Most Uber Eats and DoorDash drivers will go wherever an order request takes them, but some restaurants are so notoriously slow and disorganized that drivers refuse the delivery every time.
What makes delivery drivers add a restaurant to their no-go list?
Drivers hate when restaurants take too long to complete an order, or when the delivery pickup system is disorganized.
Most restaurants have you in and out within a minute or two, but some restaurants can take 10 or 20 minutes to finish bagging up an order.
Here are restaurants that many delivery drivers hate, why the delivery experience is so bad, and what restaurants can do to improve the experience for delivery drivers.
“Rule one: never pick up Popeyes.”
“I’ll never accept another Popeyes order. You’ll wait in line for 30 mins minimum every time. So not worth it”
“Popeyes = Wrong/missing items & long wait time.”
Customers might be lovin’ that chicken from Popeyes, but delivery drivers are hating every minute of the delivery process.
Just visit the Dasher subreddit to see frequent complaints about the incredibly slow and inefficient delivery process at Popeyes.
Most restaurants begin preparing an order shortly after they receive it from DoorDash or Uber Eats so they can have the food ready to quickly hand off to a Dasher.
Popeyes doesn’t run things that way. They wait until a delivery person arrives before they begin working on the order.
Delivery orders aren’t given any special priority, so if there’s a long line, the delivery driver has to wait around while Popeyes clear through the backlog.
The result is wait times that are far longer than most other restaurants for a low-cost fast food order that doesn’t always generate a tip.
“Chick-fil-A is ruining Dashing for me. I dread nothing more, not apartments or grocery orders, than seeing a CFA order pop on screen”
“Chick Fil-A is easily the worst fast-food place that a Dasher has to go”
Customers line up for blocks and delivery customers order bags and bags of it. So what’s wrong with Chick-fil-A?
For delivery drivers, delivering from a Chick-fil-A can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience. Some say a request from Chik-fil-A is always an auto decline.
Many locations are franchises, so store owners have the freedom to set different procedures.
It’s frustrating that one store has you wait inside while the one across town has you use the drive through.
Owners are also known to change policies regularly without updating instructions in the app, so you’ll follow the pickup instructions in the app only to find a sign on the door that has conflicting info.
For a long time, Chick-fil-A didn’t prepare the order ahead of time, so drivers had to announce their arrival and wait around for the order to be made. That has changed in some stores, but many still complain of long wait times.
“Wing Stop is a special kind of hell”
“I hate wingstop. They don’t start making the order until you arrive. This means 20 min wait”
“Wingstop is an instant decline. It’s always “it’ll be about 5 more minutes” even when it’s already 5 minutes late”
Wingstop is yet another entry in the ‘Why don’t they start the orders until we get there?” complaint book.
Wings are fried to order at Wing Stop, which is great for customers, but not so great for delivery drivers when fried to order means ‘the order won’t begin until the Dashers has already been there for 10 minutes.’
Dashers describe long lines, chaotic dining rooms, and a newly added sign-in system that has already been ignored by Wingstop our in most locations.
“Five Guys doesn’t start making the fries until you show up”
“I’ve never in my life seen an order ready to go when I arrive at a five guys”
“I love Five Guys but I refuse to try to deliver for them”
Five Guys has strict quality control standards that create long wait times for delivery drivers.
The main issue is that Five Guys won’t start making fries until the driver shows up, so the order will never be ready when the driver arrives. That means guaranteed wait times.
And if it’s a busy day, wait times can end up taking 15+ minutes. Not a great experience for drivers.
McDonald’s and Taco Bell
“McDonald’s. I go inside, they tell me to drive thru. I drive thru, they tell me to come inside. Either way I’m waiting half an hour”
“McDonald’s and Taco Bell. The lines are always way too long and the pay is never worth it”
“McDonald’s late night has an insane drive-thru”
McDonald’s and Taco Bell share the same complaints for drivers: Low payouts and long drive-thru lines.
Both restaurants are known for their low-priced items, so it’s not surprising that their customers typically don’t want to leave a large tip.
McDonald’s and Taco Bell tend to be drive-thru only late at night, so drivers are forced to wait in long lines to pick up orders.
The order might be ready to go and sitting on a shelf, but drivers still have to wait in the drive-thru line.
“Every time I go to IHOP, I always wait 20+ min”
“IHOP is Probably the worst place to pick up from in my town”
“IHOP is the same as Walmart for me, instant decline”
IHOP is another restaurant that doesn’t seem to have figured out how to streamline the delivery process. Drivers complain of extremely long wait times and inconsistent policies.
IHOP doesn’t seem to prioritize delivery orders, so when a restaurant is busy with in-person dining, delivery orders have to wait in line just like everyone else.
But the delivery apps tend to send drivers to the store right as orders come in, long before the food is ready. The result is very long wait times, sometimes 20 minutes or more.
Another least favorite: Walmart Orders
Nothing unifies delivery drivers like their hatred for Walmart orders. Low pay, infrequent tips, long wait times – Walmart orders have it all.
But it’s not a restaurant, so it didn’t make this list. Checkout our full writeup on Walmart orders:
- “Anything inside a mall“
- “I really hate going to Lil Caesar’s“
- “KFC. They always run out of chicken or randomly close early”
- “Buffalo Wild Wings. It’s either ready when I get there, or a 15+ minute wait. There is no in between”
What makes one restaurant better than another?
Uber Eats and DoorDash don’t feel the need to complain about every restaurant they deal with, so what makes some restaurants so much better than others?
Delivery drivers like restaurants that have these qualities
- The order is ready when they arrive or shortly after
- Delivery policies are clear and consistent
- Staff is knowledgeable and patient with delivery people
- Delivery drivers don’t have to wait excessively behind other customers
- Very busy restaurants should have a separate and clearly marked delivery area/pickup process
How restaurants can improve the experience for drivers
Delivery driver satisfaction isn’t the only thing that restaurants have to think about.
Customer satisfaction is key, and a slightly longer delivery process might be worth it if the meal arrives to customers in better condition.
All of these restaurants seem to have decided that their meals don’t hold up very well over time, so they decided to make Dashers wait longer so customers can get fresher food.
Restaurants could create dedicated delivery lines and use systems that help them have the meal ready right when the Dasher arrives.
But with delivery driver arrival times also being inconsistent and hard to predict, it’s hard to say that’s there’s an easy solution that makes everybody happy.
What you can do as a customer
If you’re a customer and you love ordering from these restaurants, you can ensure a faster delivery by adding a bigger tip during the checkout process.
Both Uber Eats and DoorDash drivers see most of the total order payout up front, so a low paying order from an already-hated restaurant might mean that the request gets bounced around between drivers before it finally gets accepted.
Drivers are motivated by money, so just about any delivery inconvenience can be smoothed over by higher pay.
Bump up your tip to make your order more tempting. One might quickly accept your order and the go the extra mile for you even if they’ve grown to despise the restaurant.
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