arrived Late” as the reason for requesting a refund. 
  4. Indicate that your priority is a refund in the “Details” section and submit a report. 

DoorDash will investigate the order. If it is confirmed to be very late, you can choose how you want your refund (either as an account credit or directly to your bank account).


Does lateness contract violations impact a Dasher’s pay?

Delivering orders late will not affect your earnings in any way. 

Will a lateness violation notification affect your rating? 

A lateness violation notification is insufficient to impact your rating or limit your access to features negatively.

Are there days DoorDash doesn’t deliver?

DoorDash delivers packages 365 days a year, including during big holidays like Easter, Christmas, New Year, Father’s and Mother’s Days, and The Super Bowl 


DoorDash does not tolerate late deliveries. This is why it has a lateness-based violation program that keeps both restaurants and Dashers in check. 

As a Dasher, DoorDash will reduce the number of orders or delivery requests you get when you have a track record of lateness. Your account may be deactivated if you keep delivery late (without an acceptable reason). 

The same thing applies to merchants or restaurants. This is because customers tend to avoid those with a record of late deliveries, which can be bad for business. 

Finally, late deliveries caused by unforeseen or exceptional conditions such as bad weather or traffic conditions rarely get flagged by DoorDash and will not affect a Dasher’s or restaurant’s rating. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. If you did, please see how to handle a wrong DoorDash order.

Thanks for reading.