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How to Avoid Avoidable Wait

Sometimes Dashers have to wait for orders to be ready. Here’s how to minimize that wait time.

3 min read
2022-02-24
women picking up food order with doordash

What is Avoidable Wait?

When everything runs smoothly, you confirm when an order will be ready, the Dasher gets there right on time, and your customer gets their order on schedule. But sometimes, things happen out of order. 

Avoidable Wait is how long a Dasher waits for an order after the time you confirmed it would be ready. Avoidable Wait starts 1 minute after your set estimated prep time has passed. It stops as soon as the Dasher marks the order as picked up or is 100m from the restaurant after departing with the order.

For example, if an order has a 15 minute prep time, and it’s not ready for the Dasher until 17 minutes have passed, that’s 2 minutes of avoidable wait. However, if the Dasher is also late and arrives to collect the order at 18 minutes, there will be 0 minutes of avoidable wait. 

What does my Avoidable Wait number mean?

Your Avoidable Wait number measures the amount of time Dashers wait for orders at your store after you said they would be ready. The ideal Avoidable Wait rate is less than 2 minutes. 

How to reduce your Avoidable Wait

Wait Cause: The set prep time for your order is not long enough, so the order prep time has ended but the order isn't ready.

Solution: There are two ways to avoid or reduce Avoidable Wait: 

  1. Adjust your prep time or kitchen status so Dashers have a more accurate arrival time. 

  2. Provide clear pickup instructions for Dashers and designate a pickup area to decrease in-store confusion. 

Tip: There are different ways to change prep time. If you’re having a busy night, you can use the Busy Kitchens feature on your tablet to automatically add more prep time just for that night. If you’re consistently finding that your set prep time isn’t long enough, you can more permanently adjust the prep time in the Merchant Portal

How to find your Avoidable Wait Rate

avoidable wait time doordash

Check View Late Orders in the Wait Time tile under Operations Quality in the Merchant Portal.

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