Doordash vs Chownow- A Detailed Comparison


App-based deliveries are the popular way to get an easy and quick meal. While earlier food delivery was limited to certain restaurants for years, services like ChowNow and Doordash have made it easier to easily get the food delivered to your doorstep. 

Contactless delivery has helped to cut down the need to stand at the door and wait for the order.

Since Covid19 pandemic, food tech has been rising like wildfire. Owing to various reasons like health issues, social distancing and cooking fatigue, and many other reasons made people rely on the food ordering system. This gave a big boost to the food tech industry and has given a boost to free online food ordering systems.

More than 80% of diners will continue to order online for pickup and delivery in the months ahead. What’s certain is that go-to operations, whether it is for delivery or pickup, are both important in maintaining a healthy revenue stream. Restaurants will need to opt for which online platform works best for them and their business and also help them in high-profit margins while creating a pleasurable experience for the consumers.

From Doordash to Chownow, various food ordering systems compete with each other. But before we start discussing them, let’s discuss the current scenario of the food and restaurant business.


The active situation of the restaurant and food industry:


The restaurant and food industries are growing rapidly and have seen major changes in the past few years. Several other factors played a major role in giving a boost to this food industry. Innovation and technology have taken over the world. 

From food, groceries to medicines everything is delivered to your doorstep. This has led to the ignition of grocery and food delivery platforms.


Below are some current trends that would help you to understand that the change that has happened in the past few years is for the better:


  • Reasons like lack of time, urbanization, millennial preferences, and expanding the consumer palette have caused people to opt for online food ordering systems.
  • The major increase in the demand for food ordering has put a lot of pressure on the restaurant industry for technology-driven disruption.
  • In and only in the US, the delivery and online market is estimated to go double in the next 7 years growing from $30B to $49B.
  • Top players like Chownow, Doordash, and others are competing with each other for market shares.
  • These top apps are spending exuberant amounts on their promotions and have reduced delivery costs.
  • Spending extra dollars on restaurant marketing on various platforms like social media, hoardings, e-mail marketing, text messages and much more
  • High demand has made them more competitive on online marketing systems.
  • The growth rate has increased tremendously in the past few years.

Collision on restaurant owners:

As the online ordering system has gained major traction, restaurant owners have been struggling to deal with digital transformation. Restaurants in America are facing issues like infrastructure breakdown to handle incoming orders. More than 75% of restaurants in America are facing issues in running their business.


Some other major challenges faced by restaurants are:


  • Complexity in delivery tracking and notifications
  • Lack of dedicated consumer service for the difference of opinion resolution

Considering the technical hitches, restaurants were forced to go for services from third party applications to deliver food to the consumers. However, restaurants face challenges almost everywhere.

75% of consumers in the US blame restaurants for the wrong food delivery experience.

Restaurants also pay high commissions to third-party apps for online ordering. While the third-party delivery apps have made it super convenient, they also ground various other problems for restaurant owners. 


So what is the solution?


Doordash is a famous food delivery service that allows you to order food from your favorite restaurant and get it delivered to your doorstep. Chownow is a new setup that provides similar services. Both companies have their pros and cons and it is very important to have a comparison before opting for one.

So let us see the difference between Doordash and Chownow. Well, just to begin with, Doordash has a wide collection of restaurants to opt from. However, Chownow is typically cheaper than Doordash so it is worth considering if you have a budget. Delivery times can also fluctuate between the two companies, so it is vital to check the reviews to see which one is more quick and consistent in your area.

Eventually, the best food delivery service for you will depend on your precise needs and preferences. If you are looking for a cheap option, Chownow is probably the best one. However, if you are looking for a wide collection of restaurants, Doordash is also worth considering. Whatever service you choose, be sure to go through the reviews and also make sure to get the best experience with them.

Are Chownow and Doordash the same?


No, Chownow and Doordash are not at all the same. Both offer food delivery services but there are some key differences between them. For one, Chownow delivers the food for restaurants that don’t have their in-house delivery services, while Doordash is linked with almost every restaurant in town-even with those who have in-house deliveries. 

In addition, Chownow provides consumers the ability to order their food at any time and get it delivered on their scheduled delivery time, while Doordash does not provide this facility. Lastly, Chownow charges the same delivery fee on every order, while Doordash’s charges vary, depending on the restaurant.


Now let’s deeply go through about each company:


Entering Chownow:


This company was founded in 2011 by Eric Jaffe and Christopher Webb- it is an online food application. Also at the same time, it offered subscription-based services that help restaurants serve the consumers. ChowNow’s peak revenue was $45.0M in 2021.

What makes it unique from existing apps like DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub are that it is commission-free.

To understand better, one must understand that the application is more than just an online food delivery platform. Rather, it is a mobile ordering head platform.

