How To Get Free Food On DoorDash in 2023

Clay Cary
Updated on: 06/20/23

How To Get Free Food On DoorDash

Getting food delivered from DoorDash is great. It’s one of the most dependable and widely used food delivery services in the world, and it beats going to pick up food after a long day or during bad weather.

The only problem is the delivery costs prevent a substantial barrier for most people to use DoorDash regularly.

As you review your order, you’ll probably spot a number of fees that inflate the total. You can see a delivery fee, a service fee, some regulatory fees… the list goes on!

What starts out as just a few dollars for dinner adds up to a significant amount in no time depending on the quantity of food you are ordering and the distance your delivery drive needs to drive.

In this article we will break down a few proven ways to reduce the cost of your DoorDash order and investigate if its possible to get completely free DoorDash.

In this article, we’ll explore just that! Read on to learn about:

  • Free DoorDash deliveries, and who is eligible for these services

  • Whether it’s possible to get free food and gift cards from DoorDash

  • Other ways to save on food outside of DoorDash.

Let’s dive right in!

What Does “Free DoorDash” Mean?

Food on DoorDash is almost always paid for. Upon joining, your first order will generally be delivered to you for free – though you’ll still have to pay for the food itself.

As a food delivery service, DoorDash offers promotions that can heavily discount your order. So, the trick is to seek these out and minimize your food cost!

DoorDash is a company that aims to make a profit and not a charity venturing to feed people for free. Despite this, there often are free delivery deals if you know where to look.

These promotions are created to incentivize first-time users of DoorDash to try the app and to spend some money through the platform. The idea is that these customers will then see just how great DoorDash is and become loyal, repeat customers.

Despite that, you’ll still typically need to pay for the actual food made by independent restaurants.

You’ll also likely still have to pay for service fees. These service fees cover the cost of the drivers, technology, customer service, and other essential aspects; they help the company to stay operational!

Who Is Eligible for Free DoorDash?

Generally, DoorDash is not free. After all, it’s a business that’s trying to make the most profit that it can.

There are, however, certain times that you might find yourself eligible for free DoorDash. Below, we’ll go over some of these circumstances and how you can cash in on free food:

First Time Customers

When you first sign up to DoorDash, you’ll be eligible for free delivery on your first order.

To enjoy this perk, you’ll typically need to spend an order above a certain amount (DoorDash usually requires the order amount to be at least $15).

In this case, you still have to pay for the food itself (unless you have an additional DoorDash coupon), and for the service fees associated with your purchase.

Limited-Time Promo Code Users

Inside the DoorDash app, you may occasionally find promotional codes that are valid for a limited time. These offer different deals, such as discounts on orders over a certain amount, or on certain products or brands.

Since these promotions are available in the app, installing DoorDash on your phone will give you more value for your money.

DoorDash also sometimes offers $0 delivery fees – though again, you’ll still have to pay for the food and associated service charges. The best deals often offer a certain percentage or a monetary amount off of your total.

DashPass members frequently get access to even greater deals. With a DashPass subscription, you can get an unlimited number of deliveries with $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders over $12.

Does DoorDash Have a Referral Program?

Yes, DoorDash has a referral program. When there’s an active referral promotion, a banner will appear as you open your DoorDash app.

You can then click on the banner and refer a friend that’s not already (and has never been) a customer of DoorDash.

Another method of referring others to DoorDash is to go to the “Account” section of the app and click on “Refer friends, get $5”.

With each friend you refer, you can earn a credit of $5 to spend on your next order – as long as your friend completes their order.

Your friend will also see a banner on their DoorDash app, which they can click on and enter the referral code into. They have to then place an order over the minimum amount advised to receive a $5 discount as well.

Are There Any Ways to Get Completely Free Food at Doordash?

You will only find promotions offering free delivery on DoorDash. The individual restaurants that make the food that’s then delivered by DoorDash will not make it for free (in most cases).

However, some of these DoorDash clients will offer free delivery deals from time to time. This is a great thing to look out for if you don’t already have a promotion code to reduce your delivery fees.

It’s possible to use restaurant gift vouchers through DoorDash, and you can also make and receive free orders as gifts between friends.

If you have one of these in combination with a free delivery promotion, then you’ll be able to receive free food from DoorDash.

While there’s typically no way to get completely free food on the app, there was an instance in 2022 when a DoorDash glitch resulted in customers placing orders without an authorized payment method. This caused a surge in deliveries as users took advantage of the platform.

Unfortunately, some people take advantage of DoorDash and make things harder for others. By saying that their food never arrived (even though it did), customers can get their money back on orders.

However, in doing this, honest drivers develop bad reputations and may even lose their job with the company.

Many drivers also receive a very low base wage to begin with and rely on tips to make decent money. For this reason, it’s important to tip drivers when you are given the option once the delivery is complete.

Can I Get Free DoorDash Gift Cards?

You cannot get free DoorDash gift cards from DoorDash itself, but there are some online sites that offer them. This is in exchange for your completion of small tasks on their site.

Swagbucks is one of these platforms. By completing surveys, browsing through its affiliated online shopping sites, and watching videos, you can earn Swagbucks points.