ChowNow’s main objective is to support the local restaurant’s development in the market while avoiding unnecessary third party commissions. ChowNow supports the development of neighborhood eateries. While hungry diners can find nearby eating places and menus, the platform allows the restaurant to attract more people who are digitally friendly.

Like many food apps, ChowNow provides digital tools from restaurant websites. But the app’s dual approach also reaches customers directly through the ChowNow app, allowing people to order from various restaurants in one mobile location. You have a few search options when using the ChowNow app, including cuisine type or a list of restaurants in your current vicinity.  

This app is user-friendly and offers helpful information when helping decide on a meal.


How does ChowNow help the industry?


ChowNow promotes the restaurants by providing them the ability such as: 

  • Branded online ordering platforms handy through independent restaurant websites
  • Facebook and Google pages
  • ChowNow websites and apps provide marketing assistance to restaurants as well.

Let us delve deeper to understand it better:

Unlike third-party applications, which charge a high commission from restaurants, ChowNow enables restaurants to have their online food delivery platform. By this, the restaurant not only gets visibility on the online server but also can serve the consumers directly.

Using ChowNow, restaurants can take unlimited food delivery orders, pick-up, in-store, and also contactless dine-in services. 

In Addition, ChowNow also assists restaurants to grow their customer and business base in two ways:

  1. ChowNow connects the restaurant’s online ordering dais to their Facebook, Google, Instagram, and TripAdvisor profiles.
  2. ChowNow is also a commission-free marketplace where restaurants can directly interact with new consumers without having to pay big margins.

Additionally, ChowNow also provides restaurants complete access to consumer data. By using this data, restaurants can:

  • know who their loyal consumers are and make them do the right efforts to give them proper services in return
  • highlight the most popular ordering platforms of the restaurants so they can easily put their money in the right place
  • reaching through emails and boosting order rates
  • optimized menu to promote upselling and increase order sizes.


Functioning of ChowNow:


ChowNow is a very innovative platform. While being lucrative to the restaurants, it also aids them to serve the consumers directly, also boosting their client satisfaction. To make it more clear, it is vital to understand its functioning.

For Eaters

Consumers or eaters can place an order from their favorite restaurant using ChowNow’s website or app. It also has another benefit as the consumers can interact directly with the restaurants; they get to pay only the exact amount. This does help them in saving a lot of food.

For Restaurants

ChowNow is a fortunate thing for restaurants! It not only boosts the digital presence by putting it on the dais but also allows the restaurants to connect with the consumers directly. Most restaurants do not have the access to handle digital operations and manage orders, payments, and consumer services and address them properly. 

ChowNow also addresses this issue by letting restaurants create a digital storefront where they can upload high-quality photos and also have an organized menu. So restaurants can also have their restaurant mobile app without mentioning a single line of code. This way, ChowNow makes it convenient for the restaurants to interact in the same way they want to.

The best way to understand ChowNow is to think of Shopify, but for the restaurants. And the best part is ChowNow does not take any commission per order. Thus, restaurants do not need to worry about spending a large amount on commissions for online capabilities.


But if it does not take any commission then how does it make money? Well, let’s discuss that.


How does ChowNow make Money?


ChowNow is completely commission-free; restaurants must pay a fee to use the services. Like most of the SAAS products, ChowNow also has subscription-based pricing.

There are three pricing options available:

  • $150/mo + $499 set up fee- monthly plan
  • %118/mo + %299 set up fee- annual plan
  • %88 /mo + $ 299 set up fee- two-year plan

What else? Restaurant owners can also try a free demo to understand how to work and how it can boost the business. The free trial helps them to experience the features of ChowNow before taking the subscription.

Now before drawing comparisons between ChowNow and Doordash, let’s discuss more about this top online food delivery platform in the USA.


How to tip in ChowNow?


ChowNow has a tipping system that is very similar to the other food delivery apps. You can also choose to tip the delivery people through apps and add a tip when you are paying through cash. The default tip is 10% but you can choose to leave a higher or lower tip according to your preference.

ChowNow Direct


If you want your restaurant to get all the whistles and bells and have a strong base in the digital world then ChowNow Direct is the best place for online orders, online presence, and to get on the number one list. How much does it cost? Well, have direct access for as low as $125/ month with zero commissions. Just the diners pay the standard credit card fee and a flat rate from your restaurant.



 ChowNow provides flexible delivery options for all restaurant partners. Aside from self-delivery and pickup, which a restaurant can provide on its own, ChowNow’s delivery will connect the restaurants with a network that is connected to the driver’s 24/7 support starting with the range of $2.99 per delivery.



DoorDash is one of the most demanded third-party food delivery systems in the US. The main focus is to connect restaurants and customers through food delivery apps. It was launched in 2013 and the system offers its food delivery service to over 700 cities in the US. The user-friendly platform and the constant top-class services are some best features of DoorDash.


DoorDash has three different applications- one for restaurant owners, one for consumers, and another one for drivers.


The drivers of DoorDash pick up and deliver the food purchased from fast food, dining restaurants, and quick service. They also deliver essential household items from merchants such as Petsmart, 7-eleven, and many more. 

Doordash also provides a plan just for students who want to avail some advantages of the services. From $3.99 a month or $50 a year, the Dashpass is for students who can take no-fee delivery on eligible restaurants or groceries, a 7% DoorDash credit on any pickup orders, and other member promotions.

Non-students can also buy the Dashpass with the same benefits of monthly and yearly. DoorDash estimates that subscribers pay an average of about $3 to $5 per order.


The pricing of DoorDash is as followed:


  •     Service fee:the service fee helps DoorDash to run the operation smoothly and partner with new restaurants.
  •     Delivery fee: this is what you pay to your delivery driver for their effort, work, and time. The fee varies based on your market and current demand for deliveries. You might have to pay more during higher demand times.
  •     Price of the menu along with tax: DoorDash claims that you have to pay the same price as you would pay in a restaurant.
  •     Optional tip:If you want to, you can tip your DoorDash driver as an appreciation for their amazing service. This is not necessary but it can be a nice gesture that might help them to earn some extra dollars.

 DoorDash operates a commission fee system. With every order placed through the app, this fee can reach up to 40% if you advertise on the application. The benefit of advertising is high exposure, which can also lead to more and more sales but potentially a stressed profit margin. Once the order is placed on DoorDash and confirmed with the restaurant, their delivery dashers pick up the orders and fulfill the delivery following all the norms.

Pros: DoorDash manages the order logistically to delivery. Through advertisements and marketing on the platform, restaurants can also potentially see a major increase in sales and business.

Cons: It also has a crowded marketplace that can prevent the consumers from missing out on your list and also opting for you. Restaurants pay more for every order to advertise on various platforms and have high exposure.

Cost: It is a commission-based platform of up to 35% per order.


Why do restaurants opt for ChowNow?


There are a few reasons that ChowNow is the first preference of many restaurants. Firstly, ChowNow does not take any commission from restaurants like DoorDash. Secondly, ChowNow provides consumers the ability to order food at any time and get it delivered at any scheduled time, which is very appealing for the busy bees who want their food to be on time when they want it. 

Finally, ChowNow also incorporates a restaurant’s POS system making it easy for the restaurants to get started with further service.

The ChowNow app is used by 39% of people 

The Doordash app is used by 37% of people

According to a survey done by Business Insider, DoorDash is the most commonly used app in the US. However, ChowNow is the most popular one among people.

ChowNow is the best option for restaurants that already get a lot of website traffic, keeping the guests on your website which has all the potential for upsells, such as if you sell tickets for events, restaurant gift cards, and merch.

Pros: It embeds the ordering experience onto the restaurant website for desktop users as well, which means fewer guests departing your website.

Cons: For the consumers visiting the website from a mobile set, the online ordering system opens a new browser tab to complete the checkout through ChowNow. The Ordering experience for guests also has ChowNow’s brand whether they order through the app or the ChowNow website.

Cost: It is a subscription service of around $150/ month.


Which food delivery pays the highest?


There is not even a single food delivery service that pays the highest. Each food delivery service has a different pay structure and drivers can earn unusual amounts depending on various other factors like the type of deliveries, the tips they get, and the number of working hours. 

But generally, DoorDash and ChowNow tend to be the highest-paying food delivery service in the US.


Concluding thoughts 


To figure it out, food delivery has become the most anticipated for restaurants to stay ahead of other competitors and gain visibility in the market. However, availing of the third-party service application has proven to be the most expensive for many restaurants. 

Apart from giving huge amounts as a commission, restaurants also have to suffer with bad ratings due to bad delivery and poor customer service. Late deliveries, messy food packing, and stale food will give a negative rating to the restaurant.

Considering all this, many restaurants are opting to have a digital storefront as many SAAS applications like Chow Now.

Both DoorDash and ChowNow are very popular online food-ordering apps. They both have their advantages and disadvantages but overall they both are good choices for ordering food in the comfort of your home. 

In terms of pricing, ChowNow is comparatively much cheaper than DoorDash, but DoorDash also offers a subscription that is DashPass which gives a $0 delivery fee and also less service fee in orders above $10. Customers can also get an extra $7 off on the first order with DashPass. So, it depends on your individual choice. 

If you want to opt for the cheapest option, then ChowNow is the best option. But if you want to save some dollars in the long run, then Dashpass from the DoorDash app is the best option.