Once you have earned enough points (9,500, to be precise), you will be rewarded with a $100 DoorDash gift card.

MyPoints is another option. It’s one of the oldest and most trusted cashback sites where you can receive points in return for shopping online, taking surveys, and watching videos. Through MyPoints, you can also earn points towards a free DoorDash gift card.

Can I Get Free Food with a DashPass?

For $9.99 a month or $96 a year, you can become a subscriber to DashPass.

Currently, DashPass is available in the USA and Canada, though some areas are excluded. DashPass subscribers save around $4–5 per eligible order.

If you order food from DoorDash more than twice per month, this becomes a no-brainer as you’ll almost certainly save money.

Even with this subscription, you will not receive free food! With DashPass, orders over $12 become eligible for free delivery and reduced service fees.

For grocery store orders, users have to spend over $25 to receive free delivery and reduced service charges.

If your order basket doesn’t add up to $12, then you won’t be eligible to use your DashPass. It may be worth adding an extra low-cost item so you can reach the $12 minimum threshold.

Remember: you’re still likely to end up paying more than $12 due to service fees! Though these are reduced, there’s generally still a small service fee that you’ll need to pay.

You’ll be eligible for a free trial if you haven’t previously tried out DashPass. When this trial period ends and you want to continue with the membership, you’ll be charged a monthly or yearly fee depending on the subscription plan you chose.

DashPass subscribers are also eligible for priority customer support and exclusive promotions. If you use both DoorDash and Caviar, you can use DashPass across both platforms as long as you keep the same login details.

Do DoorDash Drivers Get Free Food?

If you’re looking to get free food, becoming a DoorDash driver is not the answer. DoorDash drivers have to put up with smelling amazing food all day long, but they seldom ever get free meals themselves!

It’s possible that if a driver becomes familiar with a restaurant that they often pick up from that the restaurant may give them some extra bites. However, this would rely solely on the generosity of the individual restaurant.

If you want to receive free food through your job, don’t bet on becoming a DoorDash driver. You’ll have more luck working as wait staff or in a kitchen!

What Are Other Ways I Can Save Money on Food?

Due to the rising prices of food and other living costs, many of us need to think creatively about how we can cut down on excess expenditure.

Luckily the internet allows consumers to save lots of money on food purchases if they know where to look...

Sign Up for Restaurant Loyalty & Rewards Programs

Many restaurants offer loyalty and rewards programs, which benefit them as they garner new interest and incentivize customers to return.

Aim to sign up for as many of these as you can – particularly for those of restaurants you enjoy the most!

By returning and showing your loyalty, you’ll also earn rewards that can get you free or heavily discounted food.

The more restaurant loyalty and rewards programs that you sign up for, the more opportunities you’ll have to eat out for less.

Sign Up for Email Lists of Your Favorite Restaurants

Signing up for email lists of your favorite restaurants will provide specific insight into all of their best promotions and deals.

This way, you’ll receive emails and newsletters informing you of the latest deals and promotions that will allow you to save money while feasting on delicious, high-quality meals.

If you opt-in for enough restaurant emails, it’s highly likely that you’ll have endless, budget-friendly meal opportunities.

In particular, you should be on the lookout for holiday promotions. Special occasions such as Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day are excellent occasions for restaurant marketing!

You can expect many restaurants to try and one-up each other by offering sweet deals.

Even outside of these holiday dates, it’s not uncommon for restaurants to occasionally announce discounts, events, and offerings that you can take advantage of. Keep your eyes peeled for these gems!

Work Part Time at a Restaurant

Working at a restaurant is perhaps the best way to access free food. At most restaurants, waitstaff and kitchen staff are fed during their break time.

This really cuts down your weekly costs when you’re able to get one or two free meals a day at work. It also saves you time because you don’t have to prepare all of your meals ahead of going to the restaurant.

The way this works differs from establishment to establishment.

Some chefs will ask you what you’d like to eat and make you a special meal. Others will give you whatever is left in the fridge, or otherwise provide a standard meal that every member of staff receives.

You’ll usually also have the opportunity to take home old food at the end of the day that can no longer be sold but is still perfectly fine to eat. This could be things such as ready-made desserts or breadsticks.

However, do be aware that some restaurants will not feed their staff at all! Others will give you a percentage off the normal cost of a meal and charge you for the rest.

Because of these variations, you should find out from the manager or other staff of the restaurant what the arrangement is before you start.

Volunteer at Your Local Community Kitchen

Most communities have soup kitchens or other similar initiatives where people that are unable to afford food can come to eat at least one good meal a day. These places are often in need of volunteers to prepare food, serve clients, and clean up.

Generally, volunteers will get to dig into some hearty, healthy fare in return for their service. Not only can you get free food, but you’ll also have a heartwarming and rewarding experience by helping those in need!

If you’re looking to cut down on food costs, you could look into doing this once or even several times a week as a way to both get fed and help out in your community.

about the author

Clay Cary
Senior Trends Analyst
As an e-commerce analyst at CouponFollow, Clay enjoys spending his time collaborating with brands to make helpful content for consumers and finding great deals to share on CouponFollow. As a recent college graduate, his primary focus is creating resources for consumers, especially students, to save money through online shopping and everyday life.